Thursday, July 31, 2014

AIB International to conduct HACCP online course

    AIB International has announced the rollout of its HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) online course. The course is designed to provide practical, relevant instruction in an accessible, self-paced, online format, according to organizers.
    “This new course includes timely, current examples, delivered on an eLearning platform, that allows participants to pace themselves, assess learning throughout the duration of the course and return to content as needed,” said Stephanie Lopez, vice president, food safety services innovation. “This course is deeply technical, yet easy to understand. Assessment and evaluation now takes place throughout the course, which is better from a learning perspective.”
    The course will review the history and background of HACCP and provide an understanding of HACCP plan development including the seven principles of HACCP, prerequisite programs and forms and reports used.
    The course provides hands-on, practical HACCP knowledge, more than a theoretical understanding. Graduates will be prepared to participate on a HACCP team and meet the training requirements for audits. Course participants will have 60 days to complete the course, at their own pace. Certificates of completion and Continuing Education Units are provided on successful completion of the course.
    Topics covered include:
    • History of HACCP
    • Overview of HACCP
    • Prerequisite programs
    • Biological, chemical, and physical hazards
    • The seven principles of HACCP
    • HACCP plan development
    • Deviation reports
    • Validation

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Champion Petfoods USA breaks ground in Kentucky

    Champion Petfoods USA broke ground in Logan County, Kentucky, on July 23, 2014, opening its first US kitchen which will be sourced by local farmers. The Canada-based company specializes in biologically appropriate petfoods using fresh local ingredients.
    “We welcome Champion Petfoods to the Commonwealth,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “Not only will the company create 147 jobs and invest US$85 million, it also will provide a significant boost to our local farmers and Kentucky’s food production industry. I look forward to seeing this Kentucky-made product on store shelves throughout the region.”
    The facility is expected to be operational in 2016. “We found the perfect location to prepare our biologically appropriate foods made from fresh regional ingredients in the US,” said Frank Burdzy, Champion’s president and CEO. “Access to local farmers, growers and producers will allow our new Kentucky kitchen to advance our biologically appropriate mandate.”

Renske Natural Petfood gains new shareholders

    Renske Natural Petfood BV/Renske Natuurlijke Diervoeding, a Dutch family company and producer of natural petfood for dogs and cats, has two new shareholders.
    Eric, son of Renske and Jan van den Berg, and Frank van Zutphen both bought a part of the shares and now participate in the management team. Eric van den Berg has already worked with the family company for years and said he is looking forward to implementing his ideas for the company with the team.
    Former director of Vobra Special Petfoods van Zutphen will be primarily engaged with national and international sales. At the end of 2014, the company plans to expand its products with a new line of dry petfood.

New trademark rights in Russia to open doors for small petfood manufacturers

    The Federation Council in Russia is set to amend the Civil Code to grant equal rights to manufacturers who wish to use product images on their packaging. This will not only create wider opportunities for new brands, but will cause a shift in market trends among Russian consumers, according to research firm Canadean.
    The Council plans to amend the intellectual property protocol by protecting local producers against companies with registered trademarks using similar branding. Currently manufacturers with exclusive trademark hold the right to refuse market entry to competitors' products, demand the withdrawal of already produced goods and seek compensation for any damage done.
    Canadean says that the new amendments proposed by the Council, if acquired, will change the FMCG markets rules in Russia. This will create better conditions for smaller businesses and new entrants. However, the number of companies taking inspiration from each other is set to increase, and more consumers will shift from the original label to a different manufacturer. According to Veronika Zhupanova, analyst at Canadean, “This is highly likely to work well for the consumers, as increased competition can lead to a greater array of choice allowing consumers to choose products that align specifically with their needs.”
    To counteract this, manufacturers would need to adjust their marketing strategies and increase consumer connection with the brands. “This will push aside already established FMCG brands, who have started to get comfortable in innovating further the formulation and positioning of their products, and create new and more engaging advertising campaigns, attracting consumers and strengthening their connection to the brand,” says Zhupanova.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Woof Gang Products launches private label pet products

    Woof Gang Products and Distribution has announced a new line of private label products that will be available exclusively at Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming locations in eight states across the US, beginning in July 2014. 
    The Woof Gang product line includes premium-quality pet products such as gourmet baked dog treats, antlers and bones that are sourced and packaged in the US. Select chews are sourced from top suppliers in Brazil and Colombia.
    Woof Gang Products provides hand-picked products designed for optimum health and well-being of pets, according to the company. Woof Gang Products are natural, free of by-products and do not include fillers such as corn or soy. Most of the products also are wheat-free. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund receives US$40,000 Petco grant

    The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund has been awarded a US$40,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to fund treatment grants for dogs and cats fighting cancer.
    The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing canine and feline cancer. Although the Fund accepts applications internationally, the majority of treatment grants are offered to applicants in the US. Since 2007, The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund has helped more than 150 dogs and cats get cancer treatment, and has increased its maximum grant amount from US$700 per pet per annum to the current maximum of US$1,500 per pet per annum.
    The Petco Foundation grant will be used to increase the number of pets who receive grants in 2014, along with increasing the maximum grant amount per pet per annum. “We are honored to be chosen as a Petco Foundation grant recipient for a second time,” said Chris Meiering, vice president and founder of The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund. “This funding will allow us to help another 25–30 dogs and cats get the treatment they need to fight cancer.”

Petfood Forum 2015 exhibitor registration open

    Petfood Forum 2015 exhibitor registration is now open, according to show organizers. Attendee registration and housing will open in October 2014.
    The annual event for the petfood manufacturing industry continues to grow, and has a new home in Kansas City in 2015. With multiple learning sessions from industry experts, networking opportunities and more than 100,000 square feet of exhibits, PFF is the prime opportunity to see and be seen by industry buyers and influencers.
    An exhibit booth includes:
    • One 10’x10’ booth with carpet, 8’ high backdrape, 36” high side rails and 6’ skirted table, 2 side chairs, company identification sign and waste basket.
    • Full registration for one person to attend Petfood Forum Sessions.
    • Company logo and description in Program Guide and mobile app.
    • Reduced rates for Additional Booth/Company Representative at Petfood Forum.
    Booth space sold out in 2013 and 2014, so register now to reserve your spot!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rachael Ray 'Shelter Cats Are Beautiful' tour to promote adoption

    Daytime television host and author Rachael Ray and her petfood brand Nutrish have announced a nationwide tour to “make over” cats in various shelters with the hopes of increasing adoptions.
    In partnership with’s One Picture Saves A Life program, Rachael Ray Nutrish will take the “Shelter Cats are Beautiful” tour to 16 cities across the US and offer professional grooming and photography services to capture the full beauty and personality of cats in need of adoption. The program will also provide shelters with the necessary tips, tools and equipment to groom and capture best possible photographs of shelter pets in the future.
    The program helps celebrate the launch of Rachael Ray Nutrish‘s new line of natural food for cats, which is now available in stores nationwide. Proceeds from the sale of Rachael Ray Nutrish go to help animal support organizations—which has resulted in more than US$6.5 million in donations to date.
    Rachael Ray will kick off the national tour with an event in New York City on July 11. Then the “Shelter Cats are Beautiful” tour will continue throughout the summer, rolling through: Bentonville, Buffalo, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Antonio. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dave's Soda & Pet City owner to lobby in DC with National Retail Federation

    Dave Ratner, owner of Massachusetts-based Dave's Soda & Pet City, will join other members of the National Retail Federation (NRF) in Washington, D.C. for the association's annual Retail Advocates Summit on July 29–30, 2014.
    Ratner is on the board, and will be speaking to US senators and the House of Representatives about "Main Street Fairness," a proposal to require Internet retailers to charge sales tax. According to the NRF, passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act could lead to a US$563 billion increase in gross domestic product and 1.5 million new jobs by 2022 by stimulating the retail sector.
    Ratner also plans to talk about reforming the corporate income tax. He, like other NRF members in small business, said he wants the overall corporate tax rate lowered and the loopholes done away with.
    It's not a federal issue, but Ratner said he also plans to also talk minimum wage issues with the Massachusetts delegation. Massachusetts recently decided to raise the minimum wage gradually, to US$9 per hour in 2015, US$10 in 2016 and US$11 in 2017. The problem is if neighboring states don't follow with similar increases, said Ratner, a store in local East Longmeadow could be put at a disadvantage to a store in neighboring Enfield, Connecticut.
    Ratner is currently in the running to be named America's Retail Champion, a new program NRF created to recognize outstanding retail industry and small business advocates. The federation will name a champion during the summit.

Interzoo 2014 brings success to exhibitors, attendees

    From May 29 to June 1, 2014, 37,367 trade visitors from 128 countries gathered at Interzoo to source information on the latest petfood products, grooming aids and accessories for four-legged pets, birds, ornamental fish and terraria animals.
    “Almost all visitors (97%) described their participation as a success," said Herbert Bollhöfer, managing director of the Interzoo promoter Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH (WZF). "Nine out of ten exhibitors (92%) rated their participation extremely positively and praised the number and quality of the visitors."
    The international share of the exhibition increased from 2012: 82% of the exhibitors came from abroad. Altogether 1,698 companies (+10%) from 63 countries presented their products and services on a gross display area of 110,000 square meters. Besides Germany, the leading exhibiting nations were the People’s Republic of China, Italy, the US, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Poland and Spain.
    The visitors are also becoming increasingly international, according to show organizers: Whereas 65% of the trade visitors came from abroad in 2012, the 2014 figure rose to 69%. The countries with the largest shares of visitors were Germany with 11,643, Italy with 2,107, France with 1,316, Great Britain/Northern Ireland with 1,167, Spain with 1,163, Poland with 1,141, the Netherlands with 1,138 and the Russian Federation with 1,026 visitors. In total, 30,307 visitors came from Europe.
     Most of the specialists from outside Europe travelled from Asia (4,388), namely 3,336 from East Asia and 1,052 from the Middle East and Central Asia. In particular, the number of visitors from North America increased in 2014, namely to 1,006 admissions. 1,875 market players came from the whole of America. Africa was represented by 440 visitors at Interzoo, Australia and Oceania by 357.
    According to the show's visitor survey, almost all exhibition visitors (97%) were satisfied with the product spectrum at Interzoo 2014. Eighty-two percent of the experts said the exhibition had inspired them to use new products. The information and contact opportunities at the exhibition also lived up to the expectations of more than 97% of the visitors.
    Fifty-five percent of the visitors came to Interzoo with the aim of updating on new products, some 42% planned to cultivate business contacts and 37% were looking for new business contacts. Around 36% wanted to get a general overview of the market and 31% were interested in exchanging views and information, according to the survey.
    The next Interzoo will take place in the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg, May 26–29, 2016.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mogiana Alimentos, Affinity Pet Care announce partnership

    Mogiana Alimentos and Spanish company Affinity Pet Care have joined together in a 50/50 partnership, according to the companies. The transaction included all petfood categories as well as the Campinas and Bastos plants. All brands of Mogiana Alimentos currently marketed in Brazil have been maintained. 
    Affinity, in its international expansion plan, was looking for petfood market opportunities in Brazil. Mogiana Alimentos' main competitive advantages that were decisive for this joint venture with Affinity were the full product portfolio and the company distribution capacity in Brazil. Mogiana Alimentos is a national company in the sector, which is fully professionalized and has empowered corporate governance practices.
    In the current organizational chart, Affinity is part of the Mogiana Alimentos board of directors. This joint venture has strengthened both companies, mainly to compete more vigorously in a market that is increasingly competitive. There are plans for the business expansion and growth in the petfood and pet care Brazilian marketsThose are they key factors that will bring several opportunities to the employees, consumers and business partners of Mogiana Alimentos, said the company.

International Pet Conference to highlight 'excellence in business'

    Top-notch speakers from the pet business are expected to come together at the International Pet Conference on October 7–8, 2014, in Berlin, Germany. The conference will highlight "excellence in business," according to show organizers.
    As in the past, the 2014 conference is being organized jointly by PET worldwide, the trade journal published by Germany-based Dähne Verlag, and Management Forum. The previous conference, which focused on current trends in the sector, attracted around 170 delegates.
    “Excellence in business. Looking for new approaches to success” has been chosen as the title of the conference. Key topics will include the future of the pet trade, multi-channel and cross-channel retailing concepts, better communication with consumers and brand strategies for the pet industry. The International Pet Conference aims to present numerous “best practice” models from the pet sector and also from other business sectors in which individual companies have succeeded in setting themselves apart from the competition with distinctive concepts.
    Speakers for the conference include Joe Watson (Petland), Torsten Toeller (Fressnapf), Mika Sutinen (Musti ja Mirri Group) and Gebhard Mang (Eheim). 
    One of the highlights of the 2014 conference will be the presentation of the PET Personality of the Year Award, which is intended to recognize a person who has helped to advance the international pet sector by their work and creativity. In the evening of the first conference day, the visitors will celebrate the 10th birthday of the “Heimtierkongress/International Pet Conference” in the Berlin TV Tower.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Italy petfood demand provides opportunity for US petfood manufacturers

    Roughly half of all Italian households have a dog or cat, according to the National Association of Manufacturers for Food and Care of Companion Animals (ASSALCO), and the increased importance of those pets to their families makes the petfood business in Italy a solid opportunity for US petfood manufacturers.
    In 2013, Italians spent €1.7 billion (US$2.3 billion) to feed their domestic animals, and imported €6 million (US$8.11 million) in petfood from the US. Dry dog food is the leading import, followed by wet cat food, according to country data. Demand for imported pet snacks and treats also exceeds local production.
    Italy is already the third-largest importer of petfood from the US, behind the UK and the Netherlands.

Buddy's Kitchen releases fresh prescription petfood diet

    Canada-based Buddy's Kitchen has created a fresh prescription petfood diet, FreshRx, which can only be found in veterinarians' offices in Ontario, Canada. 
    FreshRx is a fresh, frozen food for pets, and contains no meat meals, artificial preservatives, by-products, grain, corn, wheat, soy or gluten, according to the company. FreshRx is a low-carbohydrate, protein-based diet with recipes containing 70% fresh, Canadian, human-grade cuts of beef, chicken or salmon. Buddy's Kitchen gently cooks the meats while maintaining the integrity of nutrients within the meats. After the meats have cooled, the company adds legumes, fruits and vegetables that are locally sourced in Ontario, as well as a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, prebiotics and probiotics to ensure the needs of today’s modern dog are met.
    FreshRx is a balanced maintenance diet, but FreshRx can also be used as a supplement over a preferred kibble diet, to add nutrients, variety and increased palatability, says Buddy's Kitchen.
     FreshRx comes packaged into 4.5-oz nutrient dense patties that are frozen to preserve their natural freshness. The thaw and serve patties come individually wrapped, and are sold in bags of 12 patties.

Dr. Tim's Pet Food Company sponsors Michigan animal shelter

    Dr. Tim's Pet Food Company is the official food sponsor for the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter (UPAWS) in Marquette, Michigan.
    All residents of UPAWS will eat Dr. Tim's Chase Cat Food and Kinesis Dog Food while at the shelter. UPAWS averages about 1,900 adoptions per year, requiring approximately 1,000 pounds of food per month. Dr. Tim's has been the food sponsor for UPAWS for the last four years and will continue to do so in the future, according to the company.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Total Pet Expo 2014 to take place in larger exhibition hall

    Backer’s 48th Annual Total Pet Expo in Chicago/Rosemont, Illinois, will feature a new one-floor layout in a larger exhibition hall for the 2014 show on September 19–21 and for the 2015 event.
    “The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center’s premier 23.200 m² hall recently became available for both the 2014 and 2015 fall shows, so we decided to make the move,” said Colette Fairchild, the show’s director. “Moving to one floor makes the show much easier to navigate, while allowing us more flexibility for our special interest areas such as our education stations and speciality pavilions.”
    The 2015 show, originally scheduled for September 18–20, will be put back by one week to September 25–27 to avoid a date conflict with both the PIJAC Canada show and Groom Expo in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Petfood Forum Europe 2015 call for papers announced

    Petfood Forum Europe, the leading conference in Europe for the petfood industry, is seeking abstracts for oral presentations for its 2015 event, organizers have announced. Petfood Forum Europe 2015 will take place 10 June at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, in conjunction with Victam International 2015.
    Submissions to the call for papers for oral presentations are due November 1, 2014. The Petfood Forum Europe content advisory board is seeking noncommercial abstracts on the latest research and information on topics such as pet nutrition, the petfood market and petfood safety, processing, marketing, packaging, palatability and new product development. The topic should be original to Petfood Forum Europe 2015 and the information should be new and innovative. The submission must include evidence of past speaking experience.
    Visit for more information.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FDA warns against feeding pets raw diets

    Food poisoning isn’t only a human problem, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, which says that pets are also at risk if they eat foods that are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria. Two of these bacteria—Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes—are particularly dangerous to both pets and humans, says the FDA.
    Raw petfood consists primarily of meat, bones and organs that haven’t been cooked, and therefore are more likely than cooked food to contain organisms that can make a dog or cat sick, says William J. Burkholder, DVM, PhD, veterinary medical officer in the FDA’s Division of Animal Feeds. Moreover, raw food can make humans sick as well if it isn't handled properly. The FDA says it does not believe feeding raw petfoods to animals is consistent with the goal of protecting the public from significant health risks.
     The agency recommends cooking raw meat and poultry to kill harmful bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes before the food is given to pets. Burkholder says people who choose a raw diet for their pets often point out that feral dogs and cats catch prey and eat it raw. “That’s true,” he says, “but we don’t know how many of these animals get sick or die as a result of doing that. Since sick feral animals are rarely taken to a veterinarian when they’re ill, there’s no way to collect that information.”
    Consumers also run the risk of getting sick if they handle contaminated petfoods and accidentally transfer the bacteria to their mouths. “If you’re going to handle raw foods, you need to pay particular attention to good hygienic practices,” says Burkholder. “Wash your hands and anything else that comes into contact with the product with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.”
    Feeding raw food to a pet also increases the risk of contaminating food contact surfaces and other places. “Even if the dog or cat doesn’t get sick, they can become carriers of Salmonella and transfer the bacteria to their surroundings, and then people can get the disease from contact with the infected environment,” says Burkholder. Once Salmonella gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination will continue to spread.
    “Feeding raw foods to pets increases the risk that both the pet and the people around the pet will encounter bacteria that cause foodborne illness, particularly if the products are not carefully handled and fed,” says Burkholder. “This is certainly one factor that should be considered when selecting diets for your pet.” 

AFIA applauds FDA on FSMA animal food exemption proposal

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has submitted comments to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) applauding the agency's proposal to exempt animal food from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)'s intentional adulteration rule. The "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.
    AFIA said in its comments that there are significant differences between risks in human food and animal food, particularly when dealing with intentional adulteration, which is recognized by Congress in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. "What is nutritious for a ruminant cow may not be nutritious for a pig," said AFIA. "Sheep, for example, have an increased sensitivity to copper. Risk varies between humans and animals as well. For example, humans can be allergic to a host of things from peanuts to shellfish, while animals simply do not have this same risk."
    The creation of Section 420 in the FD&C Act states FSMA requires FDA to establish regulations for facilities to review the potential risk of intentional adulteration of food—further noted in Part C, this applies only to human food. "AFIA fully supports FDA's findings and proposed exemption of animal food in the intentional adulteration rule as we believe it is Congress' intent," said Richard Sellers, AFIA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs. "FDA has indicated the proposed rule's purpose is 'to protect food from intentional adulteration when the intent is to cause large-scale public harm' and AFIA firmly believes animal food has a significantly lower risk of impacting human health."
    The final rule on intentional adulteration will be published by May 31, 2016.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

FDA reopens comment period on Reportable Food Registry proposed rulemaking

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reopened the comment period for an additional 60 days on its advance notice of proposed rulemaking entitled, “Implementation of the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Amendments to the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) Provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” In the advance notice of proposed rulemaking, FDA requested comments, data and information that will help to implement the new provisions to the RFR requirements added by FSMA.
    The RFR is an electronic portal for industry to use to submit reports to FDA regarding reportable foods. A reportable food is an article of food (other than dietary supplements or infant formula) for which there is a reasonable probability that use of, or exposure to, such article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. On March 26, 2014, FDA published a Federal Register notice inviting comments on issues related to the FSMA amendments, including the following:
    • what information responsible parties should be required to provide FDA that would enable consumers to accurately identify whether they possess such foods
    • manners and locations used by grocery stores to provide food recall information to consumers
    • information regarding potential impacts to and costs incurred by chain grocery stores related to posting consumer notifications
    The agency is reopening the comment period based on a request for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit comments. You may comment electronically on using docket number FDA-2013-N-0590.

Starlinger donates 350kg dog food to Vienna animal shelter

    Starlinger & Co. Ges.m.b.H. has donated 28 sacks (350kg in total) of dry dog food to the Vienna Society for the Protection of Animals. The sacks known under the trade name PP*STAR were on display as an innovative packaging solution at interpack, held during May 2014 in Dusseldorf.
    Starlinger & Co.
    ‟Many of the visitors to our exhibit asked us what we were planning to do with the sacks—dog food isn’t exactly cheap," said Stéphane Soudais, head of Starlinger’s Consumer Bags Division. "We had made up our minds not to let it go to waste, and we wanted to see it distributed fairly. So we decided to donate it where it would be needed most. The Vienna SPA provides shelter and rescue to animals in need, and our donation will contribute to that effort." 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Vitakraft streamlining logistics in Europe

    Vitakraft is streamlining its logistics in Europe. The company, based in Bremen/Germany, has already slimmed down its logistics center for Holland and Belgium as well as Poland and the Czech Republic. In Croatia and Slovenia, the company is now working with general forwarding agents that have their own warehousing for Vitakraft products.
    Following the arrival of Deuerer as the main shareholder, Vitakraft has trimmed its range considerably in 2014 to around 2,000 instead of 3,000 articles. However, the company intends to continue operating as a full range supplier.

PMMI highlights FSMA perceptions, next steps in Food Safety & Traceability Report

    Many stakeholders across the food industry appear to be confused about implementation deadlines surrounding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), according to a recent study from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Compiled from 64 interviews with manufacturing professionals, the report details food manufacturers’ perceptions of FSMA, and how equipment manufacturers can best help them respond to the upcoming regulations.
    “Since 2011, FSMA has been a source of anticipation and anxiety for many food and beverage manufacturers," said Paula Feldman, director, Business Intelligence, PMMI. "The legislation can impact companies differently depending on their size and vertical market. Our aim with this study was to shed light on industry concerns and advise manufacturers on ways they can ensure compliance.”
    The study identifies the industries most affected by the anticipated rules. Fresh produce manufacturers are expected to see the greatest impact. Producers of baby food, infant formula and nutraceuticals will see little impact as they have already been subject to rigorous standards for preventative controls, traceability and sanitary equipment design. Industries overseen by the US Department of Agriculture are less likely to be impacted and juice, low-acid canned foods and seafood manufacturers are exempt.
    The report also expands on ways that manufacturers affected by FSMA can make strides towards compliance—whether they have one, two, three or four years to do so. These steps include reducing liability with greater traceability capabilities, evaluating equipment design for improved sanitary construction and easy cleaning, and training operators thoroughly and often.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bischof + Klein looks to further growth in 2014

    Bischof + Klein
    In 2013, Bischof + Klein invested in a new 3-ply blown film line.
    In 2014, packaging and film specialist Bischof + Klein (B+K) is anticipating sales growth of around 5%, enabling it to crack the 500-million-euro mark, according to the company.
    With a volume of around 30 million euros, the investment program is continuing the company's consistent modernization and extension of its production plants' capacity. Over the coming years, expansion of the plant in Bavaria's Konzell is on the agenda, among other aspects, said B+K. B+K Polska is extending its extrusion capacities and is aiming to achieve 50% production growth in the medium term. "Sustainability projects, e.g., for reducing the use of resources and consistently increasing productivity, are of particular importance to us," said Managing Director Dr. Volker Pfenning.
    In 2013, the B+K-GROUP achieved annual sales of just under 500 million euros with around 2,350 employees, some 1,900 of which are located in Germany. Throughout that year, the investment program focused on expanding extrusion and printing capacities as well as on energy efficiency measures at the German plants.
    The subsidiary companies also performed positively. B+K UK increased its flexographic printing production and was running at full capacity in 4-shift operation at the end of the year. A modern 8-color flexographic printing press, aimed at achieving growth in new markets, came online at B+K France. With a new extrusion building, B+K Polska created the prerequisites for further expansion of the plant. The multi-year contract with a major customer landed by the B+K Middle East Comp. participation (30%) and market growth in the region are ensuring full utilization of production capacity, which has now increased to more than 30,000 metric tons per year in Saudi Arabia, and are offering an adequate basis for further expansion, said the company. 

Dogswell launches 'Unleash the Happy' campaign to celebrate brand's 10th birthday

    Dogswell has launched its "Unleash the Happy" campaign in celebration of the company's 10th anniversary. The campaign will feature a series of videos highlighting "surprise and delight" moments to tackle everyday problems such as boredom, anxiety and stress.
    In the first video, captured on June 20, 2014, Dogswell unleashed the happy on an office of unsuspecting New Yorkers in honor of Take Your Dog To Work Day. "The link between healthy and happy dogs and happy people is real," said Dogswell CEO Brad Casper. "The Dogswell brand stands for food and treats that help dogs be at their healthiest and happiest and we're excited to unleash these dogs on unsuspecting humans in fun, unexpected ways." 

Pet supply retailer Petsense to open 100th location

    National pet supply retailer Petsense has completed construction and is preparing to open its 100th location, a 5000-square-foot retail space in Athens, Tennessee. The new location will cap a nearly decade-long streak of expansion and help set the stage for even faster growth over the next five years, according to the company.
    "It's been a tremendous nine years for Petsense; from our beginnings in our Scottsdale office when we had a notebook of ideas but zero stores, to our current footprint across America, we've been very fortunate to connect with millions of pet owners who have helped propel us forward," said President and CEO Bob Angstead. "I am proud to say that in what can generously be described as a tough macroeconomic environment, Petsense has consistently been a market leader in store count growth, overall sales growth and comparable store sales growth."

Monday, July 14, 2014

KSU offering extrusion short course, petfood workshop

    Kansas State University is offering the 10th Anniversary edition of its annual extrusion short course on August 5–8, 2014, in Manhattan, Kansas.
    "Extrusion Processing: Technology and Commercialization" will cover various aspects of extrusion processing, including technology, equipment, product development and sensory evaluation of new products. Products covered include snack foods, textured soy, breakfast cereal, rice analog, petfood and aquatic feed. Apart from learning about extrusion processing from experts in industry and academia, the short course will also focus on strategic business planning for processing companies with the help of faculty from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State.
    There will be hands-on and practical oriented lab sessions in which different products will be developed and evaluated both instrumentally and by using a consumer panel. One day of the short course will be reserved for visit to Sabetha, Kansas, which is home to major manufacturers of extruders and ancillary equipment.
    The short course is recommended for technical and managerial personnel in the food, petfood and feed industry and ingredient companies desiring training in fundamentals and operations, entrepreneurs who desire to set up a new extrusion-based food processing business, and researchers interested in updating themselves with the latest practices and trends in extrusion processing. In addition, the short course presents an excellent opportunity to develop useful contacts and network with industry people in the US and around the world who will be present as speakers or participants, according to organizers.
    In addition to the short course, there is an optional one-day petfood workshop being held on August 4. The workshop can be attended as a stand-alone participation or together with the extrusion short course. The Pet Food Workshop will consist of experts speakers from industry and academia in the area of pet nutrition and processing, and will provide the latest information on petfood ingredient trends, nutritional requirements for dogs and cats, specialty treats, sensory evaluation/palatability tests and safety/HACCP issues. It will also include a "capstone lab session" involving formulation exercises for petfood recipes.

Cardinal Pet Care revamps packaging for Full Life for Pets pet treats

    Cardinal Pet Care has revamped the packaging of its Full Life For Pets healthy pet treats. The company has given Full Life bags a new, updated logo and color scheme, designed to maximize impact on grocery shelves and create stronger branding among consumers.
    The new look pairs bright colors with a photo of a pet parent about to reward their excited dog. The updated, arch-shaped logo features an energetic dog making a leap. Just below the product name, the main text highlights the nutritious benefits of the treats inside. They also tell consumers what’s not inside to assure nutritionally aware shoppers that none of the ingredients will harm their pets. With images and color schemes closely tied together, the packages convey clearer branding, making them an easy find for customers, said Cardinal Pet Care.

Friday, July 11, 2014

'Look Who's Happy' brand canine treats to debut at 2014 SuperZoo

    After 28 years of specializing in the catfish and poultry processing business for petfood brands, the co-founders of Big Creek Foods will debut a new canine treat brand at 2014 SuperZoo in July. The Look Who’s Happy brand was created by brothers Jeff and Tommy Gay based on the beliefs that all dogs should be happy and that pet parents deserve to know who’s making the food and treats they feed their pets, according to the company.
    The brand will launch 12 SKUs comprised under three product lines: Fetch’n Fillets, Tempt’n Tenders and Happy Wraps. Look Who’s Happy privately owns their manufacturing facility and operates it according to US Food and Drug Administration food safety production guidelines, in addition to meeting far higher standards than what is required for commercial pet products. 
    Fetch’n Fillets are whole-muscle jerky treats packed with savory flavor made from naturally raised beef, cage-free chicken or grass-fed bison all sourced from the US—the grass-fed venison they use is sourced from a reputable New Zealand supplier. Tempt’n Tenders are made with US-raised, cage-free chicken and are available crusted with carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato or blueberry. Happy Wraps provide two tastes with every chomp since they’re made with US-raised, whole-muscle chicken or turkey fillets wrapped around slices of dry-roasted sweet potato or carrot.

Seawind Foods seeks to expand distribution of dehydrated fruits, vegetables, spices

    Seawind Foods, a producer and distributor of all-natural dehydrated fruits, vegetables and spices to industrial food processors, retailers and national consumer brands, has announced a new company structure and plans for expansion into new markets.
    Leading the initiatives are new management executives Garry Green (president and CEO) and Julie Swink (vice president of sales). The team is actively engaging with new wholesalers and distributors under the leadership of Swink. “The success and longevity of Seawind Foods is a result of a constant focus on innovation and quality,” said Green. “The Seawind leadership team sees tremendous opportunity to grow the business by expanding our product offering, and broadening our distribution channels and reach into new vertical markets.” 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

University of Alberta gets US$1.6 million for petfood extruder

    The University of Alberta is getting a US$1.6 million Wenger X-115 single-screw extruder to include as part of the school's new animal nutrition and ingredient development program. 
    The extruder processes meats and grains, and is capable of shearing cell walls, cooking, mixing, texturizing and shaping animal feed. Ingredients will be fed into the machine and treated with steam, friction and pressure, then squeezed through a die and cooled. Researchers will work with the industry to test combinations of ingredients, try to make kibble more palatable and healthy, increase its shelf life or improve the color.
    The federal government’s Western Economic Diversification program, the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Champion Petfoods and Elmira Pet Products are funding the extruder’s purchase. The machine, to be housed in the university’s Agri-Food Discovery Place, is a scaled-down version of industrial equipment and will be the only machine of its kind being used for research at a university in Canada.

Women in the Pet Industry Network accepting Women of the Year applications

    Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN), a pet industry organization focused on women who want to grow their businesses, is seeking nominations for the pet industry’s leading female professionals for their second annual Pet Industry Women of the Year Awards. The winners will be announced at WIPIN’s “All About Growth” Conference & Awards Show on August 15, 2014.
    “The Pet Industry Women of the Year Awards were designed to recognize the amazing females who dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of all pets—dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses and exotics—and their parents,” said Shawna Schuh, president of WIPIN. “The awards are a celebration of women who have devoted their lives to the pet industry and shine as beacons of women helping women and pets with passion.”
    Award categories include Solopreneur, Entrepreneur, Corporation, Advocate and Rising Star. Five finalists will be named in each category, and one overall Pet Industry Woman of The Year will be chosen from the 25 finalists. The Pet Industry Woman of the Year will receive an award package worth thousands of dollars in training and exposure.
    Nominations will be accepted through June 27, 2014, and the entry fee is $45 for WIPIN members and $85 for non-members.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Natura Pet Products to stop selling in Quebec

    Natura Pet Products has decided to stop selling its products in Quebec, Canada, due to the country's bilingual packaging requirements. The packaging changes would have been a costly undertaking for the company, said Manon Lapierre, communications manager for Proctor & Gamble Canada, Petcare.
    The brands affected are Innova, Evo, California Natural, HealthWise and Mother Nature. Pet stores in Quebec can keep selling whatever Natura pet products they have in stock, but no more will be ordered. Under the Product Labeling Act in Canada, all products being offered must have both official languages, French and English, on the packaging. In addition, in Quebec the French language must be prevalent.
    "It was just a necessity of business,” said Jason Taylor, a Natura spokesman. "We were not in a position to get bilingual labeling for all these products.” 

TurboPUP named official dog food of National Association for Search and Rescue

      TurboPUP founder and NASAR volunteer Kristina Guerrero and NASAR Executive Director Chris Boyer announced their partnership at the June NASAR Conference.
    TurboPUP has been named the official dog food for the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), according to the company.
    TurboPUP founder Kristina Guerrero (a Search & Rescue volunteer) and NASAR Executive Director Chris Boyer made it official at the June 2014 NASAR conference. “NASAR is excited about our partnership with TurboPUP: The canine food bar designed for the canine athlete,” said Boyer. “You can place a few TurboPUP bars in the dog’s SAR pack, and they are ‘ready’ for when the SAR dog needs to be deployed in the high country, the desert or in a local park.”
    Beginning in June, a portion of every TurboPUP bar purchased goes to support NASAR.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Honest Kitchen renews FDA 'Human Grade' claims approval

    The Honest Kitchen has renewed its formal Statement of No Objection with the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) to use the term “human grade” on all of its petfood labels. The company’s human grade foods are produced in a human food facility, not in a petfood plant, using 100% human edible ingredients.
    The Honest Kitchen, which began making human grade petfoods in 2004, first obtained an FDA statement of no objection that same year, and elected to renew with the administration in the fall of 2013. The process involves providing detailed documentation from each of The Honest Kitchen’s suppliers to verify the human edible status of every ingredient used in the company’s recipes.
    “We require our vendors to provide us with a signed Human Edible Status Verification document each year, along with a Statement of Integrity, which promises that the ingredient we’re purchasing meets a specific set of criteria,” said company founder and CEO Lucy Postins. “They verify that every ingredient is non-GMO, not irradiated, not sourced from (or grown or processed in) China, and also document any applicable sustainability traits, such as organic certification, fair trade, free-range and so on.”
    The company has also implemented a system of independent and internal vendor audits, as a secondary measure to ensure that their requirements are upheld throughout the ingredient production process, said the company. 

WATT Global Media announces Petfood Industry Knowledge Center

    WATT Global Media has announced the launch of a new online training and continuing education resource for the global petfood industry, called Petfood Industry Knowledge Center. The center contains a selection of free courses and recorded conference sessions for petfood industry professionals, and will be accessible from within
    These exclusive conference session presentations are organized into categories based on topic for quick and easy navigation, according to WATT. Topics include New and Functional Healthy Ingredients, Nutrition and Petfood, Food Safety and Quality, Advances in Palatability and Petfood Marketing.
    The online learning courses are self-directed to take at the user’s desired pace with a goal of providing a deeper knowledge of pet nutrition. Course subjects are provided in a series of modules, and include Building Blocks of Animal Nutrition, Feeding Management During Growth of Dogs and Cats, and more.
    “Our new Knowledge Center is targeted at the entire petfood supply chain and connected to our commitment of providing new, high-quality educational resources," said WATT President/CEO Greg Watt. "The content’s direct association with the Petfood Industry brand will help our readers and event attendees immediately recognize the Petfood Industry Knowledge Center as a resource they can trust for their continuing professional education needs.”
    For more information, please visit:

Monday, July 7, 2014

New FSMA requirements require further FDA work

    Under the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act rules governing animal feed and petfood, each covered facility must prepare and enforce a hazard analysis and risk-based preventative controls process (a written food safety plan). Among the items that must be included in such a plan is the requirement that a "qualified individual" prepare and oversee the entire process. Unfortunately, what makes someone qualified has not yet been fleshed out.
    The definition of a "qualified individual" is someone who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls under a standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under a program that is at least equivalent to that standardized FDA-approved curriculum, or be otherwise qualified through job experience. But, as of yet, there is no FDA-approved curriculum to either attend or compare job experience to.
    The Food Safety Preventative Controls Alliance (FSPCA), a private alliance of leaders in the industry, academia and state and local food protection agencies, will be responsible for creating the standardized curriculum, with FDA offering input. The ultimate goals are that the FSCPA will:
    • Develop standardized hazard analysis and preventive controls training and distance education modules for food industry and regulatory personnel. The first individuals who will receive the training are those individuals who will then train others. The second to receive the training will be federal and state regulatory inspectors. Finally, training will be made available to industry members.
    • Design and deliver a state-of-the-art distance learning training portal at the IIT IFSH Moffett Campus in Bedford Park, Illinois. In addition to in-person training, it is anticipated that training will be offered online.
    • Create a technical assistance network, such as a website community, where small- and medium-size food companies can go to for help with their preventative control or food safety plans.
    • Develop commodity/industry sector-specific guidelines for preventive controls.
    • Over time and as technology develops, assess knowledge gaps and research needs for further enhancement of preventive control measures.
    • Identify and prioritize the need for, and compile, critical limits for widely used preventive controls.
    Once the curriculum is completed and approved, the "qualified individual" will have much more solid measurements to meet.

Czech Republic caters to canines with pop-up restaurant

    The Czech Republic's new pop-up restaurant, Pestaurace, caters to canines, adding itself to the list of growing global pet-based dining experiences.
    Pestaurace is launching a cross-country tour in July, hoping to appeal at a time when petfood is a fast-growing market in the Czech Republic. According to Euromonitor International, there is a significant trend to high-quality dog food in the country, and the sector is posting constant growth.
    The restaurant offers menu of chicken with vegetables, salmon with potato, lamb with rice and gravy, rabbit with rice, and meatballs with poultry fat, all sweetened by extra meat. Dessert is a choice from four flavors of biscuit: game, lamb, veal or poultry.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blue Buffalo, Petco raise millions for pet cancer research

    Blue Buffalo and Petco have raised more than US$2.4 million in 2014 for pet cancer research. The partnership, which began in 2010, has raised more than US$7 million total so far. This year, Blue Buffalo donated US$1 to go to pet cancer research for every bag of Blue dog or cat food sold during the month of May at any of the more than 1,300 Petcos nationwide. Additionally, Petco customers were asked to make a donation at the cash register or online.
    Money raised will fund efforts like the Denver, Colorado-based Morris Animal Foundation’s 5-5-5 Initiative, which will conduct five annual clinical trials on osteosarcoma, the most common form of bone cancer in dogs. Additional money will be distributed to universities and clinics across the US that are conducting research on the causes, prevention and treatment of canine and feline cancer, as well as to organizations that are dedicated to helping families in need cover the cost of pet cancer treatments.

Whole Foods, American Tuna partner to offer sustainable tuna petfood

    Whole Foods has partnered with vendor American Tuna to create a new sustainable petfood line from red meat tuna portions.
    American Tuna’s brand, also called American Tuna, is a line of sustainably fished tuna for human consumption and is sold in Whole Foods Markets. "Whole Foods wanted zero-food waste,” said Natalie Webster, a member of one of six fishing families that founded American Tuna, "so we came up with Deck Hand [cat food] and Whole Foods thought it was a great idea.” Deck Hand uses the red meat portion of the company's albacore and skipjack tunas left over from the processing of the human food Pole & Line brand.
    In addition, any leftover tuna parts, not used for cat or human-grade food, become fish and bone meal for animal feed and no food waste is generated, as per Whole Foods’ wishes. Whole Foods began carrying Deck Hand Premium Cat Food and the human line Pole & Line in May 2014. Deck Hand comes in single 3- and 5-ounce cans and in a 3-ounce can three-pack running US$1.99. Singly, 3-ounce cans are US$0.69 and the 5-ounce cans are US$0.89.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Royal Canin conducts New Zealand survey of cat owners

    Royal Canin conducted a New Zealand-wide survey asking cat owners to help shed light on the relationship they have with their pets. The survey uncovered some commonly held myths, as well as revealing insights into the eating, sleeping and other daily habits of pet cats, according to the company.
    Royal Canin Veterinary Technical Consultant Mark Edwards said that while New Zealanders really do care a lot for their cats, with almost half of owners thinking about their cats’ level of happiness on a weekly basis, there were some common misconceptions around cats, especially when it comes to what to feed them. Some key survey findings included:
    • 69% of New Zealand cat owners surveyed consider flavor to be the most important factor when buying food for cats
    • 90% of cat owners don’t consider their cat’s lifestyle when selecting food
    • 94% of cat owners surveyed said breed isn’t an important factor when choosing a diet
    "While cat owners’ hearts are in the right place, cats have less than 500 taste buds, as opposed to 10,000 in humans, so while the taste of food is important to humans, it’s just not the case for cats," said Edwards. The survey results also revealed that 49% of New Zealand’s multiple cat owners fed their cats the same food because it’s easier; however, Edwards said that this approach could be detrimental to the health of pets. "Pet food companies like ours have been producing tailor-made products for pets for decades, as it is a well-researched fact that the lifestyle, breed, age, neutering status and health of cats should determine what they are fed," he said.
    • 58% of New Zealand cat owners surveyed don’t measure the portion of food they serve their cat for each meal
    • Over half of owners believe a cat tends to be overweight due to not being fed the right type of food
    • 23% of cat owners surveyed said they make sure their cat gets exercise on a daily basis
    When it comes to thinking about the behaviors of pet cats, 76% of New Zealand's cat owners think their cats spend most of their time eating. While some cats can sleep for 15–18 hours a day, other cats have a natural tendency to be more social and spend a great deal of their time playing—and if they get the chance, socializing either with their owners or other cats. Other insights uncovered in the survey around people’s perception of cat behavior include:
    • On a daily basis, 88% of cat owners are most likely to pet their cats
    • On average, New Zealand cat owners believe their cats are sleeping 14.51 hours in a typical 24-hour period
    • Almost all owners think their cats spend the most time sleeping during the day
    • On average, New Zealand cat owners believe their cats are snacking/nibbling 4.07 times a day
    "Our cats are complex creatures, and are often considered the heart of the family home," said Edwards. "We hope the results of this survey, and by looking into what our cats get up to on a daily basis when no one’s home, helps to shed light on the curious life of our cats so people can be sure they get the optional conditions for health, growth, development and contentment."

PetSmart expands natural petfood options with Nature's Variety

    Nature's Variety, an independent natural pet food company, and PetSmart have announced that the company's two petfood brands will begin selling at the specialty pet retailer.
    "Pet parents are seeking natural diets that give their pets the nutrition nature intended," said Matt McAdam, PetSmart's executive vice president of merchandising and real estate. "Nature's Variety strengthens our natural selection and gives pet parents the variety of wholesome foods they desire. PetSmart is committed to meeting the evolving needs and preferences of our pet parents who deeply care about the health and well-being of their pets."
    Nature's Variety produces petfood through two brands—Instinct, a raw petfood brand; and Prairie, a balanced holistic line of food. Instinct dog and cat foods include grain-free and gluten-free formulas, and come in a variety of forms, including kibble, can, raw frozen, freeze dried raw and treats. Prairie dog foods are available in kibble, cans and treats in an assortment of proteins.
    PetSmart began selling both lines on June 9, 2014, in the US and began selling both brands in Canada in late May. In addition, PetSmart will carry Instinct Raw frozen diets in more than 575 stores throughout the US and Canada.
    "Nature's Variety is committed to providing pet parents with superior quality petfood and giving them more options to incorporate raw into their pet's diet," said Reed Howlett, CEO of Nature's Variety. "We are extremely proud of this partnership with PetSmart. By expanding our distribution we are able to give more households access to the natural, holistic diets they are seeking for their pets."

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Abinpet organizes international business roundtable during FIFA World Cup

    Three international guests from the Brazilian Association of the Industry of Products for Pets (Abinpet) took part in a business program in Brazil in the Copa do Mundo (World Cup) Project, conducted by the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brazil).The program was held June 9–13, 2014, with four acting pillars: Industry presentation, visits to retail stores and factories, and business roundtables.
    In the first meeting motivated by the World Cup, Abinpet received a Costa Rican company interested in veterinary and pet care products; Miguel Mendes de Leon, editor of Pets International Magazine (Netherlands); and Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry Magazine (US). "We work for guests to arrive in Brazil with a consistent schedule, focused on knowing the domestic pet product," said José Edson Galvão de França, CEO of Abinpet. "With this, we hope to generate business and strengthen the image of Brazil as an exporter of high quality products for pets."
    This was the third international action of Pet Brasil Project in 2014. In March, the organization promoted a technical-commercial mission that took 12 Brazilian businessmen from the pet industry to the US. During the visit, the professionals could monitor the Global Pet Expo, one of the largest trade shows in the country, and were in contact with major retailers of the American pet industry. In May, a pavilion of Brazilian companies in Interzoo, a trade show held in Germany, was made ​​possible.

Champion Petfoods partners with Gray Construction for expansion

    Champion Petfoods has partnered with Gray Construction to expand its production, and the design-build firm will construct Champion's third kitchen, assuming responsibility for the design and construction of the new custom-fitted kitchens.
    "We are very proud to invest in Kentucky's people and agriculture," said Frank Burdzy, president and CEO of Champion. "Our new custom-fitted kitchens will advance our biologically appropriate and fresh regional ingredient foods. With their rich family heritage and food experience, Gray is the perfect partner."