The development took 15 months to complete. The new factory will improve the company’s green credentials, by using recyclable white trays and sleeves, recycling water and by using excess steam from the production process to also heat its offices.
Forthglade’s Joint managing directors, Chris Brooking and Gerard Lovell, both with a background in food production, took over the once struggling business in 2011, increasing production fourfold and creating an additional 71 local jobs.
Gerard Lovell, Joint MD, Forthglade, said: “We’ve been planning the development of the factory for over five years now, so it’s fantastic to officially open it. Throughout the project we’ve received incredible support from Devon County Council, whilst Devon Contractors Ltd ensured a smooth build and seamless transition from the old Winkleigh factory to the new Okehampton home.
"We were keen to keep the factory in Devon to retain as many of our staff as possible, in fact, we kept almost 100% of them and soon the team will be growing again, as the sector of premium natural meals and treats for dogs continues to see huge growth."
To celebrate the launch, the company donated over 6,000 meals to three local Devon charities who look after dogs; Veterans With Dogs, ARC - Animal Rescue Centre and The Blue Cross.
“It’s been wonderful to receive such a generous donation from Forthglade, it will really help nourish our young pups, many of whom are just starting their training before they go off and help transform a veteran’s life. Being a local Okehampton resident myself, it’s been fascinating watching the factory develop and of course wonderful to see so many jobs created as a result of Forthglade’s success," said Craig Maclellan, founder of Veterans With Dogs.