inventory, and Bachicha said he
believes that if the bill passes as it
is currently written, it will have a
huge impact on his business.
“Pet food has a very low profit
margin as it is,” he said. “Anything
that is going to impact that profit
margin on it, which is already slim,
is going to have a major impact on
our bottom line. The taxes would
get passed on to suppliers, the sup-
pliers then pass it on to vendors, and we, in turn, have to
pass it on to customers.”
Bachicha added that most of his customers are not yet
aware of the bill.
“That’s another problem,” he said. “It’s being slid in
through the back door without a lot of public input.”
Another issue with the legislation, Likins said, is the
impact it could have nationwide.
“While this fee may be something that, in isolation,
can be absorbed as a cost of doing business in a single
state, we have already seen this same language proposed
in other jurisdictions,” Likins said. “Since legislatures
have never seen a revenue stream that they didn’t like,
and never end a tax once they impose it, House Bill 64, if
successful, will provide model language for other states
“Pet food manufacturers could soon find themselves
having to navigate a myriad of different fees and annual
registrations in each state, or even town or county, that
they do business in,” Likins added.
The bill has been referred to the House Business and
KAMIHATA FISH INDUSTRIES
Shigezo Kamihata, the chairman emeritus of Kamihata Fish
Group and its subsidiary companies, died on Dec. 25, 2017. He
Kamihata led the Kamihata Fish Group of companies to
dynamic growth and success,
providing aquatic pet lovers
around the world with access
to premium-quality, innovative
products, said company officials. The Kamihata Fish Group
encompasses Kamihata Fish
Industries, including Yamasa-ki Koi Farm and the numerous
breeding operations under its umbrella, Kyorin Co., Kyorin Food
Industries, including the Hikari brand of products, and the Hikari
Kamihata’s legacy spans several decades, starting when he
founded Kamihata Fish Industries in 1961 and began growing ni-
shikigoi, the vibrantly colored carp that add a mesmerizing element
to koi ponds. One of his proudest moments at the company was in
1964 when a nishikigoi bred by Kamihata Fish Industries earned a
championship prize at the All Japan Nishikigoi Contest, ushering
in a new standard in the industry, company officials added.
As Kamihata Fish Industries experienced growth in subsequent
years, it was divided into subsidiary companies: Kyorin Co., which
was established as the fish food wholesale division in 1968, and
Kyorin Food Industries, which became the fish food production
division of Kyorin Co. in 1979. Under Kamihata’s leadership, the
companies continued to invest in research and development, build-
ing state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Hikari Aquatic Laboratory
and the Fukusaki production facility.
With a passion for nature and a thirst for adventure, Kamihata
was a trailblazer in his commitment to using unspoiled natural
environments as inspiration for his companies’ products, offi-
cials added. Through an effort known as the Kamihata Explora-
tion Party, Kamihata and several of his employees—along with
world-renowned researchers—would venture into the wilderness
of South America, Africa and Southeast Asia to perform hands-on
field research. By exploring undeveloped regions where tropical
fish thrive, Kamihata and his team gleaned invaluable information
about little-known species of fish and their ecosystems. The Kami-
hata Exploration Party’s findings have been published in industry
magazines, including Tropical Fish Hobbyist, Aqua Life and Fish
Magazine. In addition, Kamihata detailed his team’s adventures in
his book, “Kamihata in Search of Tropical Fish.”
As Kamihata Fish Group continues to enhance the lifestyles
of aquatic pet owners around the world, the countless employ-
ees inspired by Kamihata will honor his legacy and ensure that
his enthusiasm for the natural world—and specifically, tropical
fish—will remain a core element of the company’s culture, offi-
ATLANTA PET FAIR & CONFERENCE ADDS ONSITE
TRAINING TO 2018 SHOW
The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference—a conference
and competition for professional pet stylists and
service professionals—will return to the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Ga.,
March 8-11, providing the industry with access to the
latest products, education and networking, accord-ing to officials for the World Pet Association (WPA),
producer of the event.
Based on the 2017 WPA Retail Operating Performance Report, growth of the overall pet industry is
projected to increase by 5. 8 percent. The pet grooming and boarding industry is an $8 billion business
and growing. The Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference provides an opportunity for this segment of the industry
to convene to explore cutting-edge information and
techniques to grow their businesses and expand their
Groomers and stylists from around the world attend the Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference to participate
in more than 10 contests spread over four days. The
event boasts the biggest grooming competition in
the Southeast, said WPA officials. Contestants will
be competing for a bigger total purse at this year’s
show—$27,000 in cash and prizes.
Show attendees will have the opportunity to ex-plore an expo floor of more than 100 exhibitors. At-
tendees will be able to shop top products, tools and
equipment suppliers in the industry. As an added
benefit, the show will provide discounts from select
suppliers so business owners can test the latest tools
at reduced prices.
Education is one of the flagship offerings of the
Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference, WPA officials said.
Nearly 70 seminars and sessions will provide attend-
ees with a comprehensive lineup of expert-led edu-
cation. Sessions will range from seminars to hands-
on workshops and live demonstrations designed to
support attendees in their efforts to improve tech-
boost overall business savvy.
New onsite training for groomers will provide
additional value to registered attendees, WPA offi-cials added, and sessions include:
• A demo on the new löwchen trim technique,
presented by industry expert Shannon Moore.
This is a new variety of grooming to the industry
and isn’t frequently covered in other education
programs, said WPA officials. Moore will teach
attendees how to execute a löwchen breed pro-file trim to bring a fresh new trim into groomer’s
salons; this new trim technique is an option for
any matted dog, no matter the breed.
• A LolliPups demonstration by Dawn Omboy.
Omboy will explain how to create different head
designs on her doggie dolls that attendees can
later have fun practicing on at home. The Atlanta
Pet Fair & Conference is the first show to provide
programming featuring this fun new style, according to the WPA.
• Flea and ticks are always a concern to pet owners
and the grooming community. This year’s show
will feature a session unique to the industry that
focuses solely on ways groomers can help manage this problem. Dale Sanson will be on hand
to host the seminar on flea products—synthetic,
natural and neem.
Adding to the comprehensive education schedule
are certification classes in salon safety and color, as
well as onsite certification testing organized by na-tionally and internationally recognized grooming organizations, WPA said. As an additional value-add,
CPR classes will also be offered.
Industry networking events provide an opportunity for knowledge share and relationship building. At the 2018 event, attendees are invited to share
drinks, hors d’oeuvres and conversations with fellow
pet-service professionals from 6-8 p.m. on March 9.
The evening will kick off with a Runway Abstract
Design Challenge sponsored by Glo-Marr Pet Products, open to all competitors and created to underscore the beauty of a “simple abstract design,” strategically sculpted with minimal color and accessories.
Judges will be looking for stunning quality and artistry, the likes of which would be appropriate for a
client’s dog. First, second and third place winners
will receive cash prizes.
First-time show attendees and first-time groom-ing competitors will be recognized this year through
a new First Timer program sponsored by ConairPro.
All first-time competitors will be gifted ConairPro
products. Additionally, eligible first-time attendees
will be entered into drawings held at the end of each
entry-level grooming contest. A first-time groom-er will be awarded at the Best in Show First Timer
awards on March 10 at 4 p.m.