First, and most importantly, our member list is confidential and will remain that way until until all of the members feel the time is right to disclose the member list. In fact, recently, I was asked by a few fellow pet food manufacturers, as well as some regulatory officials, who are our members. I gave them the same answer – “that is confidential.” This confidentiality also means that even within the association when discussing other members the names will still not be revealed, only the pertinent information will be shared while the company’s name will be redacted.
Second, the bull’s-eye is already there; it’s not going away. The FDA has made it clear in both personal conversations (AAFCO August 2015) and in public on their website, that they are targeting raw pet food companies for inspection. While not all of our members manufacture raw pet food, our membership base draws from the top 2% of pet food – be assured our members are only the best pet food manufacturers. (We will not lower our standards for more membership dues.) Regardless of whether our members produce raw pet food or high-quality pet food in another form, our members are not currently represented by any trade association. For that reason, our members do not have protection under the umbrella of organizations like the Pet Food Institute or the National Renderers’ Association.
While the bull’s-eye is indeed large, confidentiality and a team approach will not focus bull’s-eyes, but instead will cloud the sights of the regulatory machine gun.