Aller Petfood, a Danish pet food producer, has upgraded its certification for food safety. According to the company, Aller was the first pet food company in Europe to get the ISO 22000 certification in 2007. Now, Aller’s Russian division has upgraded the certification to FSSC 22000 certification.

What is the Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC) and why is it relevant?

ISO 22000 was originally developed for the human food production plant, so some parts of the certification have not been relevant for the pet food trade, which is placed somewhere between the human food trade and the animal feed trade. The new FSSC takes this into account and is an adaptation of ISO 22000. Other elements have been added in the FSSC 22000 certification, such as a “surprise” visit by the auditors.

“In our opinioun the ‘surprise’ audits are a positive development,” said Henriette Bylling, CEO and owner of Aller Petfood. “We believe that a quality system should be lived and not just be a certification on the wall, se we should always be ready for a visit from the auditors.”

Importance of pet food safety management and transparency 

For several years, Aller Petfood has had the ISO 22000 – the food safety management – guaranteeing that the pet food products are manufactured, prepared, packaged, distributed and certified to the highest standards of food safety. Some of the focus areas of the FSSC 22000 that can be highlighted as especially interesting for all stakeholders – from the distributor and the retailer to the pet parent and the pet – are the management of formulations as well as the focus on fraud prevention. At the same time, the certification meets one of the current buzz words in the pet food trade, sustainability, via focus on environmental monitoring and management of natural resources.

What has Aller Petfood been certified for?

The audit includes a long list of requirements that Aller Petfood must meet. The auditors made positive notes of:

  • Strong leadership of management
  • High level of personnel qualification
  • Quality of documents and various forms of record keeping is provided
  • Flexible and timely response to changes in the external environment. In particular, the successful implementation of the new state system for veterinary traceability, Mercury, and assistance in the implementation of the software not only for suppliers and customers, but also for the veterinarians themselves
  • The naturalness of the product

The auditors also mentioned that the quality level and quality management of this pet food plant was beyond what they are experiencing in many human food production facilities.

The ISO 22000 supports transparency through its “surprise” audits and fraud prevention elements. “Everybody in the organization from management to production team takes part in the process,” said Aller Petfood Quality Manager Tatyana Lakutina. “To us, it’s not just a certificate to hang on the wall. It is an actual opportunity for us to keep improving our quality processes and our organization as a whole.”