Petfood Competence Network uses Interzoo event to highlight the challenges of a multifaceted approach to greater sustainability

From raw materials in to palletised cartons out, the entire value chain has to adopt procedures, practices and technologies that make the most efficient use of energy and recyclable materials.

The Petfood Competence Network comprises eleven like-minded companies that offer decades of combined petfood industry and technological experience. It was created in reaction to industry demands to give new and existing companies access to very latest solutions and technology, in terms of raw materials, formulation, processing, filling, transporting, sterilizing, loading, packaging and palletizing.

Additives are essential for the creation of healthy and appetising products that will ultimately prevent waste and primary ingredients are evolving – including the use of more sustainable plant-based alternatives – and petfood is moving closer and closer to its human equivalent in terms of presentation and machinery deployment. Petfood can’t look too good, otherwise it looks artificial and does not appeal to the pet owners.

Once the formulation has been decided, packaging is the next major stage gate, and arguably the one that has the most high-profile impact in the eyes of consumers. Petfood has become an emotional purchase, but you have to balance premiumisation and innovation with recyclability and material performance, which is not an easy task.

Many hurdles companies struggle when balancing aesthetics with functionality and recyclability, arguably one of the biggest combined challenges the industry faces. But green packaging is a moot point if your processes are not green, including fibres, to adjust viscosity in order to make the product flow more efficiently. And from the machine side of things, the Petfood Competence Network knows how forward-looking OEMs are looking at the carbon footprint of their technologies to ensure they are as efficient as possible.

The Petfood Competence Network is able to support not only for new greenfield implementation, but also often approached in a consultancy role to help customers squeeze more efficiency from existing plant and multiple aspects relating to process improvements.

Consultancy is the core of the whole network: every company has its own area of expertise, but in combination the total is greater than the sum of its parts. 

There is no easy single solution! Every application, food format, packaging style and processing step will have an impact on the overall carbon footprint. It is therefore up to a team of like-minded suppliers to help you determine what is best for you, best for your customers and best for the environment.

Contact the Petfood Competence Network!