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easibed Manufacturer Wins At 2002 National Recycling Awards

easibed manufacturer G.I. Hadfield & Son Ltd, based in Manchester, has won the much-coveted ‘Best Reprocessing Initiative’ award at the National Recycling Awards 2002 presentation ceremony at the Cardiff International Arena this week.

easibed dust free bedding was the idea of Hadfields Managing Director Geoff Hadfield, who invested almost 3 years, plus significant sums on plant and process development, without any commitment to forward orders from potential customers. Following launch into the UK equestrian market rapidly became one of the leading bedding brands.

It was this commitment to the initial development and trials of this very successful product that has now been acclaimed as a "significant step change permitting the use of more of the UK wood waste stream for recycling", as the process by which easibed is produced - all from recycled whitewood – has been judged the Best Reprocessing Initiative of 2002.

left to right – Dominic Holland, compere, Jane Rayner, Editor of Materials Recycling Weekly, Cherie Hadfield of G.I. Hadfield & Son Ltd., and Alex Cordiner, Director of Logistics at Shanks, sponsors of the Recycling Initiative of the Year Award.

This year's National Recycling Awards attracted a record of more than 200 entries and it is believed that this is the first time a wood based initiative has won a major prize. It is also believed that no previous winners have ever had any connection with the equestrian industry.

The ‘Best Reprocessing Initiative’ award was collected on behalf of Hadfields by Cherie Hadfield, daughter of Geoff Hadfield, his father founding the family owned and run business almost 25 years ago.




The use of processed wood as a bedding material for horses accounts for the major part of the £90 million-and-growing UK market, much of which has historically been satisfied by white wood shavings of both UK origin and imported.

Separation of whitewood from incoming waste wood for development into a branded wood fibre bedding for animals has resulted in a higher value product, specifically manufactured from waste wood, that is sold nationwide through the existing UK network of wholesale and retail business servicing the equestrian market. Sales to the first export markets are planned before the end of 2002.

easibed soft bedding for animals is sold into a more mature market than other recycled timber and the resulting higher value sales are now funding the collection of post-consumer waste wood from previously non-viable areas. This significant step change has permitted the use of more of the UK wood waste stream for recycling.

Development of the manufacturing site has included massive investment. Specialist equine PR and design consultants were retained at an early stage to ensure that the easibed brand enjoyed a high profile launch into the target market and ongoing campaign to create initial demand and continued customer loyalty.

Key to the phenomenal success of the easibed product in the marketplace was this combination of expertise, which has put in place a modern, extended manufacturing facility (sited on land that includes 2 acres taken out of greenbelt), a nationwide flexible logistics capability, national advertising campaign, major sponsorships and product promotions, including direct support of the retail network and the appointment of a national sales team dedicated to the easibed product. Much of the marketing has concentrated on the product benefits, which include the fact that it is dust-free, as this is of major importance to the health of both horses and the people caring for them.

The growth in sales of easibed since launch in 2001 has been exciting. Tonnages in 2002 for the period January to August show a headline increase of 304% when compared to 2001. The recent launch of the finer grade easipet product opens up a further sales opportunity into the pet trade.

The use of recycled wood to supply the animal bedding market has increased the potential for recycling of more of the UK wood waste stream and easibed is replacing not only UK and imported whitewood shavings, but also other products. Distribution of easibed has proved efficient and the product is out in the marketplace at a competitive price, selling very well as a result of being proven to offer significant benefits over other bedding products available, including ease of disposal by natural degradation, obviating any need for transport to landfill.


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