Thursday, May 06, 2010

Natura sells out to Proctor and Gamble...

On the heels of my post last night about my food rotations for the summer came news from the pet food industry that Natura Pet (a privately held company) the manufacturers of Innova, Innova Evo, California Natural and Healthwise foods had been sold to the corporate giant Proctor and Gamble. Proctor and Gamble also purchased Iams and Eukanuba brands - The Natura lines of pet food will presumably roll into their Pet and Snack food division which also includes brand names such as Pringles. Under the giant corporate umbrella of P&G I think anyone who is currently feeding these products really needs to take a hard look at what they are feeding and who they are supporting - then make an informed decision about whether or not they feel comfortable - and good about - feeding P&G's version of Innova.

I'm not going to go the way of some bloggers out there and bash Proctor & Gamble for their corporate policies. I think that as far as big corporate entities go they're about the same as Kraft, Unilever, Johnson and Johnson, etc. As a corporation they do a lot of good in the form of scholarships, corporate donations and charity. Let's also remember that P&G is also a major employer in this country - in this economy there's no arguing with employment statistics and real-life paychecks. P&G is neither a hero nor a villain in this deal. One family, one privately held company decided to sell their business to a larger entity. Business make these decisions all the time and I'm not going to suggest that anyone boycott their product on the basis of that principle. Furthermore,  I purchase  P&G products on a pretty regular basis - brand names Secret, Oil of Olay, Swiffer, Febreeze, Dawn, Duracell, Charmin, Bounty, Cascade, etc are often found in my shopping cart and cupboards.  P&G's purchase of the Natura brand shouldn't and won't influence my buying habits of others.

Remember there are roughly 140 employees of Natura out there at this very moment that are wondering about whether or not they will have jobs in a few months. Some are probably conflicted about whether or not they even want to be part of P&G - just as I'm speculating whether or not people should feel comfortable feeding dog food made by P&G.

However - I think given our times and the nature of the economy as a whole it's more and more important to vote with our dollars -and yes that means voting with our dog food dollars. If the source of ingredients matter to you, support companies that disclose their sources. If made in the USA matters to you than support the companies that manufacture and quality control their products in the USA. If small batches and accountable quality control processes matter to you then buy food from companies that have a proven track record in this department. If product testing matters to you - how products are tested - then choose foods from companies that have testing policies you can support. If all of those things matter to you there are still some good options - it's just a little more research and a bit more thought. I know that it's easy to find Innova and California Natural. Just about every garden, farm, feed, pet and even grocery stores sell a full line of these products. Some of the American-made, family-owned, small-batched kibbles and foods are harder to find locally in stores. But like anything else if there is demand for a product you will have an easier time getting your local pet food supplier to carry a larger selection. Talk to the knowledgeable folks where you shop. Go online and visit manufacturer's websites.

If buying these products locally isn't an option for you there are limitless opportunities to order foods online - though it does take a little bit of planning to estimate your on-hand supply. Most of these companies will also send you a free sample so you can try before you buy.

I know that many folks out there in blogtopia feed Innova, Innova EVO or California Natural. For some dogs its probably been a good food - but in every case (of dogs eating those products) I can think of better options at similar costs. There are still a few family-owned dog food manufacturers out there that are worth your research if you are currently feeding one of the Natura Pet food...And even some good options if you are tied to kibble based solutions too...Chances are you'll actually end up with a better quality food and you might even pay a little less...You'll probably feel good about what you're feeding your dog(s) too - and that's really what matters isn't it?

Links to this story in various press:
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9FGP1IG0.htm
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0520145720100505 
 

2 comments:

Renae said...

P&G acquired Iams and Eukanuba in 1999.

Anonymous said...

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