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NZ’s first B Corp Certified pet food business

Pet treat company Gourmate Pet Treat Co. has become the first pet business in New Zealand to get B Corp Certification for being a responsible and ethical business. The global certification was awarded after Gourmate Pet Treat Co. completed a rigorous process that considers social and environmental impact, accountability and transparency.

For co-founders Laura Wilkinson and Steph Mearns, B Corp™ certification is recognition of the small business’s commitment to the welfare of people, the planet and pets. Certified B Corporations are leaders in the global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy.

Since Gourmate’s launch in June 2020, the business has focused on making natural dog treats from locally and fairly sourced ingredients to the highest standard possible – human food grade standard.

“As pet parents ourselves, we want to feed our pets the kind of food we like to eat – natural, healthy and honest,” says Laura. “Our treats are made from restaurant-grade meat and seafood that looks, smells and tastes like real food, because it is.”

While the co-founders still consider the business to be in its start-up phase, Gourmate Pet Treat Co. products are now found throughout New Zealand and in boutique pet stores in North America, Singapore and Hong Kong. There are plans to expand within 12 months.

Being advocates for better standards within New Zealand’s companion animal industry, Lzaur and Steph donate 5 per cent of Gourmate’s annual profit to local animal welfare charities.

To gain B Corp certification, a business must score at least 80 points out of 200 across a range of categories that identify high social and environmental performance. The median score for companies that complete the assessment tool is 51. Gourmate Pet Treat Co.’s opening score is 88.9. B Corps are expected to continue to improve their impact business model, and Laura and Steph say the wide-ranging criteria provides a blueprint for refinement and growth.

“Gourmate has always been a values-driven business, and B Corp certification shows that we really are walking the talk,” says Steph. “And we know that the dogs of Aotearoa love a walk.”

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