Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NAD: Hill's Pet Nutrition violated NAD/NARB procedures

    The National Advertising Division (NAD) has determined that Hill’s Pet Nutrition violated the procedures that govern the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation by seeking to use for promotional purposes decisions reached by the NAD and the National Advertising Review Board (NARB).
    Hill’s originally filed a challenge to advertising claims made by Blue Buffalo Company Ltd. with the NAD. NAD recommended Blue Buffalo modify its advertisements to avoid disparaging competitors. Blue Buffalo appealed NAD’s findings to the NARB, which recommended Blue Buffalo modify an online petfood comparison chart and its advertising claims to avoid conveying the message that competing petfood companies are “fooling” or otherwise misleading consumers.
    Following completion of the appeal, Hill’s public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller, sent an “article starter kit” to certain bloggers that included a “sample blog post,” a “fact sheet” on Hill’s products and a series of links to the NAD and NARB press releases and articles written about the Hill’s/Blue Buffalo dispute.
    Self-regulation is a voluntary process; participating companies agree at the outset that decisions will not be used for promotional purposes, according to the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council. Effective self-regulation requires that participants adhere to both the letter and the spirit of the self-regulatory system.

Ukraine petfood market young but growing

    The Ukrainian market of ready-to-use petfood for cats and dogs is still in its formative stages. According to Kormotech Petfood Nutrition Company statistics, the number of dogs in Ukraine is 750,000 and the number of cats is about 5.5 million. Ready-to-use petfood market permeability (the number of pet owners who do feed their pets with ready-to-use food) is 30%–35%, while in Europe and the US the figure is over 70%.
    Current status
    At the end of 2013, the Ukrainian petfood market was worth UAH3.3 billion (US$300–320 million) and produced more than 90,000 tons of dog and cat food. The 2010–2013 growth rate was about 6% in actual measurement and more than 15% in cash per annum. In terms of petfood segments, the economy/standard/premium/superpremium breakdown is weighted in the middle: 2/30/46/22, respectively. As for the types of petfood (dry/cans/pouches), the segments clearly favor canned—47/16/47, respectively.
    Currently, the dry petfood market is showing stagnation, partly due to reduced demand for dry dog food. There are also slight declines in the categories of dry cat food and canned cat food because the market has been redistributed towards pouches. At the same time, pouches are showing the most dynamic growth in the cat and dog food market. In the coming years, the growth rate of the pouch market is expected to remain steady at 3%–5%.
    Ukraine has multiple channels when it comes to selling petfood, and consumers are taking advantage of all of them. According to the latest data from Ipsos Company, the monthly breakdown of shoppers is:
    • Pet stores: 84%
    • Supermarkets: 77%
    • Grocery stores: 40%
    • Breeders: 5%
    • Online stores: 3%–5%
    Future outlook
    The hryvnia (Ukraine's currency) devaluation up to 70% at the beginning of 2014, the situation in the East and the Crimea annexation will continue to adversely affect petfood market dynamics during 2014–2015. According to estimates, in 2014 the market will decrease by approximately 8% in actual measurement and will remain around 2013 numbers in cash.
    In 2013 there were 20,000 outlets which sold cat and dog food (3,700 – pet shops, 2,500 – supermarkets, 14,000 – grocery stores and stalls). The range in pet shops is similar to that in supermarkets and grocery stores. In an inflationary environment, supermarkets are trying to keep petfood prices through their leverage and as a result give the consumer a better price, which adversely affects pet shops. The pet trade channel in Ukraine is weak, as there are no large players (networks) and existing pet shops owners do not have the resources for growth and development and, as a result, cannot compete with supermarkets. Therefore, in the next year or two the number of pet stores will reduce.
    In 2015–2017 the market will resume growth by approximately 3%–4% in actual measurement and by roughly 7%–10% in cash. In 2014–2015 demand for products made ​​in Ukraine will increase, in particular, because of growing consumer patriotism. During 2014–2016 a growing demand for cat products in the middle price segment is expected, and 2016–2017 will see an increased demand for more expensive products (in line with world trends). Growth of premium and superpremium categories will be directly proportional to income growth. In 2014–2017 the continued growth of pouch segment for cats is anticipated, and by 2017 the market will grow by 7% in volume and by 22% in cash.
    Above data are based on studies conducted by AdvanterGroup, ComConUkraine, Ipsos Ukraine, Soyuz-Inform and the Kormotech Company.

Monday, September 29, 2014

RECALL: Bravo recalls chicken, turkey petfoods on possible Salmonella risk

    Bravo is recalling select lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken petfoods for dogs and cats because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
    The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two lots of product. This batch tested negative by a third party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution to consumers. The recalled products were distributed throughout the US beginning on Nov. 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, Internet retailers and directly to consumers. The products can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube. The products are:
    Raw Food Diet Bravo! Turkey Blend for Dogs and Cats (potential for contamination)
    Product number: 31-102
    Size: 2 lb. (32 oz.) plastic tubes
    Best used by date: 11-05-15
    UPC: 829546311025
    Keep Frozen
    Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend Diet for Dogs and Cats (potential for contamination)
    Product number: 21-102
    Size: 2 lb. (32 oz.) plastic tubes
    Best used by date: 08-11-16
    UPC: 829546211028
    Keep Frozen
    Premium Turkey Formula Bravo Balance Raw Diet (manufactured in same facility as Salmonella-positive products)
    Product number: 31-405
    Size: 5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3 kg. plastic tubes
    Best used by date: 11-05-15
    UPC: 829546314057
    Keep Frozen
    Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend Diet for Dogs and Cats (manufactured in same facility as Salmonella-positive products)
    Product number: 21-105
    Size: 5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3 kg. plastic tubes
    Best used by date: 08-11-16
    UPC: 829546211059
    Keep Frozen
    In addition to the above products, Bravo has chosen to voluntarily withdraw the following poultry products from the marketplace: all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo Chicken Blend(s), Bravo Turkey Blend(s), Bravo Balance Chicken and Bravo Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and Sept. 18, 2016. This is being done out of an abundance of caution by Bravo, and there is no evidence of any manufacturing defect or distribution problem with these products.

Interpets 2014 show sees attendance up 34%

    On July 27, 2014, “Interpets – International Fair for a Better Life with Pets” concluded having featured 250 exhibitors from 16 countries and regions covering an exhibition space of 2,977 sq.m. The fair attracted 27,347 visitors, a 34% increase from the previous edition, 9,658 of which were trade visitors, a 54% increase, according to show organizers.
    Interpets offered a business matching program for international exhibitors on the first day. Six groups of decision-making buyers from leading wholesalers, trading houses, retailers and mail-order houses in the pet industry in Japan attended the program. Klea Levin, president of Barcelonadogs, who exhibited handmade dog collars, leashes and accessories from Spain, commented on their debut at the show. “We wanted to see how our products would appeal to the Japanese market and we were also looking for distributors and buyers from boutiques," she said. "We had many visitors to our booths and we are glad that we joined. Both business and public days were good. We were expecting Japanese visitors but there were many also from China, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. The Japanese pet industry is very unique, but it seems that our products will meet the needs. It was a good launch."
    The next edition of Interpets will take place from April 2–5, 2015, at Tokyo Big Sight East hall 3. The 2015 fair has moved to April in order to be held concurrently with two other pet-related fairs under the same roof. One of the concurrent fairs, “FCI Japan International Dog Show,” organized by Japan Kennel Club, is a competition for purebred dogs. “Japan Pet Fair,” organized by the Japan Pet Products Manufacturers Association, showcases all kinds of live pets. These three fairs are titled “AJPET (All Japan Pet Expo in Tokyo)” and are expected to attract more visitors who are seeking a wide range of products and information, which shall further contribute to the growth of the pet industry.

Pets Add Life launches shelter contest to award US$50,000

    Pets Add Life (PAL), a nonprofit campaign focused on the benefits of pet ownership, is giving away a total of US$50,000 to three shelters across the US through its Second Annual Shelter Showdown Contest. Between October 22–November 19, 2014, shelter supporters and communities are encouraged to vote for their organization of choice once per day, and the shelters with the most votes win and will be announced November 19, during PAL’s National Get a Pal For Your Pet Day.
    “We are so thrilled to bring the Shelter Showdown contest back, and ultimately help more pets find loving homes,” said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association. “It was rewarding to give away US$25,000 to deserving shelters last year and we couldn’t be happier to provide even more this year. I strongly encourage communities to rally, vote and help spread the word!”
    The Shelter Showdown Contest (open to all PetFinder organizations) will award US$25,000 to the grand prize winner with the most votes, US$15,000 to the second place winner and US$10,000 to the third place winner. To vote, shelter supporters can simply ‘Like’ the PAL Facebook page at facebook.com/PetsAddLife and click the Shelter Showdown app or visit www.ShelterShowdown.com. Participants can search and vote for their shelter or rescue organization of choice once per 24-hour period through November 19, 2014 at noon EST. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Eurofins opens Kentucky microbiology lab

    Eurofins Scientific has announced the opening of a microbiology laboratory in Louisville, Kentucky. This temporary site completed construction in mid-August 2014 and will open its doors to clients in October 2014, according to the company.
    The expansion to Louisville introduces a new service to Eurofins’ portfolio, Eurofins Express Microbiology. The laboratory plans to be accredited to ISO 17025 shortly after opening. Marc Scantlin, president of Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories, said that the expansion into the Louisville market will provide clients with convenient and reliable options for microbiology testing. “With the addition of the Louisville laboratory, we are now able to receive overnight samples with arrival times between 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.," said Scantlin. "This, combined with our capability to process these samples shortly thereafter, gives us the unique ability to provide much quicker turnaround times to our clients who are accustomed to shipping samples overnight with arrival times of 10:30 a.m. or later."
    The new Louisville laboratory is one among numerous acquisitions and developments for the Eurofins Microbiology division; including the Mounds View, Minnesota and Lancaster, Pennsylvania locations which opened earlier in 2014.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fromm Family Foods expands petfood manufacturing campus

    Fromm Family Foods is working on an expansion of its Columbus, Wisconsin manufacturing campus, set to be complete in the fall of 2014. The company plans to expand production with a second, independent line along with a new warehouse.
    A 14,000-square-foot manufacturing process addition will encompass a second state-of-the-art extruder line, doubling the finished product output capacity for the brand. Additionally, a 40,000-square-foot warehouse addition will better help house and distribute all three product lines under the Fromm brand. "The new Columbus expansion will help us continue to keep up with the growing demands of our products," said Tom Nieman, Fromm owner. "A second line allows for more quality control fail safes and the opportunity to open up our capabilities and develop more additions across our three unique lines."
    The growth of industry and the expansion of the Fromm Columbus manufacturing facility has created 75 new jobs for Wisconsin workers in the last three and a half years, according to the company.
    Fromm will be hosting a ribbon cutting luncheon, welcoming business partners, local and state officials and employees to view the expansion first-hand.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Polish company Łmeat-Łuków plans to expand petfood production

    Polish meat company Łmeat-Łuków plans to spend the next several years in intensive development and expansion of its product lines, including wet petfood production.
    The company aims to focus on the production of high-quality meats, as well as canned and cooking meat. "The emphasis is on increasing the availability of our products," said company President Grażyna Prokopiuk. "That is why we are taking actions intensifying our presence in all distribution channels, and we are implementing modern logistics solutions."
    At the same time, Łmeat-Łuków will be investing in the production of animal feed and petfood. "We plan to invest in the 'Dolina Noteci' production plant, where in the near future another division will appear, specializing in the production of dry food," said Prokopiuk. "We also want to significantly expand the production plant of wet food in Polanów where we are fully utilizing its current capacity."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

US pet market to reach US$73 billion in 2014

    The pet market is expected to have sales of US$73 billion by the end of 2014, according to to a Packaged Facts report, "US Pet Market Outlook, 2014–2015." The driving factor for this number is pet humanization, which has given rise to premium pet product shoppers across all platforms, says the report.
    The projection includes pet products such as petfood and nonfood pet supplies, such as toys and chews, cat litter, bedding, housebreaking and clean-up products, houses and carriers, grooming products, leashes and collars, feeding/watering devices, and apparel. It also encompasses services, such as veterinary services and nonmedical pet services like grooming, boarding and training.
    Pet humanization not only includes giving pets human-quality products, but also veterinary procedures like chemotherapy, MRIs and hip replacements, as well as supplements like glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids. Owners are also buying human-grade petfood containing super fruits, and designer beds, bowls and clothing. Finally, they are also purchasing luxury services like boarding options that are similar to hotel rooms.
    A 2013 Packaged Facts survey found that 70% of pet owners would be willing to spend extra money to ensure the health of their pet. It also found that 30% of pet owners would prefer to shop at retailers that offer the best products available no matter what the increase in cost. According to the latest report, premium pet product shopping is most common among higher income households. US households earning US$70,000 or more account for 54% of pet market expenditure, and these consumers are responsible for a large share of the bill for premium pet products and services. These consumers are also more likely to have been less affected by economic downfalls and are recovering more quickly.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kemin acquires sustainably grown certification for rosemary

    Kemin Industries has received third-party sustainably grown certification for its vertically integrated rosemary production through SCS Global Services. Kemin is the first to obtain third-party certification for this type of rosemary, according to the company.
    “Today's consumers are more interested in supporting sustainable agriculture practices than ever,” said Linda Brown, SCS senior vice president. “This certification assures Kemin Industries’ customers that the rosemary in its rosemary-based products is not just high quality but produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way.”
    The sustainable, agronomic path Kemin has chosen differs from a popular but less widely known approach, said the company. Approximately 80% of rosemary that is used as a spice or for extraction is harvested from the wild in the Mediterranean region of southern Europe and North Africa under license from sovereign governments. This alters the natural ecology of these ecosystems and produces varying quality in the product. Dedicated to sustainable and environmental farming practices, Kemin contracts with family farmers in Texas and New Mexico to grow its proprietary rosemary varieties. This partnership not only increases the quality and quantity of crops but improves farming practices, promotes healthy working conditions and builds community relations, said Kemin.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pet treat manufacturer Look Who's Happy debuts products

    Gainesville, Georgia-based petfood and treat manufacturer Look Who's Happy has unveiled its debut products—eight SKUs under two product lines, Fetch'n Fillets and Tempt'n Tenders.
    Fetch’n Fillets are whole-muscle jerky treats made from naturally raised beef, cage-free chicken or grass-fed bison, all sourced from the USA, according to the company. The grass-fed venison used in the treats is sourced from New Zealand. Tempt’n Tenders are made with USA-raised, cage-free chicken and are available crusted with carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato or blueberry. The products are grain- and gluten-free, and they do not have by-products, hormones or artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Study conducted on prevalence of Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli in petfood

    The Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) and its Microbiology Cooperative Agreement Program (MCAP) labs have conducted a study to look at the prevalence of selected bacteria in petfoods. The goal was to help the Center for Veterinary Medicine prioritize future testing, and increased FERN screening for foodborne pathogens in petfood that may be a significant health risk to consumers.
    Six FDA FERN MCAP labs analyzed more than 1,000 samples over two years. The labs tested for Salmonella, Listeria species, E. coli O157:H7 and Shiga toxin-producing strains of E. coli (STEC). Dry and semi moist dog and cat foods were purchased from local stores in Phase 1. Raw dog and cat foods, exotic animal feed and jerky treats were tested in Phase 2.
    Of the 480 dry and semi moist samples, only two tested positive: one for Salmonella and one for Listeria greyii. But for the raw foods and jerky treats, 66 samples were positive for Listeria, 32 of those for Listeria monocytogenes, and 15 were positive for Salmonella. The study showed that raw petfoods may harbor pathogenic bacteria, and consumers should handle these products carefully. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Caru Pet Food natural stew ingredients verified 'human grade'

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that Caru Pet Food Company's Caru Natural Stews for Dogs are made with 100% human-grade ingredients. The FDA further declared that the recipes are prepared, handled and packaged in a human food facility, in accordance with quality regulations for human food.
    “This is a significant milestone for our two-year-old company,” said Adrian Pettyan, CEO and founder. “Obtaining permission to claim our stews are human grade affirms our commitment to celebrate our pets by giving them the best possible food.” Pettyan said that now pet parents will have even more reason to believe that Caru grain-free stews look, smell and taste like homemade food.
    Attaining human-grade verification is another “first” for Caru. According to the company, the natural stews are the first petfood in North America to be packaged in Tetra Pak cartons. Each grain-free stew starts with USDA-inspected, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat or poultry as the first ingredient, plus selected vegetables and fruit. These recipes are formulated without wheat, gluten, corn, soy or animal by-products, and every recipe is prepared in small batches.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bühler Aeroglide launches apprenticeship program

      Bühler Aeroglide has announced a new apprenticeship program that allows high school graduates to gain professional practice skills combined with a college education. As co-founder of the new North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NCTAP), Bühler offers a post-secondary education that places emphasis on real-world training while participants receive a salary. The new employer-driven program is based on the European apprentice model in place at Bühler headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland.
      Bühler President Hansjoerg Ill says investment in education and the development of new talent is naturally consistent with the company's legacy, culture and business strategies. It also demonstrates the company's longstanding commitment to the industries and customers it serves. The first class of apprentices starts their paid apprenticeships in September 2014. Students will learn everything about the manufacturing trade including automation, engineering and design, and building and fabrication. They will also attend school through Wake Technical Community College during the four-year program.
      Bühler has approximately 600 apprentices worldwide going through similar programs.

Monday, September 15, 2014

New spay and neuter campaign aims to benefit Alaska villages

    Unwanted stray dogs are a significant problem in rural Alaska, due in part to the nearest veterinarian being a plane ride away. A spay or neuter appointment most often requires heading into the city, a difficult undertaking. But a Fairbanks nonprofit aims to cut out that plane ride for pet owners and strays by bringing veterinarians to them.
    The nonprofit and Bethel-based Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. are arranging for veterinarians to bring their surgical equipment by boat so they can operate on pets and strays in the villages themselves. Since 2013, more than 250 dogs have been spayed and neutered in at least 14 Yukin-Kuskokwim Delta villages, and there has been interest in bringing the same services to Interior villages.
    The services are free and are funded mainly through donations. Previously, veterinarians from out of state were not allowed to provide their services free of charge in Alaska villages without an Alaska license. The state Veterinary Board has made an exception for remote communities that lack medical care for animals, similar to the exception made for visiting Iditarod veterinarians, making it easier for mobile vet programs to organize and to include out-of-state veterinarians like Tim Hunt, DVM, of Dr. Tim's Pet Food.
    Another nonprofit effort, headed by Anchorage-based Alaska Rural Veterinary Outreach, has held spay, neuter and vaccination clinics in remote communities since 2012. Overall, the projects continue to gain momentum, but organizers say there is still a lot of work to do.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Google tests drone delivery prototype with dog food drop

    Google is in the prototype testing stage of its drone package delivery system, which it has been developing for more than two years, and its latest test involved a dog food drop in Australia.
    While Google says the prototype is years away from a product, Project Wing has produced the first possibility the company is willing to stand behind. So far, Google has conducted at least 30 test flights as part of the project. “Throughout history there have been a series of innovations that have each taken a huge chunk out of the friction of moving things around,” says the test run video's narrator. “Project Wing aspires to take another big chunk of the remaining friction of moving things around the world.”
    The video shows a drone delivering dog treats to an Australian farm. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September is National Guide Dog Month

    September is National Guide Dog Month, a celebration of the work of guide dogs in the US. The month-long event, established in 2009, is a way to raise awareness, appreciation and support for guide dog schools across the country.
    National Guide Dog Month was inspired by Dick Van Patten, who became impressed by service dogs after a visit to the campus of the Guide Dogs of the Desert in palm Springs, California, USA. After learning the costs to raise and train a guide dog—US$40,000—and the two-year time commitment per dog, Van Patten decided to help raise awareness and money for guide dog schools. Van Patten currently serves as an honorary board member for the Guide Dogs of the Desert. Through his petfood company, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods, he has underwritten all costs for the promotion of National Guide Dog Month to ensure that all money raised will directly benefit non-profit, accredited guide dog schools in the US.
    In 2014, Petco and Natural Balance have teamed up with CSI: Miami's Eva La Rue and Omar Miller to support guide dog organizations.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Petfood may contribute to pets' behavior

    Petfood can obviously affect the health of pets, but it may affect more than that. Petfood ingredients, for example, might affect pet behavior, according to some studies.
    The fatty acid DHA (docosahexaeonic acid), sometimes added to puppy and kitten food, has been shown to increase mental acuity in puppies and kittens, according to Dr. Lorie Huston, DVM, a small animal veterinarian in Rhode Island. Puppies eating dog food with DHA may also be more trainable.
    Certain antioxidants have been found to be beneficial to senior pets in terms of cognitive maintenance. A series of studies conducted on dogs found that older dogs provided with an antioxidant-rich diet were able to learn complex tasks with more success than those on a control diet. Another study used an antioxidant-rich diet and found that older dogs were less likely to suffer from age-related behavior changes associated with cognitive decline. Dogs on this diet were also able to recognize family members more easily and retained more agility than the control group.
    Petfood can affect other areas of a pet's life, as well, through feeding times and unbalanced diets, both of which can play significant roles in a pet's mood and behavior, according to experts. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blue Buffalo opens Heartland Pet Food Manufacturing facility

    Blue Buffalo Company has opened its new Heartland Pet Food Manufacturing facility in Joplin, Missouri. The 416,000-square-foot facility includes a state-of-the-art dry petfood manufacturing plant and an attached full-service distribution center, according to the company.
    “This is a very big day for Blue Buffalo,” said Chairman and Founder Bill Bishop of opening day. “We now have the most modern manufacturing facility in the petfood industry. And we are proud to have created 150 full-time jobs which will contribute to Joplin’s great recovery from the catastrophic tornado in 2011.”
    Joining Bishop and Schmidt at the August 20, 2014, ribbon cutting ceremony were Blue Buffalo founding Bishop family members Jackie, Billy and Chris, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Choo Lim, who was responsible for the construction of the Heartland facility, and representatives of the Blue Buffalo management team. Missouri State Senator Ron Richard offered words of welcome to all in attendance at the Heartland Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Also participating were Joplin Mayor Michael Seibert, Rob O’Brien the Chairman and President of the Joplin area Chamber of Commerce and representatives of the state of Missouri.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lincoln Bark treats featured on Chicago news show

    Lincoln Bark's pet treats have been featured on WCIU Chicago news show "You & Me This Morning" as must-haves by Charlotte Reed, a celebrity spokesperson who has been traveling the US in search of the best products in the pet industry.
    According to Reed, she selected Lincoln Bark's treats because they are powered by the chia seed, highlighting the company's holistic approach to dog treats. The treats are made with human-grade ingredients and contain no wheat, corn, soy, preservatives or artificial color.

Friday, September 5, 2014

PetSmart to acquire online pet retailer Pet360

    PetSmart will acquire Pet360, an online pet specialty retailer, for US$130 million with the possibility of additional performance-based payments totaling up to US$30 million by the end of 2016.
    “We are delighted to announce our planned acquisition of Pet360, the most comprehensive online resource for pet parents," said David Lenhardt, PetSmart president and CEO. "This transaction is a smart and efficient way to make PetSmart a leader in the online retail space. [A]lthough online sales are still a relatively small part of the pet products industry, we expect them to become a more relevant source of revenue in the future. Combining PetSmart’s unparalleled strengths in traditional outlets with Pet360’s established digital footprint will perfectly position PetSmart to capitalize on this evolution and enhance our ability to serve pet parents across all distribution channels.”
     Pet360 is an integrated media company dedicated to connecting pet parents with the information, products and advice they need to raise happy, healthy pets, according tot he company. The Pet360 network is comprised of more than nine of the top pet websites and reaches over 12 million pet parents per month, making Pet360 the most comprehensive source for online pet information and products in the US. Its family of brands includes Pet360.com, petMD.com, PetFoodDirect.com and BlogPaws. The company is headquartered outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    Combining Pet360’s family of e-commerce websites, digital media programs and content sites, with PetSmart’s existing web platform and store network, will allow PetSmart to provide customers with an omni-channel information and shopping experience, according to PetSmart. It also brings cost savings opportunities through increased scale, merchandise assortment and valuable web platform and fulfillment capabilities.
     The transaction is expected to close in September 2014.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cargill vegetarian glucosamine determined safe for petfood

    Cargill’s Regenasure glucosamine HCl is now Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use in petfood and/or animal feed for dogs, cats and horses. An independent panel of veterinary experts completed a review of the product’s safety and toxicology data and issued a favorable GRAS opinion.
    Regenasure glucosamine is the only GRAS, fully traceable vegetarian glucosamine produced exclusively in the US available for the petfood industry, according to Cargill. The panel determined that Regenasure glucosamine can be safely consumed by dogs, cats and horses under the conditions of its intended use. “Regenasure glucosamine has been a staple of the human dietary supplement and functional food markets for more than a decade,” said Mike Fleagle, Regenasure brand manager at Cargill.  “[The] announcement assures petfood manufacturers that they can safely incorporate Regenasure glucosamine in the products they sell to the companion animal joint health market. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on glucosamine’s impact on joint health in companion animals.”
    Regenasure glucosamine is produced by Cargill in Eddyville, Iowa, with all raw materials sourced in North America. It is sold as a dry powder ingredient, packaged in 25 kg boxes or 450 kg super sacks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

AFIA completes first phase of FSMA seminars

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) completed two more phase I Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regional seminars in Des Moines, Iowa, and Atlanta, Georgia, Aug. 11–12 and Aug. 14–15, respectively. Both of the two-day seminars discussed the developing need for an industry-wide understanding of the largest set of rules to impact the feed and petfood industries. The first training session was held in Sacramento, California, in late July.
    The sold-out Des Moines meeting was attended by more than 130 feed manufacturers, petfood manufacturers and ingredient suppliers interested in learning more about quality and food safety practices. "Our goal is to provide a solid foundation to the quality and food safety programs for businesses as they begin to implement practices and prepare documentation for compliance with the new FMSA requirements," said Dr. Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs.
    AFIA hosted a second sold-out training course in Atlanta, where one-third of the room represented the poultry integrator sector of the industry. Dr. Adam Fahrenholz of North Carolina State University joined Turlington, speaking on the topic of "CGMPs: The Foundation for an Effective Food Safety Plan." Fahrenholz chaired AFIA's Current Good Manufacturing Practices FSMA Working Group that prepared comments to the US Food and Drug Administration on the proposed CGMP rules.
    Turlington said that participants at the training sessions expressed concern and asked questions about efforts to reach compliance. "It is important facilities understand how FMSA impacts them as requirements may differ based on the business and facility's animal food safety plan," said Turlington. "The information shared during the meetings, as well as references provided electronically, will help businesses determine the right steps for them."
    AFIA will be back in Atlanta to host an additional phase I FSMA regional seminar training program at the International Production & Processing Expo on Jan. 28, 2015. The one-day meeting will discuss the FSMA proposed rules and the fundamentals for complying with FSMA as was done in all three meetings completed this summer. Registration and event information will be available on Sept. 1, 2014, at http://ippexpo.com/.
    Phase II and phase III FSMA regional seminars will be hosted by AFIA in 2015 along with a series of other training tools under construction along with the in-person meetings.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Nestle makes animal welfare pledge

    Nestle has announced sweeping reforms to improve the welfare of farm animals in its supply chain after dropping a supplier found to be abusing dairy cows, according to reports.
    The company has signed a partnership agreement with World Animal Protection, which means that all of Nestle's suppliers of animal-derived products must now comply with the organization's animal welfare standards. According to World Animal Protection, Nestle's new policy is the most significant animal welfare policy ever adopted by a major food distributor.
    Nestle has commissioned an independent auditor, SGS, to ensure the new standards of animal welfare are met by its suppliers. Some checks will also be made by World Animal Protection. Nestle said it won’t work with suppliers who aren’t willing to meet the new standards. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pet Brazil Project benefits from fish export changes

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