At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Prague in June, the European Pet Food Federation (FEDIAF) held an inaugural meeting of its CEO Forum bringing together industry leaders to discuss and agree priorities with the aim of future proofing the industry. The session was moderated by Andreas Steinle of the German Future Institute.

The forum included 16 business leaders from 11 European countries and the session focused on long-term mega trends and how these could impact the pet food industry. The mega trends included sustainability, globalization and digitization.

Following a scene setting presentation, delegates broke out into groups to consider four scenarios related to the mega trends and how this could shape FEDIAF’s future strategy:

  • What if 95% of your customers and their pets lived in urban areas?
  • What if 40% of pet food is based on alternative protein sources such as like insects or lab grown meat?
  • What if the EU passed a law that pet food production must be carbon neutral?
  • What if 65% of pet food is bought online?

Andreas Steinle advised: “By 2050, it is expected that 75% of the world’s population will live in cities; pets and people could be competing for drastically reduced living space. By 2050, plastic waste could triple if usage continues at its existing rate. E-commerce is changing before our eyes, with the boundaries between online and offline blurring to create a new retail focusing on fulfilling the personalized needs of each customer. Mega trends are avalanches in slow motion they change everything but slowly and the changes are long lasting.”

FEDIAF President, Mechthild Exner-Herforth (Vice President Corporate Affairs, Mars Europe) added: “This was a superb event and the FEDIAF AGM provided the perfect forum for this discussion. The strength of a trade organization such as FEDIAF is providing the opportunities for industry to come together and develop strategies for these big picture issues. Working together on issues such as sustainability enables us to have a much greater impact than working as one.”

All those at the event agreed a follow up session to help shape the workplan.