DECATUR , Ill. — ADM named Amy McCarthy vice president of its pet nutrition business on Oct. 23, a position to which McCarthy brings nearly two decades of industry experience and knowledge.
“I have always been an animal lover and was initially drawn to this field after working on an animal nutrition research project in college,” McCarthy says. “That experience fostered my purpose today: promoting sustainable growth within the pet food and treats space and helping develop products consumers can feel good about feeding their pets.”
The rapidly transforming pet food market has necessitated innovation in pet nutrition products, contributing to an increased focus on research and product development, food safety and functional health benefits.
“I’m excited to be involved with ADM when market growth is allowing for even more research and product development,” McCarthy says. “This has opened the door for innovation which would have seemed unimaginable when I first entered the field.”
In particular, she points to the company’s new Animal Nutrition Technology Center in Decatur, opened on Dec. 5, 2019, as a testament to the company’s commitment to research and product innovation. “Our newest facility builds upon ADM’s legacy of excellence in the animal nutrition space and allows us to collaborate with customers closer than ever before,” she adds.
The Animal Nutrition Technology Center will help McCarthy drive ADM’s pet nutrition strategy and work to expand the company’s product offerings in ingredients, premixes, pet foods and pet treats. The center includes a pilot extrusion facility, pet food culinary kitchen, and ingredient evaluation and enzyme analysis labs. McCarthy will collaborate with a team of specialists, comprised of a network of food technologists and ingredient application experts.
This expansion of solutions and capabilities is part of ADM Animal Nutrition’s history, McCarthy says, as it strives to “stay ahead of industry trends.”
“Our approach to serving customers in the companion animal industry is based on being a provider of not just ingredients, but complete solutions tailored to our customers’ needs. We accomplish this by focusing heavily on customer engagement, from ideation to the finished product,” she adds.
The company has been investing in animal food research and development initiatives in the US and abroad over the past five years, most recently acquiring Neovia to produce value-added companion animal solutions.
“ADM has also renovated several specialty animal nutrition plants in the US and China. Part of the reason I was brought on is to sustainably grow our business, and ADM has made significant investments to further this goal,” McCarthy says.
Another of McCarthy’s goals is to address some of the challenges facing the industry today. “Currently there is a lot of consumer confusion about what to look for — and what to steer clear of — when selecting pet nutrition products. ADM is combatting this by partnering with manufacturers as a whole- solutions provider, providing ingredients and formulations that support wellness and label transparency,” she explains.
In light of heightened food safety regulations and consumer expectations, McCarthy says ADM’s premixes and ingredient solutions are heavily vetted for safety and quality. “Food safety is of the utmost importance to ADM, which is why we have built checks and balances into our processes to ensure our products meet strict quality and food safety standards. Traceability is important to our customers and we are able to demonstrate it with a state-of-the-art barcoding program throughout our entire process flow,” she explains. “In fact, we embed food safety measures in all of our processes, from our barcoding technology, to batch management, to metal detection.”
Currently, ADM produces a wide variety of finished pet food and treat products, including high-meat, grain-free and more mainstream formulas.
“Our vast portfolio of ingredients and formulation expertise means we are nearly unlimited in what we can produce, and we are always working to expand our product formats. One of the benefits of working with ADM is that we can customize products based on the needs of the customer and what is currently on-trend in the marketplace,” McCarthy says.
McCarthy concluded by saying, “I’m excited to be taking on this new role at a time when the pet health and nutrition space is expanding, especially since ADM is on the cutting-edge of of developing new and innovative solutions for pet owners.”
Read more about Amy McCarthy’s past experience in the pet food and treat industry.