Why it’s important to choose a sustainable pet food ingredient

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By Aysen Korucu - Marketing Manager, February 02, 2018

Pets play an important role in our mental health and physical health. With increasing pet populations all over the world, we need to make sure that the food they are eating is made in a sustainable way that leaves as little traces on the planet as possible.


Pets have evolved from being a strange and wonderful distraction to an integral part of our families today. Studies have shown that dogs benefit human health by promoting physical activity, helping to cope with difficult life situations, diminishing heart disease risk factors, as well as alleviating depression, anxiety, and social isolation.


Read more: Does a dog help you live longer?

KNOWING HOW IMPORTANT PETS ARE FOR OUR HEALTH AND THE GLOBAL HEALTH, IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THE ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT
SAYS CILIA INDAHL, SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR AT AKER BIOMARINE AND A DOG OWNER

 

As the human population is growing, so does the pet population. That will result in a growing demand for pet food. Pet food providers need to address the issue of the environmental impacts we are up against when the pet food demand increases.


It is important to protect our oceans and ecosystems by choosing ingredients from a marine feed that are sourced from a sustainable fishery. Ensuring that the ingredients used in pet food formulations are harvested in a sustainable way can ensure as little environmental impact as possible.

IN AKER BIOMARINE WE WANT TO BE A POSITIVE FORCE TO BRING IN A MARINE PROTEIN SOURCE THAT CAN REPLACE MEAT, BUT ALSO WOTK TOGETHER WITH OUR PARTNERS IN THE PET FOOD INDUSTRY, TO REDUCE ENVIROMENTAL IMPACTS OF PET FOOD,
SAYS INDAHL

 

Read more: Sustainability & Traceability of krill

 

Customer demands transparency

In 2018 we can see that consumers are concerned about this issue as well. Pet food brands need to keep up to fulfill more conscious consumer demands. The consumer wants healthy food choices, which at the same time give them peace of mind in terms of environmental and ethical claims.


Pet food products need to offer full transparency on which ingredients they are using, how they are harvested and where they come from. This means that ingredients offering 100% traceability will be the preferred choice of producers to meet consumer demands. A study with 2000 consumers conducted by Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute revealed that 99% of the participants are willing to pay more for fully transparent products.


Read more: Which nutrients are essential for pet food?


How to find a sustainable ingredient?

So now that you know that sustainable ingredients are important to protect the environment, how can you ensure that the ingredients you choose are sustainable?


Thankfully there are a few commissions making sure that suppliers will have as little impact as possible on the environment in the marine industry. When choosing a marine ingredient look for the MSC logo. The MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) ensures that products certified are 100% sustainability and traceability. Organizations such as the MSC are constantly working to improve the sustainability of fisheries.


How can you find traceable products? Consumers and regulators are increasingly demanding more information about where products come from and the conditions in which they are made. This safeguard protects buyers and the fishery itself from fraudulently labeled goods. It also helps protect everyone from the risks stemming from marine products made from illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.


By working with a company that controls the entire supply chain, from harvesting to end production, it gives buyers and pet food formulators an additional quality assurance. 100% product traceability will also serve as a competitive advantage.

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