Research Foundation Focuses on the Future

The Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF) held its board of directors and annual membership meetings in late October in conjunction with the National Renderers Association (NRA) 77th Annual Convention. Like the NRA, FPRF members unanimously decided that promoting the foundation is a priority as is encouraging submissions of more research proposals.

FPRF President Sergio Nates informed the board that 19 countries are represented on the foundation, $879,000 has been pledged for the next fiscal year, and membership consists of nine sustaining members, 23 full members, 17 associate members, and five allied, or association, members. Currently, 40 percent of the research funds being spent at the Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center (ACREC) at Clemson University are on biosecurity projects, with the focus shifting to higher-value uses for animal by-products in the future.

Foundation Chairman J.J. Smith, Valley Proteins, noted that the Poultry Protein and Fat Council of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association has contributed $100,000 to FPRF with most of the funding going toward ACREC research projects. He said the council has the same challenge as FPRF – they are not receiving a lot of research proposals so they are teaming up with other research groups. FPRF only received two outside research proposals before this year’s meeting, both of which were tabled until the spring meeting in May 2011 in hopes of receiving additional proposals to be evaluated.

The bulk of the annual meeting focused on FPRF’s path over the next five years. First addressed was a strategic plan to meet the objective of encouraging global food system stakeholders to approach FPRF members for sustainable solutions to their waste stream issues. Much discussion was also held on the various types of research that needs to be done: defensive, such as biosecurity and regulation issues; and offensive that center on rendering operations and opportunities.

Communications was also a topic of conversation among members, including how the rendering industry needs to tell its “good” and “success” stories, such as biofuels. Increasing membership also received a good amount of meeting time, with a decision made to form a task force to approach those who are not yet members of FPRF but could benefit from their involvement.

The foundation concluded its meeting by voting in new officers for the next two years: Carl Wintzer, G.A. Wintzer and Sons, was named chairman; David Kirsten, Darling International, is vice chairman; and Erika Weltzien, Rothsay, was named treasurer and is the first woman to serve as an FPRF director. Outgoing chairman Smith was honored for his six years of serving on the FPRF board of directors, with the last two years as chairman.

December 2010 RENDER | back