Pete Eville and Rob Jones met at veterinary school in Bristol in 1982. After graduating as vets, Pete worked in mixed practice in Derbyshire and soon set up his own practice in the market town of Bolsover. At the same time, Rob developed his career in companion animal practices in both London and Australia, with the aim of buying or establishing a practice of his own.
In January 1993, significant changes were made to the regulation of abattoirs and other fresh meat premises, in line with the relevant European Directive of the time. This greatly increased the need for veterinary supervision within the meat industry, and therefore there was increased demand for vets to fulfil such needs.
Recognising the opportunity to build and grow a business while improving standards of animal welfare and meat hygiene, Pete and Rob joined forces, and Eville & Jones was born.
Using Pete’s Derbyshire practice as a launchpad, the pair won contracts for veterinary supervision of fresh meat premises with several nearby local authorities, initially working as hands-on Official Veterinarians. Their reputation quickly grew, and by the time the new government Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) was launched in 1995, taking over the responsibility for supervision of fresh meat premises from local authorities, E&J were already employing some 17 vets working in locations throughout England.
One of the key factors which set E&J apart from all its many competitors at the time was the professionalism of its workforce; E&J vets were experts working full-time in the discipline of public health, with a genuine interest in this career, rather than farm vets working a few hours a week in meat plants to supplement their income.
The first round of contracts awarded by the MHS in April 1995 saw E&J double in size overnight to more than 35 vets. We grew rapidly from that point onwards, developing over the years into the organisation you see today – the largest independent provider of veterinary controls in Europe, with around 1,000 amazing employees from 52 countries, providing a range of services delivering compliance, veterinary, and public health solutions to the food industry.