On July 19th, my colleague and I were given the opportunity to tour the Royal Canin plant. This is where all kibble is manufactured. The plant is located just outside of Guelph, in a beautiful state of the art facility. It is surrounded by green grass for the staff dogs to run freely in (yes, they bring their dogs to work). Recently, they accumulated maple trees and now are producing maple syrup. For humans of course!
Before our tour, we went through a sterilization phase to ensure the inside of their factory is as clean and as free from outside bacteria as possible. This included donning a hair net, hard hat, safety glasses, a gown, a reflective jacket, and shoe covers! During the tour, we learned some interesting facts that we thought we would share with you.
Each kibble that is manufactured is thoughtfully planned out. They tailor to specific breeds, sizes, and life stages. For example, the size and shape of a kitten food are made to interest a kitten; some kibbles are shaped to be easily digestible. Within the factory, there is an entire wall displaying every type of kibble manufactured there – there must be a hundred different kinds!
Each ingredient that goes into making their kibble is thoroughly inspected before it is allowed into the facility. The ingredient goes through a series of testing to make sure it is of the best quality. For example, for every shipment of grain, they do a series of tests to ensure the product is of the highest quality. They collect samples from numerous areas of the shipment and then do a series of tests in their on-site laboratory. If the product is not to their standards, they will not receive that shipment and wait for the next one!
Before manufacturing any of their hypoallergenic diets, all machines are thoroughly cleaned out. They begin with the most sensitive hypoallergenic diet they have which is “anallergenic.” This is the only food made that day, so there are no concerns with contamination.
They have many different certifications in health and safety, as well as food safety. In addition, they are working to reduce their environmental footprint and wastage. All general waste products are carefully filtered out to ensure as little as possible will go to landfill. Any food waste from the food production is either redistributed to pig farms for their consumption or reduced to be used for biofuel. They produce as much as they can on-site to reduce shipping to eliminate emissions. All water is filtered on site, and nitrogen is extracted from the air for packaging purposes.
All in all, it was a great experience! We learned a lot and had fun!
Written by Ashley Kneebone, Client Care Representative