South Dakota company awarded certification and announces new product for petfood industry
Houdek began as Prairie AquaTech, the Brookings, South Dakota-based manufacturer of ME-PRO plant-based protein for the aqua feed (aquaculture) industry. However, opportunity grew to utilize the company's proprietary fermentation process to serve other markets.
Houdek was launched in 2023 to act as the flagship brand for divisions: Prairie AquaTech, Prairie Pet Nutrition and Prairie Human Health.
This week, the company has announced its manufacturing facility in Volga, South Dakota, has been certified by the Safe Quality Food (SQF) program. This certification means that the facility has met critical safety and quality criteria required to manufacture ingredients for pet diets. This is the only SQF-certified pet food ingredient facility in the US state of South Dakota.
The company's first ingredient to be marketed under its SQF certification is Protéger, a fermented plant-based protein ingredient specifically manufactured for the pet food industry using the company's patented fermentation process.
Over the past thirty years, veterinarians, nutritionists, pet food manufacturers, and pet owners have grown in their understanding of the value of plant-based protein. Fermented plant-based protein ingredients have an environmentally friendly profile and are ideal for specialized diets that address certain pet health conditions.
"Our team's achievement of SQF certification and our launch of Protéger in the global pet food market go hand in hand," commented Mark Luecke, Houdek's Co-founder & CEO. "This is an important next step in the planned growth of the company, bringing the positive impact that we have delivered to the global aquaculture industry to the global pet food industry."
"The SQF program is an incredibly rigorous third-party verification standard, and we were glad to see that Houdek (Prairie AquaTech) understands the importance of participating in a voluntary program like this," added Matt Jones, VP of Operations for Validus, a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc. "As the first South Dakota pet food ingredient facility to achieve this certification, it is something they can be proud of while allowing them to differentiate themselves in the marketplace,"
The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is a rigorous and credible food safety and quality program that is recognized by retailers, brand owners, and food service providers world-wide. Recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the SQF family of food safety and quality codes are designed to meet industry, customer, and regulatory requirements for all sectors of the food supply chain – from the farm all the way to the retail stores.
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