05 Dec 2023

UK Pet Food Ignites Conversation on Innovation, Sustainability, and Future Food Systems at its Annual Convention

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UK Pet Food, formerly known as PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association) hosted its highly anticipated Annual Convention on 29 November at the prestigious Stationers’ Hall in central London. Under the theme ‘Our World & Our Pets’, the event brought together pet food companies, representatives from the welfare and veterinary sectors, and policymakers.

The convention served as a platform for industry leaders and experts to engage in discussions on pivotal topics such as innovation, sustainability, food security, and the evolution of future food systems. Participants explored ways to enhance the well-being of pets while addressing broader global challenges.

Key highlights from the day included presentations from policy advisor Marisa Heath, who kicked off the event with her predictions about the impacts of the next general election on the pet food industry.  Marisa was followed by food campaigner and co-founder of Leon, Henry Dimbleby MBE who outlined his views on the Pet Food Industry’s important role in future food systems. 

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Continuing to look to the future, Owen Ensor, Chief Executive of a cultivated meat business for the pet food sector, explored the use of alternative proteins and Dr Alastair Leake – Head of the regenerative farming enterprise – the Allerton Project, discussed how the countryside was adapting. The presentations were followed by an interactive panel discussion, led by UK Pet Food Chair – Claire Robinson-Davies of Nestle Purina.

Continuing to address society’s bigger issues, a keynote address was provided by Anna Kennedy OBE of the Anna Kennedy charity, which was founded to promote inclusion and equality of autistic children and adults throughout society. Joined by charity Ambassador Tess Eagle Swan and her companion Kratu, Anna Kennedy provided insights on harnessing the power of neurodiversity in the workplace. Tess warmed hearts by sharing her journey of living with autism and highlighted how Kratu, her devoted dog, significantly improved her quality of life. 

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UK Pet Food member, Hillary Pearce of Hill’s Pet Nutrition commented: “The agenda was filled with inspiring but down-to-earth real talk about sustainability, animal welfare, and how to improve the workplace for neurodiverse individuals. It was forward-thinking and aspirational, but in a way that made it clear that this future is now.”

The Annual Convention reaffirms UK Pet Food’s commitment to promoting responsible and sustainable practices within the industry. By fostering collaboration and embracing innovation, the organisation aims to contribute to the well-being of pets and address the evolving needs of our world.

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