Royal Canin opens $73-million pet nutrition manufacturing facility - New plant has latest in product safety and quality control technology



    GUELPH, ON, Oct. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Royal Canin Canada today announced the
opening of its new $73-million pet nutrition manufacturing facility, a change
that means all of its high quality products - made to an unmatched nutritional
precision level - will be produced in Canada. The new state-of-the-art
facility will offer dog and cat owners the best in food safety and quality.
    "This facility is a first of its kind for the manufacture of therapeutic
dog and cat nutrition. Our long-term plan has always been to establish a
Canadian facility - a natural progression of growth as our products have
become market leaders," said Xavier Unkovic, President and Chief Executive
Officer, Royal Canin Canada. "We manufacture a highly specific range of pet
food aimed at the care and cure of animals. We know more about pets and this
new facility represents the best in food safety, nutritional precision and
quality."
    The new facility houses the best technology available for controlled and
secure production to detect and prevent product contamination. Raw materials
will be managed through a Near Infrared Spectroscopy System (NIRS) that
compares a 'fingerprint' or chemical signature of the ingredient to a
computerized library of standards compiled and maintained for that ingredient.
This will ensure any non-conforming raw materials do not get into finished
products. Any deviations from the standard result in the rejection of the
delivery and potential disqualification of the supplier.
    Every raw material is tested before it enters the plant and also every
single finished product before it leaves the facility.
    "This $73 million investment in Ontario also demonstrates our commitment
to the Canadian marketplace," said Mr. Unkovic. "And, already, we have
expansion plans in place."
    The new facility brings 90 new fulltime jobs. The plant itself will
employ a total of 190 people - including about 40 office workers - and will
have three shifts, five days a week. The facility will manufacture all dry
products for the Canadian market and also export product to the U.S. market.
The facility's extrusion (or cooking capacity) will double later this year. In
2009, a food safety and testing centre will open, as well as an education
centre. In 2010, a warehouse will be completed.
    Highlights of the facility's manufacturing excellence include:

    
    - Extensively trained laboratory technicians first visually inspect all
      incoming ingredients - they are empowered to reject any ingredients
      that look or smell inappropriate to ensure ingredient safety and
      quality. Employees have undergone 15,000 hours of training and have
      skilled manufacturing experience.
    - Prior to uploading any ingredient, a series of up to 30 analytical
      tests are performed.
    - All suppliers are approved for each ingredient prior to delivery to the
      facility. Royal Canin Canada audits the company philosophy,
      manufacturing location, and origin for each ingredient it sources.
    - Fully 60% of ingredients are sourced from Canada - ambition is to
      source an even greater proportion of ingredients from Canada as Royal
      Canin develops more Canadian suppliers.
    - Turn over all of ingredients happens at least weekly which ensures
      fresh ingredients and a superior product.
    - Manufacturing operations are completely segregated (Ingredient
      preparation, cooking and packaging) and all work actions are 100%
      traceable.
    - Access to the extrusion process is extremely limited - there is no
      human contact with the raw materials prior to extrusion which reduces
      the potential for bacterial contamination.
    - Commitment to environmental sustainability - the best example of this
      is the Biorem filtration system for odour control. Biorem is a
      $1.2 million incremental investment that uses organic technology to
      remove greater than 99% of any odours from the production facility.
      Biorem is a local supplier situated just a few hundred metres away from
      the new facility.
    - Royal Canin has made an environmental commitment to be registered by
      ISO14001 - a designation of environmental management.
    

    About Royal Canin

    Royal Canin is a worldwide manufacturer and supplier of high quality,
specialized dog and cat foods in the veterinary, pet specialty, and breeder
channels. Its headquarters are in France and production operations exist in
10 countries around the world, including the new Canadian plant based in
Guelph, Ontario. The company has a comprehensive veterinary exclusive line of
diets under the Medi-Cal/Royal Canin Veterinary Diet brand name.




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