People, Places, and...

Former Renderer Passes

Robert J. Smith, former president of Winchester Rendering Company, Inc. passed away in early June at the age of 75.

Born in October 1937 in New Oxford, PA, “Bob” Smith relocated to Winchester, VA, in 1952 with his family shortly after his father built the rendering plant. At age 15, he dropped out of school to help his father get the struggling business off the ground. Smith was very generous with the money he earned as a young man, often buying dresses for his three sisters and signing many of his paychecks over to his mother to help with household expenses.

Upon the death of his father in August 1968, Smith became the company’s president and held that position until he sold his interest in the company to his brother, Jerry Smith, in March 1977. Bob retired from the rendering business in 1980 due to continuing health problems related to Crohn’s disease, which he battled for over 35 years. In 1985, Winchester Rendering Company changed its name to Valley Proteins, Inc.

Bob Smith enjoyed Triumph motorcycles and drove Ford Thunderbirds throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. After retirement, he enjoyed four-wheel-drive truck pulling with his son, Scott, and competed on a national basis. In 2008, Smith was inducted into the National Tractor Pullers Association Hall of Fame.

Smith is survived by his wife, Sara, and son.

HF Press+LipidTech Expands Production

Due to a growing business, HF Press+LipidTech has reached the limits of its production capacity in the historic halls at its site in Hamburg, Germany. Therefore, in an effort to grow further in the future, the manufacturer has established its own manufacturing site at its location in Valpovo, Croatia.

Using state-of-the art manufacturing equipment, the location in Croatia has successfully served HF as a production facility for the last 15 years and has become the biggest site of the whole HF Group within the last few years. Valpovo was chosen as a new location for the HF Press+LipidTech wear part production, machine assembly, and logistics facility for its excellent matching infrastructure. The welding center with robots for hardfacing began operations in May 2013.

Haarslev Strengthens Relationship with Russian Meat Processor

Danish company Haarslev Industries has been contracted to deliver five projects to Miratorg in Russia, the country’s number one pork producer. The projects will comprise of an expansion to an existing Haarslev rendering plant in Korocha, two completely new rendering plants in connection with a new multi-species meat processing plant in Bryansk, a rendering plant for the Miratorg facility in Kursk, and an edible fat melting line for Bryansk.

“We try to find the best possible supplier for each type of equipment we buy and we have found cooperation with Haarslev Industries as reliable as their rendering equipment for our projects,” said Maxim Dragatsev, director, Projects Development at Miratorg.

“The Russian market and developing our service to it has a strong strategic focus at Haarslev Industries,” said Henning Haugard, director of Sales and Marketing at Haarslev. “We are therefore very pleased to have been selected once again as supplier to Miratorg. It also proves that our decision to set up a sales and service center in Russia was a right move.”

The five projects will be delivered during 2013. The two parties have agreed not to disclose the contract amount.

Smithfield Foods Enters into Merger

In late May, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Shuanghui International Holdings Limited entered into a merger agreement that values Smithfield at $7.1 billion. Shuanghui International is the majority shareholder of Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development Co., China’s largest meat processing enterprise and the country’s largest publicly traded meat products company as measured by market capitalization. The agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and has passed the required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976. In addition, Smithfield has received foreign antitrust or anti-competition approvals in Mexico and Poland but still awaits approval by shareholders, receipt of approval under certain specified other foreign merger clearance laws, review by The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and other customary closing conditions. Smithfield expects the transaction to close in the second half of this year.

Under the terms of the agreement, Shuanghui will acquire all the outstanding shares of Smithfield at $34 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a premium of about 31 percent over Smithfield’s closing stock price on May 28, 2013, the last trading day prior to the merger announcement. Upon closing of the transaction, Smithfield’s common stock will cease to be publicly traded and the company will become a wholly-owned independent subsidiary of Shuanghui International Holdings, operating as Smithfield Foods. C. Larry Pope will continue as president and chief executive officer of Smithfield, and the management teams and workforces of Smithfield’s independent operating companies will continue in place after the merger. 

Pope said the transaction was great for all Smithfield shareholders as well as for American farms and United States agriculture.

“It will be business as usual – only better – at Smithfield,” Pope stated. “We do not anticipate any changes in how we do business operationally in the United States and throughout the world. We will become part of an enterprise that shares our belief in global opportunities and our commitment to the highest standards of product safety and quality.”

Renderers Release Educational Video

The National Renderers Association (NRA) has released a new educational video entitled Rendering: The Sustainable Solution to inform the general public about an industry that impacts people every day but that most don’t even realize exists. The video is currently available on YouTube at, and on NRA’s website at

“Rendering is a vital industry that no longer should be seen as ‘invisible,’” said Jessica Meisinger, director of Communications, Science and Education for NRA. “Renderers are absolutely vital from both a sustainability and a public health standpoint. Rendering recycles carbon and energy into valuable ingredients for pet food, livestock feed, biodiesel, and other products, and stops them from being wasted in a landfill.”

The United States livestock sector slaughters more than 150 million head of cattle, calves, hogs, and sheep, and more than 55 billion pounds of poultry for food annually. Over 50 percent of the total weight of these animals is considered “inedible” by Americans and rendering gives these products a new purpose. In addition, restaurants dispose of roughly 4.7 billion pounds of used cooking oil each year that is processed by renderers into both a nutritious feed ingredient and a feedstock for biodiesel. In all, renderers collect about 56 billion pounds of raw materials and turn those into some 19 billion pounds of valuable, usable products.

According to Meisinger, removing this recyclable product from the waste stream has about the same effect on greenhouse gas emissions as removing over 12.2 billion cars off the road. Also, improperly disposing of restaurant grease, such as it being dumped down a drain, costs taxpayers an extra $25 billion a year in damaged pipes and related issues, not including the human health factors.

WRO Signs Cooperative Agreement with OIE

The World Renderers Organization (WRO) has reached an agreement with the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE, on a memorandum of cooperation to further international standards on animal health and welfare. Closer collaboration between the organizations on animal disease surveillance and control strategies will benefit policymakers and members of the relevant organizations alike.

“We are delighted that the OIE recognizes the expertise and knowledge within the WRO,” said David Kaluzny II, WRO president. “We look forward to working on shared ambitions that include improving the health and welfare of animals across the globe.

“The signing of this agreement demonstrates the OIE’s commitment to harnessing the technical excellence that exists within the WRO and signifies the importance that rendering has in the control of animal disease socially, environmentally, and economically,” he continued. “Our members are fully supportive of the move. It effectively opens a dialogue with intergovernmental organizations such as the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Each has responsibilities on issues that directly affect our respective members’ production interests.”

The WRO addresses issues that affect the production and trade of animal by-products, regardless of country, association, or company. The OIE is responsible for ensuring that its member countries are effective in preventing the introduction and spread of pathogenic diseases.

August 2013 RENDER | back