How we created Canada’s first ethically sourced pet food
From the Globe and Mail
My time working in the pet industry changed me in many ways – I became a vegetarian and my commitment to animal welfare deepened. I also began to contemplate the food I was feeding my dogs, questioning the disconnect between loving our pets and feeding them factory farmed meat.
This transformation gave way to a desire to change the standards for farm animal welfare in the pet industry. Along with my husband Isaac and brother-in-law Derek, we created Open Farm, the first ethically raised and sourced pet food. Our goal is to drive positive change in the pet industry with respect to farm animal welfare and sustainability, while creating much cleaner and higher quality food for pets.
A critical part of building an ethically driven food was to provide complete transparency and accountability to pet owners so they could better understand where their pet’s food is coming from. We knew that in order to do that, we needed to work with independent, industry-leading partners to audit and certify our supply chain. To date, our partners include Humane Farm Animal Care, Ocean Wise and Terracycle.
Our goal is to drive demand for humanely farmed meat and move as many farm animals as possible to a humane system of meat production. We needed a partner that put the farm animals first, and had a high level of expertise and oversight in the field. For this reason we chose to partner with Humane Farm Animal Care, the organization responsible for the Certified Humane label. HFAC’s standards are extensive, cover the entire life of the animal, and were developed by industry leading vets and animal scientists to provide farm animals with space, a healthy diet, gentle handling, and the ability to engage in their natural behaviours.