Thomas Bracewell acquired Plocks Farm over 50 years ago when it was a mixed arable and livestock farm. When Roger, Tom’s son, worked on the farm he realised the family could not continue to grow cereal without securing an effective market; something had to be done if the farm was to retain the 5 employees.
In 1992, Roger purchased a tractor driven extruder to turn the family’s wheat into a simple extruded dog food. The business has gone from strength to strength over the last 25 years. GA Pet Food Partners remains a private family owned business, with Roger at the helm and now the 3rd generation of the Bracewell Family actively committed to driving GA's success in the future and working together with the 350 staff across GA’s two sites in Lancashire.
GA began processing wheat grown on the farm through a dry extruder, driven by a tractor, in what was then the converted sheep building. GA continued with a tractor for 3 months, until they installed an electric motor.
GA purchased their first X165 wet extruder from Wenger Inc., which was the start of a long and happy working partnership with Wenger Inc. of USA.
Installation of a Wenger TX144 Twin Screw extruder
The Company installed a completely new mill, with a Wenger 185 Optima Single Screw. The dried products were packed by automated Cetec 400 and 700 packing lines.
GA’s continuous investment in the business has proved to be a tremendous success. GA now manufactures 500 different types of extruded pet food, catering for a range of dogs and cats to small animals, which they sell to 350 different customers.
GA was first accredited with BRC Grade A.
The Meat kitchens were installed to cope with increased demand for fresh meat.
GA consolidated its finished product warehousing from 5 separate sites into 1 dedicated 200,000 sq. ft. distribution centre at R2 in Chorley. This enabled the development of a specialist facility able to store the finished products and the empty packaging in a fully automated warehouse that enables finished product to be collated and despatched, to meet the customer’s exact requirements, being operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
GA commissioned a Wenger Thermal Twin 3630, able to manufacture very high levels of fresh meat into premium dried pet food without the use of dry meat meals.
The meat refrigeration storage capacity increased to cope with demand of fresh meat inclusion.
The opening of the new Microbiological Laboratory provides zero tolerance on Salmonella, Ecoli and Campylobacter.
Freshtrusion™ is born. A world-first in dry pet food technology. 'Freshtrusion™' gives you the flexibility to choose your fresh meat content, from 0%-80% and benefit from all the trends in ultra premium pet food.
GA will take delivery of an Optical Sorter to visually inspect kibbles using a combination of 3 lasers and a high resolution camera.
Installation of two additional biological filter beds to assist the existing three filter beds to clean the air before it is reused in the manufacturing process or released into the atmosphere.
Four electric forklifts introduced in the Distribution Centre to minimise dust and noise pollution improving the working environment for GA's staff.
In comparison to when it all started in 1992, we now employ over 700 colleagues, selling in excess of 80,000 tonnes per year of dry extruded pet food and export to 50 different countries across the world.