By SAM BUTLER
Mackle Pet Foods, owners of the premium range Naturo which includes Chef’s Selection, and popular brands Brandy and Cat Club, has invested £2 million in new state-of-the-art packing equipment to support the increase in popularity across its Naturo pet food brand.
The Tyrone family business, established over four decades ago, and which has its main site in Moy, has seen demand for its Naturo range increase by over 41 per cent in the past year, resulting in the investment at its sister site at Moygashel.
To meet the demands, the company, which exports to 12 countries globally, is increasing its offering in stores across the UK and has already extended its Naturo brand to Chef’s Selection this year, with more new product development underway.
The investment will support the increase in the Naturo brand through production within its packaging areas. Parallel increase in production has prompted the creation of 10 new jobs as the company adds an additional shift to its evening production at its Moy site.
Commenting on the investment and new jobs, John Mackle, managing director, said: “We are delighted to be investing another £2m into our business, on the back of a £3m investment in 2017.
“The business is continuing to grow even during these challenging times of Brexit and the uncertainty it presents.
“We are encouraged that in spite of the uncertainty within trade our UK and Ireland, and indeed markets globally, are responding so positively to the Naturo and Naturo’s Chef’s Selection ranges, as well as our traditional brands.
“The £2m investment in packaging within the Naturo Range reflects the demand for the product and its popularity.
“This investment brings with it the need for more people to join our family brand and team, so, as well as investing we are adding to our workforce, by creating 10 new jobs at our site in Moy to meet demand.
“The recruitment of staff into Mackle Petfoods is really important to me. My father recruited staff over 40 years ago and many are still with us today. For those who have joined in more recent times, many have already been promoted to new roles.
“As a progressive, ambitious family company, recruiting and keeping the right people is really important to us, so we want to make sure we are investing for everyone’s futures here at the business,” John added.
Since it was launched in 2013, the Naturo range has increased from four varieties to 29, a result of constant innovation and development in response to customer feedback and market trends.
“The company, which is piloting a healthy fruit project to staff, has also invested over £40,000 into employee health and wellbeing in the past year as part of its commitment to its workforce.
The Mackle family has been creating high quality pet food in Northern Ireland for over 45 years.
Their philosophy is to promote overall health and maintain a healthy digestive system for pets.
Created by Mackle Pet Foods over seven years ago, Naturo is made with 100 perent natural ingredients, locally sourced and fully traceable with up to 60 per cent meat.
The range contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and is renowned for excellent quality.
Every stage, from sourcing raw materials to delivery to customers, is audited externally by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Naturo’s quality systems comply with the best as their “A grade” status confirms.
In 2017, the company invested over £3 million into its Naturo manufacturing facility in Moy, enabling it to more than double production. The company employs over 200 staff locally across its sites in Moy and Moygashel.