PFMA 2021
ANNUAL REPORT
PFMA 2021
ANNUAL REPORT
One of our most unusual and busiest years – we worked tirelessly to promote the interests of our members, maintain the excellent provision of quality pet food and its supply throughout a very tough year

One of our most unusual and busiest years – we worked tirelessly to promote the interests of our members, maintain the excellent provision of quality pet food and its supply throughout a very tough year

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PFMA 2021
ANNUAL REPORT

One of our most unusual and busiest years – we worked tirelessly to promote the interests of our members, maintain the excellent provision of quality pet food and its supply throughout a very tough year.

CHAIRMAN’S WELCOME

Welcome to the PFMA Annual Report 2021. I am delighted to report back you to following my first year as Chairman.

Clearly 2020 has been a year like no other. I know I speak on behalf of the membership when I say that it has never been more imperative for a strong and impactful voice striving for the industry.

From lobbying to ensure pet shops were classified as essential retailers during successive lockdowns to continuous dialogue with the regulators to support industry on Brexit preparations, PFMA has been invaluable.

With challenges aplenty, the real silver lining in 2020 has been the absolute recognition of the positive impact pets have on our lives. PFMA research released in September 2020 highlighted that 11% of UK households had acquired a new pet during the pandemic and a further 10% were planning to do so.

According to our latest statistics 59% of UK households have a pet and are benefitting from the magic of pet ownership. In return for all they bring to us it is vital they get the care they need and deserve. PFMA continues its work with APGAW, CFSG and National Pet Month to keep this at the forefront.

PFMA’s Pet Food Vision continues to be the focus of the Association’s proactive work. Safety and standards are core elements of this Vision and where we strive for excellence. We are soon to launch a certification scheme for the production of commercial raw pet food. This is a new gold standard which demonstrates how we are continually working to raise the bar.

We have also had a strong focus on our sustainability agenda, identifying the priority areas to address, and building the relevant partnerships. PFMA became a ‘Supporter’ of the UK Plastic Pact which unites government, business, and citizens under a collective ambition to transform the plastic system and keep plastic in the economy and out of the environment.

All this work would not be possible without our highly engaged members, the dedication of the PFMA secretariat team and the support of the organisations we work closely with. I look forward to more milestones reached in 2021 and a happier, healthier year all round.

Greg Van Praagh, PFMA Chairman, Benyfit Natural

“In these unprecedented times we appreciate more than ever the valuable work of the PFMA in supporting its members, providing up to date information and leading on behalf of the industry. If ever we needed reminding of why we need a strong, unified trade association, it is now.”

JOHN WALGATE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GROVE PET FOODS

2020: Core Achievements

2020 was a year like no other for us all and the PFMA was extremely busy. Here we highlight our key achievements, falling within our four pillars of work. This activity progressed whilst the team also focused on managing Brexit and the repercussions of COVID-19.

Animal Welfare

  • Continued sponsorship of APGAW – the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare.
  • Conducted a ‘snapshot survey’ of pet acquisition during the pandemic in July 2020 resulting in coverage in Daily Mail, The Times, The Telegraph and across the trade press.
  • Support for the Canine Feline Sector Group in developing a series of educational infographics for pet care during the pandemic.
  • Participated in an Animal Welfare Round-Table set up by the Trade and Agriculture Commission.
  • Ongoing support for National Pet Month.

Safety & Standards

  • Throughout 2020, lobbying on the Agriculture Bill to ensure maintenance of high safety and animal welfare standards.
  • Development of new world-leading certification scheme for raw pet food production (Early 2021).
  • Launched new fact sheets on’ Good Pet Food Manufacturing Process’ and ‘Why choose a PFMA member’ – highlighting the high standards PFMA members subscribe to.
  • Developed a film to celebrate PFMA’s 50th anniversary, which has been used widely on social media and on our website.
  • Welcomed 15 new companies in to membership.

Pet Nutrition

  • Co-organised the second Companion Animal Nutrition (CAN) Conference in collaboration with Northampton University, Feb 2020, with 150 attendees.
  • Transformed the highly successful PFMA Pet Food and Nutrition Course into an online format, making it accessible to a wider range of pet professionals. The two-week long online course attracted 92 participants in July & October 2020 with more dates planned for 2021.
  • Published new factsheets on, ‘Can all Wild birds eat the same food?’, ‘Dental Health in Dogs’, ‘Feeding Enrichment for Small Mammals’, and ‘Insect-based Ingredients in Pet Food’
  • Collaborated with several educational establishments, such as the University of Glasgow and AHDA (Animal Health Distributors Association), to promote nutrition training for pet professionals.

Sustainability

  • Launched new sustainability committee in March and identified priority areas for focus:
    • Recyclability of Packaging.
    • Animal Welfare.
    • Sustainability of Ingredients.
    • The Environmental Impact of Pet Food Production.
  • Consulted on behalf of members on the Plastic Packaging Tax.
  • Became a ‘Supporter’ of the WRAP UK Plastic Pact.
  • Building communications resources on our priority areas. This currently includes factsheets on the ‘Sustainability of Pet Food Ingredients’, ‘Insect Protein in Pet Food’ and ‘Pet Food Packaging’.
  • Became Associate member of FDF to join forces on sustainability topics.

It would be fair to say the PFMA has been preparing for Brexit ever since the referendum result. This was ramped up over the past couple of years while we were negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. We had a number of cliff edge moments, which we had to prepare our members for but in the end, we did reach an agreement with the EU.

This gave us a transitional period up to the end of 2020 to negotiate the future trading relationship, during which time we remained part of the single market and were subject to EU rules. Then we were suddenly hit by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Whilst we lobbied successfully to allow pet shops to remain open, it was still a huge challenge for the sector. We had hoped that the government would recognise this challenge and extend the transition, they did not take this option.

In the end the EU-UK deal (EU-UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement) was agreed very late in the day on Christmas Eve. This, combined with the second wave of COVID-19, gave already stretched government officials and businesses next to no time to fully digest and implement the agreement. We also had the Northern Ireland Protocol to deal with, which is extremely complex. This combination meant the start of the year was always going to be hugely challenging.

The team spearheaded by Michael and Lana were extremely busy working to keep members updated on Brexit twists and turns. A few key activities included:

 

  • A toolkit for members, which is housed on our members only extranet. This has developed into a content rich but easily navigable site which guides members depending on where they are exporting to or importing from.
  • Delivering a series of highly relevant events. This moved online after the initial COVID lockdown. A number of these included officials, mainly from Defra but also from other government departments such as HMRC.
  • Working with our European trade association, FEDIAF, to ensure our colleagues in Europe are aware of the new rules when exporting to the UK. We also exchange information on the current situation on imports into the EU to assist our members when sending product to Europe.
  • We are in constant dialogue with government officials to ensure they are aware of any challenges and to request they change guidance, rules etc, when needed.
  • PFMA is part of a wider Food and Drink Industry Round Table which meet regularly to share intelligence and lobby collectively to Government Ministers and officials on a broad range of issues.

It will be some time before the dust settles. We can then see what are just ‘teething problems’ with new systems, and what will remain as long-term barriers to trade. This trade deal will impact all our members for many years to come, and while our focus in the short term is assisting members to continue to trade with our biggest partner, we will also be focusing on helping to open new markets beyond Europe.

In response to the pandemic, the team continued to keep members updated and lobby on their behalf for key retailers and supply chains to remain open and functioning.

Following a survey of our members in May 2020, we had a clear picture of the impact of Covid-19 on the pet food industry to this point. Initially, sales in pet food peaked. People were stock piling other essential items, and this was extended to pet food. This was followed by a small trough as people only needed a certain amount of food. PFMA members rose to the challenge and were able to meet the demand ensuring a smooth supply of pet food.

An unexpected consequence of COVID-19 has been a boom in new pet owners. Many people found themselves in the position of being able to have a pet for the first time due to home working or furlough. Families with younger children saw pet ownership as a way to occupy and provide additional life lessons whilst home schooling.

Currently the world is recalibrating, and it is too early to say what longer term impact the pandemic will have. We know that certain trends such as digital transformation, increased online shopping are likely to have been accelerated. As there will be many first time pet owners out there and pets acquired in highly unusual times, PFMA and the welfare sector will be working to support owners with education resources.

Activity that made a difference is highlighted below:

March 2020 onwards:

  • Developed COVID-19 Hub for members & ran weekly ‘stay up to date’ briefing webinars.
  • Led a cross industry campaign for pet shops to remain open through Lockdown.
  • Supported the Horticultural Trades Association campaign for garden centres to reopen as soon as it was safely possible.
  • Published blogs and position papers to keep members and stakeholders informed about COVID-19 and pets, at different stages of the pandemic.
  • Consulted with retailers and members to understand impact of the pandemic across the pet food supply chain.
  • PFMA and members of the Canine Feline Sector Group came together to provide clear guidance to owners on how to look after their pets during the current COVID-19 crisis.

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

PFMA is dedicated to representing its members and promotes the responsible manufacture of quality, nutritious pet food products.

With the widespread disruption of COVID-19 and Brexit, members recognised the importance of membership more than ever, with the information and advice we can offer at times of such uncertainty. We also recognised those who were not currently members and were reaching out to join and access this invaluable information and the further services and benefits of membership.

PFMA launched a successful recruitment drive during the summer which highlighted the work which PFMA does for the industry. During 2020 we welcomed 15 new member companies across varying sectors into membership, it is great to have so many new members onboard and contributing within Committees and Working Groups.

As always, this work is informed by the wider feedback from the membership and the outcomes of our annual member survey.

Reasons why members value the PFMA

%

of members rated effectiveness of PFMA as overarching industry representative

%

of members value PFMA for its Credibility

%

of members value PFMA for its Technical and Regulatory Support

%

of members value PFMA for its Lobbying Influence

%

of members value PFMA for its Committees & Working Groups

%

of members value PFMA for Brexit Preparedness

%

of members value PFMA for its COVID-19 Response

%

of members value PFMA for its Educational Material

%

of members value PFMA for its Online Resources and Engagement

In 2020, PFMA continued to support members in these areas:

Pet hens outside and Golden Retriever in sand
Pet cat and tortoise

Resource & Rebrand taskforce –
ENSURING PFMA IS FUTURE FIT

In an ever-changing world, it is important that PFMA continues to be forward thinking and remains relevant for its membership. Throughout 2020, a dedicated Resource and Rebrand Task Force has focused on three areas:

1. Income streams

Diversifying PFMA’s income streams which has led to some new initiatives such as extending our popular Pet Food & Nutrition Course beyond the membership, a new UK Pet Data Report released in September and the proposal for a new Associate Membership category which would enable those who work closely with the pet food sector to come onboard and enjoy a package of membership benefits.

2. Self Regulation

Safety and standards are core elements of PFMA’s Pet Food Vision and where we strive for excellence. It is through initiatives such as self-regulation and our industry Codes of Practice that we continually seek to raise the bar. This also includes how we communicate to the external world what it means to be a member of PFMA.

3. Brand

Ensuring PFMA’s branding clearly reflects who we are and what we are about. This work has just begun led by the PFMA Communications Committee and we will keep members briefed as we progress.

Looking forward – 2021

Animal Welfare

PFMA focuses on Animal Welfare

Pet Nutrition

PFMA focuses on Animal Welfare
  • Promoting healthy feeding and weight management
  • Educating our members and pet care professionals as we continue the PFMA nutrition course with new modules added
  • Developing our range of factsheets on nutrition topics such as insect and plant based protein pet foods

Sustainability

PFMA focuses on Sustainability
  • Communicating our progress on our environmental sustainability priorities of packaging & recyclability, sustainability of ingredients, animal welfare and the environmental impacts of pet food production
  • Hosting a sustainability webinar for the pet food industry in autumn 2021
  • Working with our partners at FDF and WRAP including the UK Plastic Pact
  • Responding on policy consultations including the Environment Bill
  • Building a communications toolkit on sustainability topics

Safety & Standards

PFMA focuses on Animal Safety
  • PFMA will launch a brand new, world leading certification scheme for commercial raw pet food production. The scheme coordinated by independent providers – KIWA, is designed to be an extra tool to support the safe production of raw pet food
  • Promotion of best practice product communications across the pet food industry to ensure clear and helpful information for pet owners
  • Lobbying to ensure our high safety and animal welfare standards are maintained as we continue our EU Exit journey

EU Exit

PFMA Brexit icon
  • PFMA will be raising awareness of industry’s priorities for post-Brexit trade negotiations
  • Supporting the pet food industry as the new post Brexit regime embeds
  • Looking for new trade opportunities for the industry

Membership

  • Introducing Associate Membership categories
  • Continuation of the recruitment efforts
  • Focus on our digital strategy and transformation
  • Continuation of our PFMA Fit for Future work

Pet Population Data

Every year, PFMA gathers Pet Food Market Data and commissions Pet Population Research. Here we have a snapshot of our findings from the annual survey of 5093 households. More detail can be viewed in the Statistics section of our website.

TOP TEN PETS

  • 12 MILLION DOGS
  • 12 MILLION CATS
  • 1.3 MILLION INDOOR BIRDS
  • 1.2 MILLION DOMESTIC FOWL
  • 1 MILLION RABBITS
  • 800,000 GUINEA PIGS
  • 600,000 HAMSTERS
  • 500,000 HORSES & PONIES
  • 500,000 PIGEONS
  • 400,000 TORTOISES & TURTLES
  • 12 MILLION DOGS
  • 12 MILLION CATS
  • 1.3 MILLION INDOOR BIRDS
  • 1.2 MILLION DOMESTIC FOWL
  • 1 MILLION RABBITS
  • 800,000 GUINEA PIGS
  • 600,000 HAMSTERS
  • 500,000 HORSES & PONIES
  • 500,000 PIGEONS
  • 400,000 TORTOISES & TURTLES

Note: All figures are rounded to the nearest 100,000.   

  • 5m INDOOR FISH TANKS (12% households)
  • 4m OUTDOOR PONDS
  • 5M INDOOR FISH TANKS
  • 4M OUTDOOR PONDS

IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC
Over the last year, PFMA has conducted two surveys. The first was conducted in August 2020, a ‘snapshot survey’ of 2555 households looking at pet acquisition. Similar questions were asked as in our nationwide survey released this March (sample of 2558 households). Both surveys confirm a shift in pet ownership with 11% of the UK or 3.2million households acquiring a pet since the start of the pandemic.

PFMA Pet Market Data

PFMA is the principal trade body representing the UK pet food industry.
Our 100 member companies account for over 90% of the UK market.
PFMA 2020 market data

MISSION STATEMENT

PFMA aims to create a credible and responsible industry by placing pets at the centre of everything we do. While striving to achieve a balanced regulatory environment for the production of nutritious and safe food, PFMA also encourages responsible pet ownership, working in partnership with relevant pet bodies. It aims to be the main resource for its members, the public and others, as well as playing a lead role in forming opinions in Europe through the European Pet Food Federation (FEDIAF).

Our membership comprises of manufacturers of all sizes producing food for the range of pet species. In representing the interests of our members we focus on the following core pillars:

Animal Welfare

Nutrition

Safety & Standards

Sustainability

OUR TEAM

MICHAEL BELLINGHAM

MICHAEL BELLINGHAM

CHIEF EXECUTIVE

JOINED: 2004

NICOLE PALEY

NICOLE PALEY

DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE (COMMUNICATIONS & ANIMAL WELFARE)

JOINED: 2003

SARAH HORMOZI

SARAH HORMOZI

HEAD OF SCIENCE AND EDUCATION

JOINED: 2011

LANA MORGAN

LANA MORGAN

HEAD OF REGULATORY AFFAIRS

JOINED: 2009

LAURA WATERS

LAURA WATERS

MEMBERSHIP AND EVENTS MANAGER

JOINED: 2019