NEW BEDFORD, MASS. — Northern Pelagic Group, LLC (NORPEL), a protein supplier celebrating its 20th year in business, has cut the ribbon at its new pet food ingredient facility in Hazle Township, Pa., which will expand the company’s capacity and capabilities for fresh and frozen pet food proteins.

The “prep kitchen” is expected to create more than 80 full-time jobs in northeastern Pennsylvania. The facility will house three processing lines. The expansion will increase production capacity and add new capabilities to drive pet food protein innovation and specialization, NORPEL stated. The company first announced it was building this prep kitchen in March 2021.

“NORPEL’s new prep kitchen will be a multi-protein facility that expands NORPEL’s ability to serve the rapidly developing North American pet food industry,” said Michael Tierney, vice president of business development at NORPEL. “The kitchen will connect brands, manufacturers and consumers to nutritious land proteins. NORPEL will produce new products that meet sustainability and animal welfare standards with the same reliability and quality NORPEL’s partners have come to expect.”

NORPEL’s current protein offerings to pet food producers includes chicken, pork, lamb, beef, goat, duck, bison, salmon meal and oil, redfish meal and oil, kelp meal and dried seaweed.

The company will also expand its seafood protein offerings through its new pet food prep kitchen. NORPEL has partnered with the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP), through which the company will add sustainably sourced Wild Alaska Pollock to its pet food protein portfolio.

“Integrating Wild Alaska Pollock into our pet protein lines has been a longstanding goal of NORPEL,” said Bob Desautel, co-founder of NORPEL and president and chief executive officer of Global Seas.

Global Seas has worked closely with the largest certified sustainable Wild Alaska Pollock fishery in the world. The company has helped the fishery conduct its first Life Cycle Assessment in 2021, providing the ingredient’s low carbon footprint compared to other proteins. The fishery was awarded the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) 2021 Ocean Award for fishery management.

The facility is positioned to provide NORPEL with easier access to raw materials, its customers and the Port of Philadelphia.

“Wild Alaska Pollock will help NORPEL further its commitment to sustainability and deliver an excellent protein for pets,” Desautel added. “Expect Wild Alaskan Pollock in the pet aisle soon.”

Along with expanding its portfolio to include Wild Alaska Pollock, NORPEL is working to reduce its environmental footprint across its supply chain.

“Sustainability continues to be our top priority,” said Brady Schofield, chief executive officer and co-founder of NORPEL. “The opening of this facility will allow us to reduce our carbon footprint and places NORPEL closer to our customers and suppliers. Reducing emissions due to transportation, upcycling, and offering certified products is just the beginning of our journey in sustainability.”

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