Yorkshire pet food firm looks to grow as it celebrates 100 years in business

Yorkshire-based pet food firm Inspired Pet Nutrition (IPN) is celebrating 100 years in business as the firm looks to grow and create more jobs in the region.

IPN has announced that over the next five years, it has strong ambitions to grow and become one of the top three pet food companies in the UK, with acquisitions as part of its ongoing growth strategy.

The firm said that welcoming new colleagues to IPN will be an “exciting” part of this growth, and that it hopes to build on its workforce in Thirsk, as well as being able to “give even more back to the local community” as it continues to evolve.

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The family-founded fim, has grown exponentially across the last 30 years, achieving £100 million across 25 years, and another £100 million in just five.

Yorkshire-based pet food firm Inspired Pet Nutrition is celebrating 100 years in business.Yorkshire-based pet food firm Inspired Pet Nutrition is celebrating 100 years in business.
Yorkshire-based pet food firm Inspired Pet Nutrition is celebrating 100 years in business.

The company said that it attributes its success to the “entrepreneurial spirit” of its people and partners.

James Lawson, chief technical officer at IPN, said: “It’s important to us at IPN that we give back to both our people, and their people. 334 of our 430 employees work at our Thirsk site, and 81 per cent of those live in the local area, so we make sure our business practice best benefits those close to home.

“We’ve invested £25 million into upgrading our manufacturing technology at the site, as well as improving our staff welfare and training facilities. We also work with local suppliers wherever we can. 99 per cent of our ingredients come from suppliers in the UK, and 67 per cent of these come from within 200 miles of our factories – serving both regional farmers and our community’s environmental ambitions too”

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The company has also invested in measures to support the environment, with initiatives that aim to help support the sustainable ambitions of its staff.

Sophie Winspear, group people director at IPN, said: “IPN is proud to be the first carbon negative pet food business, and our colleagues are proud of this too.

“We support them with subsidised environmentally-friendly travel via cycling and electric vehicles as part of our Total Reward offering, and offset the carbon footprint of our entire 430-strong workforce across four sites. We’ve planted 156,733 trees as of April 2023, including a tree for every colleague in the business at Thorp Perrow in Bedale, and offset 23,686 tonnes of CO2.

“Even outside of environmental goals, we’re committed to being a fair and responsible employer for our team. We’re proud to have bucked the gender pay trend, with our women earning 5 per cent more than men on average, and 42 per cent of our board identifying as female.

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“We have relatives of the founding Page family among our ranks, and our longest-serving colleague has been with us for 25 years.”

The company also runs an initiative through which it provides meals to charitable groups. The Miles and Meals programme supports pet charities across the globe, such as the Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary, which has received over 173,000 meals from IPN since January 2021.

Peter Wright, The Yorkshire Vet and resident vet for IPN dog food brand Harringtons, said: “I have been privileged as a local veterinarian to work with this family-founded business for almost 20 years. We share common Yorkshire values of demanding transparency, accountability and delivering value for money. There are many locals proudly working at IPN who will go the extra mile to ensure these broadly held ideals are delivered to the customer.

“IPN is not resting on its laurels. It is continuing to listen to the nutritional demands of owners and their pets so that pet foods provided by IPN will continue to evolve but at the same time producing the wholesome nutrition which sits at the very core of its business.”