BRUSSELS, Belgium — The Global Alliance of Pet Food Associations (GAPFA) has launched a new-and-improved website, as reported by Carlos Gonzalez, director of global regulatory affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Hill’s is one of three major pet food manufacturers that is a member of GAPFA, along with Mars Petcare and Nestlé Purina.

The other 13 members of the global alliance represent pet food markets from around the world, including the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA); the Brazilian Pet Products Manufacturers Association (ABINPET); The European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF); the Pet Food Association of Canada (PFAC); the New Zealand Pet Food Manufacturers Association; Korea Pet Food Association (KPFA); Pet Food Institute (PFI); the AMASCOTA segment of Mexico’s Consejo Nacional de Fabricantes de Alimentos Balanceados; Japan Pet Food Association; Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa; Petfood Industry Association of Thailand; Pet Food Manufacturers Association of Russia; and Camara Argentina de Empresas de Nutricion Animal (CAENA, Argentine Chamber of Animal Nutrition).

Founded in Belgium in 2014, GAPFA describes itself as “the heart behind the industry” as well as “the global voice of the pet food industry.” Its new website features a variety of resources on pet food quality and safety, nutrition, responsible pet ownership and pet ownership advocacy. All its resources, including policy statements and its global guidance from 2018, are centrally located on the new site’s Library page.

According to the non-profit alliance, GAPFA represents “at least 92% of the total global pet food production,” which was estimated between $70 billion and $75 billion in 2015. It states its mission is “to support the health and wellbeing of dogs and cats and to promote the benefits of living with them, by providing a forum to address industry consensus on key issues of mutual interest.”

The alliance includes a General Assembly, which meets annually to discuss topics of interest and make sure they agree on points of action or guidance, an Executive Committee, and three main “workstreams” which focus on food safety and trade facilitation, nutrition, and communications.

GAPFA’s Executive Committee consists of a president, two vice presidents, one treasurer and one secretary, as well as other nominated members. This committee meets regularly and members represent the diversity of global regions that make up the alliance.

Under its food safety and trade facilitation agenda, the organization offers its own guidance for food safety as a “self-regulation framework” for global food safety expectations along with basic safety guidelines to streamline international trade.

The nutrition workstream discusses industry- and government-recognized nutrient levels for balanced nutrition and wellness among cats and dogs. The communication workstream aims to educate stakeholders and consumers on pet food nutrition and manufacturing, and advocate for responsible pet ownership.

“GAPFA members recognize that collaboration and shared knowledge can benefit pet food makers, pet lovers and, of course, the dogs and cats we feed. GAPFA’s members share information on product safety, nutrition and trade, all with the goal of providing consumer choice that allows pet lovers to select the most appropriate food for their cat’s or dog’s nutritional needs,” the organization stated in its fact sheet.

Read more about associations and agencies in the pet food business.