People, Places, & ...

California Renderer Awarded

Sacramento Rendering Company (SRC), Sacramento, CA, was recently honored as a 2009 Sacramento Sustainable Business of the Year Award winner by the Business Environmental Resource Center. The sustainability awards are given to the top environmentally conscious businesses whose practices demonstrate an outstanding commitment to enhancing sustainability.

SRC was one of six team members involved in the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (SRWTP) Biogas Enhancement Pilot Project that evaluated the feasibility of using other waste materials such as fats, oils, grease, and food processing waste to inject them directly into an anaerobic digester to generate biogas, enhancing the production of biogas (methane gas) at the SRWTP.

Others awarded for their involvement in the project include the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Brown and Caldwell, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, and The Pepsi Bottling Group.

EFPRA Names New Technical Director

The European Fat Processors and Renderers Association (EFPRA) has named Dr. Martin Alm as its new technical director effective October 1, 2009. He takes over the position from Stephen Woodgate who will now concentrate his efforts as chief executive of the newly launched United Kingdom group Foodchain and Biomass Renewables Association, or Fabra.

For an intermediate period of nine months, Woodgate will introduce Alm into EFPRA’s technical business. Both will jointly lead the association’s Standing Technical Committee (STC) until June 30, 2010.

Since 2004, Stephen Woodgate has served EFPRA as its first technical director. Before this time he led the technical issues of the organization as chairman of the Standing Technical Group (STG).

Alm studied chemistry at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. After his master’s degree in biochemistry, he obtained his PhD at the Institute of Soil Biology at the Federal Agricultural Research Centre, Braunschweig, in 1998. Since then he has worked for SARIA Bio-Industries, one of the leading rendering companies in Europe, responsible for research and development and regulatory affairs. Alm has been a member of the EFPRA Executive Board, Council, and STG/STC for several years. Due to SARIA Bio-Industries’ activities, he has also been involved in many other businesses other than rendering, such as biodiesel, biogas, edible fat, fish meal, and yellow grease, in 10 different European countries. In 2005, Alm joined the research committee of the U.S. Fats and Proteins Research Foundation.

Grease Hauler Indicted for Dumping

A Mobile, AL, grand jury has indicted a waste disposal company, its president, and top manager for offenses involving the illegal disposal of waste into the sewage treatment systems of Mobile and neighboring municipalities, according to the U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

DHS, Inc., operating under the name Roto-Rooter, its president, Donald Gregory Smith, and manager William Wilmoth Sr. were charged in late October in a 43-count indictment with numerous violations of the Clean Water Act and with fraud and conspiracy for having dumped into local sewers thousands of gallons of waste grease and oil that they had been hired to dispose of safely and legally. The indictment recites Mobile’s history of years of sewage overflows, inadequate wastewater treatment, and polluting effluent caused by blockages of sewer lines and treatment works with solidified grease.

In response to lawsuits under the Clean Water Act, the City of Mobile entered into a court ordered agree-ment with EPA under which Mobile implemented a grease control program requiring restaurants and other food service companies to install grease traps to prevent cooking oils from entering the sewer system. The indictment charges that Roto-Rooter, on the representation that it would pump out the grease traps of restaurants and other commercial customers and dispose of the grease waste at legal facilities, instead discharged the grease through grease traps and manholes into the sewer lines that the defendants were being paid to prevent it from entering. The indictment estimates a total of 85,000 gallons was dumped.

Roto-Rooter employee Michael L. Edington has entered guilty pleas in federal district court in Mobile to having dumped from Roto-Rooter pump trucks numerous loads of grease into area sewer systems between 2004 and 2006, to having falsified grease tracking manifests to make it appear that the waste had been disposed of properly, and to having conspired with the defendants named in the indictment to commit the illegal disposals and fraud with which they have all been charged.

Charles Potts, an attorney for DHS Roto-Rooter, said Smith fired Edington as soon as he learned in February 2006 of the employee’s conduct.

“Roto-Rooter will welcome the opportunity to set the record straight at the appropriate time,” another company attorney, Warren Butler, said in a prepared statement. “That being said, Roto-Rooter categorically denies the allegations of the indictment and will vigorously defend itself against all charges.”

The matter is being handled by the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama, and EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless he or she is proven guilty at trial.

Meat Group Elects New Officers

The American Meat Institute (AMI) has elected the six officers that will guide the organization through the next year. The election was held at AMI’s Annual Business Meeting during the Worldwide Food Expo in late October.

Elected for 2009-2010 is Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer (CEO) of Hormel Foods Corporation. He began his career with Hormel in 1989 as a corporate attorney and has served in numerous leadership positions at Hormel Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store. Ettinger was named president and chief operating officer of Hormel Foods in 2004, was elected CEO in 2005, and was elected chairman of the board in November 2006.

Dennis Vignieri, president and CEO of Kenosha Beef International, Ltd., will serve as vice chairman for the next year. He has been with the company since 1978. Prior to his current position, Vignieri served as the director of transportation for 14 years. He has been a member of the Kenosha Beef Board of Directors since 1984.

Larry Odom, chairman, CEO, and president of Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage, Inc., will serve as treasurer of AMI. Odom has worked in various positions at Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage for 35 years, including food service regional manager, quality assurance manager, and later as director of quality assurance over a three-plant operation. He became executive vice president in 1985 and president in 1992. Odom was promoted in 2001 to chairman and CEO.

Elected to serve as secretary is Nick Meriggioli, president of Oscar Mayer, a Kraft Foods Business Unit. From 2001 to 2006, he served as senior vice president of marketing for the Oscar Mayer Business Unit. Prior to that, Meriggioli spent three years in the Kraft Cheese and Dairy Business Unit in a number of marketing positions, including director of strategy and business director for the Philadelphia Cream Cheese business.

Rod Brenneman, president and CEO of Seaboard Foods, becomes immediate past chairman, and J. Patrick Boyle was reelected by the AMI membership to serve a twentieth year as the group’s president and CEO.

World Renderers Launch Web Site

The World Renderers Organization (WRO), founded in 1999, has launched its Web site at The vision of the WRO is to be acknowledged as the principal organization representing the interests of the rendering industry on a global level, serving as a vehicle for exchanging points of view on rendering issues, and, where appropriate, to express positions to governments and world organizations.

The purpose of the WRO Web site is to promote, on behalf of its members, the interests and the image of the global rendering industry; provide information on the positive contribution of the rendering industry on the environment and the sustainability of its finished products; facilitate the international movement of animal fats and protein meals; and compile and disseminate appropriate scientific research to its members, governments, and world organizations.

“Education, research, and advocacy are important features of the WRO and the new Web site will be a tool to enhance those features,” stated Chairman Alan von Tunzelman of New Zealand. “This is a very important step in the growth of the WRO.”

PFI Announces Kelly as Chairman

Bob Kelly, president of Bil-Jac Foods, Inc., was elected chairman of the Pet Food Institute (PFI) at the group’s 52nd Annual Industry Meeting in October. Kelly had previously served as vice chairman of PFI.

Other officers elected at the PFI meeting were Dan Rajczak, senior vice president of P&G Pet Care, as vice chairman; Rick Shields, executive vice president for technical services of Menu Foods, as treasurer; and Neil Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, as secretary.

People, Places, & – December 2009 RENDER | back