Dear Emilie, for us it´s a great honor you have granted us this interview, so could you give us a brief personal introduction?

I was born and lived in France until 2006, at which time I came to Brazil in search of international experience. Regarding my studies, I'm an Agricultural Engineer specialized in food and I am currently studying an Executive MBA at Insper in São Paulo.

The same year that I arrived to Brazil, I began my career within Symrise Pet Food as head of Quality & Environment for that country; In 2008 I assumed the responsibility of directing the Development and Technical Support  department (DST) for Latin America, being involved, among other things, in developing specific solutions for our clients and technically assisting them in the search for more palatable and specific diets.

And now you have become the new general manager of Symrise Pet Food Argentina; Why that change? What are the challenges you will have in this new position?

This change is framed in a significant structuring of the company; After several years of evolution and reorganization within the Symrise Group by (among others) the Diana group, at the beginning of March we announced worldwide the birth of Symrise Pet Food, a company with the experience and dimensions necessary to take on the challenges of the pet food industry of tomorrow. Thanks to the acquisition of companies such as ADF, Schaffelaarbos, or the recent Wing Pet Food in China, Symrise Pet Food required many people to take on new roles to answer these challenges. Without going any further we have Diego Maurizio, our former regional director as global director of the palatability business... a completely new and necessary position for these times.

Regarding my new position I can tell you that I´m very excited because despite the current economic situation in Argentina, the pet food market continues to be very promising. Thanks to being the country with the highest rate of pet ownership in households (in 2021 and according to Euromonitor, 7 out of 10 households had at least one dog), the Argentine market is the third Latin American market according to sales volumes. Personally I think there is a lot to develop and fortunately the manufacturers know this and are working on it.

My time in the regional management of DST allowed me to work closely with clients managing their daily challenges: new needs, increasingly complex raw material supply scenarios, an industrial production context with new technologies, processes and rapid expansion, among others. Having been in close contact with our clients for more than 10 years was one of the reasons why they entrusted me with this new position and which I hope to be able to develop to meet everyone's expectations.

Based on Symrise Pet Food's global experience, could you tell us about your solutions and services to improve pet welfare and owner satisfaction?

Symrise Pet Food acts in the market with the offer of 3 groups of solutions that address essential aspects of pet food: palatability, nutrition and food protection.

SPF, our brand of liquid and powder palatants, has been present in the world market for more than 40 years, turning feeding moments into moments of shared happiness. Nutrios, for its part, seeks to provide, through natural ingredients, animal nutrition in accordance with the current high demands of pet parents. Finally, Videka, a joint venture with Kalsec, is responsible for creating the next generation of natural antioxidants for the entire range of pet food and snacks.

Symrise Pet Food also owns Panelis, the leading expert measurement center providing reliable and innovative data on the eating behaviors and sensory preferences of dogs and cats, while setting the highest standards in terms of animal welfare. Thanks to this broad portfolio we can fully serve all producers who want to go one step further and develop the pet food of the future.
Taking into account the importance that pets have acquired within the family, and the demands of their parents when it comes to feeding them, how do you think the Pet Food market will look like in a few years?  

In recent years the pet food market has grown faster than other industries; And not to mention during the pandemic where certain consumption behaviors by pet parents are here to stay. Double income and no kids (DINK), Social Networks and urbanization are three sociocultural factors that, in my opinion, orchestrate our industry and take it to a point of maturity that has only been seen (partially) in more developed markets.

I believe that in a few years we'll have a much more robust, premiumized Latin American market, and, above all, much more committed to the environment and the new "green" standards of living. Failure to address this will be decisive when declaring the success or not of a product.

As Symrise is a company committed to the environment, could you tell us how you respond to these challenges of generating more sustainable processes?

Sustainability has been present in the DNA of Symrise Pet Food since its origins, valuing side-streams and turning them into products of the highest quality at a global level. Likewise, we developed an agenda that closely follows the sustainable objectives set by the UN and thanks to which we work to reduce our carbon footprint, water consumption, supply of raw materials, innovation, building and process improvements, year after year, as well as caring for both employees and local communities (among others).

Regarding the innovation mentioned above, I can tell you that when formulating a new product we use our tool called the Eco-Design Matrix. With it we can measure 7 environmental impacts that occur in the production process. Did you know that pet food supplies generate about 80% of its environmental impacts? Thanks to the Eco-Design Matrix we can evaluate different alternatives to reach the same result with a significant decrease in environmental impacts and deliver to our client a product fully aligned with their sustainability strategies. In this way we are contributing in a pragmatic way to the reduction of the environmental footprint of our clients and the achievement of their sustainability goals.

I would also like to tell you that in 2019 Symrise Pet Food decided, together with the beginning of the construction of its plant in Colombia, that all new plants will have LEED certification (certification for sustainable buildings, developed by The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) . For this very reason, the plants we are building in Brazil and Mexico will be part of the select group of LEED-certified green buildings that are the future of the industry. 

Is there anything else you want to add?

I would like to take advantage of this moment to invite all readers to visit us at our CIPAL booth; as well as the manufacturers who want to know more about our palatability solutions, and ofcourse suppliers who want to introduce us to new businesses to continue developing the pet food industry. The Symrise Pet Food team and I are very excited to be back at face-to-face events and meeting all of our customers. We are waiting for you! 

by All Pet Food

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