Pet products with a conscience – think workability, not disability!
Our story and purpose
We’re Norfolk Industries, a small, local company with a big social conscience and a long history of providing employment to people with disabilities.
What we do
- We design and manufacture a range of pet bedding and gifts aimed at the small animal market.
- We offer an efficient and reliable contract packing service.
- We look at what people can do rather than can’t do and are proud that over 50% of our workforce are people with disabilities
- We make a difference by offering work placement opportunities to help people develop skills for work
- Buying from us supports our mission to provide disabled and disadvantaged people with access to the world of work
Why we are here
We exist to do three things.
- Provide employment for people living with disabilities who have a personal goal to work. We do this through operating a commercially sustainable business – we make things, and we sell them!
- Provide programmes which moves people closer to work. These programmes are bespoke but share the same key elements; work experience, development of employment skills, and training relevant to the real work environments we offer.
- Manufacture and sell quality pet products at a realistic price. We sell to retailers and wholesalers across the UK and our products are available in many big-name retail outlets, marketed under the store’s own branding. We also sell abroad with retail customers in the Netherlands and Spain.
Norfolk Industries has been around since 1908 and was originally set up to provide work for the blind people of Norwich. In 1980 we became part of the local council which saw the development of the factory we use today and the move to employing people with a broader range of disabilities, not just visual impairments.
Since 2013 Norfolk Industries has been part of Independence Matters a Community Interest Company providing services to people with a disability across Norfolk.
Our development timeline
- First work experience placement
- Development of our Animal House product
- First trade show exhibition, GLEE Birmingham
- Rebranding of the business and products for re-launch at PATS Sandown
- First EVOLVE candidate starts
- Expansion into contract packing services to provide an alternative type of work experience
- Launch of our Plastic Free line – recognised with an award at PATS Telford
- Finalist at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards 2018 in the Employer of People with a Disability category
- Finalist at Gift of the Year awards receiving a Highly Commended for our Animal Houses
- Launch of Nibble and Nest recognised with an award at PATS Sandown
- Development and launch of Furry Friends Farewell product
- Extensive capital investment in machinery including metal detector, fork truck, pallet wrapper, canteen refurbishment and compressed baler machine
- Become a member of SEDEX
- Developing SEDEX systems into everyday working
- Development and launch of Compressed Bales product at PATS Telford 2022
- Working towards ISO14001 accreditation
Medium Animal House: The medium animal house has a good price point and you get a lot included. It will provide hours of fun for children and their small furry pets.
Recycled Paper Bedding (Plastic Free): Awarded best New Product for the Small Animal category at PATS Telford 2018. ‘A well packaged item, perfectly sized for the shelf and biodegradable.'
Nibble and Nest: 'I would purchase this packet as I have just experienced it was great fun for my pet!'
Repurposed Paper Bedding Bales: ‘Delighted with the product, delighted with the service.’
My hamsters really seemed to enjoy this product. I would definitely buy!
Repurposed Paper Bedding Bales: 'Extremely happy with the paper; best thing ever bought out for puppies. Keeps them clean as it is very absorbent.'
Nibble and Nest: 'Both hamsters gained access to the bags, ate the treats and used the bedding material in their own bed space. One slept the in the bag for a few hours. Was great to watch them and thought it kept the hamsters occupied.'
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