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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ambitious Plans for UK Trade Body

By David Alderton


The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with an ambitious plan for the next decade. In spite of the recession, sales of prepared pet foods in the U.K. have continued to rise, to a record level of more than $3 billion.

In a novel collaboration--involving some 4,000 members of the public with input also from SCAS (Society of Companion Animal Studies), Dogs Trust (the U.K.’s leading canine welfare charity), the PHC (Pet Health Council) and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme)--the PFMA has been looking both at the benefits of pet ownership, as far as human health is concerned, and the environment, too. Its plan can be subdivided in four areas as follows:

Increase responsible pet ownership through: 

  1. Having 90 percent of re-homing centres provide the Pet Size-O-Meter in packs, helping to guard against nutritional problems;
  2. Ensuring that 60 percent of new pet owners receive advice on pet health and nutrition working with relevant organizations; and
  3. Attracting 50-percent more visitors to return to the PFMA’s website for pet advice.

Ensure all leading U.K. housing providers implement responsible pet policies that enable older people to make an informed choice about their future by working closely with SCAS and those Members of Parliament who are taking the issue forward to strive for fairer treatment of the older pet-owning public. Research has found that 90 percent of the public agreed that separation from a pet is traumatic, while 83 percent felt pets would make their owners happier and 54 percent agreed owners should be able to make the choice after seeing the accommodation policy.  

Reduce the environmental impact of prepared pet food by:  

  1. Achieving a 10-percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 compared to 2010;
  2. Sending zero pet food waste and no recyclable packaging to landfill by 2015; 
  3. Having 80 percent of all pet food packaging material recyclable or recoverable by 2020;
  4. Working with WRAP to promote responsible use of end-of-life packaging material by Consumers; 
  5. Achieving a 20-percent reduction in water use by 2020 compared to 2010;  
  6. Supporting best practice and behaving responsibly toward our local communities by minimizing the potential for pollution to land, air and water, including odor control management within the local environment; and  
  7. Reducing the environmental impact of transport practices by working with industry partners through collaborative projects and sharing of best practice.

Increase public awareness of the advantages of feeding prepared pet food.

  1. Having 90 percent of dogs and 95 percent of cats fed commercially prepared pet food by 2020 to help guarantee the correct nutrition for pets, leading to longer, healthier lives;
  2. Distributing PFMA’s pet obesity tools to highlight the importance of good pet nutrition to consumers; 
  3. Raising awareness that feeding human food (such as table scraps) is a major cause of obesity as recognized by pet owners themselves who were surveyed; and
  4. Communicating that those owners surveyed this year scored feeding the right amount of food and a high-quality food highly when asked what contributed to the health and longevity of their pets.

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