In the March Petfood Blog, I asked the question – “Does transparency matter”? Champion Foods certainly thinks so. In fact, on March 21, 2019, Champion Petfoods announced it is forming the pet food industry’s first Transparency Council. This committee is comprised of outside third-party experts and animal owners, who will explore each step of Champion’s manufacturing process including; quality standards, ingredient sourcing, nutritional attributes, and product safety.
The days of trusting major brands based on their historical reputation is a thing of the past, and according to Champion Petfoods’ CMO, Julie S. Washington, “people no longer accept at face value the assertions and claims made by pet food producers about the integrity of the products they provide. Pet parents are placing a greater emphasis on the importance of knowing how foods are made and from where ingredients are sourced”. Their Transparency Council members have been encouraged to share their findings on social media platforms and to be the eyes and ears for all pet food consumers.
Champion Petfoods has spent the last 20 years forging connections with farmers, ranchers, and fisheries. In Champion’s press release, Julie was quoted as stating “we think the Transparency Council program will elevate awareness of our trusted suppliers and the people who provide our ingredients – our goal is to verify the link between sources, fresh ingredients and how that translates into our kibble and freeze-dried ORIJEN and ACANA foods and treats”. The release further stated, the Marketing Institute’s 2017 Shopper Trends study states consumers believe transparency means open, honest, clear and visible. The company thinks the pet food industry is entering a new era of earning consumer trust – where the source of the ingredient is as important as the ingredient itself. As an ingredient supplier to both the pet and human-side of food manufacturing, Tree Top understands the importance of creating partnerships and trusted relationships with entities throughout the entire supply chain.
Today’s question is – Is this council the first of many and will similar committees be formed by pet and human food manufacturers -alike? Is your company ready for complete transparency? This is certainly a consumer trend that has some manufacturers examining every aspect of their supply chain. Evaluating the credibility of the supply chain can be a daunting task, and if buying from an importer, distributor, online-bid or contract manufacturer – the maze becomes even more complex. According to Mintel, a leading market intelligence agency, products promoting transparency on-pack increased 30% during the last two years period as compared to the previous 2 years (includes all food categories).
I would be remiss if I failed to mention that as a grower-owned fruit cooperative, Tree Top has a direct connection to the farmers and the fruit they grow. This ensures our customers get the highest-quality, safest, best tasting, locally-grown fruit ingredients around. Tree Top’s employees carefully monitor each step of our fruits’ journey to ensure food safety and traceability. Everyone from the first set of eyes and hands on the floor, to final packaging, is committed to making safe products. To learn more about our quality standards and transparency practices, visit our video resource library where you’ll meet our growers, learn about our sustainability programs and how we create fruit solutions from farm to fruit formulations.
Come see us at the Pet Food Forum in Kansas City on April 29th – May 1st , 2019, booth number 533. We’ll be handing out fruit ingredients and useful and fun promotional items (while supplies last).