written by Andreas Böhm

You ask, we answer: farewell to animal welfare chicken

Something is about to change at Green Petfood: over the course of this year, many of our products with animal welfare chicken will be phased out. We are also going to be incorporating other protein sources in our range, including conventional meat sources. Since this topic raises so many questions, we've answered some of them for you.

The changes mainly affect our dry food products containing chicken from species-appropriate husbandry. This includes all varieties from the FarmDog range as well as InsectDog Mini Grainfree and FairCat Vital. These products are being phased out. They will no longer be exported by us with immediate effect and will probably only be available in Germany until the end of the year.
There will be an immediate change in our FairCat Safe product. We are retaining this in the range. From now on, we will use poultry from conventional farming in FairCat Safe. 
The poultry comes from animals that are approved for human consumption. Many parts of the animal are no longer in such high demand by western consumers for the human diet. So it makes sense to utilise these in animal feed. This approach ensures every part of the animal is used. 
But in terms of the recipe itself, nothing is different, so there will be no change in taste or tolerance for your cats. Last but not least, the change also enables a price saving for our FairCat Safe customers. We are now in a position to lower the price, while most products on the market are becoming more expensive.  

The truth is that not enough people were buying our products with free-range chicken. In addition, there are currently challenges affecting the overall market for free-range products: national and international effects of the Ukraine war, the aftermath of the pandemic, and rising inflation. All these factors have influenced the availability, quality and pricing of our raw materials. This has led to increasing costs combined with decreased purchasing power for our customers. These issues all contributed to our decision. 

Needless to say, we regularly consider the topic of organic produce. However, here we faced very similar challenges to those for animal welfare chicken. At the moment, we cannot guarantee the long-term availability of raw materials that meet the high-quality standards we demand. This approach would also have had a further impact on the price.  
In future, we are of course open to suitable solutions if they meet our quality standards and represent a sensible option. 

Wet and dry food production involves different processes and raw material requirements. In wet food production, we currently have other conditions that allow us to continue using chicken from species-appropriate husbandry. For example, here the cuts of meat are processed directly and without prior drying. As a result, we do not have to make any changes to our wet food products at the moment. 

The decision not to switch the entire range is based on the relatively low demand for our products with free-range chicken. In the case of InsectDog and VeggieDog, we have excellent complete feed alternatives for dog owners who care about sustainability. For cats who prefer a mixed diet or even just dry food, our range will retain a good alternative with FairCat Safe. 
However, by adding conventional meat sources, we can expand our range in future and thus persuade more people to buy sustainable feed. This allows us to offer a greater variety of products and thus inspire even more customers to choose sustainable feed. It also opens up the possibility for us to be more accommodating of our customers' different needs and preferences and to offer a wider range of options. 
Sustainability has always been central to our production practices, and we continue to judge everything we do against our sustainability measures. Our entire production process is geared towards sustainability. For us, this even includes our production facilities: for example, we generate our own electricity on site, we store goods on wooden shelves made of certified wood from regional forestry, and we clean our exhaust air using an environmentally friendly biobed system. We avoid and reduce wherever we can. We offset unavoidable greenhouse gases via our Ntakata Mountains forest conservation project.  
And of course, we ask ourselves vitally important questions. What does sustainability mean? What makes a green brand? What would the alternative look like? Which sociological, environmental and economic factors need to be incorporated in a holistic approach to sustainability in the future?   
Ultimately, we decided to reach out to more people and their animals. As a sustainable brand, we also have a duty to grow. This approach will enable us to make sustainable animal feed even more mainstream.  
And most importantly — our mission remains unchanged: we provide sustainable food for everyone!