Quality Sourcing = Better Pet food Ingredients

NOVEMBER 2019

By April Scott, Pet Lover


At no other time in history have we had the ability to source food ingredients from so many places around the world. However, some countries are not as cautious as others when it comes to food safety regulations, and we as pet lovers are quickly becoming aware of these differences. In fact, through research, I have discovered a survey that indicates 98 percent of pet owners say they want ingredients that either come from the United States or from other countries with similar strict regulations.


Ingredients in pet food are now looked at closely and pet lovers want the very best for their furry family members. They insist on the freshest and most nourishing natural ingredients. According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report, some pet treats that were imported mostly from China were linked to more than 1,000 deaths in dogs and illness in some 5,600 others – along with sickness in 24 cats and at least three people.

This is just one reason why the sources of pet foods/treats ingredients are critical to the wellbeing and health of our pets. Champion makes their own foods in-house in their state-of-the-art kitchens, and have face-to-face relationships with their suppliers who are mostly regionally based and value the same standards that Champion sets.

Learning about how Champion’s bison supplier, Buffalo Crossing/Blue Grass Bison Farms, feeds, raises and cares for their herds gave me and the Transparency Council a new appreciation and assurance for their attention to detail – and the quality that ends up in our pets’ bowls.


Recently I had the privilege to meet two more of Champion Petfoods’ suppliers at the last Transparency Council meeting. I visited a Bison farm called Buffalo Crossing/Blue Grass Bison Farms also in Kentucky. Champion acquires their Bison from this farm for pet foods made in their DogStar Kitchen. I walked the ranch, saw the bison roam free on over 2,000 acres of beautiful untouched land. I talked to the farmer and learned that the Bison are raised naturally, without antibiotics or hormones. I learned they grow grasses to feed them which provides complete control over what they consume. It was easy to see that this farmer loves what he does and cares for all of the Bison on his farmland. The Bison are not only used for pet food but for human consumption, too. There are no differences between the Bison that goes for human consumption versus Champion pet food ingredient. The Bison are preservative-free and arrive at Champion’s Kitchen fresh or raw, full of goodness.

Direct from the source. John, the owner of the family-operated Roundstone Native Seed & Botanicals in Kentucky, took us out to the fields – where he shared with us both his in-depth farming knowledge and samples of the ingredients he supplies to Champion.


I also visited Roundstone Native Seed and Botanicals that sits on 2,300 acres in Kentucky to supply the wonderful botanicals found in Champion pet foods. Roundstone grows chicory root and rosehips exclusively for Champion. Champion picks every ingredient for a purpose, for example, Chicory root is a good source of inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber that has been linked to weight management and improved gut health. It also contains some manganese and vitamin B6, two nutrients tied to brain health. These botanicals are gently air-dried or delivered fresh directly to Champion’s kitchen. I had the privilege of meeting John the owner of this family-operated garden. He has been farming his entire life. He and his family have more passion and love for what they do then I ever thought possible. They grow the plants naturally without any interventions whenever possible and strive to supply the best possible botanicals for Champion’s use. They also farm sustainably, naturally and still practice using mules to harvest certain crops. The farm was absolutely beautiful and gave me confidence in knowing that even the botanical ingredients in Champion’s pet food are still sourced with the same exacting values that all Champions suppliers must follow.

Great pet food starts with the source of the ingredients, and Champion goes above and beyond to ensure that the suppliers of the foods used in their pet foods are fresh and locally sourced, full of natural nutrients and vitamins that are needed for our pets to thrive.

Having Champion open up their business to me has given me complete confidence that what they say is in that bag of dog food is true. It’s vital that a pet food company has connection to routine supplier visits so they can work directly with them to ensure that all expectations and regulations are met. Having local sources of ingredients helps build a relationship with each supplier and allows them to work hand in hand at supplying the very best ingredients for our pets. They are able to choose who they work with and this ensures they pick only the very best suppliers to supply good wholesome foods for their pet foods. Champion keeps its promise and always uses the very best biologically appropriate whole foods that are fresh, regional and are never outsourced. I witnessed this first-hand once again by visiting their wonderful suppliers.

We didn’t just tour the Kentucky fields though. Our trip to Roundstone Native Seed & Botanicals included a thorough briefing as well as seeing every step – from growing, cultivating and drying their seeds and botanicals to filling custom orders and delivery to regional customers like Champion. Quality in ~ quality out.
Several small herds with plenty of room to roam across this beautiful acreage. Buffalo Crossing/Blue Grass Bison Farms even grows the plants they use to feed their bison on their own farms!
About April Scott

April Scott is an avid Pet Lover from Ontario, Canada. Having had a puppy with unknown food sensitivities, April devoted herself to researching and better understanding the connection between quality food ingredients and her dog’s better health and wellbeing.

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