Cotswold RAW, established in March 2015, are an independent company that manufactures high quality, biologically appropriate raw food for dogs. All ingredients are fresh, seasonal, locally sourced and fit for human consumption.
The business has a long-standing relationship with the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), which has been supporting SME manufacturers across England in October 2016. The business originally received MGP grant funding and support to improve their product packaging and labelling. The business has since received grant funding towards improving their digital marketing and purchasing new machinery.
The company supplies many UK retailers including chains such as Just for Pets. Sales via their website consist of a strong B2C client base who purchase directly. Cotswold RAW have doubled their turnover every year since they started trading.
The company have their own DEFRA approved purpose-built production and freezer storage facilities and offer national distribution, using where possible their own freezer vans and recyclable packaging. Cotswold RAW has established itself as an award winning ‘Destination Brand’ and producer of premium raw dog food.
The raw animal food business had previously carried out many sales and marketing activities in person, such as attending country shows and game fairs. With these being scheduled throughout the Spring and Summer, many were cancelled due to Covid-19. Operationally, the business has been able to continue production whilst employing social distancing measures. However, without the usual promotional events, the business recognised the need to upgrade their digital marketing.
Catherine Bray, Manufacturing Growth Manager for MGP, has provided Cotswold RAW with free support and access to MGP grant funding. The funding was used towards the cost of developing a new digital marketing strategy. This strategy was put in place to increase the company’s reach across social media and to develop a cost-effective strategy to assist with acquiring traffic from both paid and organic search.
Another key challenge for the business was production capacity. The business was provided with MGP grant funding towards the purchase of a Handtmann VF100 vacuum filler. This device is used for the filling and stuffing of sausages. This capital funding has helped the business to improve efficiencies and significantly increase production capacity.
Catherine Bray stated, “The company employed just 7 people when we first engaged with them on MGP1 with a turnover of £250k. Now they have 20 employees and a £2million turnover.
“I have worked with this company throughout MGP1 & MGP2, and they have also accessed the ELEVATE Supply Chain Programme which was hosted by MGP’s MGM Neil Harriman.”