Czech pet food producer Vafo Group is continuing its international expansion by investing in the Nordic countries and Baltic States, expanding its manufacturing capacities and acquiring shares in established industry players abroad. Its marketing manager, Tereza Alvarez Sone, said the company recently launched a new factory in Finland, the ninth production facility in its portfolio.
The new plant is located in the Finnish City of Nokia, in the new eco-industrial zone, she said. It is fitted with an annual production capacity of 20,000 tons of pet food, making it the largest facility of its kind in the Nordic country’s market, according to Alvarez Sone.
Investment in Swedish pet food business
In addition, the Czech company recently joined forces with Swedish pet food business Lupus Foder, in which Vafo has acquired a majority stake. “Four Friends is a brand of the Swedish company Lupus Foder,” said Alvarez Sone. “They don't have their own production; we have been producing [these products] for them for several years. Now, [owing to this] successful cooperation, we have become partners and Vafo Group has a majority share of 55% in the company.”
Meanwhile, at the Czech group’s production facility in Estonia, which specializes in snacks, the company has implemented new technology for freeze-dried food and treats. “We will be the only producer of this type of feed in the EU,” Alvarez Sone said.
Vafo Group is also working on a range of new environmentally friendly products, which are to be added to the ranges of its various brands and will be made from sustainable ingredients. The company is also readying to introduce the first vegetarian pet food products to its portfolio, according to Alvarez Sone.
Growing range of pet food brands
The firm’s pet food brands include Brit, Carnilove, Prima Cat, Prima Dog, Profine, Nutrican, Hau Hau, Sam’s Field, Planet Pet and Christopherus, among others. Established in 1994, Vafo Group runs offices and production facilities in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Poland and Sweden, according to figures from the pet food business. Vafo Group says its products are available in more than 75 countries around the world.