Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Animal Equality (AE), jointly with Champion Petfoods USA Inc. (CPF), announces that they have resolved two consumer protection actions filed by AE and OCA on July 24, 2020 and August 10, 2020, respectively, against CPF in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
These actions concerned CPF's marketing and labeling as to some of its pet food ingredients with respect to claims pertaining to "wild-caught" trout and "free-run" poultry.
AE's action alleged that CPF, which started making pet food in Alberta, Canada and later expanded into the United States in 2016, identified farm-raised trout as "wild-caught" in some of its marketing materials. This was an inadvertent oversight that has since been corrected.
OCA's action alleged that CPF marketed some of its products as containing "free-run" chicken without defining that term on the packaging. "Free-run" is a term used by the Canadian poultry industry to refer to chickens who are not housed in cages and are able to move in a barn without outdoor access.
As part of the amicable resolution of these actions, and in light of CPF's continued commitment to transparency, CPF has agreed that its future packaging and digital marketing content will provide greater clarity regarding the farm-raised sourcing of trout used in certain of its products.
In addition, CPF will provide more clarity about the definition of the term "free-run" on its products that are made with chicken. Finally, CPF has also agreed to partner with an animal welfare consultant to provide additional animal welfare education to employees, and CPF has arranged for pertinent employees to become certified in animal welfare auditing.
AE, OCA, and CPF are pleased to have reached this resolution, which they believe will help bring even more clarity to the sourcing and labeling of pet food products.
AE and OCA are represented by Richman Law and Policy. CPF is represented by Greenberg Traurig, LLP.
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