Mars Petcare opened the “APAC Pet Center” in Chonburi, Thailand’s first integrated petfood research and development center and the first in the Asia Pacific. Its purpose is to develop innovations which will support the pet food business with international research standards.
Dr. Jaruk Srikiatden, Asia R&D Director at Mars Petcare (Thailand) Co., Ltd, noted that APAC Pet Center was Mars’ first pet food research and development center in the Asia-Pacific region and the first with electronic capture of feeding data in Thailand. It has been designed to international standards for R&D pet food facilities on a site of 3,360 square meters at Mars Petcare’s production plant at Amata City Chonburi Industrial Estate, in Panthong District, Chonburi province.
APAC Pet Center has the purpose to support pet food product development at the regional level. It provides a product testing service for Mars Petcare products from various countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, China, India, and South Korea, and benchmarks with other products. The company also intends the R&D Center to be a place for exchanging and sharing knowledge and understanding about pet food, most particularly for students, veterinarians, and researchers.
“We have deployed cutting-edge technology to observe the eating behaviors of dogs and cats in terms of preferences for each kind of food, optimal serving sizes and the pet’s food digesting efficiency. The products that are being tested comply with the quality standards of and have been registered with, the Department of Livestock Development. This useful data will be used to improve the palatability and quality of pet food and also to develop new pet food recipes that meet both the nutritional and palatability needs of pets,” said Dr. Jaruk.
Vet. Somchuan Ratanamungklanon, Director-General of the Department of Livestock Development (DLD), commented that the cooperation between the government and private sectors in opening a research & development center for pet food was a key role of the Department, which is tasked with controlling, regulating, promoting, researching, disseminating, and developing technology, as well as supervising food quality standards.
“The establishment of the first Asia-Pacific pet food research and development facility in Thailand demonstrates the country’s potential in the pet food business to the world. Thailand is among the top pet food exporters in the world, and DLD is delighted to be collaborating to support the establishment and operations of this R&D Center. This will enhance Thailand’s capabilities, propel it to the forefront of the regional petfood research and development sphere, and earn it international recognition.” said Vet. Somchuan.
Inst. Dr. M.L. Narudee Kasemsant, President of the Veterinary Practitioner Association of Thailand, said pet ownership is becoming more popular among Thais, which leads to higher demand for veterinary services in Thailand as well as the development of veterinarian skills.
“The fact that veterinarians participated in the development of this fully integrated and modern R&D Center speaks volumes about our potential in petfood industry. Not only that this showcases the skills of Thai veterinarians, but it will also contribute to accelerating and enhancing veterinary practice in Thailand to meet the growth in pet ownership,” said Dr. M.L. Narudee.
Chonburi Governor Thawatchai Srithong said that he was delighted with the opening of the pet food Research & Development center in Chonburi, a province included in the government’s plan to promote new investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which has been a great point of interest for investors.
“Chonburi welcomes the APAC Pet Centre of Mars Petcare. We will help support every aspect of this Asia Pacific pet care research and development facility to the utmost of our capabilities. APAC Pet Centre builds a reputation for Thailand at the international level, APAC Pet Centre also spotlights Chonburi province as a destination for visitors to the Center from all over the world,” said Mr. Thawatchai.
All dogs and cats at the APAC Pet Center have been carefully selected and cared for under the principles of Animal Welfare, which emphasize the health and wellbeing of pets according to international standards. The modern design of APAC Pet Center conserves energy and is environmentally friendly. It also has LEED Gold certification. There are bone-shaped benches and pavement blocks made from recycled pet food plastic packaging materials, which were obtained from the Mars “SWAP Recycling” campaign to sustainably reduce environmental impacts.