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Adventures in Pet Food

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry, shares her insights and opinions on all things pet food, addressing market trends as well as news and developments in pet nutrition, food safety and other hot topics for the industry.

Record corn crop in US (find out what that means at Petfood Forum)

Two sources -- the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) -- are predicting a record corn harvest for the US this year, according to WattAgnet.com. FAPRI, a think tank based at the University of Missouri, puts the crop number at 13.916 billion bushels, reports a Reuters article, a 6% increase over the previous record set in 2009 (and based on the second largest plantings since World War II).
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Report on Global Pet Expo 2012

Last week was the largest Global Pet Expo ever -- at least according to the organizer, the American Pet Products Association. A few people I talked with on the show floor seemed skeptical of that claim; nevertheless, APPA president Bob Vetere said this year's show had the most booths, exhibitors, retailers and media.
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Petfood Forum Asia highlights global strength of petfood industry

Considering that the worldwide economy is still shaky -- with unemployment remaining high and consumer confidence low in many regions, and industries like petfood still coping with issues like volatility in ingredient availability and pricing -- it would not be a surprise for members of our industry to worry about the near future. But I believe most people who attended Petfood Forum Asia 2012 last week in Bangkok, Thailand, walked away with a "glass half full" view of our industry.
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Why Petfood Industry has Apps (and your brand should be mobile, too)

In January we released a Petfood Industry App for Android smartphones, joining the Apps available for a year now for iPhones and iPads. Considering our readership is global (nearly 50% of our audience is outside North America), we want readers to be able to access current and back issues of the magazine as well as our website -- all the Apps include links to the latest news and products -- in as many digital formats as possible. That holds true for all readers, no matter where they're located, because in today's busy world, mobile is becoming a key way to reach people.
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Extrusion short course highlights strengths of global petfood market

If you are new to the petfood industry -- or work in another function besides dry petfood production and need to learn much more on that subject -- one of the best ways by attending the annual Feeds and Petfood Extrusion Short Course at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, USA. The course, just concluding its 22nd edition, offers a nearly week-long immersion into grinding, mixing, extruding, drying, cooling and coating dry petfoods and feeds, combining classroom sessions by industry experts with live demonstrations on machines designed to do all those petfood production steps.
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Ideas to ramp up your cause marketing this year

Cause marketing -- promoting a brand, product or company through donations or other giving to charitable causes -- is growing worldwide. In the US alone, spending on causes reached US$1.68 billion in 2011, according to IEG, a branding and sponsorship support firm (and reported by Matt Carmichael on AdAge.com).
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