We kicked at the dirt in their fields
We kicked at the dirt in their fields, inspected their farms, stood on their boats and found a handful of farmers, growers and fishers who were practicing the responsible, sustainable production of extraordinary quality, certified and organic ingredients. Those who survived our scrutiny have become our trusted partners in GATHER; functional, whole food from the earth and ocean, with nothing added that’s not needed. Find out more about our trusted partners in their profiles below.
Alaskan Leader Seafoods LLC
Producer Partner of line-caught Alaskan cod for our WILD OCEAN recipe
Catching cod by longline is one of the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable methods of fishing used today. A particular school of cod can be located, identified, and brought on board, without the damage to the ocean floor associated with some net fishing. Individually-hooked fish are handled carefully, and the minimal by-catch of fish other than cod are released, live. These are just a few of the reasons we chose Alaskan Leader Seafoods LLC to supply us with their Alaskan Leader® brand cod for our GATHER Wild Ocean Recipe. Alaskan Leader, family founded and family run (just like Petcurean), operates out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The fish they provide us for GATHER Wild Ocean is the same Alaskan cod that’s sold in supermarkets and served in fine restaurants.
Alaskan Leader Seafoods LLC is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. The MSC Fisheries Standard is designed to assess if a fishery is managed for protection against overfishing, habitat damage, and pollution. It was developed in consultation with scientists, the fishing industry, and conservation groups and reflects the most up-to-date understanding of internationally-accepted fisheries science and best practice management.
Alaskan Cod is the single source fish protein we use in Wild Ocean; it provides dogs with an excellent source of high-quality protein, is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and is a source of essential vitamins and minerals, specifically niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium. The catch is so accurately targeted and recorded, that we can track the cod in a package of Wild Ocean right back to the day the cod was caught, which Alaskan Leader vessel caught it, and where it was caught.
Producer Partner of organic free-run chicken for our FREE ACRES recipe
When we were creating our new GATHER Free Acres recipe for dogs and cats, we wanted to have certified organic chicken as a primary protein source. Our search for the ideal partner took us across North America. We spoke to many producers, inspected their farms and finally decided on a family-owned and operated company in Northern Indiana known as Miller Poultry, who’ve been around since 1942. The folks at Miller provide us with a reliable, consistent source of USDA certified organic, free-run chickens that are raised in smaller flocks on family farms.
These “broiler quality” chickens are fed an all-vegetable, antibiotic-free diet with no animal by-products, animal fats or artificial colouring. They also have access to the outdoors and three living enhancements that include things to perch on, hide behind and run through. Miller Poultry strictly adheres to the humane treatment policies defined by the Whole Foods animal welfare spokesperson, Temple Grandin. They don’t de-beak their chicks and use both male and female chickens. We were very pleased to hear that Miller has invested heavily in “Where Food Comes From”, a program that allows them to trace every bird to the specific farm where it was raised. And although chicken production is a water-intense process, they capture and treat all the water they use in the harvesting process, and then spray it on croplands surrounding their plant.
This remarkable-quality organic chicken with USDA/MOSA/BRC/GAP certifications is the single source poultry protein we use in our GATHER Free Acres recipe for dogs and cats. It’s a perfect meat source, in that it’s a high-quality protein which supplies all essential amino acids; it’s a source of omega 6 fatty acids and a source of essential vitamins and minerals, in particular niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.
Farmer Direct Co-Op
Farmer Direct is a farming co-operative based in Saskatchewan, Canada. Their 60+ strong family farms grow certified organic oil seeds, oats, lentils, beans, wheats, ancient grains and peas to the Canadian Organic Regulation, USDA National Organic Program and the European Union Organic Standards. The farmer-owners in the cooperative have been stewards of the land for generations. In fact, a number of the families have been farming the same land for over a century and were practicing organic agricultural techniques before organic certification was even available.
Naturally, we were drawn to Farmer Direct Co-Op as our supplier of the organic peas for our Endless Valley and Free Acres recipes. Their sustainability practices include rebuilding the soil through proper crop rotations, preventing topsoil erosion with cover crops, protecting shared waterways and air by never using toxic herbicides and pesticides, and honouring a farmer’s right to independence by never using genetically engineered seeds.
Peas are a nutrient-rich, environmentally-friendly ingredient that contain a variety of compounds to support health and are an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, and many essential vitamins and minerals. They provide most of the essential amino acids required by dogs and cats. Peas contain insoluble fibre, soluble fibre, and resistant starch, which all provide benefits for the digestive system. Peas also contain compounds known for their antioxidant properties that may protect dogs and cats against various diseases such as cancer. Also, a diet with peas as the primary source of carbohydrates has been shown to lower insulin levels in obese dogs.
At Petcurean, we’re always thinking and talking about pet nutrition, formulations and ingredients for our premium-quality pet foods. We’ve been excited by all the benefits of krill, and are excited to include it in two of our new GATHER recipes; Free Acres and Wild Ocean for dogs. Our producer partner is Aker BioMarine, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (Aker BioMarine’s extraordinary sustainability practices were critical in our decision to partner with them). The krill we use in GATHER is fished from the oceans surrounding Antarctica, using proprietary Eco-Harvesting™ technology. This prevents by-catch (fish and animals other than krill) and brings the live krill onto the ship where it is processed immediately to ensure maximum freshness.
Krill is considered to be at the bottom of the food chain, which limits their ability to accumulate heavy metals. Only 0.3% of Antarctica’s krill supply is harvested annually, well below the 9.35% harvest quota. The catch is so accurately recorded, that we can track the krill in a package of Wild Ocean or Free Acres, right back to the day the krill was harvested, and the exact GPS co-ordinates where it was caught.
Krill is an ingredient that provides exceptional benefits to dogs. It’s a good source of protein, and a source of EPA & DHA long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, which support the health of the heart, kidney, liver, joints, brains, eyes, skin and coat. There’s no fishy aftertaste (or fishy breath!). It’s also a source of astaxanthin, a carotenoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
5 Key Pillars of Sustainability
Every partner we considered as a provider of ingredients for our GATHER™ recipes were required to meet our strict criteria for sustainability, based on five key pillars: