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Case Study: Sunshine Mills, Inc.

The Challenge:

Sunshine Mills, Inc., needed to find an independent laboratory that provided various testing services for their pet food and pet treat products.

The Solution:

Sunshine Mills, Inc., began using Barrow-Agee Laboratories as their go-to lab for all of their quality testing needs.

The Result:

Barrow-Agee Laboratories continues to provide accurate, timely lab testing services to Sunshine Mills, Inc. for multiple products.

The Challenge

Sunshine Mills, Inc. has been an industry leader in the pet food and pet treat industry for more than 50 years — serving customers around the world with quality pet food products at value prices. Founded in 1949 as a producer of animal feed, the family owned and operated business expanded to a pelleted form of pet food in 1960.

The company is in the business of making food and treats for cats and dogs. All of their products run through quality control from the very start of production to the very end. The level of care that goes into the quality assurance of their pet food products is the same that you’d expect to get in the food you eat.

Its internal labs are all individually certified, guaranteeing that the food you receive has been through the quality control process. In fact, the company holds a Level 3 certification from the SQF Certification Program — the highest level from the food safety program.

However, sometimes for some quality control, registering, and labeling purposes, an outside laboratory is needed for testing products. This is how our partnership between came to be.

The Solution

The partnership began years ago when the need for an independent lab became necessary. An independent lab can be used for various reasons, such as confirming quality, identifying potential contaminants, and assessing nutritional value.

For Sunshine Mills, Inc., the testing services from Barrow-Agee Laboratories were needed to register products in other countries, to verify their packaging matches the content of their food, and to test for potential issues if a customer has a concern or complaint. While the company uses Barrow-Agee for various types of testing, their offerings in the pet food lab are the main reasons for the continued partnership.

The different types of necessary testing that must be done — such as for Salmonella, E. coli, coliforms, and other potentially harmful forms of bacteria — are just some of the services Barrow-Agee Laboratories has provided.

The importance of a pet to its owner cannot be understated, so the demand from consumers for high-quality and safe pet food must be satisfied with quality testing services. Working with a lab that has a fast turnaround when time is of the essence is essential. Barrow-Agee Laboratories supports the company in this way by completing a variety of lab tests in 3–5 days.

The Result

Through working with Barrow-Agee Laboratories, Sunshine Mills, Inc., has found a trusted and reliable facility to do all of their quality and safety testing when an outside lab is needed.

“I can send them an email or pick up the phone if I need something or a customer needs something, and they’ll do their best to help me out,” said Jeff Tallant, Sunshine Mills Inc. Export Sales Manager. “As long as I’ve dealt with them we’ve had a good working relationship — they’ve always provided anything I needed.”

“Sunshine Mills, Inc. is always easy to work with,” said Kami Fusco, Barrow-Agee’s Laboratory Director. “They match our enthusiasm for quality assurance, and we understand some of the challenges they face in the pet food industry. Having them work with us for their independent testing needs has been and continues to be a great partnership.”

Sunshine Mills, Inc. and Barrow-Agee Laboratories have an established, strong, ongoing working relationship, and look forward to continuing to work together for years to come.

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