Three pet care firms have been named among the first companies to be given the new King’s Award for Enterprise 2023.
Naturaw, Podium Pet Products and The First Class Pet Company (Little Big Paw) are among the 148 organisations honoured with the first-ever King’s Award. Previously known as The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the new name reflects His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II by recognising outstanding UK businesses. The programme, now in its 57th year, is considered to be the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.
Originally created in 2014, Naturaw now employs a team of 16 people in a state-of-the-art facility near Wetherby in Yorkshire. Recipes include high-welfare meat from British farms, with no fillers, grain, preservatives or anything artificial. Naturaw uses plastic-free packaging for every product it manufactures, and was awarded B-Corp status in 2022.
Recent initiatives include a move to self-generated solar power at the factory, the planting of a tree every time a new customer subscribes to its food delivery service, and the use of electric vehicles to make deliveries to stockists in the North of England.
Co-founder Jess Warneken said: “Sustainability has always been at the heart of our entire business ethos, we have always gone the extra mile to do things better. We’re so passionate about the way we conduct ourselves as a company, firmly believing we can have a commercially successful business that is also socially and environmentally conscious. To be recognised this way with such a prestigious award is a proud moment.”
Director Chris Broadbent added: “To receive the Kings Award for Enterprise is a huge, huge honour for us, and a testament to our team’s hard work and resilience over the last few years in an incredibly challenging and unprecedented climate.”
For Podium Pet Products, whose brands include Dog Rocks and Be:Loved, it is the second time it has won an award of this kind, after Dog Rocks won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2016. The full integration of Be:Loved into the portfolio prompted the team to change the company name from Dog Rocks UK to Podium Pet Products, thereby encompassing all products under one trade roof. Export now makes up more than half of the company’s sales.
Chief executive Carina Evans said: “This is a tremendous honour for the company and recognition of the hard work, innovation and inspiration of a talented team.
“Having achieved the Queen’s Award for Enterprise seven years ago was marvellous for the company, and now to become one of the first UK companies to be honoured with a King’s Award is extra special.
“The company has grown significantly over the past few years, moving into international markets with a growing range of pet products, so it is particularly pleasing to be recognised for our international trade.”
The First Class Pet Company, which created the Little Big Paw brand, is also a previous winner, having been given The Queens Award in 2018.
Launched in 2015, the natural food and treats brand has expanded globally through specialist pet and veterinary channels and is now available in over 45 countries worldwide.
Co-founder Jim Weston said: “It is a huge honour to receive this award and we are absolutely delighted for the whole team and for all our dedicated distributors globally. This is royal recognition not just for Little BigPaw products but also for all the hard work of staff, suppliers and our distribution partners over the last few years.”
Co-founder David Alton added: “It is a great privilege for Little BigPaw to receive royal recognition once again. A big thank you to our team and distributors for making this possible. This award motivates us to continue to strive ahead to provide the very best of British pet foods around the world.”