Petfood Industry - December 2017 - 21
www.PetfoodIndustry.com | 21
that we can work for the long term,
not just the short term. We can invest
more in ensuring we're in touch with
consumers and customers, and we're
investing in facilities."
Those facilities include the US$110
million Innovation Center near the
current headquarters (see sidebar),
plus a new headquarters slated to
open in 2019.
"Being a private business is
important," Johnson said. "We're
successful on multiple fronts, not
just the financial front. We have a
bigger purpose than just the financials." That includes a commitment to
sustainability - its North American
sites now send zero waste to landfills
and are working to have zero impact
on the environment overall in a
generation - its guiding principles
and, again, its purpose. Every Mars
associate receives 16 paid hours a
year to volunteer, usually at pet- or
Johnson also cited Mars' Better
Cities for Pets program.
"We're able to do a lot of leadingedge work to try and understand
how we can create better environments for pets to live in the US," he
said. "As a sizable player, we feel a
responsibility toward that."
but watch out for quality,
Johnson sees a mix of opportunities and responsibilities for the pet
food industry overall.
"I think our 'watch out' is the
quality and food safety point," he
said. "What's really important is that,
as an industry, we have the right level
of controls, the right level of governance around the quality of products
that are produced, because that is
Industry December 2017
critical. Pets are extensions of people's
families, no different from a child, and
we need to be operating in that way."
On the positive side, pet food is
growing. "You see a lot of passion in
the industry," Johnson said. "A lot
of people are trying to come up with
new and better propositions to meet
consumer needs. We work in a great
industry. Sometimes you have to
pinch yourself and say, we're very
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