Monday, September 1, 2014

Pet Brazil Project benefits from fish export changes

    Brazilian airports receiving large volumes of fish for exports get more agility through a work developed by the Ministry of Fishery and Aquiculture (MPA).
    The aquiculture engineer in charge, Felipe Weber Mendonça Santos, said that with this change, the average waiting time of living cargoes in airports fell from 20 hours to four hours. The greater agility benefits ornamental fish exporters of the Pet Brazil Project, an initiative to promote the exports of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brazil) in partnership with the Brazilian Association of the Industry of Products for Pets (Abinpet).
    The Manaus and Belém airports were chosen due to the higher number of living cargoes of the capital cities' ornamental fish breeding centers. “In view of the situation, [MPA] could not abstain from making the decisions to mitigate this bottleneck," said Santos. "When we transport fish, they have water and oxygen limitation. By decreasing the time of animals in airports, the mortality reported by exporters and importers falls significantly."
    Santos said that Fishing Planning and Licensing Secretary Flávio Bezerra da Silva was in charge of the creation of the Technical Group of Public Policy Works for the ornamental fish production chain. “We are starting the second phase and it is occurring in Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo," he said. "We will extend it to the other four states that develop similar operations: Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Pernambuco and Ceará."
    Several agencies worked together to implement the change. The Federal Revenue Service provided a differentiated treatment for living cargo clearance. The MAPA and Ibama made an agreement regarding the timetables of flights and those in which the checks occur. Infraero, with its logistic management of the cargo terminal, has undertaken to release semi-annual licenses for trucks and drivers of living water organisms. The monitoring occurs by the Federal Superintendency of Fishing and Aquiculture of the respective states.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Review board recommends Blue Buffalo modify advertising

    A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) has recommended that Blue Buffalo Company Ltd. modify its advertisements to avoid any express or implied messages that competing petfood companies are “fooling” or otherwise misleading consumers and modify its online “True BLUE Test” comparison chart. NARB is the appellate unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation.
    Advertising claims made by Blue Buffalo for its BLUE brand petfood products were initially challenged by Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc., a competing manufacturer of petfood products, before the National Advertising Division (NAD), an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. The challenged claims included a “True BLUE Test” chart that compared petfood brands and gave or withheld checkmarks.
    NAD determined that the challenged advertisements reasonably conveyed the unsupported message that major petfood companies, including Hill’s, were misleading their customers by actively concealing the truth about the ingredients in their products and representing their products as being of high quality when they are not because they include lesser quality ingredients such as chicken by-product meals and corn gluten. The NAD recommended that Blue Buffalo modify the challenged advertisements to avoid any express or implied references to competing manufacturers misleading consumers because their products include chicken/meat by-product meal or other ingredients represented by Blue Buffalo to be less nutritious. Blue Buffalo appealed this recommendation.
    NAD also found that the “True BLUE Test” comparison chart reasonably conveyed the inaccurate message that the absence of checkmarks for a manufacturer meant that all of that manufacturer’s petfood products had specified “undesirable” ingredients and none of that manufacturer’s petfood products had specified “desirable” ingredients. The NAD recommended that Blue Buffalo modify the “True BLUE Test” comparison chart by:
    • specifying the number of products which include or do not include certain ingredients
    • regularly monitoring product offerings of competing brands to ensure accuracy
    • modifying the format of its online disclosures
    • modifying its mobile disclosures
    • ensuring that checkmarks appear in a uniform manner
    Blue Buffalo agreed to regularly monitor product offerings of competing brands, modify its mobile disclosures and ensure that checkmarks on its “True BLUE Test” chart appear more uniform; it appealed the remainder of the NAD’s recommendations.
     Following its review of the evidence, the NARB panel determined that the challenged advertisements reasonably conveyed the unsupported message that all or most major petfood companies, including Hill’s, were misleading their customers by concealing the truth about ingredients in their products, and representing their products are high quality when they are not because they include lesser quality ingredients such as chicken by-product meal and corn gluten. The panel recommended that Blue Buffalo modify the challenged advertising to eliminate this message. The panel noted that the challenged advertisements encouraged pet owners to visit the Blue Buffalo website to take the “True BLUE Test” comparing Blue Buffalo products to other petfood brands. The “True BLUE Test” had either checkmarks or blank spaces for the Blue Buffalo brand and competing brands in several categories. The record showed numerous examples where a competing petfood company did not receive a check even though a significant majority of its products met the specified criteria.
    The panel recommended that Blue Buffalo modify its “True BLUE Test” comparison chart to clearly communicate the total number of each brand’s products and the number of those products that include or do not include specified ingredients, clearly communicate the percentage of each brand’s products which include or do not include specified ingredients, or use other methods that clearly communicate the degree to which each brand’s products include or do not include specified ingredients. In addition, the panel recommended that any advertising referring consumers to the “True BLUE Test” be modified to make it clear that the “True BLUE Test” compares brands and avoid stating or implying that the “True BLUE Test” will enable consumers to compare specific petfood products.
    Blue Buffalo, in its advertiser’s statement, said that “with all due respect to the NARB and the efforts and time of the NARB panel devoted to this matter, Blue Buffalo disagrees with the conclusions of the NARB.” The company said that while it is not “in complete agreement with this decision, we recognize that we voluntarily committed to participate in the self-regulatory process of the NAD and the NARB. Out of respect for that process, in our future advertisements we will strive to abide by this NARB decision, as well as the guidance of other NAD decisions … . We will incorporate changes to our ads and website that are consistent with the NARB recommendations, with all due diligence."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

RECALL: Mars Petcare US recalls Pedigree adult complete nutrition for dogs

    Mars Petcare US has announced a voluntary recall of 22 bags of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food products due to the possible presence of a foreign material. The bags were produced in one manufacturing facility and shipped to one retail customer. The facility production line has been shut down until this issue is resolved.
    Affected bags, which were sold between August 18 and August 25, 2014, in 12 Dollar General stores in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana, may contain small metal fragments, which could have entered the packages during the production process. The foreign material is not embedded in the food itself, but may present a risk of injury if consumed. Consumers who have purchased affected product are encouraged to discard the food or return it to the retailer for a full refund or exchange. There have been no reports of injury or illness associated with the affected product.
    Mars Petcare US is working with Dollar General to ensure that the recalled products are no longer sold and are removed from inventory.
    Product details
    Only 15-pound bags of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food sold at Dollar General in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana with the UPC code 23100 10944 are included in this voluntary recall. Each product will have a lot code printed on the back of the bag near the UPC code that reads 432C1KKM03 and a Best Before date of 8/5/15. No other Pedigree products are affected, including any other variety of dry dog food, wet dog food or dog treats.

Petfood Forum China 2014 brings pet nutrition information to dynamic market

      Nearly 100 petfood professionals from China and throughout the world learned in-depth information about petfood nutrition, ingredients and formulation during Petfood Forum China 2014 on August 22 in Shanghai. The exclusive conference for the Chinese petfood industry was held for the third time, again in conjunction with Pet Fair Asia, one of the largest pet trade shows in China.
      Industry experts presented information to help professionals in the fast-growing Chinese petfood market glean tips and ideas for developing, formulating and processing new petfood products. Paula Flores, head of pet care research for Euromonitor International, said petfood sales in China are increasing from 5% to 12% a year, depending on the category. Her firm projects the same level of growth through at least 2019, with wet petfood sales starting to catch up to dry food and premium petfood sales rising 10% to 13%.
      In addition to Flores speaking, Sean Delaney, DVM, MS, DACVN, founder of DVM Consulting Inc., explained important considerations for formulating dog and cat foods; Anton Beynen, PhD, head of research and development for Vobra Special Petfoods, discussed functional ingredients and related health claims on petfood labels; and Will Henry, director of technology and research and development for Extru-Tech Inc., offered tips on how to maximize nutrition, formulation and function in petfood extrusion.
      Petfood Forum China will return to the World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai next year during Pet Fair Asia, scheduled for August 27-30, 2015. Pet Fair Asia will add a third exhibit hall as it continues to grow along with the Chinese petfood and pet care markets.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pooch & Mutt treats among new pet product award finalists

    Pooch & Mutt’s Calm & Relaxed dog treats are one of the finalists in the New Product Awards of UK-based The Grocer Magazine. The New Product Awards represent new products sold in the UK’s supermarkets.
    The Calm & Relaxed treats were launched in March 2013 and have been a bestseller since then, according to Pooch & Mutt. They are available across the whole of the UK at Waitrose, Pets at Home, Pet’s Corner, Pampered Pets and many other independent pet stores and vets. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Roquette America to host functional ingredients in petfoods forum

    Illinois-based Roquette America will host a two-day symposium on functional ingredients in petfoods at Roquette University, in the company's Customer Innovation Center.
    The forum, which will take place October 22–23, 2014, will explore innovative ways to incorporate functional proteins, fibers and starches into more nutritious petfoods. Attendees will gain a new perspective for creating healthier foods that appeal to pets and will have the opportunity to share challenges, solutions and inspiration with other industry members.
    Registration for the event is US$250.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pet Food Institute helps fund responsible breeding research

    The Pet Food Institute, (PFI), the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the World Pet Association have announced that they will be providing funding for a research project to be conducted that will develop independent, scientifically validated animal care and welfare standards for the responsible breeding of dogs. The two-year project by Purdue University's Center for Animal Welfare Science will be led by Dr. Candace Croney, director of the center.
    The goal of the research is to develop, implement as a pilot project and evaluate substantive, science-base standards for the care and welfare of dogs raised by commercial breeders. “We will have new standards of care for dog breeders by the fall, and the evaluation process will begin shortly thereafter," said Duane Ekedahl, president of PFI. "These practices will be thoroughly vetted by experts, including breeders, and refined as necessary prior to implementation.”
    The first phase will be to draft comprehensive care practices for dog breeders that are based on the most up-to-date research on animal welfare science, including health, genetics, behavior and reproductive management. Once drafted, Purdue will enroll breeders in Indiana and several other Midwestern states in a pilot project to evaluate and monitor the health and well-being of animals while the new standards are followed.