1. Why have you stayed at Royal Canin for more than 30 years?
The short answer is because I truly love my job and Royal Canin. During my 30+ years here, I’ve had the opportunity to discover various business fields including sales, GM and innovation. I’ve also worked in countries ranging from Norway to the South of France, throughout Europe and in Russia. The opportunity for growth has been constant and I have always appreciated the way Royal Canin cares for its associates (staff members).
I am also proud to be part of a company focused on so much more than products. Royal Canin is driven by its purpose. A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS is genuinely embedded in the roots of the business and helps to guide all our decision-making. It is a measure of our overall success and something we take very seriously.
2. In your own words, what makes Royal Canin unique?
For over 50 years, Royal Canin has put pets at the centre of innovation. With a nutritional philosophy based on science and observation, this means that Royal Canin only develops a diet when a need is discovered.
We also know that pets are different from each other and they require different nutritional solutions depending on age, breed, life stage, lifestyle, size and sensitivities. Consequently, they need to be fed accordingly to ensure that they have a balanced diet containing nutrients that support their specific health requirements. That is why Royal Canin offers over 600 products worldwide that address the various needs of cats and dogs.
3. You describe Royal Canin as a ‘health through nutrition company’, not a ‘pet food’ company. Can you tell us why?
Our founder, veterinarian Dr Jean Cathary, strongly believed in the power of nutrition and its effects on health. He lived by Hippocrates’ saying ‘let food be thy medicine’. So, when he created Royal Canin, that vision was deeply ingrained into the brand.
Today, Royal Canin is a company that provides health through nutrition. This means that we are developing precise nutrition for cats and dogs to impact their health and wellbeing directly and positively. We are also working closely with pet professionals such as breeders and vets to produce high-quality nutrition for cats and dogs, as well as support their daily activities through relevant monitoring and screening tools and various services. For example, we work together to reduce pet obesity and to give puppies and kittens the right start in life.
We believe our responsibility extends far beyond the quality of our products and services, to promoting the overall wellbeing and health through nutrition for pets. This includes promoting responsible pet ownership as well as the positive experience of having a pet.
4. How are the ‘Economics of Mutuality’ impacting the company?
At Royal Canin, we have an ambition to be a business that generates value not only for pets but also for people and the planet. We have been following a management concept called the ‘Economics of Mutuality’ (EoM) with the goal of delivering a balanced and mutual form of capitalism that creates holistic value for all our stakeholders. The EoM model enables us to put our purpose into practice and to design responsible business strategies that can help solve challenges for our partners and create a healthier, more successful ecosystem.
5. How does the mutual approach guide the way you work with vets, breeders and pet professionals?
We work closely with breeders, vets, pet owners, key opinion leaders and other pet professionals on an ongoing basis to exchange ideas and results. Guided by the principle of mutuality, we strongly believe that a sustainable business relies on shared value created among partners. We are confident that gaining and sharing insights from business partners with varied perspectives benefits the entire pet care ecosystem: pet partners, pet owners and ultimately pets. As VP of veterinary business, this is something that I work hard to accomplish daily with our veterinary partners around the world. For example, we promote the ‘Take Your Cat To The Vet’ campaign, which helps cats receive preventive healthcare by putting vets at the center of the solution. The campaign benefits cats, educates pet owners and supports vets.
6. How did the company deal with the covid-19 crisis?
Due to covid-19, we had to rethink and focus all our efforts on our production’s resilience. Beyond material resilience, I was particularly impressed by the human capacity to adapt to such a difficult context. Despite lockdown, isolation, and remote working, we witnessed a revolution in human behaviour and the way people have been able to adapt quickly to this new lifestyle – all while keeping our associates safe, which was the main priority for us.
During this time, I’ve learned not to take these things for granted as travelling and crossing borders has been far from many of our realities. I’m increasingly thankful for the various technologies available and I was amazed by the creativity of the teams who found different ways to connect and deliver our purpose.
7. What exciting projects are you working on this year?
This year we are working on several exciting projects. We have, for example, just announced the launch of the Royal Canin Foundation, which will have three focus areas: the health and welfare of working dogs; pets in support of medical health; and pets in support of human mental health. With this foundation, we aim to create long-term value to society and to human health. The selected projects cover crucial areas including the detection of covid-19 or breast cancer by dogs as well as other projects such as using dogs in training communication skills for children with autism.
We are also deploying Royal Canin Individualis globally, which is a unique individualised nutritional solution for cats and dogs that considers age, weight, breed, gender, neutering status, risk factors and possible pathologies. It provides an answer to a fundamental veterinary health problem: adapting the nutrition of an animal that suffers from several risk factors or pathologies and ensuring that the management of one of these is not favoured at the expense of another.
8. As a ‘health through nutrition company’ how do you envisage the future of pet health?
At Royal Canin, we believe that science, data and technology will lead to a better understanding of pets and consequently improve the way we care for them. We are currently taking major steps with startups, innovators and pet partners to innovate within the industry.
We know how much preventive care can improve a pet’s quality of life, so we place a lot of focus on screening and monitoring tools and technologies that help predict and identify conditions. I’m really impressed to see how data science is helping our industry to accurately detect the risks of a pet developing chronic diseases, sometimes as early as two years before traditional diagnosis.
9. How is sustainability making a mark on the company?
Our focus has always been to provide high quality nutritional solutions for pets, but we believe that our responsibility extends far beyond our products. That is why we are working relentlessly towards building a sustainable and socially responsible business while reducing our footprint.
At Royal Canin, we chose to have a nutrient-led philosophy that helps us to put health and sustainability at the core of every formulation decision. This enables us to consider the environmental and social impact of every single formula we develop, while providing pets with nutrition of high quality, benefits and safety. We constantly conduct in-depth research to be able to find alternative solutions that bring additional nutritional benefits to pet health, while having positive environmental and social impact.
10. What is Royal Canin’s ambition for the future?
Being a pet-centric company, Royal Canin needs to continue proving that diet has the power to transform health through nutrition and that we have an impact on both a pet’s wellbeing and quality of life. The ambition at Royal Canin is not just designed for profit, but to benefit pet health in society and the pet care ecosystem: pet partners, pet owners and ultimately pets.
Guided by our purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS, we can positively impact the health and wellbeing of cats and dogs through nutrition. With this in mind, we intend to grow by nourishing more cats and dogs through a healthy diet. This approach to feeding pets is driven by sharing knowledge, offering services that improve pet health and developing screening and diagnostic tools that allow pet professionals to improve the lives of animals.
We also believe that our sustainability commitments, encompassing environmental and social concerns, must drive our core development ambitions and shape our identity as a global company by creating value and empowering the people we collaborate and partner with. We want our business to be at the forefront of sustainability, which means to keep growing responsibly by securing a viable future for future generations.