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Champion Petfoods’ Vision is to be “Trusted by Pet Lovers Everywhere”. For 30 years, we’ve earned that trust by offering foods formulated with quality ingredients, made in our own facilities, and using the highest safety standards. Our being awarded by the first-ever GFSI Global Markets Award assures pet lovers that they can trust our foods for their beloved pets.

From our humble beginnings as a small part of a thriving animal feed manufacturing plant, Champion Petfoods has grown to become one of the world’s most respected and best-loved pet food companies. Champion Petfoods is a speciality pet food manufacturer with a reputation for innovation, quality, leadership and food safety among pet lovers and pet specialty retailers worldwide for more than 30 years. Our Biologically Appropriate™ nutritional philosophy represents a new standard of pet food designed to nourish dogs and cats according to their evolutionary adaptation to meat and protein-rich diets.


Winning the Inaugural Award

On March 01, 2017, we were humbled and honored to win the first-ever GFSI Global Markets Award at the Global Food Safety Conference held in Houston, Texas in front of more than a thousand food safety professionals from 63 countries. Winning the inaugural GFSI Global Markets Award among the other human and animal food companies was a huge testament to our commitment to food safety leadership and our food safety culture.

From the executive leadership team to production team members, we all were working hard to design and implement the best food safety system for Champion Petfoods. This achievement reflects our commitment to a rigorous and credible food safety management system and a testament to our vision of being “Trusted by Pet Lovers Everywhere”, in line with the GFSI’s vision of safe food for consumers everywhere.

We started our journey towards a GFSI-based food safety management system certification even before we commenced production of pet foods in our brand new DogStar Kitchen. We believed that food safety was our number one priority and having a globally-recognized food safety certification would give us confidence in our processes and food safety, both in the marketplace and the regulatory world.

In early 2016, we used the GFSI Global Markets Programme to develop our food safety program. We chose Safe Quality Food (SQF) as our food safety programme owner, considering GFSI’s scope recognition for the pet food sector and the close alignment with the requirements of FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).


After the Award


Since winning the GFSI award in 2017, we have added a senior leadership role to our food safety team to combine different technical areas including food safety, quality assurance, regulatory affairs and supply chain management under one umbrella, aligning cross functional efforts to enhance our food safety culture.

In addition, significant amounts of resources are invested to conduct full-blown supplier and ingredient risk assessments and mitigation strategies based on biological, chemical, physical and food fraud risks. Revamping the Major Incident and Recall programs to further to expand the technical expertise and traceability capabilities are some other improvements made to our food safety system.

We have actively engaged with our distributor partners to educate and implement warehousing best practices and mitigate food safety risks in finished product distribution. We have increased our market access to reach many more countries around the world and supply a total of up to 94 countries to date. We have also increased the awareness among the pet food industry associations, both in Canada and USA, about the resources and tools available through the GFSI and the certification programme owners.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the Champion team, supplier and distributor partners, pet-lovers and GFSI for this prestigious food safety recognition. As the first-ever GFSI Global Markets Award winner, we would like to encourage all food and beverage manufacturers to use the GFSI resources and tools, such as the GFSI Global Markets Programme, to achieve GFSI-recognised food safety certification and apply for the GFSI Global Market Awards 2020, where the winners will be presented at the annual GFSI Conference in Seattle, Washington USA, in February 2020.

Food safety is everyone’s responsibility and that’s why we are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of authenticity, nutritional integrity, and food safety. As we continue the strive to excel in food safety, we value the trust that our pet-lovers have placed in us. GFSI certification provides them with an additional level of trust in our foods.


This blog was written and contributed by:

Gayan Hettiarachchi
MVM, Director, Food Safety
Champion Petfoods


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