The Role of the World Renderers Organization

By Kent Swisher, Vice President, International Programs, National Renderers Association

The World Renderers Organization (WRO) was founded in 1999 to represent renderers around the globe. Its vision is “to be known as the principal organization representing the interests of the rendering industry on a global level, serving as a vehicle for exchanging points of view and on rendering issues and where appropriate, to express positions to governments and world organizations.”

The WRO has a unique and essential role when addressing problems faced by the global rendering industry and in turning these problems into opportunities for practical resolution. The WRO has an important role to play in how decisions are made in the global debate in food and agriculture. The ethical role of WRO is not just to be the “voice and ears” of the global rendering industry but to promote global feed and food security, management and utilization of natural resources, and sustainable rural development.

The WRO gathers and shares information on the rendering industry, acting as an interactive forum and providing expert guidance on policy options and choices based on practical research and analysis. One of the WRO’s objectives is to achieve consensus on the science of regulations and legislation that affect the rendering industry in order to ensure the global availability of safe and wholesome rendered by-products for the feed industry. The WRO facilitates global discussion on the scientific issues that support decisions made by national governments and international regulatory bodies by providing the foundation for sound, sensible, science-based regulations.

Likewise, harmonizing global regulations aid in the uptake and application of new technologies as well as encourage the rendering industry to invest in technologies to ensure the safety and quality of the feed/food supply for consumers worldwide. For public health agencies responsible for overseeing the safety of the international food supply, harmonization of the rendering industry’s safety and quality standards and regulations will bring a higher level of confidence that risk-reduction strategies and food safety measures are effective, that decisions taken are based on science and not on underlying political agendas that may be in conflict with public health goals, and that available resources are allocated where they have the highest impact on the most pressing foodborne disease-related problems.

The strengthening process of the rendering industry worldwide is to share the responsibility of the WRO and its member countries. The WRO’s role in the process is that of a facilitator and catalyst. The countries are responsible for taking and implementing decisions of a legal, statutory, institutional, capacity building, administrative, and procedural nature to ensure that the WRO is an efficient and effective worldwide body. In lieu of this, the WRO facilitates the exchange of information with the World Organization of Animal Health, or OIE, and its Codex Alimentarius Commission. In response to the demand from consumers worldwide for safe food, efforts are under way within the WRO to present a broader view of the biosecurity of animal by-products in order to enable the consideration of other important factors, such as sustainability and environmental competence.

More recently, the creation of new WRO committees has been informally discussed including having an advisory committee of individuals whose expertise is in global regulatory issues and agricultural policies, especially in the realm of biosecurity and feed/food safety epidemiology. In order to build consensus among the rendering industry on global harmonization of feed/food safety regulations, the WRO organizes member meetings, workshops, and symposia to further its collaborative work and to provide educational outreach to key stakeholders. While the WRO has published a very limited number of papers on the subject of regulations in the rendering industry, the formation of a new communications committee has also been discussed as part of the future WRO structure to provide further outreach.

A recent and good example of the organization’s role was the attendance of several members at a special session in conjunction with the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which hosted the feed industry’s most significant event for 2010 in Cancun, Mexico, in late April. Over 200 people attended the IFIF meeting from most Latin America countries as well as the United States, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union. The program included presentations by industry and government officials. Participants at the regulators meeting were invited by FAO and Feed Latina, the new regional federation that represents about 120 million tons of animal feed production in Latin American and Caribbean countries. A number of important regulatory issues were discussed involving the entire Latin American and Caribbean region as an economic bloc. These included registration of feed additives, labeling and inspection, residues and contaminants, biotechnology, and good manufacturing practices for both commercial feed manufacturers and on-farm mixers.

Financial support for the WRO is provided from member dues. Currently, 23 countries are represented in the WRO membership, which is open to national rendering organizations or companies in those countries that do not have an established rendering organization. Countries currently represented are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, the Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom, and Venezuela. More information on the WRO is at

International Report – June 2010 RENDER | back