Cutting the costs for creepy-crawlies

Nohman Ali (centre) has teamed up with Steve Evans (left) and Dean Jackson to cut energy costs at North Anston firm Livefoods Direct.
Nohman Ali (centre) has teamed up with Steve Evans (left) and Dean Jackson to cut energy costs at North Anston firm Livefoods Direct.
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A company that sells £3 million worth of worms and insects a year to owners of exotic birds and reptiles is targeting major energy savings.

North Anston-based Livefoods Direct supplies zoos, wildlife parks, universities, pet shops and people who keep reptiles and amphibian as pets.

The firm also sells online and exports to Germany, Belgium and Holland.

Livefoods employs around 35 people at breeding plants in North Anston, Shireoaks and Retford and sells 1.2 million crickets, 150,000 locusts and between 1.5 and 3.5 tonnes of mealworms a week.

Breeding and raising all those creatures and other exotic species such as morio worms, fruit beetle grubs, giant cockroaches and fruit flies, takes a lot of energy.

According to general manager Steve Evans energy accounts for as much as 20 per cent of running costs.

“We consume large amounts of energy in order to keep breeding and rearing conditions to an optimum,” explains Mr Evans, who staged a management buy-out with Dean Jackson three years ago.

“Rooms are maintained at anything from 20C to 37C with frozen rodents for birds of prey and snakes being stored at –20C.

“We have an extensive distribution operation, running five temperature controlled vehicles to ensure the product arrives in pristine condition be it mid winter or high summer.”

Livefoods Direct is teaming up with Yorkshire energy management specialist Orchard Energyto achieve the savings.

Orchard will help Livefoods by identifying the best prices in the market and implementing an energy purchasing strategy designed to protect the firm’s budgets from market instability.

Orchard Energy’s Nohman Ali said the objective was to keep overheads low so the firm could plan future investment and growth.

Mr Ali says: “As well as reducing costs, we will be managing administration and supplier relationships so the senior team has more time to focus on what it does best - breeding insects and developing the business.”