• What is the PFI?

    about-the-pfiThe Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa (PFI) is a non-profit body formed by pet food manufacturers, dedicated to upholding quality standards that ensure the nutritional wellbeing of household pets. Representative of 62% of the pet food market in South Africa, each member commits to manufacture and market food that meets internationally accepted standards as set out in Act 36 of 1947. The Department of Agriculture's regulatory authority manages Act 36.

    Pet food is randomly and regularly purchased by the PFI, and submitted for independent analysis. If the food does not meet the registered requirements, the manufacturer is reported to the Registrar of Act 36 for legal action.

    The PFI welcomes questions and concerns raised regarding pet food, or for more information about the PFI, please make contact via info@pfisa.co.za / +27 (0)33-343-2874

  • History

    The PFI, in the context of industry associations, is fairly young. The pet food industry began slowly in South Africa, gaining momentum in the 1960s and 70s when extruded dry pet food kibble was introduced to the country. Wet food (cans) had already been established. Pet food became the domain of animal feed companies, bringing it under the regulation of Act 36 and the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA). As South Africa opened in the 1990s, it was highlighted as a growing market by international pet food producers who were accustomed to working with specific pet food industry associations - both in their country of origin and countries around the world - with whom they traded, or where they had constructed manufacturing facilities. As the requirement for a similar association was highlighted, local pet food manufacturers and new international pet food entrants to South Africa came together in 1996 to address this need, and in 1998, the South African Pet Food Industry association was born.

    Since then, the PFI has targeted legislation, legislation compliance and working to ensure that all pet food sold in South Africa has the nutritional wellbeing of your pets as its primary concern.

  • Vision & Mission

    The PFI is dedicated to upholding international standards of quality and safety in pet nutrition. PFI members commit to these values and are loyal to the vision and mission of the PFI, by ensuring that their pet food is produced ethically and safely. You can have total peace of mind knowing that what it says on their packaging, is exactly what’s in their products.

    PFI vision:

    • To strive to improve the long term care and wellbeing of pets by instilling trust in safe, commercial nutrition.

    PFI mission

    • To grow and lead a responsible pet nutrition industry by being representative of the industry
    • Being a credible voice for stakeholders
    • Assuring industry quality and food safety standards align to international levels
    • Collaborating with authorities and regulators to establish a legislative framework that promotes a safe sustainable environment
    • Applying an industry code of conduct which ensures ethical sales and marketing
  • PFI Codes

  • Commitment to safety - Regulaton of pet food

    The PFI assists with pet food regulation through the following processes:

    • On a random basis, through random retail and other source purchasing, check that all pet food products in the market meet the necessary quality and registration standards including labelling and nutritional quantitative standard and that the products are what they claim to be with respect to ingredient make-up
    • Collect new products that appear on shelf, from time to time, through random purchasing in the market and evaluate these according to the same criteria listed above
    • Evaluate those products in the market that are reported as problem products. Problems being:
      • that they are not manufactured to the prescribed standard
      • that they have been reported as causing a feed related problem with the pet that has consumed the food
      • that there is no indication of the correct mandatory information required on the packaging, including product registration under Act 36, or the claims that appear on the packaging are potentially false or misleading.

    This sort of policing often requires testing of the products in question. Read more on testing below.

    Consumer queries and concerns can be emailed to info@pfisa.co.za or logged here.

  • Commitment to safety - Testing of Products

    The PFI Executive or a PFI member will, on a regular basis:
    • Purchase a new product launched on the market
    • Purchase an alleged poor quality product
    • Purchase both PFI member and non-member brands’ products (chosen at random)
    • Purchase any product against which a consumer has complained
    • Accept a sample of an alleged offending product, preferably sealed and unopened, via the PFI office or through collection by prior arrangement:
      The PFI, P O Box 1027, Hilton, 3245

    All purchases and courier fees will be funded by the PFI and as such, proof of the purchase and postal/courier receipt should be supplied to the PFI for reimbursement.

    • Samples will be supplied directly to an approved laboratory for analysis at the PFI’s cost.
    • The type of analysis required for nutritional standard testing is generally protein, crude fibre, crude fat and ash. Other tests may be performed upon request, provided there is justification.
    • Standard, randomly purchased food will be analysed via a full NIR. Further wet chemistry analysis may be requested for products showing a degree of non-compliance.
    • If a PFI member company is requested by the PFI Executive to assist by doing analysis and they agree, these tests will be at their own cost.
    • Results are kept confidential and returned to the PFI Executive.
    • Additional testing will be done, if required.
    • Results indicating that products are out of specification will be addressed with the Act 36 Registrar to register an official complaint and the issue taken up with the offending company. Where necessary, a complaint will be lodged with the Adverting Standards Authority of SA (ASA).