With the recent recalls of products manufactured in China, including children's toys, “toxic toothpaste” and tainted milk products as well as the massive pet food recall in 2007 due to the importation of melamine-contaminated wheat gluten; there has been a cultural shift by consumers toward the importance of quality and the traceability of products. This is especially evident in the pet industry, where the humanization of pets has caused more and more consumers to turn over the packaging to see what ingredients are being used and where the product is being made. Unlike other treat companies that go around the world outsourcing products or raw materials, our products are 100% manufactured at our facilities in Richmond, B.C., Canada (from the cutting of the fish to the packaging of the product) to maintain product quality, consistency and traceability.
Product Quality: The main reason for outsourcing can be attributed to the race to find the lowest way to produce a product to increase profit margins. But as the competition for producing these products increases, many companies and distributors are putting immense pressure onto overseas manufacturers to decrease costs, to do this manufacturing plants are cutting corners to get the business. This was a root cause to the use of melamine in the wheat gluten of pet food and in milk products since melamine can make diluted or poor quality material appear higher in protein content by elevating the total nitrogen content detected by simple protein tests. Another safety issue is cross contamination, one such case in a Chinese plant had “workers manufacturing glucosamine sulfate to relieve joint discomfort in the morning and fertilizer to help plants grow in the afternoon – using the same equipment”. (Schmidt, Ottawa Citizen)
Product Consistency and Traceability: As noted above, product consistency often becomes an issue as oversea manufacturers compete against one another to produce more and more cheaply. One way this is done is to find even less expensive raw materials, which makes tracing the raw material chain even more difficult.