This pet food manufacturer is going beyond manufacturing pet food to deliver on its brand promise.
Although Canidae is headquartered in Stanford Conn., the company has focused on making investments within its Brownwood manufacturing facility in Texas with the addition of two new multi-pass dryers allowing the company to further expand its production of dry pet food in a more sustainable way.
Part of Canidae’s efforts towards sustainability involve regenerative farming. Beginning in 2016, the company launched the Canidae Farms initiative. Through this initiative, farmers grow peas, milo, barley and oats using a no-tilling method, which is a key aspect of regenerative farming. Currently, Canidae is working with regenerative farmers in Kansas and Nebraska but has plans to expand with additional farmers in other states.
The Canidae Farms initiative is led by Clint Brauer, owner of Greenfield Robotics in Cheney, Kan. One of his secrets to regenerative farming involves sheep. Brauer allows grass-fed sheep to graze on his cover crops, which helps create fertility, soil structure, prevent erosion, feed animals and prevents the need for synthetic fertilizers and herbicides.
With its success in regenerative farming partnerships, Canidae can process nutrient-rich, farmed ingredients and incorporate them into its pet food products. Whole, dry pulses are milled at the company’s Brownwood facility and included in its dry pet food formulas.
Despite COVID-19 challenging other processors in the industry, Canidae’s Brownwood facility has risen to meet consumers’ demands. The two new dryers have improved the quality and quantity of extruded products the facility manufactures. It’s estimated that the Brownwood facility alone contributes 80% to Canidae’s annual sales.
Canidae’s commitment toward sustainability led it to reconsider its packaging. The company is working to help reduce the use of virgin plastics by incorporating a higher amount of recycled content into its pet food packaging.
Recently, Canidae began the ambitious project of eliminating single-use pet food bags for select formulas. Through a partnership with Petco, the company created and installed kibble refill stations at five California-based Petco locations. The stations offer reusable, food-safe zipper bags that consumers can fill in-store, take home and reuse when they need more pet food.
Canidae’s sustainable efforts are part of an intentional, long-term strategy for the company. It has paid close attention to its consumers data and found they are heavily invested in eco-friendly brands. The data Canidae gleaned from its customers led the company to a relaunch with the purpose of providing higher-quality pet food beneficial to pets and the environment.
Though Canidae’s various efforts toward sustainability may not see a quick return on investment, the company’s dedication to these efforts may come with a return on environment. Support from Canidae’s employees has driven the company towards a stronger commitment to pets, people and the planet.
As well as offering equipment testing, the center provides processors with engineering and product R&D expertise.