Petfood Forum recently visited with Sue Hays, executive director of AAFCO, to learn about her educational and networking experiences during the annual event.
Petfood Forum: What is your earliest memory of Petfood Forum, and what role did you have in the industry at that point?
Hays: My first memory of Petfood Forum was when I joined AAFCO in 2018. In my previous work with non-profits, I was more involved with organizations that represented constituencies that produce human or animal food crops than in the regulatory side. At that time, the AAFCO leadership felt it was important for AAFCO to have a presence at Petfood Forum, and we’ve been involved ever since!
Petfood Forum: What do you consider the biggest challenge or opportunity ahead for the pet food industry?
Hays: We are always collaborating with the pet food industry for food safety. The biggest change coming up for the industry is the pet food label modernization. Consumers have been requesting that pet food nutrition labels look more like human-food labels, and this update would provide consumers the opportunity to understand what they are feeding their animals.
Petfood Forum: Why do you continue to attend Petfood Forum, and why should pet food industry professionals join us?
Hays: Petfood Forum offers pet food professionals the opportunity to network with their peers, review new products and technologies, attend education sessions, and find innovative ways to continue making safe, quality and nutritional pet food products. Petfood Forum’s strong reputation and central U.S. location are two big benefits for those looking to attend.
Petfood Forum: What’s your recommendation for Kansas City fun during Petfood Forum in May?
Hays: You can never go wrong with barbeque in Kansas City! Arthur Byrant’s Barbeque or Joe’s Kansas City Barbeque are two favorites. There are great restaurants, museums and entertainment at Union Station, The Plaza, or Power & Light District. If you have time, take in a Royals game!
About Petfood Forum
The 30th anniversary of Petfood Forum is scheduled for May 2-4 at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Petfood Forum includes an agenda packed with opportunities to network and collaborate with industry professionals, learn the latest in pet food innovation and discover new tools for business success.
Register here to make history at Petfood Forum