Behind the scenes at the Pet Industry Federation Awards 2021


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Were you at the Pet Industry Federation awards or are you thinking of entering your business in the future?

The awards took place in Northampton on October 21st 2021 with 250 pet business owners coming together to celebrate the work they do.

Having been postponed several times due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was a huge celebration.

I went along to the event and spoke to Alexandra and Nigel Baker from the Pet Industry Federation about the awards.

And four fabulous petpreneurs – three winners and one of the shortlisted businesses – shared what the awards mean to them.

You can listen to the interviews on the player link below.

About the Pet Industry Federation awards

The PIF Awards celebrate success across a wide range of products, services, companies and individuals and provide the perfect platform to recognise excellence and innovation in the industry.

After such a turbulent year, the opportunity to highlight the outstanding achievements made throughout the pandemic, is more important than ever.

The judging process

Each application goes through a rigorous judging process.

Nigel Baker explains: “We take the awards very, very seriously.

“We don’t just randomly give out the awards. They go through a judging panel. There are mystery shoppers and phone calls.

“There is a raft of measures we take to make sure that the best people end up with the shortlist.

“Then from the shortlist we have judges that go through the applications and a range of criteria to choose the winners.

“So it is actually a very serious thing to get to PIFA and it’s a great credit to people who win and also the people who got on the shortlist.”

The PIFA winners for 2021

The winners were….

New Business of the Year – Barking Bags

Pet Retail Chain of the Year – Jollyes

Independent Retailed of the Year – Creature Comforts

Supplier of the Year – Dorwest

Wholesaler of the Year – Bestpets

Export Business of the Year – Christies Global

Grooming Business of the Year –  Palmer’s Dog Grooming

Grooming Wholesaler of the Year – Christies Direct

Product Innovation – Dog – Scoff Paper

Product Innovation – Cat – Tonsity – Yummy Rode

Product Innovation – Small Mammal – Haypigs

Kennel of the Year – Rose Cottage

Cattery of the Year – The Pet Joint

Sustainability Award – Petface

Student of the Year – Keyna Summer and Aoife Tate

Home Boarding Business of the Year – The Country Dog Hotel

Dog Daycare Business of the Year – Pack Buddies

Pet Services Business of the Year – That’s Pawfect

Online Business of the Year – Kavee

Manufacturer of the Year – Skinners

Lifetime achievement award winners

Craig Turner – Natures Menu

Robert Quest – Heathrow Airport Animal Transportation

Special achievement awards

Kelly Davies – Groomer School

James Middleton – Ella and Co

Using the awards to put the spotlight on your pet business

Winning an award or being shortlisted is an opportunity to pitch to your local media and get press coverage.

Journalists love feel good stories about local businesses doing well and you can send off a pitch in just a few minutes.

If you need to write a press release, there’s a step by step guide in this podcast.

How to write a press release for your pet business

And if you’d like a template to help you, download one here.

Behind the scenes at the awards podcast

This podcast features interviews with hosts Alexandra and Nigel Baker from the Pet Industry Federation.

Plus winners Debbie Greaves from Barking Bags, Gemma Connolly from Scoff Paper, Steve Belgrau from The Pet Joint and Denise Lucas from The Green Poop Bag company who was shortlisted for the Sustainability Award.

Key topics and timings in this episode:

0.30: Introduction

2.36: Interview with Alexandra and Nigel Baker from the Pet Industry Federation

12.05: Interview with Debbie Greaves from Barking Bags – Winner of New Business of the Year

22.19: Interview with Gemma Connolly from Scoff Paper – Winner of Product Innovation – Dog

33.02: Interview with Steve Belgrau from The Pet Joint – Winner Cattery of the Year

36.53: Interview with Denise Lucas from The Green Poop Bag company – Shortlisted for Sustainability Award

45.31: Conclusion and how to get press coverage from the awards

Links mentioned in this episode:

Website – Pet Industry Federation

Website – Barking Bags

Website – Scoff Paper

Website – The Pet Joint

Website – The Green Poop Bag company

How to write a press release for your pet business

Download my free Press Release Template and guide

Want to learn more about awards? Listen to this podcast with Debbie Greaves, a PIF winner who appeared on Dragon’s Den or How Theo Paphitis SBS can raise your pet business profile or this chat with Kirsty Skeates about how she used them to raise her profile.


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