Chocolate and whisky on the menu for sustainable pet food

David Macnair, MiAlgae

Appointment of global food expert brings MiAlgae closer to eliminating wild-caught fish as a prime source of Omega-3 in pet food

EDINBURGH-based biotech firm MiAlgae has appointed global food and pet care specialist David Macnair to its board as it moves towards commercialisation, embarking on ambitious international expansion, having doubled in size over the last 12 months.

This comes at a time of accelerated change for the pet food industry as pet owners demand more scrutiny over what goes into food and how it is produced.

MiAlgae creates eco-friendly, nutrient-rich animal and fish feed by repurposing ‘waste’ co-products from the whisky distillation process.  This adds value to one of Scotland’s most iconic and lucrative industries while supporting more sustainable practices in the pet food industry.

A scientist by training, Macnair brings 40 years of food industry innovation, with a diverse background and experience holding science and business leadership positions roles at Cadbury Ltd, Mars Inc, and Campbell’s Soup Company.

Macnair explains: “I have a great passion for the oceans and health of the marine environment. As a diver and underwater photographer, I have seen first-hand the impact we are having on our seas and it is deeply worrying. I believe MiAlgae has the potential to make a significant and positive impact on reducing and hopefully eliminating the need for wild-caught fish as the source for Omega-3.

“I also believe we can expand MiAlgae’s core technology into other areas to provide environmentally sound and sustainable solutions for waste streams while creating value-added products.  Ultimately I want to see good science translated into truly sustainable and environmentally responsible businesses.”

Pet owners are demanding more than simply ‘pet food’ and the industry is evolving rapidly to truly become ‘pet care’. Pets are members of the family and owners look to treat them accordingly. This impacts every aspect of their lives from nutrition, mental and physical wellbeing to the role they play in our own quality of life.

Macnair continues: “How we feed our pets mirrors how we choose to eat ourselves.  So, everything we value, from the integrity of the ingredients, how the food is prepared and how we feel when we feed it is very important. We want to feed our pets well, but responsibly, so increasingly we judge pet foods through the same lens as our own food. This will continue to be the case and the industry is moving strongly in this direction.”

Douglas Martin, founder and managing director of MiAlgae, said: “David’s eclectic career means he brings huge diversity of experience.  He is known for the role he plays in hiring, developing, and nurturing talent.  We believe he will help us create a team that will have a profound impact on solving major environmental challenges, while creating a truly value-added and sustainable business model.

“The challenges of the past year have underscored the need to prioritise sustainability and accelerate green innovation. By utilising coproducts from different industries and implementing innovative biotechnology processes to convert these into added-value products, we can protect the environment, whilst building a vibrant economy.”

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