Pet food, as always, must keep its eyes on the future

Companies should take advantage of pet food industry shifts to ensure success for the rest of the year.

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Digital communication will be key to maintaining cohesion and growth in the pet food industry. (gremlin | iStock.com)
Digital communication will be key to maintaining cohesion and growth in the pet food industry. (gremlin | iStock.com)

Welcome to our 2020 Reference and Buyer’s Guide issue, which includes detailed listings of pet food industry supplier contacts (p. x) as well as products and services (p. x). We are now eight months into what feels like an endless year, filled so far with uncertainty, significant (and possibly lasting) changes in the way we all do business with each other and an abrupt shift in the way we as an industry convene to network and share our latest information and research.

I know that this issue typically serves as an on-hand reference to peruse if you happen to be looking for a supplier of some specific ingredient, or an industry expert in batching systems, or are starting a new venture for which you don’t already have contacts. But this year, I invite you to look at this guide as something more: See it as an opportunity to reach out to companies you’ve never spoken with, to stretch your industry tendrils a bit further, to learn more about the various segments of pet food that make it all work.

Taking advantage of current digital innovations

Now is the time to strengthen the industry from within. One of the things I’ve consistently seen over the years as I’ve attended events is that people stay in this industry a long time. Your coworker from five years ago may now be working for a competitor, but that doesn’t stop you from getting together for a few after-conference drinks at the hotel bar. We at Petfood Industry are doing our best to help maintain that networking ability, albeit from a distance, as we put together this year’s Petfood Forum CONNECT, the virtual version of our annual Petfood Forum (www.PetfoodForumEvents.com). We’re also doing our part to help educate those new to the industry, as the foundation to future success and growth, with Petfood Essentials CONNECT•ED, a six-module on-demand short course focusing on the production and safety aspects of dry pet food (p. x).

Whatever you usually get out of this annual directory, take it one step further, and hopefully we’ll “see” you at Petfood Forum CONNECT!

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