Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Registration for AFIA Purchasing & Ingredients Suppliers Conference opens

    Registration for the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA)'s annual Purchasing & Ingredient Suppliers Conference (PISC) is now open for the more than 500 buyers and sellers of feed and petfood ingredients expected to attend. The conference will be held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, March 12-14, 2014.
    New for 2014, attendees will receive a US$50 discount for completing registration online. Online registration forms can be obtained from AFIA's website.
    "This year's program, 'Where Business Gets Done!' will feature well-known industry experts who will present on topics that are currently affecting the feed industry and agriculture as a whole," said Veronica Rovelli, AFIA director of meetings and events. "PISC is AFIA's highest attended individual event and is designed to benefit all feed, ingredient and pet food professionals."
    This year's program highlights include: The Truth about Sustainability, Dr. Frank Mitloehner; Animal Economics Report, Dr. Ron Plain; Grain Outlook, Richard Brock; Humor for the Heart of Agriculture, Damian Mason; and the World Food Supply Outlook, Dr. Jay Lehr. The conference schedule also incorporates networking opportunities and outings including.
    In addition, AFIA's Nutrition Committee will host a Nutrition Symposium on Tuesday, March 11, from 1-5:30 p.m., on "Protecting Your Investment and Sustaining Agriculture for the Future." The seminar is open to all PISC attendees for an additional fee. The symposium will feature experts from several fields discussing a gamut of topics including consumer trust in modern agriculture, biosecurity, post-harvest losses, and water rights and agriculture.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Procter & Gamble sees continued petfood challenges in third quarter

    Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive have both been facing similar market challenges in the pet care market as of late. Mars and Nestle are consolidating their positions in the global petfood market, together accounting for 50% of value sales, and small and medium-sized companies in the industry are fragmenting the premium end of the market, where Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive have traditionally derived the bulk of their sales.
    According to Euromonitor, in 2008 Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive both accounted for 6% of global sales, but their shares began to fall in 2010. However, by 2012, Colgate-Palmolive had stopped its decline, while Procter & Gamble continued to face challenges-challenges which continue into 2013. Procter & Gamble has faced voluntary recalls throughout the year due to suspected Salmonella, and net sales in the company's healthcare division (which includes petfood) were down 1% during the three months ending in September as a result. Furthermore, Procter & Gamble remains strong in the premium segment of the North American dog and cat food market, accounting for 19% of value sales in 2012, but this figure stood at 24% as recently as 2008, according to Euromonitor. The company is also weak in emerging markets, accounting for 1% of value sales of dog and cat food in the expanding Latin American and Eastern European markets in 2012. Its global market share of petfood fell from 6% to 5% between 2008 and 2012, and is expected to fall again in 2013.
    Colgate-Palmolive, in contrast, has seen successes in conjunction with its challenges. The company's Hill's pet care unit saw organic sales expand by 6% year-on-year during the third quarter, with volume gains in the US and Russia partly offset by volume declines in Japan. However, higher raw and packaging material costs, as well as increased investment in customer development initiatives and advertising, saw its operating profit decrease by 6%, to US$138 million, during the quarter. Its profit margin fell by 250 basis points, to 25.3% of net sales, according to Euromonitor.
    Colgate-Palmolive has credited much of its growth to the successful launch of a new natural petfood brand, Hill's Ideal Balance, in the US, in addition to the global launch of Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic and the re-launch of Hill's Science Diet with natural ingredients and an improved taste. Unlike Procter & Gamble, which acquired Natura in 2010 to tap the natural petfood market, Colgate-Palmolive has adapted to the shift in consumer preference towards natural products in petfood. The company has reoriented its research and development and branding strategies, taking into account both changes in consumer preference and the positioning of its emerging rivals.
    In 2013, the market could see Colgate-Palmolive pass Procter & Gamble to become the second largest player (behind Nestlé) in the North American premium dog and cat food market (its value share stood at 18% in 2012), and with companies like Blue Buffalo continuing to expand rapidly (increasing its share from 3% to 8% between 2008 and 2012), Procter & Gamble would seem to have more challenges ahead if it wants to remain competitive.

Central Garden & Pet reports fourth-quarter fiscal 2013 financial results

    Central Garden & Pet Company has reported financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.
    The company reported net sales of US$368.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, a 7 percent decrease over the 14-week comparable fiscal 2012 period. Reported net sales for the pet segment for the quarter were US$220.4 million, a decline of 7 percent over the fourth quarter of 2012.
    The pet segment's branded product sales for the quarter decreased US$16.1 million to US$175.6 million, while sales of other manufacturers' products were US$44.8 million, a decrease of 2 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. The pet segment's operating margin improved for the quarter, aided by higher gross margins and lower marketing expenses. For the fourth quarter, the pet segment's operating income was US$24.7 million, an increase from US$16.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
    The company's overall fourth-quarter operating loss for 2013 was US$26.4 million compared to an operating loss of US$8.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. The net loss for the fourth quarter of 2013 was US$22.6 million compared with a loss of US$10.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
    Sales comparisons were affected by an extra week in the prior year quarter and full-year periods. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Halo, Freekibble.com partner for 2013 Holiday Kibble Drop 'Inpire Tour'

    For the third year in a row, Freekibble.com and Ellen DeGeneres' natural petfood company, Halo, Purely for Pets, are teaming up to help homeless dogs and cats across the US this holiday season. During the 2013 Holiday Kibble Drop "Inspire Tour," Halo and Freekibble.com will deliver more than 500,000 meals to pets in need.
    The Kibble Drop trucks, including two 18-wheelers, will make a combined 12 stops throughout this holiday season. At each Kibble Drop location, five to eight shelters will receive a petfood donation of Spot's Stew in honor of a special, inspirational pet in that city. 
    "Supporting shelters is part of our company's mission," says Halo CEO, Steve Marton. "We are inspired by the stories of hope and love we hear every day-and want to honor those pets, pet owners and organizations who exemplify the incredible bond we have with our pets."
    As Freekibble.com's official petfood sponsor since 2010, Halo donates the kibble distributed to shelters and rescues throughout the US.
    "This year is the third annual Holiday Kibble Drop, and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of it," says Mimi Ausland, Freekibble.com founder. "It makes me feel great to know that so many homeless dogs and cats will be getting healthy, nutritious meals over the holidays. I hope the Kibble Drop will also inspire people to help shelter pets and to think of other ways they can make an impact on animals' lives."
    2013 Kibble Drop Cities include: Nashville, Tennessee; Washington, DC: Raleigh, North Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Greenwich, Connecticut; New York, New York; Wichita, Kansas; Phoenix, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; San Francisco, California; Bend, Oregon.
    Participating retailers include: Phydeaux, Doggie Style, Pet Pantry Warehouse, All Paws, Pet Club, At Your Service Pets, Red Barn Feed and Saddlery, and Pet Food Express.
    Additionally, partners like GreaterGood.org and C.H. Robinson donate resources, time and effort to the trip. Both organizations donate a portion of the freight costs and offer volunteers at each stop.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

MPM Products sells 100 millionth unit of wet cat food

    MPM Products, manufacturer of the Applaws and Encore petfood brands, is celebrating after selling its 100 millionth unit of wet cat food worldwide.
    The Manchester, England-based company is seeing sales of its brands continue to grow and is on track to reach its target of £24 million (US$39.1 million) turnover by the end of 2013.
    "These record-breaking figures are a testament to the hard work of the MPM Products team and their dedication to creating superior petfoods with all-natural ingredients," says Julian Bambridge, managing director.
    In addition to growing sales in the wet cat food category, MPM has also sold more than 12 million units of wet dog food over the last five years. The company expects to see opportunities for growth continue throughout 2014 as consumer interest in premium pet products expands internationally.
    "As an SME focusing on providing consumers with high-quality nutrition for their dogs and cats, we're in a perfect position to capitalise on the opportunities in the rapidly-growing pet food market - both in the UK and globally," says Bambridge. "In addition to a triple-digit increase in US consumer demand, MPM Products is currently in discussions with several major retail partners in the USA and Australia. We are optimistic about the company's potential for growth in 2014."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Barry-Wehmiller acquires French packaging supplier Arcil SA

    Barry-Wehmiller Companies Inc. recently acquired Arcil SA, a Paris-based supplier of packaging technology for the fresh dairy and food industry. The purchase expands the firm's packaging platform to six separate operating companies.
    Arcil, with US$120 million in revenue in 2013, employs approximately 350 people between its two Paris operations. Its machines use heat to convert plastic film into custom-formed cups that are filled then sealed.
    "Arcil's expertise in providing cutting-edge, efficient packaging solutions is highly complementary to our diverse portfolio of packaging companies," said Bob Chapman, Barry-Wehmiller CEO.
    Arcil represents Barry-Wehmiller's 65th acquisition since 1987 and its first in France. Through a combination of acquisition and organic growth initiatives, Barry-Wehmiller expects its 2014 revenues to reach approximately US$1.7 billion. Chapman predicts Barry-Wehmiller's revenues will surpass the US$2 billion mark within two years.
    "We have been on an extraordinary path of purposeful and deliberate growth that exemplifies our philosophy of combining people, purpose and performance to create value for all stakeholders," Chapman said. "We are delighted to welcome Arcil as the newest member of the Barry-Wehmiller organization, and we look forward to working together to build a strong global business, serving a balance of industries and markets."

Monday, December 23, 2013

Flint River Ranch marks 20th anniversary with new petfood, supplements

    Flint River Ranch
    Flint River Ranch is launching a line of new pet supplements.
    In October, Flint River Ranch marked its 20th anniversary, and the company is celebrating by launching some new varieties of all-natural, holistic dog and cat foods and supplements.
    Flint River Ranch, established in 1993, says the company was among the first to feature the "natural, oven-baked freshness" foundation to all of its formulas and the first company to offer home delivery of pet products throughout America.
    One new product is the Essential Greens supplement, formulated using the "essence" of Flint River Ranch's Dry Water formula to make a Health and Vitality supplement containing dehydrated chicken liver, and that aids in digestion, helps reduce tartar build up and freshens breath, helps improve skin and coat, boosts the immune system, and may help increase energy and vitality. The company will also be adding digestive and joint care products to the "Essential" line.
    Jay P. Margedant, president of Flint River Ranch, says: "The benefits of the ingredients in our Essential Greens are phenomenal. Early adopters are already reporting less regurgitation from their cats, their dogs' breath is freshening up, skin and coats are looking even better, and, for our kitty parents, the cat box seems to not smell as bad. I know our customers will see amazing results from this product. I know how good FRR formulas already are, but I personally encourage you to give this supplement a try. You can always supplement and improve your pets' meals. Essential Greens allows you to do this for every meal!"
    The company also updated its kibble shape by investing in a new roller die for the oven. Although the formulas have not changed, the kibble is now cooked using the new roller die that forms pre-arranged shapes.
    According to Margedant: "We did this change because with our limited ingredients, we cannot make the open-edged, cracked kibbles that we used to...they were just too fragile, and the end result was not what we wanted you to have to feed your pets. This new die keeps with our same formulation, the same oven-baking process you've known for years, and gives us a better product that we're looking for you to see when you open your bag(s)."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wenger to present petfood processing safety seminar April 29-May 2, 2014

    Wenger Manufacturing's Corporate Project Services division will host a Food Safety Seminar Focused on Pet Food Processing on April 29-May 2, 2014. The petfood processing safety seminar will take place at the Hyatt Place Hotel-Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. 
    The seminar will consist of classroom instruction and practical demonstrations at Wenger's Technical Center Extrusion Lab in Sabetha, Kansas, USA. A number of representatives from the industry will present from companies including Wenger, SafetyChain, Charm Sciences Inc., Del Monte, Petfood Industry and more. 
    Learn more and register for the seminar online.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

HH Backer announces changes to Total Pet Expo Spring

    H.H. Backer Associates announced significant changes to its biennial spring show, Backer's Total Pet Expo Spring, to be held April 9-11, 2014, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.
    The changes are designed to increase buyer attendance, highlight innovative new exhibitors, and focus on education and networking. New attractions and a new graphic look, as well as educational program designed to keep buyers in the exhibit hall are among the features. 
    The spring show will include a new 280-square-meter retail pet store serving as a resource center on store layout, merchandising, staff training and POS options. Experts will also be on hand to provide advice and tips on staff training, and buyers can interact with live animals. An Idea Wall provides a forum for sharing and reading retail tips. 
    Another change is the Smart Zone, a new exhibit hall with education stations to keep buyers on the show floor longer. It will include tracks on technology, business management, marketing/merchandising, aquatics and animal health/wellness. Industry experts will offer free advice for small groups of attendees on topics ranging from social media marketing strategies to merchandising trends. 
    A full schedule of more than 50 sessions will be available online beginning in February 2014.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

BarkBox subscribers to receive alligator treats in January 2014

    Louisiana Alligator Treats will ship in the January 2014 BarkBox.
    Dog owners who subscribe to BarkBox, the monthly subscription treats and toys box for dogs, will include alligator treats by Delca Corporation in January 2014. The companies have teamed up to deliver a package of think!dog Louisiana Alligator Treats in the January 2014 mailing.
    "We love creating partnerships in the pet industry that help us all reach a common goal - making pets happy," said Blaine Sherwin, sales director for key accounts at Delca. "BarkBox not only believes every dog should be happy and healthy, but they also give back to important nonprofit organizations with every box they deliver. This fits perfectly with our own company goals for giving and community involvement."
    The treats were first launched in October. The main ingredients are sourced from sustainable family farms and fisheries in the bayou of Louisiana, USA, the company says. 
    Subscribers to BarkBox receive a selection of dog products, such as toys, treats, bones, hygiene products and essentials, based on dog size and preferences. BarkBox donates 10 percent of its proceeds to local shelters and rescues across the United States and Canada.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Diana Pet Food, Opertech Bio to collaborate on taste science research

    Diana and Opertech Bio Inc. announced the companies entered into an agreement to collaborate in the area of taste science. The companies will use Opertech Bio's high-throughput taste evaluation technology known as the Microtiter Operant Gustometer (MOG) to evaluate the degree of relevance of using rats as surrogate taste testers.
    "We are particularly glad to associate Opertech Bio to Diana taste research program. Within our Pet Food division, we develop sensorial solutions with high level of palatability, thus it is of particular interest that we evaluate taste components using the MOG. Getting quick sensorial answers with several species of animals will allow us to better evaluate the advantages and limits of using such methods, in comparison or complementarily to other methods in the area of molecular biology," said Isabelle Guiller, global research director for Diana Pet Food Division.
    "We are delighted to announce this collaboration with Diana, an international leader in sensorial and nutritional performance and world leader in natural solutions for the food and pet food, nutraceuticals, aquafeed and cosmetics industries with deep sector knowledge and a global customer base. Diana represents a natural partner for us, providing strong technical synergies which will help us further advance our taste evaluation technology," stated Scott Horvitz, CEO of Opertech Bio.

Three tips for petfood manufacturers to prevent contamination

    According to the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 48 million Americans are stricken with food borne illness every year. The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) attempts to help control this; but, companies may be rushing to meet the deadlines, says Polymer Solutions International, and gaps leave companies still not fully prepared to respond to and prevent the risk of contamination.
    According to the company: "Every processing room and area must be viewed as a castle, or fortress, with reinforced walls or barriers. Inside your castle, keep all material handling items-pallets, forklifts, bins and more-secure inside the fortress walls. All incoming material handling items-ingredients transported on supplier-provided skids or pallets-should be kept out of the castle."
    Polymer Solutions is offering the following tips to manufacturers: 
    • Restrict all material handling equipment (such as forklifts, pallets, bins, totes and more) from entering a processing room or leaving a processing area. Ingredients or work-in-process entering the processing area must only travel on facility captive pallets, bins or totes.
    • Restrict all external pallets, bins and totes from entering the facility by using of pallet inverters or pallet transfer stations to remove their loads and transfer them onto captive plastic pallets. If a single external pallet is allowed into the facility, it could end up in sensitive areas.
    • Color-code your plastic pallets, bins and totes for easy visual identification at a distance, and also to clearly segregate them for use in specific areas. For example, use blue for your processing areas, green for work-in-process storage areas, and black for finished goods storage within your facility.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Wellness Pet Food launches holiday giving Facebook campaign

    Wellness' "You Click, We Donate" Facebook campaign will benefit two nonprofits that support animal causes.
    Through January 16, 2014, Wellness Pet Food is hosting a holiday giving campaign, "You Click, We Donate." The petfood brand's campaign will benefit The Cat House on the Kings Cat Sanctuary & Adoption Center and the Green Chimneys Farm & Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, nonprofits that both support animal causes.
    To participate, Facebook users can visit the Wellness Pet Food Facebook page and select the, "You Click, We Donate" tab, or access the campaign directly at http://bit.ly/1jmbPKD. New visitors to the Wellness Facebook page will need to "like" the page in order to proceed to the entry page. From there, users can quickly sign up and Wellness will donate US$1.00 on their behalf.
    "The Cat House on the Kings relies strictly on donations from the public to carry out its mission," said founder, Lynea Lattanzio. "The money donated will make a difference by allowing us to care for the cats at our facility and offer spay and neuter services to control pet overpopulation in the area."
    Wellness Pet Food will announce the total donation amount at the conclusion of the campaign.

Skinners Pet Foods adds production lines at dog food mill in UK

    A recent article in Grain & Feed Milling Technology features Skinners Pet Foods and the company's new production lines at its dog food mill, which has been in operation since 1688.
    Challenged with recent increases in demand for its petfood products, the family owned company automated its manual bagging operation with equipment designed and installed by Pacepacker Services. Following, two additional packaging lines further increased throughput to nearly 2,000 bags of petfood per hour, an almost 70 percent increase from manual bagging.
    The new lines, installed after the introduction of a new extruder, consist of a C21 MultiPile Sack Placer and a Total Bag ControlSystem. The installation of the first line allowed the company to introduce a range of petfood products in plastic bags. Two out of the three lines are designed to handle bags weighing up to 15 kg, running at speeds of up to500 bags per hour. In total, the three lines handle 36 different types of products.
    The final line was installed due to an increase in demand for smaller petfood bags. So, Pacepacker designed this third line as a miniature version of the initial two lines. It is capable of handling 2.5 kg bags at a throughput of 800 bags per hour. 

Petfood market in Romania worth nearly EUR168 million

    The petfood market in Romania was worth nearly EUR168 million (US$227.7 million) in 2013, up around 6 percent on the previous year, according to a report from Romania-Insider.com.
    There are 11 million pets in Romania, including 4.1 million dogs and 4 million cats. However, out of the number of dogs, 1.5 million are stray dogs, according to the report citing Euromonitor.
    Romanians spend nearly EUR112 million (US$165.4 million) on dog food, while they spend significantly less for cat food at about EUR48 million (US$65.1 million), despite the similar number of dogs and cats as pets.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hound & Gatos named to '2014 List of Trusted Pet Foods'

    Hound & Gatos Pet Foods Corporation announced the company was included in the "2014 List of Trusted Pet Foods," an annual report by TruthAboutPetFood.com.
    The report features a list of companies evaluated for their petfood by Susan Thixton. The criteria used to evaluate the petfoods include such factors as country of origin, ingredient quality, company transparency and customer service by the company. The list uses ingredients that are inspected and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (USDA).
    "What an honor it is to be included in this wonderful list of trusted pet foods," said Will Post, president of Hound & Gatos. "Susan Thixton, of TruthAboutPetFood.com, is passionate about making sure that only the best of the best make that list. Her efforts are endless in the pet food industry and making the list says a lot about the quality of our products."
    "This is a critical report that has been thoroughly evaluated in order to ensure that everyone it deserves to be there. We are thrilled to be on that list and that our products were recognized for their high quality. Susan is a true hero for the millions of pets out there, as her work helps keep them safer and healthier."

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Registration opens for Petfood Forum Asia 2014

    Registration is now available for Petfood Forum Asia, which will be held April 9, 2014, at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre, in conjunction with Victam Asia/FIAAP Asia 2014. Petfood professionals who register for Petfood Forum Asia 2014 by February 10 will save more than 15%.
    The conference will feature industry experts sharing the latest research and insights on the relevance of petfood recommendations to consumers in different retail channels, whether meat, grains or both are best for dogs, advancements in extruded petfoods, the impact of dietary past on cat feeding preferences, structured product development for petfood and more. A complete list of topics and speakers is available.
    To register for Petfood Forum Asia, visit the registration page. More information about Victam Asia/FIAPP Asia, one of the largest agri-feed shows globally, is available here.

Interpets show to be hosted at Tokyo Big Sight in July 2014

    Interpets - International Fair for a Better Life with Pets - is preparing to host its fourth edition at a new location at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan, after hosting the previous three shows in August at Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan. The show will be hosted from July 24-27, 2014.
    Katsuya Kashiwagi, project manager of Interpets, Mesago Messe Frankfurt Corp. commented: "We shifted the fair date one month earlier to July in order to fit into the business season of the industry better. In addition, Tokyo Big Sight, the new venue, is located in the heart of Tokyo and easily accessible from main public transportation terminals. We will offer a more effective business opportunity for both exhibitors and visitors."
    The 2014 show will focus not only on adding more variety to its exhibitors and lineup of events but also on providing the latest information through seminars and lectures. One featured event is the Business-Matching Meeting. The face-to-face business meeting offers overseas exhibitors an opportunity to directly appeal their products to purchasing decision-makers from leading retailers, wholesalers and importers in the Japanese pet industries.
    The fair opens exclusively to trade visitors on the first day, and then to both trade and public visitors from the second day until the end.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nutro Pet Foods donates to support Holiday Pet Food Drive

    Nutro Pet Foods is teaming up with Rocky's Ace Hardware of Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, to help support its third annual Holiday Pet Food Drive. Nutro is donating more than US$1,500 worth of dog and cat food to get the drive started. 
    Each of the 32 Rocky's Ace Hardware stores in the area is partnering with a local humane society or shelter to collect food during the holiday season for pets in need. The petfood drive runs through December 23. 

Interzoo launches redesigned trade show website

    Pet supplies trade show Interzoo has relaunched its Web presence with the motto of "less is more." The website is focused mainly on a simplified and clear presentation, with content structure based on the needs of the target groups.
    Special importance was also attached to optimizing the pages for search engines and breaking down the main contents for exhibitors and visitors into four time phases: exhibitor acquisition, visitor promotion, the exhibition itself and after the exhibition.
    "The new Interzoo website suits the world's leading exhibition for the pet supplies industry. We have based the redesign more on the target groups and are hoping for a positive response," says Antje Schreiber, Interzoo communication manager at Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH. "Feedback and suggestions from exhibitors and visitors are expressly requested."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Royal Canin, Banfield hosting holiday petfood drive

    Banfield Charitable Trust, Banfield Pet Hospital and Royal Canin are asking pet owners and advocates across the US to take the "Pledge to End Pet Hunger" in support of the eighth annual holiday petfood drive. The program, launched on November 29 and running through December 31, raises awareness about pet hunger, collects petfood and raises funds to benefit senior citizen pet owners needing support in the care of their companions.
    "Pets play an invaluable role in the lives of people who face difficult life circumstances," said Dianne McGill, executive director and CEO of Banfield Charitable Trust. "It is our hope that people will gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing senior citizen pet owners and how lack of food is contributing to the overcrowding of shelters in every community. Spreading the message and making a donation will enrich and save lives."
    Supporters are encouraged to get involved with the annual holiday petfood drive in several ways:
    •  Take The Pledge To End Pet Hunger: Royal Canin will donate one pound of petfood for every pledge made on facebook.com/RoyalCanin.us.
    • Make A Monetary Donation: Make a monetary donation at www.banfieldcharitabletrust.org or at Banfield Pet Hospitals to fund grants for local Meals on Wheels petfood programs. For a donation of US$10 or more, KONG will donate a toy to the pet of a Meals On Wheels client.
    • Donate bags and cans of dog and cat food at one of Banfield Pet Hospital's more than 830 locations across the US.
    "We are committed to promoting the well-being of cats and dogs, while also helping their owners through this pet food drive," said Dr. Brent Mayabb, corporate affairs director for Royal Canin USA. "Royal Canin is proud to partner with Banfield Charitable Trust and our fan communities to raise awareness of this cause, and in the end, make a significant donation to the Meals on Wheels program."
    Royal Canin has committed to making a 30,000 pound petfood donation, and with the help of people who take the pledge, they will donate an additional 20,000 pounds. All petfood donations and 100 percent of all monetary donations will benefit Meals On Wheels petfood distribution programs across the US.

UK private-label petfood sales growing rapidly, report says

    Private-label petfood sales in the UK are growing rapidly, according to a report from Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) that quotes the market research institute IRI.
    According to the report, retailer brand sales have risen 6.5 percent, compared with only a 2.8 percent increase in the entire category. The growth is partly due to a massive hike in featured space deals on private-label petfood and due to price rises, experts claim.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Webinar on controlling cross-contamination in petfood plants to be held December 12

    ExtruTech and MAC Process will sponsor a webinar, presented by WATT Global Media, on "Control Strategies for Cross-Contamination in Pet Food Plants" on Thursday, December 12.
    ExtruTech and MAC Process will sponsor a webinar, presented by WATT Global Media, on "Control Strategies for Cross-Contamination in Pet Food Plants" on Thursday, December 12 at 9 a.m. CT. This webinar will cover sources, points of cross-contamination and re-contamination of Salmonella in petfood processing environments, as well as introduce Advanced Oxidation Technology, a novel strategy, as a part of an integrated approach to control this bacterium in petfood manufacturing facilities.
    Register online for the webinar.
    What you'll learn:
    • Petfood manufacturing processes and the points of contamination and cross-contamination with Salmonella during the production process
    • Conditions that allow growth of microorganisms, conditions that control growth of microorganisms in petfood processing facilities and conditions that help improve stability of petfoods
    • A novel strategy to control environment sources of re-contamination and cross-contamination in petfood processing facilities, Advanced Oxidation Technology (AOT)
    • Follow an integrated approach towards controlling Salmonella contamination in petfood processing environments
    • Practical application example of using oxidation techniques to address pneumatic conveying pipe lines; features, challenges, expected results

    The featured speakers for this webinar are Jasdeep Saini and Jonathan Thorn, of Schenck Process. The webinar will be moderated by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, Petfood Industry editor-in-chief.

Topics and speakers announced for Petfood Forum 2014

    Petfood Forum 2014's conference program has been confirmed and includes industry experts addressing the latest research and information on pet nutrition, petfood safety, processing, marketing, retailing, regulatory issues and more.
    New to Petfood Forum, three concurrent discussion sessions, held on Wednesday, April 2, will focus on nutritional sustainability of petfoods, led by Kelly Swanson, PhD, of the University of Illinois; how distributor consolidation is affecting petfood retailing, led by Mark Kalaygian of Pet Business magazine; and potential new petfood specifications and approvals from the Food and Drug Administration, led by George Burdock, PhD, of the Burdock Group. Complete descriptions of the discussion sessions and speakers are available.
    The conference portion of Petfood Forum 2014 will start on April 1 with an opening keynote by Steve Dale, a leading pet journalist, on how he embarked on his career and what he has learned throughout it from pet owners, including their perceptions (and misperceptions) about petfood and pet nutrition. On April 2 during lunch, Petfood Forum will conclude with a closing keynote by America's VetDogs, an organization that provides guide and service dogs to US veterans, on how the dogs are selected, trained, fed and partnered with military veterans.
    In between, besides the discussion sessions, 21 additional concurrent sessions will address a variety of topics, including petfood ingredients; the US, Russian and Argentinean petfood markets; new ways and technologies for handling meat ingredients; new products and processes for controlling Salmonella in petfood plants; the new preventive control rule for feed under the Food Safety Modernization Act; saving energy during petfood processing; and much more. Find the full line-up of topics and speakers.
    Petfood Forum 2014 is scheduled for March 31-April 2. Registration is open, with discounts available through January 27.

Diamond Pet Foods recognized for commitment to employees

    Diamond Pet Foods of Meta, Missouri, USA, was recently recognized for its outstanding commitment to employees by The Principal Group. The petfood manufacturer was named among The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security-2013.
    The companies were selected by a panel of judges for recognizing that company culture and great benefits play a key role in overall company performance, with turnover rates significantly lower than others in their industry and the national average. Diamond Pet Foods will be featured in the December issue of Inc. magazine, along with the other winners.
    Trends among winners include:
    • Employee financial security influences company performance
    • Rely on experts
    • A focus on long-term financial well-being
    • Comprehensive health and wellness

    "These Principal10 Best Companies often view their employees as an extended family, but most also recognize there is a return on their investment in employee financial security," said Paul Spiegelman, chief culture officer of Stericycle and 2013 Principal 10 Best judge. "Employee satisfaction, customer retention, attrition rates and other key measures are quickly becoming leading indicators for success among growing businesses. This year's winners get that and are using it to adapt their company culture." 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hackathon to redesign Los Angeles animal shelter website taking place December 7-8

    Purina ONE cat and dog food brand and GOOD are collaborating with Karma Rescue, a Los Angeles, California, USA, animal rescue group, to host the Karma Rescue Redesign on December 7-8. 
    The 24-hour hackathon will bring together developers, designers and pet lovers to help the nonprofit rescue redesign its website so it can be better used as a tool for pet adoptions. Participants will work in teams of up to four members to plan, create and pitch their website redesign ideas to a panel of judges. Judges will select a winner based on the following criteria: creativity and originality, design, implementation and feasibility, and management and sustainability. 
    The winning team will receive: US$1,000 for the team, a feature on good.is, a year subscription to GOOD Magazine for each team member, and coupons for a year's supply of Purina ONE petfood for each team member. 
    Register online to take part in the event. 

New Nature's Recipe digital campaign shows cat, dog perspective

    New York Times
    Nature's Recipe's new digital campaign gives "collar cameras" to pet owners so they can post the photos online in scrapbooks.
    Del Monte Foods' Nature's Recipe petfood brand is launching a new digital campaign that says it provides views from the dog's- and cat's-eye perspective. The US$2.6 million "Nature's Recipe for Moments" campaign has the tagline: "See life through their eyes. Experience the moments that Nature's Recipe can provide."
    The campaign centers on a microsite, naturesrecipeformoments.com, where visitors can browse virtual scrapbooks of photographs meant to chronicle some of America's relationships between pets and their owners. The photographs in the scrapbooks are snapped by "collar cameras" provided by Nature's Recipe to cat and dog owners who the company deemed to be influencers.
    The campaign currently has 40 pets and the goal is for 50 scrapbooks. As part of the campaign, consumers will be offered a chance to enter a contest through the Nature's Recipe Facebook fan page to win collar cameras so they, too, can contribute photographs. Visitors to the site can share the scrapbooks via social media.
    The lead agency for the campaign is Digitaria in San Diego, California, USA, part of the JWT division of WPP, the digital agency of record for Nature's Recipe.
    "When we think about marketing to our consumers, where our consumers are engaging, we look at using digital to reach them, understand them," said Gina Squara, director for digital strategy at Del Monte Foods, primarily because owners are already "in the digital space."
    Sarah Kotlova, vice president for client services at Digitaria, said the goal was to give Nature's Recipe a more emotional approach in a category in which ads can be "very bland," depicting "dogs walking on the beach" or arguing "over what's in the food or what's not in the food: 'We have carrots.' 'We don't have carrots.'"
    Influenced by lifelogging, or tracking one's life by capturing data and images with cameras and computers, she came up with the concept to use technology to demonstrate pets' lives "through their eyes, from their perspective," Kotlova said.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Finalists announced for Purina ONE, GOOD 'Hero Pets' photo challenge

    Purina ONE petfood brand and GOOD announced the 15 finalists of their "Hero Pets to The Rescue" photo challenge. 
    Among the finalists to the contest are an Army-enlisted German Shephard, a K-9 First Responder in the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, USA, school tragedy and a Laborador that saved her diabetic owner's life. 
    The public can vote now through December 9 at 12 p.m. PT for their favorite finalists to be selected as the winning hero pet. The winning pet will receive a year's supply of Purina ONE food, a US$5,000 donation made in their name to a pet service nonprofit organization and be featured in an article on good.is. 

Petfood maker Purina to donate to Illinois, USA, tornado victims

    Petfood maker Purina announced on November 21 that it plans to donate US$10,000 to assist cats and dogs affected by the recent tornadoes in Illinois, USA.
    The donation will help animal welfare agencies in Peoria County stock a distribution center where displaced families can obtain free pet supplies, such as litter boxes and scoopers, grooming supplies, cat carriers and dog crates, Purina spokesman, Bill Salzman said. The funds will also cover the cost of veterinary care for injured pets.
    Purina is also "assessing the opportunity for a petfood and litter donation and will proceed accordingly, as soon as we receive word that the local pet welfare organizations are fully prepared to handle the donations," Salzman said. "It often takes several days for disaster relief workers to be able to accurately assess the needs of the situation and set up appropriate intake facilities."
    Tornadoes that ripped through central Illinois on November 17 destroyed hundreds of homes, leaving many pet owners without ample supplies for their animals.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Honest Kitchen releases short film about petfood brand

    The Honest Kitchen, a producer of human-grade petfood products, released a short brand film, in which employees' own pets deliver the company message by "talking" about ingredients, procurement, production and quality control.
    The short film is shot inside The Honest Kitchen's company headquarters and on the streets of San Diego, California, USA, and was produced by Emota, a local digital story-telling agency. The film centers on the company's human-grade petfoods and also discusses health effects from other diets. 
    "We really felt that allowing our office dogs to do the talking would be a unique and fun way to get our story across," commented company founder and CEO, Lucy Postins. "Our pets are the focus of everything we do at The Honest Kitchen. They're the reason we choose to invest in better quality human-grade ingredients, and why we produce our recipes in a human food facility. The choices we make around product integrity and quality are centered squarely, around what is right for the health and wellbeing of pets because we believe they deserve to eat proper food that's healthy, natural and honest. So it makes perfect sense that they should be the ones to convey our message."

Pet Food Experts to build new distribution center in Pennsylvania, USA

    Pet Food Experts, a distributor of petfood and suppies, announced plans to develop a 170,000-square-foot facility on 18.9 acres at 561 S. Muddy Creek Road in Denver, Pennsylvania, USA.
    Glenn J. Frill, president of professional design and construction, said that while the building's footprint will be 170,000 square feet, a mezzanine would boost the total square footage to 197,000 square feet. The building is being designed so it could be expanded by an additional 58,000 square feet, said Frill.
    All 30 of Pet Food Experts' current local workforce will be offered jobs at the new location, and once the new building is complete, at least 30 new jobs will be added, said Jim Alden, CFO.
    The larger distribution center will accommodate Pet Food Experts' expanding portfolio of pet food brands.
    Pet Food Experts hopes to settle on its purchase of the property and break ground on the project soon, with completion set for late 2014.

AFIA comments on FSMA at public meeting

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) on November 21 along with 90 other industry members attended the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Public Meeting to provide industry feedback on the proposed rule to establish current good manufacturing practice and hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls for animal food.
    The meeting, held in College Park, Maryland, USA, was the first of three nationwide to be hosted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to answer questions and take part in dialogue surrounding the proposed animal food rule. The other two FSMA Public Meetings will be hosted in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on November 25 and in Sacramento, California, USA, on December 6.
    Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, spoke on behalf of AFIA, stating that the organization and industry's main worry is the court-mandated comment period. 
    According to Sellers: "This industry has never seen the magnitude of such rulemaking with such a major impact on all of the feed industry. We are expected to review, answer questions and provide comments in just over four months. In fact, except for medicated feed, this industry has never seen good manufacturing practices regulations, and FDA is proposing to implement those, as well as hazard analysis and risk based preventive controls in a very short timeframe. We think FDA and the industry will have their hands quite full in the next decade implementing these rules."
    FDA has filed an appeal in attempt for an extension for the comment submission time frame, but AFIA believes an extension is unlikely based on previous appeal attempts in similar scenarios. 
    Sellers commented to the panel that AFIA hopes "FDA prevails on appeal of this unrealistic comment timeline. Please note, FDA took almost two years to draft the rules, held a back and forth with the Office of Management and Budget for some 11 months and now expects the feed industry to review them and provide comments in some 14 weeks."
    A separate concern Sellers stated at the meeting are the similarities between the proposed animal feed rule and the human food rule. He said although the FSMA language divides the two, there are too many references and requirements that lead AFIA to think FDA does not understand the congressional intent to separate human and animal food requirements.  
    "We hope you will hear from Congress during this rulemaking, as some of the provisions in the proposed rules have requirements with little or no benefit from this overzealous approach to impose human food requirements on the animal feed industry," remarked Sellers. "We hope FDA will reign in its approach and publish a final rule that recognizes the clear food/feed risks and goals for human food products and animal food products and establishments and how these differ. At some point, it makes sense to separate human and animal food in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. We have begun talking with our attorneys about these changes."
    Sellers stated the proposed rule will be difficult for feed mills nationwide to implement, especially given the short time frame of one to three years based on business size to do so. 
    "What does concern us is the likelihood that a majority of the feed mills, not the majority of the feed tonnage, will have much difficulty in understanding, crafting programs and fully implementing these rules," Sellers said. "In my 85 presentations across the U.S. in the past three years about this law, facilities in the heartland that are small to medium operations have the most difficulty understanding these concepts.  One, two and three years may not be sufficient time to fully implement the final rules, but we'll be back to FDA with data and rationale if we need additional time."
    AFIA proposes FDA use a phase-in on continued good manufacturing practices (cGMP) for one year and then add preventive control rules on a two to four year phase-in pose final rule publication allowing for better compliance.
    In his comments Sellers applauded FDA for drafting a "fairly well-constructed set of rules," stating AFIA "believes these rules provide a clear guidepost for compliance that can coalesce the feed industry around a basic feed safety standard." He added the organization is pleased to be involved with the Animal Feed Steering Committee on the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance and offers FDA assistance in AFIA's expertise moving forward. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Guinness World Record for 'largest petfood package in the world' set by SPF-Diana

    SPF-Diana and customers set the Guiness World Record for "the largest petfood package in the world."
    At its recent IV Latin American Symposium event held in Águas de São Pedro, Brazil, SPF-Diana and its customers broke a record for "the largest petfood package in the world," certified by Guinness World Records.
    The petfood package, at 3 meters (9.8 feet) high and 1.78 meters (5.8 feet) tall wide, was specifically created for the event with the support of ABINPET, the Brazilian Industry Association of Pet Products, and Incoplast, a Brazilian packaging company.
    Attendees were able to put their dog kibbles inside the bag, helping to achieve a record 563.2-kilogram (1,240-pound) petfood bag. At the end of the symposium, the petfood collected in the bag was donated to the dog shelter of Descalvado/SP community, the city where the SPF-Diana Brazilian facility is located. 
    "Until now nobody was able to establish a record due to the difficulty of the challenge. SPF-Diana has shown great creativity and innovation…and relied on their clients, representatives of the petfood industry from across Latin America, to help them achieve this new goal...We, Guinness World Records, were delighted to see this level of participation from the members of the reunion," said Ralph Hannah, adjudications executive at Guinness World Records. "We also fully support, and encourage, SPF-Diana decision to donate the collected petfood…it will benefit hundreds of stray dogs in the area." 

Maryland passes petfood fee to support spay-neuter assistance programs

    In Maryland, USA, state legislation SB 820 was passed in 2013, imposing a fee on petfood to fund a statewide spay-neuter program to help low-income communities. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses, despite opposition from the petfood industry, and was signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley to take effect October 1. 
    Proponents of the legislation argued that a survey of public opinion showed a majority of pet owners in the state favored the "petfood tax" to support spay-neuter programs. However, a recent blog on the subject notes, similar legislation was defeated in Oregon and West Virginia, USA, after social media campaigns targeted pet owners and urged legislators to defeat it.
    The approved fee in Maryland did not have a social media campaign, and unlike the proposed fee in Orgeon, which would have financed state agriculture programs for food animal production, it mandates funds are used only on spay-neuter initiatives for companion animals. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Combination of five packaging companies unveils new COVERIS name

    Exopack Holdings S.A., formed in May by the combination of five packaging companies in North America and Europe, unveiled "COVERIS" as the organization's new name. COVERIS is the sixth-largest global plastics packaging company, with revenues in excess of US$2.5 billion and operations in 21 countries. The company, an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., produces flexible and rigid plastic and paper packaging, as well as advanced coatings.
    "Today's rebranding announcement marks an important milestone for us, signifying the successful integration of five packaging companies into a global industry leader," said Jack Knott, CEO. "More than a global business, COVERIS is a 'multi-local' business partner, close to our customers in many regions and markets around the world. We're confident that the COVERIS name will become synonymous with our passion for excellence in high-performance packaging products that add value to our customers' products and businesses."
    The selection of COVERIS comes after a thorough process to create a new brand identity that would differentiate the company in the marketplace, the company says. The new COVERIS graphic identity and website will be rolled out over the next few months.
    In May 2013, US-based Exopack joined with four European packaging companies-Britton Group, PACCOR, Kobusch, and Paragon Print & Packaging. The combined businesses have operated as one global entity under Exopack Holdings S.A., although the five brand names remained in use. Going forward, the COVERIS brand will ultimately be used for all of the company's operations.
    COVERIS also implemented a new organizational structure to optimize delivery of service to global customers and enhance the company's investments in technologies and people. The Global Flexibles business is now organized in two markets, Europe and North America, with three main product lines: Food & Consumer, Industrials and Advanced Coatings. The Global Rigid business is organized by geographic markets serving mainly customers in Europe.
    "Uniting all of our operations as COVERIS is much more than just a name change," said Michael Cronin, CEO of the Global Flexibles business. "It enables us to more efficiently deploy our technology and capabilities to our customers in every market, and is a clear indicator of our commitment to upholding the highest standards of excellence in all of our working relationships."
    Since combining, the companies that now comprise COVERIS have integrated back-office functions and have made new investments to strengthen the company's IT infrastructure. The businesses recently unified under a single financial structure.

AFIA, NGFA to host free FSMA webinar on December 11

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Feedstuffs will host a free webinar from 2-5 p.m. EST on December 11, which will address current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) and hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls for food for animals.
    Registration for the webinar, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) - What You Need to Know Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals, is available for free online.
    The webinar will cover information published in the Federal Register October 29. The release marks the latest set of proposed rules issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement FSMA.
    "The proposed preventive control rule for animal feed and petfood is another important step in FDA's ongoing implementation of FSMA," said David Fairfield, NGFA vice president of feed services. "This webinar will help those impacted gain a better understanding of the proposed requirements."
    Key questions that will be answered during the webinar include:
    •     When will the rule be effective?
    •     How are different sized companies impacted?
    •     What CGMP are proposed; who needs to comply?
    •     What needs to be in my written hazard identification and preventive controls plan?
    •     How do I develop preventive controls for the facility?
    Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, said, "These rules will have a major impact on our members. In the webinar, we will help attendees create a plan to implement the preventive control rules."
    Featured speakers are:
    •     Richard Sellers, senior vice president, legislative and regulatory affairs, AFIA
    •     David Fairfield, vice president, feed services, NGFA
    •     Jolyda Swaim, principal attorney, and John Dillard, associate attorney, OFW Law
    •     Dr. Daniel G. McChesney, director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance, FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.