Merrick Pet Care Inc., maker of Merrick and Castor & Pollux Organix brands, announced it has earned organic certification under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) for all of its Texas-based manufacturing facilities. Currently, Merrick Pet Care Inc. is the only certified manufacturer for both dry and canned food for pets.
"With the acquisition of the Castor & Pollux portfolio last April, the entire Merrick team has welcomed the obligations involved with becoming a certified organic manufacturing operation," said Greg Shearson, chief executive officer of Merrick Pet Care. "We are committed to the highest quality and food safety standards in the pet industry. Meeting this organic benchmark is further confirmation that we continue to meet these new standards," said Shearson.
"Our brands and product reputations have been built by the Merrick heritage of using the freshest, highest-quality ingredients from local growers," says Keith Bridwell, vice president of manufacturing for Merrick Pet Care. "This organic certification simply underscores the commitment across our entire company in developing real, wholesome food for pets that exceeds consumer expectations," said Bridwell.
The organic certification was awarded by organic certifying agency Oregon Tilth following a rigorous examination of Merrick's supply chain, ingredient suppliers, manufacturing facilities and system processes. In order to maintain this distinction, Castor & Pollux Organix must continue to adhere to the strictest definitions of organic as outlined by the NOP, including future audits.
Retail sales of dog and cat food exceeded $19 billion in 2011 according to market research company Euromonitor International. The "super premium" and "natural/organic" segments within the overall pet food category are estimated at $6.2 billion and are growing at a faster rate than the rest of the category. Packaged Facts estimates 40 percent of dog-owning households purchase some type of natural/organic pet foods, treats or supplies.
Castor & Pollux super-premium Organix and Natural Ultramix products can be purchased nationwide at leading natural/organic food retailers such as Whole Foods, PetSmart, Petco, independent pet stores, and online retailers. The Merrick Pet Care branded products are available nationally at Petco and leading independent pet specialty stores and online retailers.