G.A.P. always takes an active interest in our partners. This month, we had the opportunity to talk to Marko Wittich, President of Campfire Treats, one of our newest pet treat partners. Campfire Treats makes a variety of delicious, high-quality dog treats with G.A.P. Animal Welfare Certified chicken, turkey, and beef. Check out their website at campfiretreats.com and order some today for your favorite pups. Warning: they are truly “beg-worthy”!
Thanks for talking to us, Marko. Can you tell us a little about your background and how you decided to start Campfire Treats?
It all started with our family dog – a vizsla named Pippa. My wife, Stevie, and I were looking for healthy treats for her and were unhappy with what we found in the local stores. So, we started making her treats ourselves. Pippa loved them and so did the dogs of our neighbors and friends. This made us think there might be a market gap we could fill.
When we started Campfire Treats, we knew very little about the pet food industry. All we knew was that we wanted to make real, healthy treats and chews pet owners can feel good about giving to their dogs. From day one, we’ve only worked with premium, human-grade ingredients from U.S. farms and fisheries. We’ve never used any additives or preservatives, and we never will. All of our products are 100% natural.
Why was G.A.P. Certification important to you when you were establishing your brand?
We knew very little about the role of factory farming in food production when we started Campfire Treats. Once we understood how most farm animals are raised, it was clear that we also needed to include animal welfare in our sourcing standards. We strongly believe that all animals should be treated with kindness and respect – especially animals raised for meat – for which we bear a special responsibility. From our point of view, it would be hypocritical to make dog treats to sell to animal lovers, while ignoring the welfare of farm animals whose meat we use to make these treats.
Our first step towards implementing ethical sourcing standards was the Better Chicken Commitment, which we joined in November 2021. While we strongly believe in the Better Chicken Commitment as a self-declaration, we wanted to go further and get our products certified by a third party to prove that we are doing more than just talking about animal welfare. This is why we contacted Global Animal Partnership, as they are the leading farm animal welfare food certification organization. We are proud that as of March 2022 all of our chicken and turkey products, and the first of our beef products, are G.A.P. Animal Welfare Certified.
What makes Campfire Treats special? Where can we buy them?
Campfire Treats addresses the premium segment of the U.S. dog treat market. All of our products are exclusively made from premium U.S.-sourced poultry, meat, and wild-caught ocean fish. We don’t use any additives or preservatives. Our products are made in small batches and are typically sold within days after we make them. This means everything is super fresh when it arrives at our customers’ doorsteps. We firmly believe that our products are among the best money can buy.
The lion’s share of our products are sold online at CampfireTreats.com. In addition, we also partner with a limited number of pet supply stores that, like us, are often family-owned and operated.
Anything else you’d like to tell our G.A.P. fans?
It’s been a wild ride so far! 🙂 We’ve come a long way, but we still see room for improvement. Farm animal welfare will remain a priority for us. Sustainability is something we care a lot about, too. In 2021 we transitioned to 100% plastic-free, biodegradable, and recyclable shipping materials. Additionally, we have started various initiatives to further reduce our ecological footprint. In fact, we just announced that we’ve been certified plastic neutral by rePurpose Global – the world’s leading plastic action platform. You can read more about the announcement here. Thanks to everyone who has supported our family-owned business. We love what we do and are grateful to have great partners and customers to help us grow.
Thank you, Marko, and Campfire Treats for your commitment to farm animal welfare! Marko’s comment about treating ALL animals with respect is at the core of our mission. We couldn’t agree more! We are so grateful for Campfire, our other G.A.P. Certified pet partners, and, especially, you – pet owners – for helping us #MakeitGAP by looking for the G.A.P. Animal Welfare Certified label. Every time you purchase a product with our label, you are voting with your dollars for better animal welfare practices. Looking for more ways to help? Check out our pet parents page or donate to G.A.P. to support our mission.