"Increasing consumer product awareness is a main driver in
the growth strategy of Aller Petfood," says Henriette Bylling,
managing director and co-owner. The Danish petfood company has
been in existence since 1979, when it was established on the
foundation of a longtime family business in feed production
serving the local agriculture and global aquaculture
consists of the initial Danish dry food factory and both
wet and dry food factories in Russia, where Aller is currently
a leader in the private label market-in fact, the only private
label producer of wet petfood pouches.
Bylling owns the company with her father, Povl Bylling, and
brother, Frederik Bylling, who participate in the daily running
of the Danish division while she manages the overall Aller
Petfood organization. In the last few years, the family's
vision has significantly impacted the company's direction.
"Through the years, the strategic key word at Aller has
always been modernization, and we believe that today this
matches with the ability to meet the consumer's increased
product awareness," Bylling says. "For this reason, we believe
the future lies in being quality focused."
Aller's goal is to combine a more intense focus on quality
for its existing and new premium and superpremium private label
products, plus its own brands. The company is pursuing the goal
via the help of
ISO 22000 certification
, which the Danish factory in Fredericia achieved in 2007. It
was one of the first petfood facilities in Europe and globally
to earn the certification, according to Bylling.
ISO 22000 is an international standard that defines the
requirements of a food safety management system, originally
developed to cover all components of the human food chain from
"farm to fork." Over the past few years, recalls and safety
related issues have affected a variety of products including
petfood, so consumers are now more concerned and attentive to
what they eat and what they feed their pets. In addition, major
food buyers, such as supermarket chains, are demanding safety
assurances from their suppliers.
The increased demand for safe, high-quality food applies to
the petfood industry as well, Bylling says. "By making a
wholehearted effort to relentlessly improve the quality of our
production, we will not only save resources, improve hygiene
and have clearer workflows, but we will also be able to live up
to customers' escalating quality demands," she adds.
ISO 22000 is the cornerstone of Aller's quality policy.
"Basically, you have to prove that your products are really
premium or superpremium," Bylling says. "We are very proud of
being able to offer not only a high-value standard line, but
also real healthy premium and superpremium quality products. We
do not want the consumer to pay for our marketing-we want them
to be paying for our investment in our petfood products."
At the beginning of 2009, Aller took another important step.
Since 2005, its Danish facility has used a quality management
system based on the principles of hazard analysis and critical
control points (HACCP) and the requirements of the ISO 9001
standard. Now that system is being implemented in Aller's
Russian facilities to increase operating efficiency by
distinctly identifying the company's processes and
interrelations among them.
Aller's private label business has wide global potential.
Because the company's domestic market of Denmark and
Scandinavia is very mature in terms of petfood development, as
is most of Western Europe, it isn't realistic for the company
to continue to grow only in that area with its own brands.
So Aller decided to explore business opportunities in the
attractive Eastern and Central European markets using Poland as
a test, initially with a sales office and later through an
agreement with Poland's largest distributor. These tests were
successful, opening the doors to replicate the scheme in other
markets such as Romania, Estonia and the Czech Republic.
"Also, we are looking at offering our high-quality private
label products," Bylling says. "We have appointed Janusz
Drygalski, our export manager, who is specifically dedicated to
establishing cooperation with distributors and private label
customers in Central and Eastern Europe. We have experienced
exciting results so far, and we still see great opportunities
in these relatively new markets.
"We will keep looking east in the future," Bylling
continues. "But we also see great opportunities in other
markets, such as South America and the Caribbean, where we have
recently become represented by an agent. As in the previous 88
year of the company's existence, we continue having an open
mind to the numerous opportunities in the market."