Pet food factory opening
A new manufacturing factory opened in Christchurch last week to meet the worldwide demand for premium natural pet food.
Mt Maunganui-based company Ziwi celebrated the opening of the new facility on Thursday with a visit by 20 ‘dog friends’ from national pet therapy organisation Canine Friends taking part in a ‘dog morning tea’.
Ziwi is a rapidly-growing $40m export-focused business.
The country’s largest exporter of premium pet food, it opened its first South Island operation in Burnham to enable the company to double its capacity within the next year and employ more than 30 people.
Managing director Richard Lawrence said Ziwi’s gently air-dried, quality New Zealand freerange meat and seafood has struck a chord with pet owners around the world.
‘‘With increasing pet ownership and a growing awareness of pet nutrition, consumers are demanding quality, nutritious meals for their pets and this has resulted in massive growth for Ziwi and the New Zealand petfood industry as a whole,’’ he said.
‘‘This investment in Christchurch comes on the back of three years of double digit growth and signals another exciting chapter for the business.’’
Along with the expansion into the South Island Ziwi has partnered with ANZCO Foods to form a new joint venture operation producing pet treats and oral health products. The New Zealand Natural Chews and Treats Company will also operate out of the Burnham site to produce a range of natural, premium products for export markets.
Ziwi was founded in 2004 by a New Zealand couple who shared a passion for pet health and nutrition, and were looking for a more convenient way for pet owners to give their pets the benefits of a raw diet. Recipes contained no artificial binding agents, grains or fillers.
As well as dog food, Ziwi produced a range of cat foods as well as treats and canine oral health chews.
The company was still 100 per cent New Zealand owned, with Christchurch’s Stewart family being the majority shareholders.
Dogs tucking in to celebrate the opening of the first Ziwi operation in the South Island.