Tyrone animal health firm sets export sights on USA and Asia
A Tyrone-based animal health supply business has plans to conquer South America and break into the US, Canada and other parts of Asia as it looks to boost its exports.
Macahl Animal Health, run by husband and wife team Anthony and Blathin Mackle, recently announced it will be supplying its rehydration product Oralade to Chilean firm Agrovet, based in Santiago.
The deal, initially worth around £40,000, follows Macahl's involvement in a trade mission.
And it's not the only destination in South America the company wants to conquer.
Mr Mackle said: "We are already in talks with a company in Argentina and one in Colombia. I'm certainly interested in all South American markets, and Brazil and Mexico are key areas for us."
The US and Canada are the firm's next target markets, along with Japan and China.
Mr Mackle said a boost in exports had driven Macahl's growth, contributing to a 40% rise in business last year.
Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.
It will also open up two new management level jobs this year in addition to the eight people currently employed in administration and production at the Moy headquarters.
Last year it began supplying to Durban, South Africa. "We only launched in South Africa in February to 100 vets and the reaction has been amazing. Because Oralade is a rehydration product, it's suitable for dogs and cats but also wildlife. Usually they don't administer care in the wild because they let the normal course of nature take place but if an animal is sick and they want to preserve the species, that's when it will be used."
Mr Mackle said he had identified substantial opportunities in Chile, which he described as "a sophisticated marketplace with a high level of pet ownership and care and an extensive network of veterinary clinics".
"We had the opportunity to go on trade meetings where we had 14 back-to-back. It was a really good experience and we had many offers," he added.
Mr Mackle developed Oralade with John, his late father and the founder of Mackle Pet Foods, also based in Moy. He said they had wanted to develop a "palatable" rehydration drink for the veterinary market. Today it is supplied to 38 markets around the globe and not just in the veterinary world.
The company also has plans to produce new products to add to its range and hopes to make announcements on new export markets soon.