Raw Es­sen­tials

Element - - BUSINESS -

Vet­eri­nar­ian Lyn Thom­son started Raw Es­sen­tials two years ago be­cause she strug­gled to find a source for the raw meat and bone she felt was the nat­u­ral diet for her dogs.

From its ge­n­e­sis in a small build­ing be­hind the West Lynn shops, it now sells 12 tonnes of pet food a week through four out­lets.

“Pos­sum, rab­bit, hare, those are all pest species, so as part of the big­ger pic­ture turn­ing them into pet food is very sus­tain­able,” Thom­son says.

“It’s also more sus­tain­able for food miles. Most pro­cessed pet food is im­ported. A lot of it is chicken meal, fish meal, so low-qual­ity in­gre­di­ents, and there are lots of grains and starches which are not ap­pro­pri­ate for car­niver­ous an­i­mals, as well as preser­va­tives and colour­ing.”

She says one of of the big­gest bat­tles has been find­ing re­li­able sup­pli­ers. Road kill is out, and ev­ery­thing has to be trace­able.

“We have worked closely with two main sup­pli­ers, so as we grow and they see de­mand in­crease, it gives them con­fi­dence to do more pest con­trol,” she says.

Get­ting in­volved in the awards has helped Thom­son look at other as­pects of sus­tain­able busi­ness, from the re­frig­er­a­tion and trans­port it uses, to staff uni­forms, to waste re­cy­cling.

RAW Es­sen­tials - Rosanna Gauntlett, Lyn Thompson (Lola Mair (child)) Anna Mair. Photo: Ted Baghurst.

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