The Pet Food Institute (PFI) celebrated its 50th anniversary at its annual industry meeting in Washington, DC, in October. The meeting brought together top executives, industry leaders, and key personnel active in the organization.
In celebration of the anniversary, the opening session honored those PFI members whose participation in the institute over the years made an important contribution – past committee chairs. The opening session also included a year in review by PFI President Duane Ekedahl during which he put the pet food recall into perspective. His talk, “2007: The Chinese Year of the Recall,” explained how pet food served as an early warning for risks posed by imported food and other products.
Ekedahl was followed by an informative update from Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine, on developments inside the Food and Drug Administration. Keynote speaker Orion Samuelson, agribusiness director for WGN radio, gave a talk on the changes of the last 50 years.
On the second day of the meeting, PFI was joined by acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner who shared news from inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture and on movement in Congress on the farm bill. The morning session also featured a panel of allied association leaders who shared their perspectives on the future. National Renderers Association President Tom Cook participated in the panel as did Alexander Matthews of the Animal Health Institute, Kendell Keith of the National Grain and Feed Association, and Marshall Meyers of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.
On the technical side, AFB International sponsored and conducted a session on the timely subject of traceability. The well-received and informative session was co-presented by ARmark Authentication Technologies and Smiths Detection.
Terry Block, president of Nestle Purina, was re-elected chairman of PFI at its board of directors meeting, which was held in conjunction with the annual meeting. Other officers elected were Bob Kelly of Bil-Jac as vice chairman, and Rick Shields of Menu Foods as treasurer.
December 2007 RENDER | back