10 Nov 2021

PFMA Brings Industry Together To Celebrate And Debate: ‘Pets, People And The Planet’

This week, the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) held its first “face-to-face” Annual Convention for two years.

This week, the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) held its first “face-to-face” Annual Convention for two years. Guests gathered at the Kimpton Hotel in Fitzrovia to celebrate 50 years of PFMA, the valuable role of pets in society and debate the Industry’s role in working towards a sustainable future.  Reflecting a desire to work collaboratively, pet food manufacturers and retailers were joined by representatives from the veterinary, scientific and welfare sectors. 

The event launched with a focus on sustainability with presentations from Emma Mansbridge, Sustainability & Environmental Policy Executive at Food & Drink Federation (FDF) who updated guests on FDF’s sustainability goals and Philip Hambling, Head of Food and Farming, NFU who highlighted the importance of considering the wider ecosystem and the need for animal welfare to be a priority.  Carri Westgarth, Senior Lecturer in Human-Animal Interaction, University of Liverpool then took to the stage to remind the audience of the huge importance of pets in society by highlighting the numerous scientifically proven health benefits of pet interaction.

The breadth of Industry experts was extended during the discussion panel.  Chaired by Suzanne Jarvis, managing Editor, BVA Journals, speakers were joined by experts Amy Whidburn, Group Head of Social Value, Pets at Home, David Bowles, Head of Public Affairs, RSPCA, Claire Robinson Davies, Nestle Purina and Chair of PFMA’s Sustainability Committee.  The debate focussed on keenness to collaborate, break down targets and remember the significance of a One Health approach where the health of animals, humans and the planet are all linked.

Nicole Paley, Deputy CEO PFMA, reflects: “It was an honour to gather so many experts at our Annual Convention for an energising look to the future.  As concluded by our panel, it is important to continue to celebrate the role of pets whilst promoting animal welfare. By working together to tackle future challenges and indeed viewing them as opportunities, we will be able to find solutions for a healthier and more sustainable world.”

The event concluded with a presentation by Gen Z expert Josephine Hansom from YouthSight Research who reminded guests that the pet owners of the future will be significantly different from those of today. Josephine impressed upon the audience that Gen Z, who are currently 11-26 years old, have grown up in a world where fake news has led to mistrust in experts and their biggest issue is Climate Change. 


Greg Van Praagh, RPFC and PFMA Chairman, concludes: “It was a delight to be back in person at an Industry event and it has successfully galvanised our thoughts.  After a challenging couple of years, it was so refreshing to look to the future and as our panel mentioned, there is a sense of urgency but also hope.”

To read more about PFMA’s sustainability goals please visit www.pfma.org.uk and to keep up to date on news follow @UK_PFMA on Twitter.