Calf coats keep out the chill for Sainsbury’s!
Our Sainsbury’s Account Manager Natalie received a request from her buyer who was enquiring about some coats, nothing unusual there, until they mentioned they were needed to keep newly born cattle warm during the winter!
By using calf jackets the Farmers can ensure that the energy calves get from their feed goes to growth instead of warmth, and reduces the risk of pneumonia and scours from the chills and draughts that come hand in hand with a British winter.
Natalie said; “I love a challenge and this unusual request was definitely that. When I pitched it to our Sourcing and Technical teams, they did have a giggle for a few minutes, but when they realised was a genuine request, they jumped straight on it. We do get out of the ordinary requests from our customers, but I’d not heard of one quite like this before. Keeping the calves warm is imperative for their health and growth so they have more energy to fight off any infections which can arise shortly after their birth. The calves use more energy shivering in the winter months, so the coats help to keep them warm and conserve their energy”.
One of our suppliers already had experience producing rugs for horses, so we were able to progress with the project very quickly following the initial conversations. Once our design was approved by Sainsbury’s, the coat was then trialled for 3-4 weeks. It was very well received by the trial farmer and was approved for mass production. A substantial order for the coats was then placed by Sainsbury’s which were delivered in January 2015, we are now in our third year supplying Sainsbury’s with the coats the calves so desperately need to keep warm in winter.
Natalie explains “Just as we face challenges with delivering seasonal items into stores to keep our wearers warm in the winter, this project had restrictive elements too which required the coats to be delivered in time for the calves being born. The project team really stepped outside their comfort zone and worked really hard to make sure the coats were delivered in time for when they were needed. With three years of continued orders this project has been a roaring success!”