Family firm pays tribute to founder

The family of Derek Balmer, co-founder of Wesham-based equine, pet and agricultural products wholesaler Trilanco, has announced that he has died aged 85.

Derek and Sylvia Balmer established Trilanco, first known as Triam Lancashire, in 1979 specialising in agricultural products. Today, it is a third-generation family business with a catalogue of more than 20,000 products and employing more than 120 at its £7m headquarters and on the road across the UK.

Trilanco is a Red Rose Awards winner and was named as one of the country's most inspiring businesses.

Derek was instrumental in the company's growth throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, when demand for equine and pet products saw Trilanco expand its portfolio. This decade also saw the premises slowly increase its size to accommodate the growing customer database and stock list expansion.

In the late 90s, Derek took a step back from the day-to-day running of the business and handed over the reins to his son Martin, though was said to remain a familiar face at the office.

The company said: "Derek’s ethos was old-fashioned values of courtesy and service which are still the values upheld by the company today."

Derek was a founder member of BDAM (British Distributors of Animax Medicines) and AHTAG (Animal Health Trade Association Group) which is now known as AHDA. Derek and Sylvia also regularly contributed to the Salvation Army.

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