Pet food industry experts call for better communication
Valuable pet food research exists that could educate the industry and consumers alike, but there’s a communication disconnect that must first be bridged.
While many aspects of funding and sharing pet food research were covered by both panelists and audience during the 2017 Petfood Forum Town Hall (How is research currently conducted? What determines whether or not research is published? Who actually cares if research is published at all?), one note that was struck over and over was the disconnect among various industry avenues, academia and consumers, and the need for more and better communication to mend that disconnect.
Bridging the gap and making communication a priority
According to Micah Kohles, DVM, director of veterinary science and outreach for Oxbow Animal Health and one of the panelists, it “comes down to a conversation in a hall to get synergy — there has to be a better way.” That better way, said the panelists, is through education and communication in all aspects of the industry. Whether it’s engaging more schools for resources, casting a wider research net with publications or making the most of social media to reach consumers (“Social media works great for non-science; we need to make it work for science, too,” said David Meeker, PhD, senior vice president, scientific services, for the National Renderers Association and one of the panelists), the pet food industry has to put itself out there.
But why? “We have to fight the fake news and misinformation,” said Karen Wedekind, PhD, comparative nutrition manager for Novus International and one of the panelists. “We have to get the industry together and educate…