WRO Busy with Global Meetings

By Stephen Woodgate, Second Vice President, World Renderers Organization

October is probably the busiest month on the World Renderers Organization (WRO) calendar, with three major events involving WRO members. First, the annual International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF)/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) feed meeting in Rome, Italy. Second, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) conference in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, and finally (but not least) the annual WRO meeting, held this year in conjunction with the National Renderers Association convention in Naples, FL.

I attended the first meeting to represent the views of WRO at this annual gathering held at the headquarters of FAO. WRO is a member of IFIF and as members actively involved in the supply of quality feed nutrients to the global feed industries, this is a vital alliance to maintain. As IFIF represents more than 90 percent of compound feed production worldwide, continued involvement is essential. Although the European Union (EU) resolutely (but only for the time being) is not able to supply significant amounts of proteins to the global feed industry for food producing animals, the EU is still recognized as a member of the feed club, albeit one with a suspended sentence.

On the first afternoon, there were three committee meetings under the “PET” umbrella – policy, education, and technical. Each session was handled by the respective committee chairman, and the highlights included a review of the Global Feed and Food III Congress and planning for the future meeting in South Africa, the prospective appointment of a chief executive, and the adoption of an education and training policy to try and ensure that the feed manual becomes a practical and valuable tool rather than just a book that gathers dust. This outreach program will be developed over the next year or so and WRO may be asked to be involved from time to time. The feed manual, jointly developed by IFIF and FAO, has taken a long time to reach its final version as a published document in several languages. The English and Spanish versions are available now and other languages will follow. A limited number of copies are available by e-mailing me at stephen@beaconresearch.co.uk, or Tom Cook at the National Renderers Association at tcook@nationalrenderers.com.

The Global Feed and Food III Congress held earlier this year in Cancun, Mexico, was reviewed in some detail. In spite of the Icelandic volcano attempting to disrupt the event, it was felt that the overall impact of the event was still good. Nonetheless, lessons were learned, specifically in relation to the venue and the ability to attract local (Mexican) feed industry members as well as international visitors. It was concluded that the Cancun venue was successful with regard to the latter, but not the former.

Overall, however, it was decided there is a demand for such meetings following similar lines, and that WRO would indeed be welcome to participate with a specialized session as it had done in the last two events. In conclusion, the fourth Global Feed and Food Congress has been penciled in for South Africa (probably near Johannesburg) in April 2013. The final choice of venue will reflect the lessons learned previously as the organizers wish to attract as many local feed industry partners as possible. As a result, the global meeting will probably run alongside the triennial African feed industry meeting.

Daniela Battaglia from FAO outlined an exciting new development that WRO members will be able and need to engage with. This is the development of a specific Internet site hosted by FAO and termed a “global gateway” that will effectively attempt to deliver a one-stop shop on the subject of animal feeding. Of course this will be a very important central location for all things related to animal feed, including feed ingredients. By engaging with the development of this gateway, WRO will be able to ensure that all the factual and up-to-date information on rendered products are entered onto this platform. After a period of development, the Global Gateway to Animal Feeding will be publically available.

There was also an in-depth discussion on the upcoming Codex Alimentarius ad-hoc working group on animal feeds. This working group has been convened as a result of the electronic working group over the last two years and a decision by the 33rd Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in May 2010 to agree to a new, but limited, mandate for animal feed. Switzerland has offered to chair this working group and three Swiss delegates were present to introduce the topic and join in discussions about the best way forward. The actual mandate comprises two aspects:

1. Development of guidelines intended for governments on how to apply the existing Codex risk assessment methodologies for the various hazards that might arise in feed for food producing animals.

2. Develop a prioritized list of hazards in feed ingredients and additives for government use.

The majority of delegates at the IFIF/FAO meeting considered that item two should be discussed and agreed upon before turning to item one. The discussion on the Codex feed task force working party will be picked up at the IFIF feed regulators meeting in January 2011 and hopefully by then a systematic approach will have been agreed upon. WRO will again take an active role in the deliberations. Although the hazards under discussion are not those that the rendering industry would normally expect to encounter, WRO recognizes that taking part will ensure that this limits the possibility of any surprises that might arise in the future.

WRO President Alan von Tunzelman represented the organization at the GAA conference. His take-home message from this event was, “Look east for great business opportunities.” Tunzelman was very impressed with the size and potential of the markets for rendered products in Asia, and will no doubt discuss this in more detail in the next issue of Render magazine.

At the WRO annual meeting in Naples, FL, there was lively debate on a number of key issues. There were two highlights: first, an agreement between members to adopt the principles of the document prepared by Bruce Ross and Kent Swisher as an effective WRO manifesto for the future.

Second, WRO members were very pleased to welcome to the meeting Shanghai Genon Biological Products Co., Ltd., a producer of animal blood proteins. Prior to the meeting they applied to join WRO as a representative of China. In accepting their application, Tunzelman warmly welcomed the delegation and looked forward to a period of close cooperation and information exchange with other WRO members.

In fact, the WRO meeting generated so much discussion and interest, including a separate session on research and development objectives, that these will be explored in more detail in future issues of Render.

WRO meeting dates to be noted for next year are an informal meeting at the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association Congress June 8-10, 2011, in Dublin, Ireland, and the annual WRO meeting to be held in Sydney, Australia, in conjunction with the Australian Renderers Association Symposium July 27-29, 2011.

International Report – December 2010 RENDER | back