The award for the PET Personality of the Year went to Dr Rowena Arzt, head of exhibitions with Interzoo organiser WZF. The prize for Best Newcomer of the Year, which was awarded for the first time, went to the pet food supplier Strayz from Berlin. Both awards were given by the trade magazine PET worldwide at the International Pet Conference in Bologna.
Dr Rowena Arzt received the award for her outstanding contribution to the successful staging of the world-leading Interzoo fair under extremely challenging conditions. The trade show, which took place again this May after a four-year absence caused by the coronavirus pandemic, was met with an enthusiastic response by exhibitors and visitors alike and brought a perceptible uplift in mood to the international pet supplies sector. Dr Rowena Arzt is the first female recipient of the sector award since 2006.
The Best Newcomer Award of the trade magazine PET worldwide was also presented for the first time at the International Pet Conference in Bologna. The award, which was created to support start-up and other newcomer companies in the pet industry, went to the company Strayz with Stefi Zillessen, Saskia te Kaat and Madeline Metzsch. This company supports animal welfare organisations in Greece, Spain, Austria and Romania by selling pet food. Of the five nominated candidates who presented themselves in pitches at the congress, Strayz was also the audience's favourite, 50 per cent of whose votes were included in the final result. The other 50 per cent was contributed by readers of PET worldwide in an online vote.
The conference, which drew to a close yesterday,12 October, was titled “The new normal: perspectives, trends and challenges for the future”. Speakers at the event included high-calibre sector representatives such as Hubert Wieser (Nestlé Purina Petcare), Caitlyn Dudas (The Pet Sustainability Coalition), Rolf Hagen Jr. (Hagen Group), Dušan Plaček (Plaček Group) and Heiko Bücker (Fressnapf).