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Looking at major current trends in the pet food industry, it’s clear that sustainability and animal welfare are becoming ever more important. These topics are also at the forefront of our thinking at IQI, stimulating us to improve and develop novel, alternative ingredients. In our latest e-paper, we elaborate on sustainability and how we see it shaping our industry and our own daily business.

Becoming more sustainable is crucial for the pet food industry to remain relevant in the future. This need is intensified by the shortage of fats and proteins from animal as well as marine by-products and co-products expected in the coming years. In addition, pet parents are becoming more interested in aspects such as sustainability, animal welfare, and natural food. We therefore need suitable and sustainable alternatives: healthy ingredients that don’t compromise the ability of future generations to take care of their pets

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

IQI Trusted Petfood Ingredients is dedicated to improving sustainability and animal welfare in our industry by working towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For IQI, the two most relevant are SDG 12 (‘responsible consumption and production’), and SDG 14 (‘life below water’). We can improve sustainability by optimizing our operations in terms of transport, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and reducing energy and water use at our offices and warehouses. Recently, we hired a specialized consultancy firm to conduct a life cycle analysis on our four products, as well as to investigate our local network footprint per location. When this is finished and the final report is produced, we will adopt the recommendations to further improve our sustainability and work with sustainability of the whole supply chain.

Close cooperation on sustainability

Close cooperation on sustainability

By far the biggest impact on sustainability can be made through close cooperation with our partners. Together with them, we are exploring and developing more sustainable alternatives to the current animal- and marine-based sources of protein and fat for pet food applications. High-quality, healthy ingredients ensure balanced nutrition and optimal digestion of nutrients. That’s why this is always our starting point when sourcing new ingredients. Ultimately, this will lead to more sustainable pet food with a similar functionality and palatability, and a fully transparent supply chain.

Alternative proteins, oils & fats

Proteins are perhaps the most important ingredient in relation to sustainability, due to their nutritional and commercial relevance as a pet food ingredient. Of all protein production, the meat and dairy industries generally have the largest ecological impact, followed by fish and then plant-based ingredients.

When sourcing animal-, marine- or plant-based ingredients, we aim to utilize side streams of human production to prevent them from going to waste.
We offer a range of plant-based alternative proteins, including more traditional sources, such as potato or corn, as well as rice, non-GM soy, and legumes (such as peas and beans). We are also exploring the use of fermented vegetable proteins and yeast proteins.
We offer insect protein based on the Black Soldier Fly (BSF), which is a highly sustainable alternative with the right composition and nutritional value.

Besides next to proteins, oils and fats often come from traditional animal- or marine-based sources. IQI also offers different kinds of sustainable oil & fat solutions: Algae instead of or in combination with fish oil and Insect oil

Alternative carbohydrates

Alternative carbohydrates

In addition to protein and oils & fats, carbohydrates are another important pet food ingredient.

IQI offers different sustainable carbohydrate solutions:

Potato flakes and mixes

Bread meal created from side streams of the bread industry

Alternative dietary fibers

Alternative dietary fibers

IQI also offers numerous healthy alternatives to other kinds of pet food ingredient, such as dietary fibers. While these can be found in natural food sources, by far the highest amount of insoluble fibers is found in purified cellulose powder. Due to the chemical process used to produce purified cellulose powder, however, it is not always considered a fully natural or sustainable product.

IQI offers different kinds of sustainable dietary fiber solutions made from side streams of human food manufacturing processes:

Different kinds of pomace, such as tomato pomace and apple pomace Functional carrot fiber

Miscanthus fiber

Spent brewers barley


Animal welfare

Animal welfare

IQI believes that working to achieve a sustainable pet food industry has a direct impact on animal welfare. Although animal welfare is not explicitly mentioned in the UN SDGs, research has already indicated that working to achieve the SDGs is comparable to working to improve animal welfare.

The Pet Sustainability Coalition

The Pet Sustainability Coalition

To strengthen our ambitions, in 2020 IQI became a member of the Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC), a non-profit organization that accelerates sustainability in the pet food industry. IQI supports PSC’s vision of a thriving and collaborative pet food industry that creates a positive impact. We are very proud to be part of such an alliance because we are committed to a sustainable pet food industry together with like-minded partners.

Our vision for tomorrow’s pet food industry

At IQI, we are committed to further accelerating sustainability and animal welfare in the pet food industry. Download our e-paper to learn more about IQI Trusted Petfood Ingredients’ vision on sustainability.

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