Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
Secretary’s Report – Pet Care Trust AGM
- 4th October 2002 -


Finance – general overview

Without a doubt the last three years have been financially challenging for the Trust as its revenue streams from the PetIndex trade show all but disappeared.

As revenues from PetIndex fell sharply the Trust immediately recognised that it would have to bridge a considerable and growing financial gap until the GLEE/PetIndex revenues come fully on stream later this year. The Trust implemented a detailed review of all of its activities giving priority where a real and actual benefit to its members was most likely to accrue against an accurate assessment of cost and value for money criteria.

The full benefit of the Trust’s licensing of PetIndex to Trade Promotion Services the organisers of GLEE will take several years to accrue. Without a doubt their professionalism and enthusiasm for the pet trade will not only achieve a successful trade show for our industry but also the resulting revenue streams will be of considerable financial benefit to the Trust and its members.

It is the Trust’s intention to gradually rebuild its reserves over the next five years whilst implementing an investment programme into the development of new Membership Benefits and Services. Such investment will continue to be measured against the criteria of need, efficiency, and value for money.

Personnel

Earlier this year an assessment of the staff roles within the Trust has resulted in the implementation of a more focused approach to the provision of all Trust activities. The quality and range of our services has improved despite three vacant positions not being replaced.

The team at the Pet Care Trust are focused, aware of the roles that they are expected to play and are well motivated. We are ready, with the right expertise and are properly resourced.

Membership

Although we are the leading organisation in the pet trade with the widest range of members the consolidation of the pet industry has also been reflected in the membership of the Pet Care Trust.

We have members who arrange from multinational businesses turning over millions of pounds annually to self employed one person businesses.

We represent groomers, kennel and cattery owners, retailer (large and small), wholesalers, manufacturers, professional service providers, dog walkers and are opening our membership to other professionals within our industry such as hydrotherapists.

What have we been doing for our members?

Membership Benefits, introduction of new sub-categories of membership, membership campaigns, Field visits.

I. Introduction of new full colour newsletter, Review, April 02
II. Development of public web site – launch date 1/10/02 (Press Release to follow)
III. New leasing benefit – pilot underway – introduction November/December 02
IV. Review of all current benefits, completion November 02
V. Continued development of all benefits will be ongoing, including Phase II of the web site – Secure side in 2003, Animal Leaflets & Stationery Brochure.
VI. Hydro-therapists & Professional Dog Walkers – introduction May 02
VII. Professional Services – venturing into ‘un-chartered waters’, new memberships in untapped quarters e.g. Pet Trade Report companies.
VIII. Controlled mail-out campaign 1 – 131 Manufacturers, Wholesalers, Retailers & Professional Services contacted August-September, enticing them to join – ongoing.
IX. Dog Walking x 1, Retail x 4, Wholesale x 2, Manufacturers x 1, CIEH x 3, RSPCA x 1, Barony College x 1, Animal Reception Centre x 1.

Exhibitions

I. Crufts – 7-8th March 2002
II. Nuremberg – 6-12th May 2002
III. GLEE/Petindex 14-17th September
IV. Pet Care Forum/AGM 3rd-4th October
V. CITES Conference 1st-17th November 2002

Education

I. City & Guilds 7760 - Pet Store Management, 450+ delegates took the exam, and negotiations underway to enhance outside interest in the qualification through the CIEH.
II. Foundation Course – being piloted by 50 delegates in retail outlets around the country, feedback encouraged by each delegate, to tweak each module to suit modern requirements – national launch date planned 1/1/03
III. City & Guilds 7750 – Grooming Certificate, 24 successful passes, ongoing registration, and complete review of the practical section proposed to modernise this particular qualification.
IV. Advanced Grooming Certificate – increased interest in this qualification, to become registered training centres for 7750, is creating new opportunities in areas currently void of Pet Care Trust approved trainers.
V. Re-introduction of Seminars around the country/@ H/O under development; possible subjects include Selling Techniques & Training of the Trainer.

What are the Challenges for our Industry?

The Trust must also focus on the wider picture.
The reality is that our personal and our clients’ individual rights to keep pets are under increasing threat.
The Pet Care Trust is investing considerable sums in gathering information, preparing our arguments, and making sure that our voice on your behalf is being heard.
We will challenge those who publish inaccurate and misleading information to support their arguments to restrict the lawful rights of pet owners and keepers. Indeed we have already done so.
We will seek to influence positive change in animal welfare through legislation.
We will seek to emphasise the beneficial affects of pet ownership to society.
We will seek to increase responsible pet ownership.
Here is what we are doing.

Parliamentary

I. Consultation and submission on the proposed new Animal Welfare Bill, presented to DEFRA by their deadline date 30/4/02, with the second consultation period expected to start in December 02.
II. Section 17 of the LLA (HL) Bill regarding dog walking, petition lodged, with the result of halting the progress of the Bill initially, which created an opportunity to meet Wandsworth Council, and their Parliamentary agent, to put forward suggestions on how this particular section could be corrected – ongoing – Press Release April 2002
III. Other negotiations
a) Yorkshire Water Authority Water Regulations, regarding Boarding Kennels & Catteries – Press Release July 2002 – ongoing with current discussions with the BVA and CIEH.
b) Importing Birds by airlines/reversal of voluntary ban – ongoing – Press Release March 2002.
c) CIEH – improving relationships between EHO’s and the pet trade.

Committees

I. Livestock – 2 meetings during 2002, (1 more planned post CITES Conference in November), with the introduction of a new Press Release system effected March 2002. Main difference from old system = fast track, and releases/policy statements now being produced are both Proactive & Reactive. – Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) - SUN, Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC), Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW’s), Jim Collins appointed UK NGO representative on the UK Governmental delegation. – 6 Press releases 2002.
II. Kennels & Catteries – 2 meetings during 2002, (2nd meeting 10/10/02), 2 Press releases 2002.
III. Grooming – 3 meetings during 2002, Completed review and proposal to City & Guilds regarding the practical section of 7750, and seeking alternative methods of presenting the British Dog Grooming Championships.
IV. Others with PCT presence – National Pet Week (NPW), Dog Legislation Advisory Group (DLAG), Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority (AMTRA), Animal Care Industry Group (LANTRA – Sector Skills Council for the Environment & Land-Based Sector).

What is the role of our Members?

For a significant number of our members membership of the Pet Care Trust does not just start and stop with the subscription fee.
Many of our members support our work through the generous time that they give up attending meetings, sitting on committees, and generally providing information about the sort of problems that they are experiencing in the well running of their business. Invariably these problems are being experienced by other members and through this knowledge network the Trust is able to focus its resources to seek a solution much more quickly than would have otherwise have been the case.
The unpaid and purely voluntary efforts of such members often goes unrecognised or acknowledged and yet their contribution is extremely important to the effectiveness of the Trust. I would like to take the opportunity of thank them all.

Conclusion

The Trust has dealt with the realities of the financial impact of falling revenues and has positioned itself ready and able to provide its’ Members with a valuable and useful range of Members Services.
The Trust believes in the rights of individuals to own and keep pets and will continue to promote and support responsible pet ownership.
The Trust is your voice promoting your industry and your business and will do all that it can to promote the legitimate rights of our industry.
The Trust values and welcomes your support.

Final remarks

I would like to thank the PCT Board of Trustees for their support to the secretariat in our activities, a special mention to the Team at Head Office for their willingness to hard work & willingness to embrace some changes, plus our gratitude to all Pet Care Trust members, old and new, for their continued patronage and support for the organisation, that is committed ‘to the promotion and support of responsible pet ownership’!"

Stephen Jeffery
General Secretary Pet Care Trust