Australia Hosts World Renderers Meeting

By Tim Juzefowicz
Second Vice President, World Renderers Organization


The World Renderers Organization (WRO) held an interim meeting at the Australian Renderers Association’s (ARA’s) 12th International Symposium held in Melbourne, Australia, in late July. The organizers of this year’s symposium scheduled the WRO meeting to be an important part of the international portion of the program.

WRO Chairman David Kaluzny II welcomed everyone and thanked ARA for hosting the meeting in conjunction with its symposium and wonderful hospitality. Attendees then reviewed minutes of previous meetings. The annual meeting minutes will be presented at the next WRO annual meeting in Naples, FL, in October for approval.

Communications
An important part of WRO is linking global industry members and associated organizations through its website. It was recognized that the new website was a great improvement and working well, including on tablets. The website is operated from the United Kingdom for the time being and any news or information of interest to members should be sent to WRO First Vice President Stephen Woodgate at swoodgate@fabra.co.uk.

The recently developed WRO brochure showing the importance of rendering has been used at the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL conference in Thailand and the Global Feed and Food Congress in South Africa. Additional copies are available from WRO or the National Renderers Association (NRA) in the United States.

Circulation of information was discussed again and it was proposed that all paid-up members should see all communications to ensure they are fully involved. It was also recommended that WRO have a communications advocate promoting the organization; Alan von Tunzelman of New Zealand accepted the role with pleasure.

Charter/Governance Discussion Paper
A draft of a new charter had been circulated previously by Woodgate at the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association (EFPRA) Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, in June. Prior discussions amongst members had confirmed that the principle of “one country, one vote” was still the preferred option. This was confirmed at the interim meeting.

The matter of collecting WRO country membership dues by regional associations was also raised (e.g., EFPRA/Brazilian associations) to improve efficiency of dues collection but without prejudice to individual country membership. Further revision of the WRO charter will be made to allow discussion in the near future.

There was a good debate about the level of fees and membership. Several thought that WRO needed to maintain its low-fee structure. However, it appears that low fees do not guarantee more members (about 15 members have not renewed in the last two years). Alternatively, fees could be collected in accordance with country size or gross domestic product (as per the United Nations). This would probably be fairer, but would it result in more members?

It was commented that the fees should realistically be set in relation to the budget. Yet the WRO officers/membership still have to agree on what the organization needs to do for the industry; its capability and what the members want to do may be quite different.

At the EFPRA Congress, Doug Ward from the United Kingdom and Andre Couture from Canada referred to the origin of WRO and its main mission, which is to have a platform for dialogue with world bodies such as the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE, and World Health Organization. However, if WRO only tries to maintain this relatively low profile activity, it is likely to lose members. This in turn could cause further issues with OIE, which demanded that WRO be truly representative of global renderers before accepting the principles of a recent cooperation agreement.

It was also mentioned that WRO must be more active to attract and keep its membership base so as to maintain its status with OIE. This view was also supported by the member contingencies from Brazil (La Asociación Latino Americana de Plantas de Rendimiento and Associacao Brasileira de Reciclagem Animal) who see the 10-year vision for WRO as something of importance to their future and they want to play an active role. It was determined that a compromise was required where a draft budget and proposal for fees is prepared in advance of the WRO annual meeting held in conjunction with NRA’s October conference in Naples, FL.

At the interim meeting, ARA and the New Zealand Renderers Group made a joint statement that they uniformly and strongly agree that WRO should have a “wide representation with a narrow focus.” The focus should be to influence international political thinking on matters impacting the industry. Research and development is excluded as this is the role of the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation, and there should not be repetition. Attendance at trade shows is a commercial matter and considered outside the scope of WRO.

WRO should still be able to do special projects such as the code of practice developed by Bill Spooncer, Australia, and the WRO Scientific Committee. It should also develop a “fighting fund” to support the objective of influencing international thinking (e.g., OIE, etc). Funds do not need to be spent each year and should be held for emerging issues if/when they arise.

The issue of membership was again raised with the following key matters: bigger countries need to encourage others, particularly smaller countries, to participate. An example could be by paying membership fees. WRO should also be talking with rendering equipment manufacturers to see where the organization could be looking for members. Another consideration was does it really matter if small countries (producers) do not pay?

Best Practice Guide
The second final draft of the WRO Code of Practice was circulated with the agenda. Woodgate reported that between the organization’s Scientific Advisory Panel members and himself, the draft was finalized. Several countries have expressed interest in using the guide for their own national government activities. With the guide now being complete, it will be made available on the WRO website.

Future Events
Organization participation in industry-related meetings will be limited this year due to lack of funds. Future WRO meetings include the 2013 annual meeting October 23, in Naples, FL, the 2014 annual meeting in early June in Stockholm, Sweden (EFPRA Congress), and an interim meeting in October 2014 in Rancho Mirage, CA (NRA convention).


October 2013 RENDER | back