Sustainability

5 Ways Pet Food Manufacturers Support America’s Agricultural Economy

With more than two-third of U.S. households having a pet at home, America’s pet food makers play an essential role in providing the nutrition dogs and cats need. Whether they eat kibble, wet pet food, treats or one of the other options available to shoppers, U.S. pets consume over 9.8 million tons of pet food annually, valued at $30.3 billion.

A recent report commissioned by the Institute for Feed Education and Research, North American Renderers Association and the Pet Food Institute finds pet food manufacturing is also a major contributor to agricultural and rural economies. We have broken down some of the top facts found in an analysis of pet food production over a one-year period:

1. The overall value of the ingredients used in pet food was $6.9 billion, representing farm-based products, such as commodity crops, meat and poultry products, rendered animal protein and fishery products.

2. This equates to 8.65 million tons of food ingredients used in dog and cat food! Purchases of these ingredients stimulated additional economic activities for farmers and farm processors across the country. Farmers and ranchers subsequently purchased $5.3 billion in materials and services from farm suppliers, who bought $4.1 billion in inputs from other industries.

3. Pet food makers use an estimated 3.8 million tons of animal-based products, such as rendered products or meat and poultry. They also use 4 million tons of farm and farm-product processor ingredients, such as grains, soy products and fruits and vegetables, and approximately 200,000 tons of seafood products. Overall, pet food makers use a range of more than 500 ingredients to provide complete nutrition for dogs and cats. This also means shoppers have diverse options at various price points to fit their budgets.

4. Pet food production supports economies across the country, with manufacturers in almost every state. While production is national in scope, the five states that gained the most economic benefit are Missouri, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Ohio.

5. Ingredients leftover from the production of human food, such as bakery items or parts of the animal that humans don’t eat, are used to make pet food. This helps provide cats and dogs with essential nutrition while reducing environmental impact and supporting sustainability by reducing food waste. Using these ingredients also helps further support local economies.

Download the entire report to learn more. For more information and an interactive map detailing economic projections on a state level, click here.

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