ST. JOSEPH, MO. and BOULDER, COLO. — Following a major milestone in its partnership with Hill’s Pet Nutrition earlier this year, Bond Pet Foods announced April 23 it has teamed up with Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition, LLC, to develop sustainable pet food ingredients through Bond’s precision fermentation platform.

The joint development agreement marks Bond’s second strategic partnership with a multinational company in the pet food space.

“Our partnership with Bond expands our capabilities and opens up new ways to deliver sustainable, innovative ingredients to pet food manufacturers around the world,” said Matt Fanta, president of Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition. “We see tremendous opportunity with Bond’s technology to expand what’s possible with pet nutrition and support our pursuit of a more responsible pet food future.”

Bond Pet Foods leverages yeast-based precision fermentation to develop animal-free proteins that are biologically identical to animal-based proteins. The process allows the company to develop more sustainable ingredient options for pets, which have been associated with up to 30% of agricultural carbon emissions, according to a 2017 study by Gregory Okin published in PLOS One.

“We are thrilled to partner with Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition on this important work,” said Rich Kelleman, chief executive officer and founder of Bond Pet Foods. “For more than 100 years, they have been known for high-quality ingredients and have a genuine commitment to innovation in the pet nutrition space. We look forward to developing a new class of products through this JDA [joint development agreement] program that will provide pet food manufacturers with more sustainable, functional formulary alternatives.”

Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition is a subsidiary of Wilbur-Ellis, a century-old private company providing ingredient solutions to agricultural sectors. The company’s Nutrition division is focused on delivering ingredient solutions for companion animals like dogs and cats, as well as livestock and aquaculture.

“As the pet food industry focuses more on sustainable solutions, precision fermentation is an increasingly attractive tool to produce proteins, flavors and blends that perform,” said Nick Braden, vice president of Wilbur-Ellis Pet Nutrition. “This collaboration with Bond, and their deep fermentation expertise, will allow us to further advance our ingredient portfolio.”

Cavallo Ventures by Wilbur-Ellis has been an investor in Bond Pet Foods since its series A funding round in September 2022. Other investors include Genoa VC, Lever VC, ADM Ventures, Agronomics, Thia Ventures, KBW Ventures, iSelect Fund, and Plug and Play Ventures.

Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.