Friday, December 30, 2011

Recent aflatoxin pet food recalls may increase safety regulations

    A series of recent recalls in the US for high aflatoxin levels in petfood is increasing the pressure to tighten government food safety rules in proposals that are currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration, according to a report from Reuters.
    The act, signed into law this year, focuses on preventing pet food contamination, starting with pet food ingredients, rather than just responding to contamination. Grains, ingredients in many pet foods, are degraded by crop diseases, including the Aspergillus fungus on corn. In dry, hot growing seasons like 2011, toxins like aflatoxin are produced in high amounts, causing a series of recent petfood recalls by Cargill, Iams and Advanced Animal Nutrition. "What's happening with the Food Safety Modernization Act is we're seeing an increase in incidents of reporting because there is more surveillance. With more surveillance we are going to get more positives," said Greg Aldrich, president of feed consultancy, Pet Food and Ingredient Technology. "Livestock feed, pet food and human food companies have already begun to implement everything that is going to be part of the law." "We stepped up our testing of aflatoxin especially looking at the dry conditions of the summer," said Mike Strain, commissioner of agriculture and forestry for Louisiana, USA. "When you look at food safety we continue to test. It shows why we need that traceability system so we can identify the product then go through the entire system and pull that product back." Crop specialists say the key to keeping aflatoxin out of the human and animal food chain is to test corn right from the field in high-risk years. However, tests are expensive at US$10 to US$15 per sample, and can be timely and sometimes produce a false negative result. "Shortcuts get taken," said Charles Hurburgh, a grain quality specialist for Iowa State University. "With the Food Safety Modernization Act, if you have reason to believe you have an adulterated food, more than 20 parts is an adulterated food – you put it in the system, you're in big trouble." 

Free 'Pets and Vets' report reviews 2011 retail pet sector

    The Wall Street Transcript published a free report, "Pets and Vets," offering a review of the 2011 retail pet sector and an analysis of successful pet retailers like PetSmart.
    This pet market report contains expert industry commentary and in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, equity analysts and money managers about petfood trends, growth in pet retail, veterinary care and more.  According to Peter Keith, senior research analyst for hardline retail and consumer products and a vice president at Piper Jaffray & Co., companies with specific sales and margin drivers and pricing power, such as PetSmart, will be able to grow business, regardless of the economic environment. The trend of consumers trading up to premium petfoods means they are buying more expensive, higher-margin petfood products, which is favorable to PetSmart. Inflationary trends also contribute to PetSmart's success, driving some sales and extra EPS growth in 2011 and 2012. 

Petfood sales expected to remain strong, analyst says

    Pet product retail is expected to maintain its sales volumes during this time of slow economic growth, with petfood and pet treats resilient to trade-downs because of the pet owner's attachment to their animal companions, Daniel Hofkin, an analyst at William Blair & Company LLC, told
    “People tend to spoil and dote on their pets. They will sometimes sacrifice their own eating or spending, but especially among older families or empty nesters, pets are often considered children. And people like to treat their pets as such, not just in terms of continuing to buy them the food that they are used to, but also in terms of other products,” Hofkin said.
    Hofkin says pet retailer PetSmart Inc. is well-positioned in the industry from a long-term point of view, because petfood accounts for nearly half of the company’s inventory, with pet products making up the other half.
    “We don’t currently have an ‘outperform’ rating on PetSmart, primarily because we are watching the impact high gas prices and input-cost inflation will have on the traffic, particularly in hard goods. But I would say that’s more of a temporary concern, and it doesn’t appear to have materially impacted PetSmart’s results so far,” Hofkin said. 

FDA forms Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance

    The US Food and Drug Administration and the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health created the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance to develop training courses and materials on preventing contamination for both human and animal food, including pet food, during production. The materials to be developed by the alliance will help industry members, particularly small- and medium-size manufacturers, comply with new preventive control rules of the FSMA.
    The alliance is composed of members from the FDA, local and state food protection agencies, the food industry and academia. It is funded by a one-year, US$1 million grant to the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health. According to FDA, the alliance will: develop standardized hazard analysis and preventive controls training and distance education modules for food industry and regulatory personnel; design and deliver a distance learning training portal at the IIT IFSH Moffett Campus in Bedford Park, Illinois, USA; develop “train-the-trainer” materials and student education delivery systems; create a technical assistance network for small- and medium-sized food companies; develop commodity/industry sector-specific guidelines for preventive controls; assess knowledge gaps and research needs for further enhancement of preventive control measures; and identify and prioritize the need for, and compile, critical limits for widely used preventive controls. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

RECALL: Arrow Brand dry dog food, Petrus dry dog food recalled for aflatoxin

    The US Food and Drug Administration posted an "updated" recall notice on its website with two additional pet food recalls and corrected pet food product lot numbers, all related to dog food with elevated aflatoxin levels.
    These most recent recalls, for O'Neal's Feeders Supply's Arrow Brand dog food and dog food from Petrus Feed and Seed Stores Inc., come in addition to December recalls by Cargill, Proctor and Gamble's Iams, and Advanced Animal Nutrition dog food also for high aflatoxin levels.  O'Neal's Feeders Supply of DeRidder, Louisiana, USA, recalled dry Arrow Brand dog food manufactured between December 1, 2010, and December 1, 2011, because it contains corn detected to have unacceptably high levels of aflatoxin. According to the company, the recall applies to dog food distributed in Louisiana and Texas, US, with lot numbers 4K0341 through 4K0365 and 04K1001 through 4K1325. Affected Arrow Brand products include: 21% Dog Chunks SKU #807 40 lb. bag; Super Proeaux dog food SKU #812 40 lb. bag; and Professional Formula dog food SKU #814 50 lb. bag. Consumers may return the recalled dog food, in opened or unopened packages, to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information contact +1.800.256.2769. Petrus Feed and Seed Stores of Alexandria, Louisiana, USA, recalled its dry dog food, manufactured by Cargill in LeCompte, Louisiana, USA, from December 1, 2010 through December 1, 2011, also for unacceptably high levels of aflatoxin. The product, 21% Protein Dog Food in 40 lb. Petrus Feed bags, has lot numbers 4K1011 through 4K1307 and updated lot numbers 4K1011 through 4K1335. Consumers may return the recalled dog food, in opened or unopened packages, to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information contact +1.318.443.2259. Both companies advised that pets that have consumed any of the recalled products and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.

D.D. Williamson launches Expert Answers for petfood manufacturers

    D.D. Williamson launched a new online series to help food scientists, pet food manufacturers, chemists, professors, managers and others in the food and beverage industry to grow their business and expand into new markets.
    The Expert Answers series answers questions and provides relevant regulatory and market information via video interviews, articles and transcripts from food and beverage industry experts both inside and outside DDW. A short video and upcoming article format lets viewers share interesting information with their colleagues, friends and students. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New petcast offers petfood advice, money saving tips for pet owners

    An on-demand petcast, Radio Beastro, was recently launched on, to provide pet owners with information and ways to save money.
    The broadcasts feature pet expert guests and cover topics ranging from smart pet food product choices to winter preparation tips to environmental safety. “I hope that Radio Beastro will guide pet parents through the many decisions they face when it comes to taking care of their animals,” says creator, Kristen Levine. “My guests will help me provide expert tips and insight that will make our listeners’ lives and their pets’ lives that much happier, healthier and more rewarding.” 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Trouw Nutrition donates to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation

    Ingredient supplier Trouw Nutrition is donating up to US$10,000 to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, an organization that saves dogs and cats that have run out of time at public shelters. The donations are being made in the name of some of Trouw's pet food manufacturing clients.
    The company is also sending a gift bag of goodies to ARF for the pets to enjoy. The company says the donation is to honor Tony LaRussa after his retirement from managing the Major League Baseball team the St. Louis Cardinals.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Halo petfood, donate meals to homeless dogs, cats

    Halo, the pet food company co-owned by Ellen Degeneres, is teaming up with for the Holiday Koast-to-Koast Kibble Drop to provide 400,000 nutritious petfood meals to homeless dogs and cats for the holidays.
    Two trucks are delivering the company's dog and cat food to more than 40 shelters and rescue centers across the US. The Koast-to-Koast tour has an interactive online map that shows where the trucks have already delivered the pet food and which stops they will be at next. 

    Pet food manufacturer Spring Naturals awarded for dog food

      Pet food manufacturer Spring Naturals was named the 2011 winner in the dog food category of the Pet Business' Industry Recognition Award.
      Now in its 10th year, the awards program highlights the specialty pet industry's most innovative and functional products across a variety of pet care categories. All the brands that received the award were showcased in the magazine's December 2011 issue. "Speaking for the entire Spring Naturals team," said Rob Cadenhead, vice president of sales and marketing, "it's a real honor for us to be selected for this award. It's great having a national publication like Pet Business confirm that our new line is on target and on trend."  

    Mars Petcare to expand pet food production plant in South Carolina

      Pet food manufacturer Mars Petcare is increasing its pet treat production with a US$128.6 million expansion at its Columbia, South Carolina, USA, facility, which will create about 277 jobs over the next five years, The State reported.
      The 290,000-square-foot expansion will more than triple the plant's payroll at Mars, according to the report. The expansion will help the company meet a growing demand for its pet food, company spokeswoman Julie Lawless said. The company received US$1.5 million in aid from South Carolina commerce officials and county property tax breaks.   

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Novelli Group builds new petfood production plant in Italy

      The Novelli Group of Italy is building a new pet food production plant with the help of consulting group Tebodin CCE.
      The new plant will produce 15 tons of dog and cat food per hour for the Italian and international petfood markets. Tebodin helped the company construct the new plant, which houses the storage silos and process lines for dosing, flaking, grinding and mixing. "The lines are designed in such a way that the process can easily be applied to different final products. Production can take place just-in-time because of this flexibility and the large silo volumes. Smooth materials for floors, walls and roof ensure a working area clear of dirt and residues. This modern plant is able to produce the highest possible quality pet food," said Harm Klein, Tebodin project manager for the Novelli plant. 

    New report on Pet Care in Slovakia expects petfood market to grow

      ReportsnReports offers a new report on Pet Care in Slovakia, which forecasts that the pet care market in Slovakia will continue to grow. The Pet Care in Slovakia report found moderate growth in the pet food market from 2006-2011, with multinational pet food brands dominating the market over domestic brands. Dry petfood is preferred in this market, the report found, especially for dogs.
      The report includes an overview as well as sales by category, pe tfood company market shares and market forecasts. A copy of the report may be purchased online.

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    Vet warns dog owners of China chicken jerky products in PetMD blog

    In a new blog post on PetMD, a Colorado, USA, veterinarian is warning pet owners about a possible link between chicken jerky products imported from China and illness in dogs.
    At the end of 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration cautioned dog owners of a "potential association between development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products also described as chicken tenders, strips or treats." However, even after testing for microbial and chemical contaminants in the products, FDA has been unable to identify a specific cause for the illnesses.
     In November, FDA warned dog owners again of the potential link between illnesses reported in dogs and consumption of chicken jerky products from China, as cases of dog illness after consuming the jerky products are rising again.
    The veterinarian says that dogs that have consumed the chicken jerky products from China and become sick often exhibit Fanconi syndrome-like symptoms, such as vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea (sometimes containing blood), lethargy, and increased thirst and urination. She also urges pet owners to file a report with FDA, which will help the agency in tracking the source of contamination.

    Halo, Purely for Pets to create vegan cat and dog food lines

    Owner of petfood brand Halo, Purely for Pets, Ellen DeGeneres, and her wife, Portia de Rossi, are creating a range of vegan petfood, according to a report.
    The Chicago Sun Times reported that, in addition to opening a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles, California, USA, "the couple are also developing a line of vegan petfoods - after discovering a void in the market for people looking to feed their dogs and cats vegan vittles."
    The couple follows a vegan diet, meaning followers of their diet consume no animal products at all, including butter, eggs or milk.
    It is unknown when the petfood range will be available, or if the line will include treats for other animals as well.

    Petfood Forum China industry conference to be held October 12, 2012

    Petfood Industry magazine is hosting a new petfood industry conference – Petfood Forum China – that will be located in Shanghai on October 12, 2012.
    Petfood Forum China, a conference for petfood and pet treat professionals involved in all areas of the industry, will be co-located with the 15th annual Pet Fair Asia at the Shanghai World Exhibition & Convention Center. Petfood Forum conferences offer industry professionals the latest petfood ingredient, processing and packaging technologies, product development processes, and practical knowledge from industry-leading petfood consultants, manufacturers, academians and suppliers.
    Petfood Forum China is the newest addition to the Petfood Forum portfolio of live conferences and exhibitions, and the first event of its kind to be held in China specifically addressing the needs of petfood and pet treat manufacturers. Petfood Forum China will feature educational sessions presented by petfood industry experts, networking opportunities and the chance to visit vendors at Pet Fair Asia.
    “As a unique global information provider to petfood and pet treat manufacturers and their partners, and with brands serving print, digital and live event content needs, our team believes it is important to be the first to enter China with our ability to serve the market and their needs,” says Steve Akins, vice president and publisher of Petfood Industry. “We are excited to partner with Pet Fair Asia in bringing Petfood Forum China to this fast growing market.”
    According to Euromonitor International, China is the seventh fastest-growing petfood market, with a projected 7.7% compound annual growth rate through 2015. Euromonitor projects the China petfood market will reach US$476 million in sales by 2015.
    “An extremely small percentage of registered pets in China are currently being fed manufactured petfood, but with rapid urbanization in the country, demand for petfood is increasing dramatically,” Akins says. 
    For more information, please go to and be sure to watch for Petfood Forum China's call for papers coming soon.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Purina donates to Arizona animal shelter for pet tales campaign

    Nestlé Purina PetCare Company and The Kroger Co. awarded US$155,894 to 17 animal welfare organizations across the country in the fourth annual "Tales for the Pet Lover’s Heart" campaign.
    The campaign, which celebrates the unique bond between people and their pets, invited pet lovers to share their favorite pet tales online and participate in a sweepstakes for the chance to win a year’s worth of groceries from their local Kroger store, a year’s supply of Purina pet food and to have a US$50,000 donation made in their honor to a participating animal welfare organization.
    Nestlé Purina and Fry’s Food Stores, a division of The Kroger Co., presented a donation check for US$55,883 to the Animals Benefit Club of Arizona, an organization located near the hometown of the grand prize sweepstakes winner.
    “Nestlé Purina and Kroger are proud to celebrate the Animals Benefit Club of Arizona and all of the participating animal welfare organizations across the country for their ongoing efforts to make a difference in the lives of homeless pets, while celebrating the joy that pets bring to our lives,” said Brendan McKelvey, shopper marketing manager, Nestlé Purina PetCare.
    Each animal welfare organization will receive a US$5,883 donation, made up of US$5,000 for participating in the “Tales for the Pet Lover’s Heart” campaign and an additional US$1 donation for every pet tale shared online, which was divided equally among the 17 organizations.

    Purina One pet food launches QR code, Facebook promotions to feed pets

    Purina One pet food brand launched two new Shelter Pet Program initiatives, one in which QR codes will appear on pet food packaging and another one the Purina One Facebook page.
    The company will now include QR code stickers on the front of its Purina One dry cat food packages and will donate US$1.00 to feed shelter pets, up to US$30,000, for every person who scans the QR code with their smartphone. Additionally, Purina One's Facebook page is hosting "Bowl-by-Bowl," which allows users to take simple, four-question quizzes that challenge negative perceptions of shelter pets and aims to inspire pet adoption. For each completed quiz, Purina One will donate one bowl of food to a shelter in need.
    "Purina One is dedicated to helping shelter cats and dogs," said Lisa Luedde, brand manager, Purina One brand petfood. "We believe that the right nutrition can make a world of difference in a shelter pet's life, so we've made it easy for people to help. Scanning a QR code and taking a short quiz is all it takes to help us champion shelter pets."

    China petfood may contain dangerous preservative levels, consumer group finds

    In a sampling of pet food, the Consumers' Foundation found some dog food sold in China may contain preservatives that could affect the health of dogs if too much is consumed, according to The China Post.
    The foundation found that eight out 20 dry dog food and canned dog food products purchased from retailers in September 2010 were found to contain sorbic acid. The Consumers' Foundation said the report findings are for consumer reference only, because China does not currently have laws in place that limit the amount of preservatives allowed in pet food.
    One of two companies whose petfood the foundation found to contain too many preservatives claimed it is difficult to avoid having a certain level of preservatives in its products because there are no standards to follow, while the other claimed its products are safe because it follows European standards.

    Paw4mance Pet Products offers new holistic dog, cat food line

    Paw4mance Pet Products International Inc. added the new MOJO brand of pet food to its line of Paw4mance natural and holistic dog food, cat food and treats.
    MOJO is specially formulated to meet Association of American Feed Control Officials guidelines for the United States and international markets, the company says. The line is available in three recipes: Original Dog recipe, chicken and rice formula; Platinum recipe, lamb and rice formula; and Elite recipe, fish and rice formula. The company says all of its formulas are free of wheat, wheat gluten and corn, and contain no artificial flavors, colors or chemical preservatives.

    Rachel Ray donates $1 to pet rescue for Nutrish petfood Facebook 'likes'

    Chef and creator of the Nutrish petfood brand Rachel Ray is hosting a Facebook campaign, sponsored by Nutrish pet food manufacturer Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, in which she will donate US$1.00 to Rachel's Rescue for every "like" on the pet rescue's new page.
    Pet lovers can log on to Facebook and "like" Rachel Ray's Nutrish Facebook page from now through March 31, 2012. For every "like" the page receives, US$1.00 will be donated to help pets in need, up to a maximum of US$10,000.

    Packaging Conference 2012 open to petfood manufacturers

    The Packaging Conference will be held February 6-8, 2012, for pet food manufacturers and pet food industry professionals looking to learn about the latest packaging technology, materials and equipment.
    The event will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, at ARIA Resort at CityCenter, with a focus on packaging in a post-recession economy. Speakers will include representatives from H.J. Heinz Co., Colgate-Palmolive, M&G Group, Amcor Rigid Plastics, Ball Corp., Albis Plastics, KHS, Husky Injection Molding, PPi Technologies Group, Beverage Marketing Corporation, Blaige & Co., Product Stewardship Institute and other packaging experts.
    “The conference is designed to provide the latest information for those in the packaging supply chain. Attendees range from retailers and brand owners to resin suppliers, technology providers, equipment manufacturers and converters. Now, more than ever, a dialog between all supply chain participants is key to meeting packaging objectives,” said John Maddox, president, SBA-CCI.
    Registration is US$2,100, but those registering prior to January 15, 2012, can take advantage of the discounted early registration rate of US$1,900. The fees include two nights deluxe room at ARIA Resort at CityCenter, conference sessions and proceedings, breaks, lunch and a networking reception.

    Mexican Forum on Pet Food to be held May 24-25, 2012

    The Mexican Association of Feed Producers will host the second Mexican Forum on Pet Food on May 24-25, 2012, in Guadalajara, Mexico.
    This educational and networking event for the Mexican and Latin American petfood industries will allow pet food manufacturers and industry professionals to gather to learn the latest technical, economic and manufacturing developments in petfood production.

    RECALL: Dog Power Dog Food recalled due to aflatoxin

    Advanced Animal Nutrition is recalling dry Dog Power Dog Food due to aflatoxin levels above the acceptable limit.
    The company is the third to recall food due to aflatoxin in the past week, following recalls from Procter & Gamble and Cargill.
    The affected products were manufactured between Jan. 4, 2011, and Nov. 18, 2011, and include:
    • Dog Power Adult Maintenance Formula 21-12 Dog Food, 50 lb. bags;
    • Dog Power Hunters Formula 27-14 Dog Food, 50 lb. bags;
    • Dog Power Hi-Pro Performance Formula 26-18 Dog Food, 50 lb. bags.
    The recall applies to the above products with Packaging Date Codes [lot numbers] K0004 through K1322. The affected products were distributed in Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. Retailers have been instructed to remove the affected brands and products from their shelves.
    The company said consumers should return affected products, whether opened or unopened, to their place of purchase for a full refund. They can also call 1-866-648-7646 for more information.
    Advanced Animal Nutrition said it implemented the recall as a precautionary measure, and no adverse health effects related to these products have been reported.
     Pets that have consumed the affected product and are exhibiting symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian, the company said.

    AFIA to host 2012 Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference

    The American Feed Industry Association will host its annual Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference for more than 450 buyers and sellers of animal feed and pet food ingredients, from March 14-16, 2012.
    Pet food industry professionals interested in the current state of the animal feed industry are encouraged to attend the event, which will be held in Orlando, Florida, USA, at the Omni ChampionsGate.
    Highlights of the program include tips on bar code data collection for managing productivity, inventory management and traceability; packaging and requirements; an overview of federal regulatory requirements for producing animal feed; and China's impact in the US animal feed industry.
    AFIA's Nutrition Committee will also host a pre-conference seminar on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. The seminar is open to all conference attendees but requires an additional registration fee.

    Australian petfood manufacturer asks to use culled animals in pet food

    Howard Springs Pet Meat Supplies, based in Australia's Northern Territory, wants to use culled animals from Australia's Kakadu National Park as ingredients in its pet food, according to reports
    The pet food manufacturer says it already collects feral animals from cattle stations and some other nationals parks run by the local government. The company's director, Peter Halse, says the culled animals are rotting in Kakadu National Park, but his recent application to use feral animals shot in Kakadu was denied.
    "There's a huge amount that gets wasted and they're the animals that we're after that could be used," Halse said. "We put a proposal in the pay for these animals, pay royalties to the traditional owners, plus utilize the meat."

    Trupanion pet insurance now covers veterinary therapeutic petfoods

    Pet insurance company Trupanion announced that its dog and cat insurance now includes benefits for veterinary therapeutic pet foods, including the full line of Hill’s Prescription Diet petfoods, and veterinary exclusive preventative nutrition, including Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Advantage petfood.
    The pet insurance covers half of the cost of therapeutic pet foods for two months, followed by a discount on the monthly insurance premium for continued feeding of the therapeutic pet food, available exclusively through veterinary hospitals. Veterinary healthcare teams can find out more about the program through their Trupanion Territory Partner or by calling +1.800.569.7913.
    “It makes sense for us to get the news out about Trupanion’s new coverage. This helps pet owners be in a better place to comply with a recommended veterinary therapeutic pet food and supports the healthcare team’s action plan when it comes to nutrition for every pet,” said Janet Donlin, D.V.M., chief veterinary officer at Hill’s.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Settlement reached in Del Monte petfood business sale lawsuit

    A Delaware, USA, judge recently accepted an October settlement involving Del Monte Foods' shareholders over a lawsuit that arose from the sale of the company's pet food business division in 2010 to Barclays Capital. The deal finalizes the US$89.4 million settlement arranged by the Delaware court that claims the two parties did not act properly in the sale of the pet food business to private-equity investors, led by KKR.
    The shareholders sued Del Monte and Barclays, citing a potential conflict when the bank financed the debt needed for private-equity investors to buy the California, USA-based pet food maker for US$5.3 billion, while simultaneously acting as an advisor to the board on its sale negotiations. The shareholders claimed Del Monte's sale was organized to lessen bidding competition.
    Earlier in the year, Delaware Chancery Court, Judge Travis Laster ruled in favor of plaintiffs citing Barclays' lack of disclosure, and most recently ruled that the US$89.4 million settlement "provides excellent consideration" to Del Monte shareholders, who will receive an additional 50 US cents to the company's buyout of US$19 per share. According to October filings with the Securities and Exchanges Commission, Barclays Capital and Del Monte Foods will split a US$89.4 million payment, sending US$23.7 million and US$65.7 million, respectively, to Del Monte's shareholders. Both Del Monte and Barclays denied any wrongdoing in the case.

    Purina ad for probiotic petfood sprinkle features YouTube 'talking dog'

    According to pet food manufacturer Nestle Purina, the holidays can be a stressful time for dogs and their digestive systems, so the company created a new TV advertisement for its FortiFlora petfood sprinkle that helps manage gastrointestinal upset. 
    The FortiFlora ad features Mishka, an 8-year-old Siberian Husky and Internet sensation known as the "talking dog" from YouTube videos. In the ad, Mishka and other talking dogs bark "I love you" after getting the FortiFlora sprinkled into their food bowl. The ad was created by MDC Partners' Colle & McVoy.

    FDA secures additional funds for food safety program

    After lobbying from an alliance of consumer advocates and industry groups, Congress increased the US Food and Drug Administration's funding by nearly 3% from last year’s level to US$3.8 billion, according to an article in the Washington Post. Of all the additional money FDA secured, the new food safety program received the largest amount of US$39 million.
    The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the American Frozen Food Institute, the Snack Food Association and the Produce Marketing Association were among many food industry groups to support an advertisement sponsored by the Alliance for a Stronger FDA. The ad aimed to show why FDA should receive the additional funds, saying that “a science-based and predictable FDA” helps industry to innovate and create high-paying jobs, and that FDA-regulated products account for more than 20% of US consumer spending.
    “We’re competing with manufacturers all over the world,” said Scott Faber, vice president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. “Maintaining and burnishing FDA’s reputation helps us open doors in those markets.” 
    In response to a number of recalls, Congress adopted the Food Safety Modernization Act in late 2010, which gives FDA more power to prevent foodborne illnesses instead of just reacting to them. The Act mandates increased petfood processing plant inspections, among other things that will require more FDA hires and create the need for additional funding.
    “You need to put controls in place, validate their effectiveness and monitor that they’re actually working over time,” said Mike Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods. “That’s a system that’s evolved in the food industry but has been adopted piecemeal.”

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Cesar Canine Cuisine partners with Pandora for holiday radio station

    Pet lovers can listen to CESAR's playlist of songs during the holidays on Pandora radio.
    Pet food brand Cesar Canine Cuisine is partnering with Pandora for the holidays to create a branded radio station for people to celebrate the ones they love, including their pets.
    Listeners can connect to the online radio station via and via a QR code on promotional materials at pet retailers, as well as through the company's website, Facebook page and Twitter. The station will be available through January 1, 2012.
    Cesar brand and Pandora worked together to choose a list of uplifting songs that exemplify the Cesar brand’s personality. Approximately a dozen of these songs were featured in previous Cesar Canine Cuisine television commercials, including tracks from artists like Jason Mraz, Train and Jewel.
    “We’re thrilled to bring such an innovative option to the Cesar brand,” said Tierney Monaco, director, Cesar brand. “We thought a playlist of songs to enjoy with loved ones would be an exciting way to give back to our supportive consumers."

    Silliker plans 2012 food safety short courses for petfood manufacturers

    Food safety and nutrition services company Silliker has planned a range of food and pet food safety short courses throughout 2012.
    Pet food manufacturers may register for any of the company's 20 short courses planned from January through September 2012. Some topics include: Crisis Management and Food Defense in a Food Plant; BRC- How to Interpret the Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 6; Microbiological Concerns in Food Plant Sanitation; Advanced HACCP: Managing Your HACCP System; and Effective Environmental Monitoring Aseptic Techniques.
    Those interested in attending can get more information on specific courses and dates, and can register on Silliker's website. Those who register before December 31 will receive a 10% discount with 2011 pricing, the company says. 

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    European Pet Food Industry Federation promotes responsible pet ownership in schools

    The European Pet Food Industry Federation, FEDIAF, is promoting its Responsible Pet Ownership program with a new video trailer that explains the group's resources for teachers in educating young children about pet ownership.
    The four-minute trailer shows cats and dogs, and their relationships and interactions with families and children. The intro is provided by the FEDIAF secretary general, and a teacher follows with testimony on the development and practical use of FEDIAF's educational materials for schools.
    Teaching materials include "Fascinating Cats" and "Fascinating Dogs" for primary school children, and "Dogs and young children" for children over the age of 3. The school programs were developed by educational experts and are published in English on FEDIAF's website, with translations done by national petfood industry associations also posted.
    The video trailer can be downloaded online from FEDIAF.

    Bravo! adds new proteins to raw pet food diet offerings

    Bravo! added duck and lamb blends to its line of raw petfood burgers.
    Bravo!, a maker of raw pet food diets added two new proteins to its product portfolio. Beginning in February 2012, both USA-made duck and New Zealand-made lamb blends will be available in the burger petfood format.
    The petfood company says its duck and lamb formulations contain a blend of meat, organs, bones and vegetables, and contain no grains, fillers or preservatives. Each package contains 10 8-oz. burgers, which are individually-wrapped and packaged in a freezer-ready bag.
    “The burger format has really caught on with consumers, especially those who are new to feeding raw and are coming into the category in droves,” said David Bogner, Bravo! co-founder. “Based on the success of our recently-released duck feet treats, and our New Zealand lamb products, the logical next step was to offer these proteins in a burger format.”
    Bravo! will support the launch of the new offerings by including a free 8-oz. sample burger of either the duck or lamb in all of its current burger blend products, including chicken, turkey and beef, being distributed throughout February 2012 and March 2012. In addition to the free sample, each bag will include a US$5 off coupon good on the purchase of a full-sized package of either duck or lamb burgers. 

    RECALL: Cargill recalls River Run, Marksman dog food for high aflatoxin levels

    Cargill is voluntarily recalling dog food, sold under the River Run and Marksman brand names, due to high levels of aflatoxin.
    The affected dog food was manufactured at the company's Lecompte, Louisiana, USA, plant from December 1, 2010, through December 1, 2011. The food was distributed in 13 American states and two American territories: Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Hawaii, Florida, California, and Guam and the US Virgin Islands.
    "No illnesses have been reported in association with these products to date, and no other Cargill Animal Nutrition petfood products are involved in this recall," Cargill said in a statement.

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    The Co-operative relaunches petfood brand in UK market

    The Co-operative is relaunching its own brand of pet food to try and capture a larger share of the UK pet care market.
    The range has been extended to include 11 new products and new-look packaging that displays details about The Co-operative’s new pet insurance scheme. The company says its own-brand petfood range is made with no added artificial colors or flavors. Some new products include The Co-operative Supreme Beef and Liver, The Co-operative Complete Tuna and Shrimp, and a special puppy food. 

    Cargill completes acquisition of animal nutrition company Provimi

    Cargill, a producer of food and agricultural products, completed its acquisition of animal nutrition company Provimi for around US$2.1 billion.
    The company will mainly focus on feeds for cattle, poultry and swine producers, though Cargill does produce and market companion animal foods in the US, primarily through feed stores and other agricultural retailers under its Loyall petfood and River Run dog food brands. Cargill also markets bagged feed for horses, poultry, goats, rabbits and other animals under the Nutrena (US) and Purina (international) brands.
    Ton van der Laan, previously chairman and group CEO of Provimi, will lead Cargill’s new animal business as corporate vice president, along with Joe Stone, Cargill’s animal nutrition business leader. The combined company will employ more than 16,000 people in 37 countries, according to Cargill.
    Provimi sold its European petfood business to the private equity group Advent International earlier in 2011 for nearly US$240 million. 

    RECALL: Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dog food recalled for high aflatoxin levels

    Pet food manufacturer Procter & Gamble is voluntarily recalling select bags of Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry dog food, due to aflatoxin levels detected higher than the accepted limit.
    The recall is for 7-, 8-, and 17.5-pound bags of the Iams dog food, marked with expiration dates of February 5, 2013, and February 6, 2013. The affected bags were distributed in the following places in the US: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.
    The company said no illnesses have been reported yet as a result of the contaminated petfood, but the recall is being issued as a precautionary measure. Pets that consume the product and show signs of sluggishness or lethargy, reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tinted eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be taken to a veterinarian, the company says. Consumers who purchased the recalled food should stop using it immediately, throw it out and contact Iams for a replacement voucher.

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    petMD hosts Facebook contest for free petfood for a year

    Online pet health resource petMD is launching a contest on its Facebook page from now through December 16, to award one winning pet owner with a year's supply of pet food. 
    Pet owners can enter the sweepstakes on the petMD Facebook page, which offers resources for pet owners, such as a pet symptom checker, pet personality quiz, Pet of the Week contest, and expert tips and advice from petMD veterinarians. PetMD will award the sweepstakes on December 19.

    Pet Food Manufacturers' Association offers tips on selecting dog food

    Pet parents need to consider their pet's age, size, health and activity level when selecting the appropriate pet food, according to Michael Bellingham, Pet Food Manufacturers' Association chief executive.
    Bellingham said that different dog breeds require different nutrients, so it can be "very beneficial" to tailor an animal's diet to its needs. Bellingham noted that commercial dog food is specifically designed to be "nutritionally balanced" to meet a dog's health requirements, so it is also critical that pet owners do not feed their pet table scraps that lack these necessary nutrients. 
    "Pet owners may also want to consider other factors such as convenience of feeding - for example wet versus dry - the dog's enjoyment of a food and their own budget," Bellingham said. 

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Purina Dog Chow launches donation campaign for Facebook page 'likes'

    Purina Dog Chow brand dog food created a Facebook page to celebrate the launch of Paramount Pictures upcoming film, The Adventures of Tintin, and will make a monetary donation to three animal organizations for every consumer who "likes" the new page. 
    For each consumer who "likes" the Purina Dog Chow Facebook page, the brand will donate US$1, up to US$150,000, to be split equally between three service and therapy dog organizations featured on the page. Purina will donate an additional US$1 for each friend who visits the promotion page by clicking on the link in a shared Facebook message.
    The program will run through January 3, 2012. 

    Global pettfood market to reach US$95.7 billion by 2017, report predicts

    Global Industry Analysts Inc. released a report on the global petfood market, which projects the market will reach US$95.7 billion by 2017, driven by macro regional economic conditions, pet population and consumer attitude.
    The report, "Pet Foods: A Global Strategic Business Report," provides an overview of pet food industry trends, issues, strategic industry activities and profiles of major petfood manufacturers worldwide. It also provides market estimates and projections for the specific product segments of cat food, dog food and other petfood, including food for birds, fish and small animals) across geographic markets including the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the rest of the world.
    The report says factors such as attitude changes towards pets combined with growing urbanization and increase in disposable incomes have contributed significantly to the increase in the number of households owning pets, driving up demand for petfoods. Some trends identified in the report are the increased popularity of organic petfoods, humanization of pets, and a greater interest in pet health and nutrition.
    The report identifies Europe as the largest regional market, which is attributed to a health-oriented products, especially those meant for different ages and types of pets and pet treats, and identifies Asia-Pacific as the fastest growing regional market.
    Dog food remains the largest and fastest growing market segment. Retail grocery chains dominate the distribution and marketing of petfood, while pet specialty stores and pet superstores also hold a moderate share, with the remainder accounted for by independent grocers, according to the report. Trends affecting the distribution of cat and dog foods include emergence of the new veterinarian/clinic distribution format, waning role of pet shops, and the rise of hypermarkets and supermarkets.
    Major petfood manufacturers profiled in the report include C&D Foods Ltd., Del Monte Foods, Hartz Mountain Corporation, Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc., Mars Inc., Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Nutro Products Inc., and The Iams Company.

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Banfield Pet Hospitals host pet food drive in December

    Veterinary professionals from across the United States are taking part in a national pet food drive, Season of Suppers, to help pet owners feed their hungry pets.
    During November and December, Banfield Charitable Trust hopes to collect more than 70,000 pounds of petfood to provide 140,000 meals to the pets of homebound seniors, the unemployed and the disabled in 2012. Through December 31, pet owners may donate bags and cans of cat and dog food to any Banfield Pet Hospital, most of which are located inside PetSmart stores. Banfield Charitable Trust also hopes to raise more than US$100,000 in monetary donations on its website and at the pet hospitals in order to fund grants for more than 100 local Meals on Wheels pet food distribution programs after the food donations are depleted. 

    Plans for VICTAM, FIAAP Asia 2012 continue despite Thailand flooding

    Preparations for FIAAP, VICTAM & GRAPAS Asia 2012 continue to progress, despite recent flooding in parts of Thailand, including Bangkok, show organizers say.
    The situation seems to be improving with flood levels going down throughout Bangkok and the country of Thailand. The majority of Bangkok is flood-free and much of the above-ground transportation system is operating, as well as the underground railway, the BTS Skytrain and Bangkok's International Suvarnabhumi Airport. Downtown Bangkok, where the majority of the city’s hotels are situated, and BITEC, the exhibition venue, have also remained flood-free.
    Show organizers, Victam International, expect the event to draw senior trade executives from throughout the animal feed and grain processing industries of south and southeast Asia. The exhibition is already 25% larger than the last event in 2010, including larger exhibitions, more product launches and more technical seminars. Some of the conferences at the event include Petfood Forum Asia 2012, FIAAP Asia Conference 2012, Biomass - Pellets Update Asia, Aquafeed Horizons Asia 2012, the Thai Feed Conference, and a GMP+ seminar on feed safety and sustainability.
    The shows and conferences will open at BITEC on February 15-17, 2012. To register as a visitor for free or to see a list of all conferences and exhibitors, visit Victam's show website.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    New Zealand raw dog food manufacturer seeks investors

    New Zealand raw dog food manufacturer K9 Natural is seeking to raise US$2.5 million from new investors.
    The Christchurch-based company says it has grown from a small business with US$650,000 in sales to US$5 million turnover and to 22 employees in the past three years through an export focus to main overseas markets in the United States, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong. 
    K9 says it was breaking even, and aims to raise sales and lower unit production costs to grow profitability. K9 says it would use a small portion of the US$2.5 million to invest in the factory, but most of the money would be used to drive sales by setting up a team in the North Island and in the US, developing the company's website, and probably employing a full-time social media staff member.
    K9 Natural was formed almost five years ago by police dog handler, Geoff Bowers, and Bruce Mayhew. Bowers and Mayhew, along with chief executive, Calvin Smith, and chairman, Chris Stewart, currently each own a 25% share in the company. 

    AFIA to hold petfood conference at 2012 International Feed Expo

    The 2012 Pet food Conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on Tuesday, January 24, at the International Feed Expo/International Poultry Expo, organized by the American Feed Industry Association and US Poultry & Egg Association.
    The conference covers a variety of topics ranging from regulatory issues to the technical aspects of production, food safety, marketing and use of ingredients. Expert speakers will include: Svetlana Uduslivaia, Euromonitor International, addressing domestic and global petfood industry trends; Dr. Dale Hill, ADM Alliance Nutrition Inc., discussing ingredient variability; Douglas Marshall, Eurofins Scientific Inc., and Duarte Diaz, Novus International Inc., addressing petfood safety topics; a US Food and Drug Administration update on the one year anniversary of the Food Safety Modernization Act; and Leah Wilkinson, AFIA, covering third-party certification programs.
    The conference will also feature a number of panels. The FDA/AAFCO panel will include officials who will deliver a regulatory update of ingredient approvals, unapproved animal drugs, calorie labeling and the future of GRAS listings in the AAFCO Official Publication. An ingredient supplier question-and-answer panel will offer insight into establishing supplier relationships and issues facing the pet food ingredient sector. The concluding panel will highlight the future of food and feed safety.
    The day-long conference, which will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., has an add-on registration fee of US$40, in addition to the initial IFE/IPE registration fee of US$40. After January 6, the rates for both increase to US$60 each. Those interested in attending may register online.