20 years ago today (April 15th 1999), after working for 10 years with pest control giants Rentokil and Dyno-Kil, Jon Blake decided to set up his own business and called it Abate, which is the company he and his wife Jill owns today.
The name Abate has the meaning of ‘reduce or remove’ which fitted nicely into the world of Pest Control.
Jon started to develop the business in Norfolk and Suffolk and with the help of some ex colleagues, the business soon started winning contracts in the Cambridgeshire area.
Throughout the years Abate has developed into the surrounding counties of Essex, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, as more contracts were successfully awarded.
With the help of Jon’s wife, they developed processes, RAMS (risk assessment method statements) and became triple ISO accredited, gained the CHAS and Safe Contractor status and became a member of the BPCA (British Pest Control Association). In February this year Abate became CEPA certified, meeting the European standard (EN 16636) in pest management service. They joined an elite group of 110 other UK pest control businesses who have gained this benchmark of quality, in terms of public health, food safety, environmental sustainability and economic significance.
Abate works with many commercial businesses including those in the food chain who are responsible for BRC audits from the Food Standards Agency. The growing portfolio of clients include names such as, Johnston Logistics UK, Best Western Hotels, Gnaw Chocolate, Consort Medical, Greene King, Felsted School, Anglian Water, Clarion Housing, Intu, Dencora and Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire County Councils. The domestic market remains a key part of the business treating residential properties with rodent and insect infestations.
Abate has also worked on many large-scale bird proofing installations including Sizewell Power Station, the University of East Anglia and RG Carter. Jon has an engineering background, which comes in useful when planning structural proofing methods for all types of buildings.
The business employs 7 service technicians (trained to the Royal Society For Public Health standards) and additional support staff. It is now growing throughout the UK by franchising with the primary focus to set up fully operational territories in Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Abate is also talking to a number of potential franchisees in Leicestershire, Kent, London and Middlesex, with additional interest from other parts of the UK.
Jon Blake said, “The pest control industry has seen lots of change since we commenced trading 20 years ago. It’s all been good change and we constantly strive forward with new processes and legislation, plus keep ahead with all the accreditations and certifications. Technology has also been a key area for our business success. Last year we invested in new workflow technology to manage the business including technician visits and reporting. As reported, in addition to the continued growth within the Eastern region, our next stage of growth is through franchising. We have laid the foundations and now with the help of Jonathan White and Neil Foley, the franchising team has excellent plans to build a national pest control business. The 20 years success couldn’t have been done without our fantastic customers and staff and I want to thank each one for their continued support.”
In March this year, Abate picked up the award for the 2019 Small Company of the Year at the British Pest Management Awards. They were shortlisted alongside five other UK pest control companies.