Friday, January 31, 2014

Pet Food Conference at IPPE sees record attendance

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the Poultry Protein and Fat Council had a record-setting 275 people in attendance at its annual Pet Food Conference at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) on January 28. This is the seventh year the day-long conference, which informs petfood industry representatives on the latest industry initiatives including the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA), has taken place at IPPE. 
    "We were pleased by the conference's turnout despite the inclement weather. The large attendance number proves what a strong and growing interest there is among AFIA members and IPPE attendees in regards to petfood," said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA's director of ingredients, petfood and state affairs.  
    The Pet Food Conference had a diverse panel of speakers compiled from government agencies, private corporations, universities and AFIA staff.
    Comprised of the three integrated tradeshows - International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo and International Meat Expo - the global annual poultry, feed and meat industry trade show was held Jan.28-30 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. IPPE features the latest technology, equipment and services used in the production and processing of poultry, meat and feed products, and features education programs addressing current industry issues.

Venezuela president considering cap on petfood prices

    Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro announced plans January 12 to consider controlling petfood prices as part of efforts to help street animals, CNN has reported.
    Maduro mentioned the possibility of capping petfood prices after he announced the construction of six new veterinary centers and adopted a stray cat on government television at an event for the Mision Nevado, an animal-rights project named after a dog once owned by Latin American liberator Simon Bolivar.

Pet Moz resource focuses on dog food reviews

    Pet Moz has launched a new resource focusing purely on dog food reviews.
    The website offers an introduction to the reviews Pet Moz has collated for the best dog food brands like Iams, Purina and By Nature. They explain that all the reviews take the same key factors into account, namely the ingredients and satisfaction of the pet, the nutritional content and the use of any potentially dangerous ingredients.
    The reviews are broken down into high-quality, standard-quality and low-quality products, and though the company will not give star-rated reviews to products, it will give a recommendation or not give a recommendation based on the product itself. The site also includes a section on discount codes and coupons so that users can save money on purchases.
    "Not all dog foods are created equal, but with so many brands around making so many bold claims, it can be hard for owners to make the right consumer decisions for their pets," a spokesperson for Pet Moz said. "We help to identify low-quality as well as best-quality brands and make it easier for consumers to delineate the difference, as well as offering insights as to how to get the best deals by buying online using coupons. Ultimately, we do as the owner should and put the pet first in our reviews, so we know that dogs will be happy with our choices."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Most Dutch pet owners buy petfood in pet stores

    A survey by Dutch pet food supplier Prins Petfoods and the Dobey/Faunaland chain of more than 4,500 pet owners found that pet stores remain the principal distribution channel for dog and cat food in the Netherlands.
    According to the survey, more than 62 percent of cat owners and nearly three-quarters of all dog owners buy their petfood in pet stores. Thirty percent of cat owners and 8 percent of dog owners get petfood from the supermarket, while 20 percent of cat owners and 16 percent of dog owners purchase petfood online.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

RECALL: Red Flannel cat food recalled due to Salmonella risk

    Minnesota-based PMI Nutrition LLC has voluntarily recalled bags of its Red Flannel cat food due to possible Salmonella contamination.
    There have been no reports of illness related to this product to date, according to the company, and the recall is being issued out of an abundance of caution after routine testing by the US Food and Drug Administration's Detroit District Office identified possible Salmonella contamination. The food was manufactured by a third-party manufacturer for PMI. 
    The lot number is printed on the lower back side of the bag in a white box on the right-hand side. The lot number will be preceded by a time stamp that will be unique to each bag. The lot number and best-by date impacted by this recall are as follows:
    Best by 05 06 14 
    096 13 SM L2 1A (lot number) 
    The UPC code for the recalled product is: 7 42869 00058 5. No other products/lot numbers are affected by the recall, according to PMI.
    The product was sold through dealers to customers distributed in the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

FDA extends comment period deadline for FSMA animal food rule

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the comment period deadline for the Food Safety Modernization Act's (FSMA) proposed animal food rule from February 26 to March 31, according to the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA).
    In November 2013, AFIA, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), National Renderers Association and Pet Food Institute submitted a joint letter to FDA requesting an extension on the comment period deadline for the animal food rule comment period.
    AFIA said the comment period deadline extension will give the organization valuable time to further review and submit comments to the agency. It is unlikely, however, that FDA will grant extensions for other FSMA proposed rules due to a strict court-mandated timeline.
    "We'd celebrate this victory, but there's little time to do so with the work still ahead of us in preparing comments for these massive rules, the foreign supplier verification proposed rules and third-party certification proposed rules for which comments are due January 27," said AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, Richard Sellers. "In addition, FDA has published proposed rules for the veterinary feed directive program due March 11.
    We're very appreciative that FDA granted our request and will continue to work alongside of the agency as we wade through the rules."
    AFIA FSMA Working Groups met January 16-17 in Tampa, Florida, USA, to answer more than 40 questions presented by FDA in the proposed rules for the FSMA animal food rule. Eight sub-groups have been formed to focus on specific areas of the rule.
    AFIA spokeswoman Miranda McDaniel said the expectation of the meeting was to address a majority of the issue areas in the rules and leave with a large number of them resolved or nearing resolution.
    In addition, the appropriations bill report language supports FDA's decision to rewrite and seek public comment on aspects of its proposed FSMA regulations.
    FDA is to be commended for its recent decision to revise language in proposed rules affecting farmers including changes to proposed regulations regarding water quality standards and testing, the use of raw manure and compost, mixed use facilities, and qualified exemptions, the report said.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nestlé Purina PetCare acquires Zuke’s treat company

    Zuke's Performance Pet Nutrition has become part of Nestlé Purina PetCare, the companies announced. Zuke's and its employees will continue to be operated as an independent company based in Durango, Colorado, USA. Zuke's will continue creating and producing dog and cat treats in the same facilities.
    "I'm personally so pleased that Zuke's is now a part of the Nestlé Purina family. Their understanding of Zuke's core mission of fostering an active and healthy lifestyle for pets and pet parents alike, their commitment to keeping Zuke's and its employees in Durango as an independent operation, and their ability to help grow the Zuke's brand in the pet specialty marketplace were important factors in partnering with Nestlé Purina," said founder, Patrick Meiering.
    John Hart, president of Zuke's, added: "I joined the Zuke's team in 2010 with the goal of growing the Zuke's brand while staying true to its authentic roots and history. We achieved that goal and are excited to continue and accelerate that growth in pet specialty with our new partnership."

Monday, January 27, 2014

AFIA to sponsor 13 feed-related events in 2014

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) will sponsor 13 feed-related events in 2014. The meetings will kick off in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, with the International Production & Procession Expo (IPPE), co-hosted with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and American Meat Institute, and end in Palm Springs, California, USA, at AFIA's annual Equipment Manufacturers Conference. 
    Some meetings to be held in 2014 will be co-sponsored by Kansas State University (KSU) as part of an on-site program developed in 1976 between the association and the university. A second partnership between AFIA and FAMI-QS will provide an Awareness in Feed Safety program.
    "AFIA events provide members and industry representatives with knowledge on topics that they may not be able to easily access anywhere else," said Veronica Rovelli, AFIA director of meetings and events. "We spend countless hours planning conferences that attendees will find worthwhile and want to return to year after year. It is exciting to kick off another strong programming year full of networking and learning opportunities for the industry."
    AFIA also expects to add programs in 2014 to address the needs of members around the area of Food Safety Modernization Act implementation and the biannual Import & Export Seminar.

Frito Lay, Kraft among presenters at Packaging Conference 2014

    Speakers from Frito Lay North America and Kraft Foods will share their packaging strategy, design and innovation expertise at The Packaging Conference 2014. On the supplier side, BP Amoco Chemical Company will discuss new polyester technology advancements.
    Two senior Frito Lay packaging and R&D professionals, Garry Kohl and David Lestage, PhD, will discuss how internal resources are leveraged to deliver the desired consumer experience.  The speakers will share how the R&D packaging "push" is turned into marketing "pull" using transformational formats.
    Peter Borowski, head of design for Kraft Foods Group Inc. and the visionary behind the MiO launch, will lead a panel discussion on "Why Integrating 2D and 3D thinking into the developmental process is needed today."  The advantages of an integrated packaging design approach will be presented with the goals of faster-to-market, higher efficiencies and under the least amount of stress.
    Luis Sierra, president, BP Amoco Chemical Company, will offer his insights on how the company's latest technology advancements will impact global packaging innovation.
    The Packaging Conference also will feature for the first time a Latin American session to provide a forum for dialog between brand owners and suppliers who are supporting the Latin American marketplace.
    The event will be held February 3-5 in Orlando, Florida, USA, at the Rosen Shingle Creek.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Global Food Safety Initiative recognizes scope extension for feed

    The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) board of directors has announced that SQF has successfully added the scope of feed to the scopes for which they have already achieved recognition against the GFSI Guidance Document Sixth Edition.
    This is the first GFSI-recognized scheme to cover the scope of feed, which includes the production of animal feed and the processing of petfood products. The GFSI benchmark committee for the scope extension was led by Kevin Swoffer, director of KPS Resources Ltd, who was joined by Marc Cwikowski, director of quality and food safety strategy for The Coca-Cola Company and Bizhan Pourkomailian, food safety and supplier workplace accountability director for McDonald's Europe.
    "One of the aims of GFSI is to provide solutions for the food industry from farm to fork," said Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart and vice-chair of the GFSI board. "We are delighted that there is now an option for operators in this sector of the supply chain who wish to be certified against a GFSI-recognized scheme." 
    According to LeAnn Chuboff, senior technical director of SQFI, SQF's inclusion of animal feed and petfood production further demonstrates how the program is truly a farm-to-fork certificate solution. "We are encouraged that the SQF code continues to be flexible enough to meet the needs of the industry by strategically augmenting the scope of SQF and thereby ensuring a safer supply chain," said Chuboff.

Dog owners purchasing premium petfood in spite of economy

    Dog owners continue to buy premium petfood in spite of the current economic climate, according to a survey conducted by online pet supplies store GJW Titmuss. The survey results indicate that 74% of dog owners purchase top-quality, premium petfood products. Twenty-eight percent of owners buy specialty food for their dogs due to skin problems, weight issues, sensitive stomachs or old age.
    The questionnaire indicated that "quality" over "cost" is the most important factor when choosing suitable dog food-61% chose quality while 9% chose cost and 7% chose brand. Other key findings:
    • 85% of people who purchase from GJW solely use the Internet to purchase petfood; 15% purchase both online and in stores; less than 1% purchase directly from veterinarians
    • Chicken (60.9%) and lamb (36.32%) were the most popular flavors of dog food; duck (8.33%) and rabbit (7.08%) were the least common
    • 81.66% of people purchase treats for their dogs
    • 94% of dog owners believe their dog is of "average" weight

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Uniqair, Purdue University odor lab develop odor sampling procedure

    A special odor sampling procedure with nitrogen dilution has been developed by Uniqair and Purdue University's odor lab for odor samples with high humidity from fishfeed and petfood dryers.
    The nitrogen will preserve the odor and prevent condensation for more accurate odor concentration test results, according to the developers. Unlike VOC testing, the odor lab utilizes human noses of screened panel members with odor sensing capabilities that reflect the average person. Odor samples are diluted until detection threshold; the required number of dilution is the odor concentration: DT (detection threshold) or ou/m3 (odor units per cubic meter).
    Some petfood recipes with high fat and protein content can have high odor concentrations in the (untreated) air from the dryers of 100,000 DT or ou/m3. This means it needs a stack dilution of 100,000 to ground level. Fish feed generally has even more odor, so for fishfeed or petfood containing fish, a plasma injector with more energy capacity is applied to oxidize these odors.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Petfood industry discusses improvements for safety

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s latest proposal, a rule that includes preventive controls for petfood and animal feed, is a hotly debated topic in the petfood industry. The rule, required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), would require equal processing standards at all facilities manufacturing, processing, packing or holding animal feed and petfood, including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and risk-based preventive controls. Whether the industry thinks the rule needs modification, a closer look (most of the industry is vying for a longer comment period) or is good as-is, no one is arguing that petfood safety is an important topic.
    Coming from the discussions, according to Food Safety News, are 10 changes in particular that the industry believes would improve petfood safety:
    • Adopt a greater overall focus on product safety, even if this means using human food manufacturing standards for petfood.
    • Make sure a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)-certified staffer is present at petfood manufacturing facilities to help avoid safety problems.
    • Increase safety education training to increase general awareness of potential problems.
    • Be practical about the lowest level of bacterial or pathogen contamination that can be achieved.
    • Require environmental testing and finished product testing, even though FDA removed them from its proposed rule.
    • Enforce final safety standards on foreign suppliers as well as domestic ones. FDA is already proposing to require "good manufacturing practice in manufacturing, processing, packing and holding of animal food" for both domestic and foreign suppliers.
    • Share information on cross-contamination issues between people and pets.
    • Reduce or eliminate China-sourced ingredients from petfood.
    • Encourage proactive approaches to FDA compliance, including regular facility audits and product testing.
    • Enhance labeling requirements to make sure stated ingredients are actually in the product at the level and quality advertised.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

UK group studies ethical quality of petfood companies

    The UK-based Ethical Company Organization has researched the ethical quality of the dog and cat food sector and published its findings in The Good Shopping Guide.
    A large percentage of petfood brands received high index scores, making the petfood sector one of the highest ranking sectors for ethics.
    Lily's Kitchen scored highest, with an index score of 100, followed by Yarrah (95) and Burns Pet Nutrition (91). Other brands evaluated include Mars' brand, Whiskas; Eukanuba and Iams from P&G Petcare; and Friskies, Felix and Bakers Complete from Nestlé.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mexico introduces 16 percent petfood tax

    Mexico introduced a 16 percent tax on processed petfood on January 1. The tax will be applied at the retail level.
    In proposing the tax, government officials called pet ownership a "recreational activity," not a basic need.
    The tax will not apply to feed for horses, because the government is exempting livestock feed in an effort to support the agricultural sector of the economy.

Friday, January 17, 2014

P&G expected to remain in pet supplies sector in 2014

    Procter & Gamble (P&G) is not expected to exit the pet supplies sector in 2014, according to Damian Shore, analyst at market research institute Euromonitor International.
    Notwithstanding the negative sales trend in 2013, when the company had to instigate product recalls in the US for its brands Natura (in the first quarter) and Iams and Eukanuba (in the summer), the company achieved annual growth rates of 2% between 2008 and 2013, according to Euromonitor. This was more than in the home care field and no worse than in the beauty and personal care segment.
    In the US, according to Shore, P&G remains a strong premium brand with a market share of 19% in 2012. It needs to gain ground in emerging markets such as Latin America and eastern Europe.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Aller Petfood to acquire Turkish petfood company

    Aller Petfood will take over the management of the Turkish petfood company Petfood Sanayi Ve Ticaret. The takeover is part of the Aller Petfood strategy 2013-18. 
    Henriette Bylling, CEO of Aller Petfood, says: "With this transfer of management, we produce in-and hence also service-three important geographical areas. The EU market through the Danish plant, Russia and the CIS countries through our two Russian production facilities and now also Turkey and the MENA countries."
    Previously, Aller Petfood established business with companies in the Turkish market such as supermarket chain, Migros, which it estimates to account for 60 percent of total sales of petfood in the supermarket channel in Turkey. Aller will also take over supplying to online retailer Hepsiburid, as well as pet trade distributors Global and Beta, and brands including Buddy and Pets Choice.
    Bylling said: "It is important to me that we have the same spirit in all divisions as with regards to quality. I will not say that I hold the golden recipe for success in all markets, but I will admit that we are going to use all the experience that has led to our success in Russia, to expand the business in Turkey. There is a lot of knowledge and know-how to be shared among the personnel in Denmark, Russia and Turkey. We are truly an international player."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Petco, Blue Buffalo hold pet weigh-in challenge

    Pet supply chain Petco is hosting, and Blue Buffalo pet products is sponsoring, the "Pounds for Pounds" weigh-in challenge through January 26.
    The goal of the challenge is to educate pet parents on what a healthy weight is for their pets and to raise funds for animal groups across the country, according to Petco. Pet owners can bring their dog or cat to any Unleashed by Petco location across the USA to be weighed using a special in-store pet scale. Store associates will track the number of pounds weighed from January 4 to January 26, 2014, and once a store reaches 5,000 pounds, it will donate $500 to a local animal group of their choice. With 103 stores, that's over $51,000 of potential funds nationwide, according to the company.
    Unleashed by Petco's associates will also offer advice on weight management and nutrition to participating pets:
    • Before starting a weight-loss program, visit a veterinarian to find out a pet's ideal weight.
    • Pet parents are usually unaware that their pets' food portion sizes are too large, so portion control is key.
    • Break down meals into two to four small portions throughout the day to trick pets into feeling like they're eating more.
    • Serve high-protein and low-fat food to keep pets full, and remember that treats should be no more than 10% of caloric intake.
    • Pets should exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
    • Keep an eye on pets' behavior when on a weight-loss program.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

FDA to change proposed preventive-control human food safety rules under FSMA

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it is planning major changes to its proposed produce and preventive-control rules for human food as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
    Provisions to be changed include those regarding water quality standards and testing, raw manure and compost, mixed-use facilities and exemptions for certain farms, the agency said.
    "We have heard the concern that these provisions, as proposed, would not fully achieve our goal of implementing the law in a way that improves public health protections while minimizing undue burden on farmers and other food producers," stated Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.
    FDA expects the proposed changes will be finalized by early summer. The agency said it will seek additional public comment once changes are completed.
    "Because this is such a complex regulatory structure, trying to regulate a very broad diverse produce industry with so many types of farms and operations, it is the wisest course to release a second round" of proposed rules, said Ray Gilmer, vice president of issues management and communications at United Fresh.

Attend free webinar on using water to manage petfood safety, quality

    Register for the free webinar, Using water activity to manage safety and quality, which will be held Wednesday, January 15 at 10 a.m. CT.
    Most petfood products have a "moisture sweet spot" - an ideal range that maximizes quality and profit while keeping the product safe from mold and microbes. Water activity is the best way to find that sweet spot - and monitor to make sure you always produce to that specification.
    What you'll learn:
    • How to identify a petfood product's "moisture sweet spot"
    • How testing can reveal a product's moisture secrets
    • How to use water activity to maximize safety, quality, and profit in your products
    The speaker for this webinar is Brady Carter, a senior research scientist at Decagon since 2004.
    This webinar is sponsored by Decagon and presented by WATT Global Media.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Morris Animal Inn offering dog weight loss camp January 13-17

    Morris Animal Inn
    Dogs can start getting in shape at the Canine Cardio and Fitness Camp.
    Morris Animal Inn is encouraging pet owners to help their pets get in shape in 2014 by offering a weight loss and fitness camp for dogs. The luxury pet spa and resort is offering Canine Cardio and Fitness Camp from January 13-17.
    The program is designed to keep dogs active, stimulated and stress-free, with treadmill trots, aerobic swim sessions in the indoor pool, nature hikes, "Doga" (yoga for dogs), massages, nutritious homemade treats and more. Program offerings will be individually tailored to meet the particular needs of each dog, with some sessions overseen by a personal trainer and others offered in a group setting.
    "Canine Fitness Camp helps dogs kick off the New Year with a fitness routine that will promote better health with exercise, stimulation and a bit of relaxation," said Joanne Morris, vice president of Morris Animal Inn. "If a dog needs to shed some pounds, this is a great way to get started because the dogs are motivated by the fun activities."
    Morris Animal Inn recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion that doubled its size. The facility offers a heated indoor pool, whirlpool, pet suites with soothing music and videos, indoor and outdoor play areas, pampering and activities packages, daily maid and room service, Happy Hour with homemade pet treats and more. Perimeter fencing encloses the facility.
    Reservations for the Canine Cardio and Fitness Camp can be made in advance for a day or week by calling +1.973.539.0377. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lincoln Bark releases new dog treat animated video

    Lincoln Bark recently released its third original animated video, a 27-second clip featuring the story of dog-shaped shadow puppets, Larry and Stan, casually chatting about Lincoln Bark's chia-powered dog treats. 
    Titled Lincoln Bark: The Talk of the Town, this video is part of a series of clips designed and animated by Lincoln Bark's in-house graphic design and animation departments. The Chicago, Illinois, USA-based animators are partnering with Lincoln Bark's president, Bobbye Cochran, to create entertaining and educational videos that help tell the company's story. 
    Lincoln Bark plans to release more original animated videos in 2014. "The next video we're working on will introduce our newest dog treat. We can't wait for the big reveal," says Cochran.
    Each of the upcoming videos will be released on Lincoln Bark's YouTube channel.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

FDA, USDA approve new food processing aid against Salmonella

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on December 30 the approval of SALMONELEX as a "GRAS" (Generally Recognized as Safe) food processing aid against Salmonella.
    The new product consists of natural phages against Salmonella and is produced by Micreos of The Netherlands. The company confirms that industrial scale projects with US poultry processors will start in January 2014.
    According to a report published in December by USDA's Food Safety & Inspection Services (FSIS), Salmonella contributes most to the FSIS's "All-Illness" performance measure and Salmonella illness estimates have continued at a steady high or slightly increased rate, despite FSIS interventions.
    According to Micreos' CEO Mark Offerhaus: "Now that the FDA and USDA have given the green light, we can offer food processors a new and natural solution against Salmonella, including antibiotic resistant strains. SALMONELEX is seen as a very elegant solution as it targets only Salmonella and has no other effect on the treated food product, neither in taste, nor texture. Following the successful launch of LISTEX against Listeria, we are now further expanding the 'green' arsenal of weapons against foodborne pathogens. Given the prevalence of Salmonella in raw poultry, we expect poultry processors to be the first and largest users of SALMONELEX." 
    According to Dirk de Meester, business development manager for Micreos: "Research has shown that SALMONELEX does not dissipate in the presence of protein. Thus, the product enables processors to reduce the use of chemicals and reach Salmonella in places where antimicrobial chemicals are ineffective, for example in follicles which close when exposed to cold water in a chiller."

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

FDA releases sixth proposed rule under FSMA

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 20 released the sixth rule pertaining to the Food Safety Modernization Act. The proposed rule, Focused Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food against Intentional Adulteration, would require registered domestic and foreign food facilities to address hazards that may be intentionally introduced by acts of terrorism.
    Animal food is one of several exemptions listed by FDA in the proposed rule.
    "It is our understanding that under FDA's risk-based approach, animal feed and petfood were given an exemption from this rule because of their significantly reduced risk of causing intentional harm to human health," said Leah Wilkinson, American Feed Industry Association (AFIA)'s director of ingredients, petfood and state affairs. "AFIA agrees with FDA's conclusion and will work with our members to provide comments on this proposed rule."
    The intentional adulteration rule is published in the December 24 Federal Register. FDA plans to host a public meeting in regards to the rule in College Park, Maryland, USA, on February 20, 2014. Comments on the proposed rule are due March 31, 2014. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bravo! raw petfood brand launches interactive training program

    Bravo!, a manufacturer of raw diets for dogs and cats, recently launched an interactive training program accessible through the company's website. This program was designed to provide distributor sales representatives, retail store associates and product demonstration teams with knowledge to inform shoppers about the benefits of the company's petfood and treats.
    After viewing a 10-minute video session and completing a 15-question quiz, successful test takers will receive a personalized certificate of completion plus a complimentary US$15 Starbucks gift card.  
    "This program was developed to help sales professionals become more knowledgeable about our line, so they can detail pet parents about the many benefits of the Bravo! product lineup and answer frequently asked questions with confidence," said Michelle Carter, Bravo! vice president of sales.
    The Bravo! online sales training program can be accessed from personal computers as well as mobile devices.
    "This is just the first of many new programs Bravo! will be launching over the coming months to grow sales for our distributor and retail partners," Carter said. To learn more, please contact the company's customer service team at +1.866.922.9222.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Purina ONE, GOOD name winner of Hero Pets challenge

    Wally, a Retriver, was voted as winner of the Hero Pets challenge.
    Purina ONE and GOOD named the winner of the Hero Pets GOOD Maker challenge, which celebrated the amazing impact pets can make in a person's life. Kathy Howard and her Retriever, Wally, were selected among 15 finalists by the GOOD community.
    Howard and her dog won coupons for a year's supply of Purina ONE dog food and a donation of US$5,000 will be made to Support Dogs Inc.
    Wally graduated from the Touch Therapy program at Support Dogs in 2007. For the past six years, the dog has been a comforting pal at a local high school and hospital. Every two weeks during the school year, Wally visits Northview, a special education high school just outside St. Louis, Missouri, USA. When not visiting with the high school students, Wally spends time with Howard at Children's Hospital in St. Louis, visiting with children in the oncology unit.
    "I am a nurse and have always believed in the power of animal therapy," says Howard. Another motivating reason for Howard to train Wally to become a therapy dog came from her mother's battle with Alzheimer's. "She could not remember my name, but she would speak fondly of the cats and dogs that the pet lady brought to her nursing home."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Public tries to understand how to comply with FSMA animal food rule

    A recent Food Safety News article captures reaction to the three public meetings held by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late November and early December in College Park, Maryland, USA; Chicago, Illinois, USA; and Sacramento, California, USA, to discuss the animal food preventive controls rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
    The first meeting in College Park was attended mostly by organizations already familiar with FSMA, incuding the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), the International Warehouse Logistics Association and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
    According to Dan McChesney, director of FDA's Office of Surveillance and Compliance, the two subsequent meetings were attended more by those responsible for putting the rule into operation than industry associations.
    "The interesting thing is, as we've gotten closer to where the people are making the products, you'll see a change in the questions," McChesney said. "[They] go from the bigger picture down to 'here's to what I do in my facility, what am I going to have to do?'"
    In the article, McChesney pointed to three themes from all of the public meetings: time for implementation, company-specific situations, and the relationship between human and animal food.
    Ultimately, the people showing up for the meetings are "just trying to understand how to comply and what they need to do," McChesney said.
    Read the full Food Safety News article online. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

ADM to establish global headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA

    Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), a supplier of petfood ingredients, has selected Chicago, Illinois, USA, as the location for its global headquarters and customer center.
    "While we considered other global hubs, Chicago emerged as the best location to provide efficient access to global markets while maintaining our close connections with US farmers, customers and operations," said ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz. "Chicago also provides an environment where we can attract and retain employees with diverse skills, and where their family members can find ample career opportunities.
    "In keeping with our intention to establish our global center in a cost-effective manner, we expect to locate a small corporate team of about 50 to 75 employees in the new center," said Woertz.
    In addition, Woertz said that ADM will now evaluate alternative sites for its new information technology and support center, where it expects to locate about 100 new IT jobs. The company said it will continue to consider potential locations for the IT center in several states and expects to make a decision by mid-year 2014.
    Woertz said that one of the options the company considered was a comprehensive plan that would have established both a larger global headquarters and the information technology center in one location and included state government support and multi-year commitments to stakeholders. However, that plan could not be realized within ADM's timeframe. "We decided to move forward in the way that best meets our organizational objectives," said Woertz.
    ADM expects that it will continue to have a significant presence in Decatur, Illinois, USA, which will be designated the company's North American headquarters. The company does not plan any layoffs in connection with the move to a new global center.
    "We appreciate the interest and support expressed by many civic and governmental leaders as we have considered a variety of options for our new global center," said Woertz. "We look forward to finalizing the selection of a site in Chicago soon and to accelerating the selection of a suitable location for our IT center."