Around the World

By Stephen Woodgate, President, World Renderers Organization

Editor’s note – The author gives acknowledgement and thanks to Alan von Tunzelman, New Zealand Renderers Group, and Dr. Claudio Bellavar, SINCOBESP, for their input on this column from their respective corners of the world.

This issue’s international overview covers three continents, starting in Queenstown, New Zealand, followed by Campinas, Brazil, and ending in Stockholm, Sweden.

First to New Zealand and the resort venue of Queenstown on the country’s South Island. Every two years, the Australian Renderers Association (ARA) holds a symposium at an Australian location. Recently, the New Zealand Renderers Group (NZRG) began hosting a joint meeting of the executives from the two bodies in alternate years. This year, the New Zealand event held in March was a mini-conference that was open to all members of both organizations. Almost 100 individuals attended.

The Queenstown location was spectacular as evident by newcomers’ wow expressions on their faces. Organized events included an evening trip across Lake Wakatipu in the vintage steamer Earnslaw to visit Walter Peak, a high country sheep and cattle station. A magnificent dinner, accompanied by a selection of local wines, set the tenor for what was to follow.

The program for the meeting covered regulatory aspects along with innovation, research, training and education, and a good deal of discussion about the future. Credit for creating the program goes to Kevin Cresswell of NZRG, NZRG Chairman Bruce Rountree, and the NZRG Organizing Committee, as well as Dennis King from ARA and ARA Chairman Andy Bennett.

After independent NZRG and ARA meetings early one morning, both groups joined together to hear a World Renderers Organization (WRO) update delivered by WRO First Vice President Tim Juzefowicz, followed by an update on Fats and Proteins Research Foundation activities given by director Graham Shortland.

Next, Frank Dupps Jr., The Dupps Company in the United States (US), delivered his keynote speech, “Trends and challenges in US rendering.” There are many similarities to the issues faced in the lands down under, although, inevitably, there are also significant differences. This was an extremely valuable presentation in offering Australian and New Zealand renderers the opportunity to both appreciate the common experiences and contemplate the contrasts between these parts of the world.

The next two speakers represented regulators and spoke about very recent topical issues. Matthew Stone, New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries, discussed lessons learned from recent food safety incidents. No particular incidents involved rendered products, but it was encouraging to see how regulators have responded to recent issues in China, allocating resources both to minimize the likelihood of such events being repeated and also to assist exporters in this difficult market.

Lynda Hayden, Australia Department of Agriculture, addressed the trials and tribulations of restoring market access. Hayden and the teams she has worked with in recent years have established protocols that enable a rapid return to markets following a variety of problems. The key is to have appropriately skilled personnel available around the clock who are prepared to travel immediately to international hot spots.

Darren Harpur, Aduro BioPolymers, spoke on the developments of a “plastics from meals” project that is progressing. There are promising opportunities, but commercial application is still some time ahead.

Dr. Mark Booth, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, gave an update on aquaculture, where there appears to be opportunity in the near future for renderers to supplant some fish meal with meat and bone meal in the diets of a few aquaculture species. Being near Asia will do Australian and New Zealand renderers no harm, but they must learn to produce consistent meals with a low ash content.

Tissa Fernando, who recently retired from Haarslev after the company bought Flo Dry Engineering from him two years ago, regaled the crowd with some early memories from his time developing the low temperature rendering system while at the New Zealand Meat Research Institute about 35 years ago. Energy efficiency and quality of end products from mixed raw materials were the drivers of the MIRINZ low temperature rendering system that has become the standard in this part of the world. These same concerns – energy efficiency and product quality – remain key process drivers today.

The respective chairs for the two groups then gave an update on recent activities within each country before discussing joint initiatives for the future. In closing the conference, there was unanimous resolve to repeat the event in two years at the same location.

At the final dinner, a presentation was made to Fernando for his contribution to the rendering industry over many years (see Newsline in this issue of Render). The organizers also thanked the sponsors whose generous contributions made the mini-conference such a success and singled out Dupps for traveling so far and giving of his time so generously.

Next, off to Brazil and the XIII Rendering Congress, with a focus on quality and innovation. SINCOBESP, Brazil’s rendering organization, held the meeting in Campinas in conjunction with FENAGRA, the International Fair of Renderers. SINCOBESP President Dr. Gustavo Razzo opened the event by stressing the opportunity for participants to share ​​knowledge, technology, and innovation at a single event.

Dr. Rui Machado, representing the president of EMBRAPA, a Brazilian government research agency, said that the work of SINCOBESP members is of high interest to the agency since the raw material they process is a residue that becomes an input for further animal husbandry. Interest is also high due to the process chain being highly sustainable.

Representing the president of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo, Dr. Paulo H. Schoueri said the purpose of the federation is to act in partnership with the rendering unions to provide the largest possible number of services to the primary production industries.

Demonstrating concern for the future, the congress convened topics related to the environment, quality, and innovation. One of the highlights was a panel that met with environmental agencies. Representatives from different organizations and regions of Brazil highlighted the work being done in the State of São Paulo, which has created a model of environmental organization for rendering.

Another significant panel moderated by Dr. Claudio Bellaver joined WRO, ALAPRE (the Latin American renderers association), ABRA (Brazil’s other rendering association), and SINCOBESP for discussion to propose an alignment between the entities, which should contribute to more cooperation.

A lecture on the issue of both by-product and final product quality was given by the Ministry of Agriculture; the needs and demands of SINDIRAÇÕES, the union for animal feed producers, was explained; and issues of good manufacturing practices were presented. Bellaver discussed different possibilities of innovation in rendering and Manfred Gellner, director of Saria in Germany and a WRO member, brought forth the view of circular economy and residues disposal in Europe. Statistics and processing of biodiesel were also given.

Finally to Stockholm, Sweden, where one might be reading this article while attending the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association Congress and WRO workshop, “Sustainability: a key to open doors for growth and development,” held June 5-6. The aim of the workshop is to make people think about how WRO can focus the rendering industry’s sustainability credentials to open the minds of retailers and consumers to the industry’s positive impact. WRO will also try to encourage and support growth of the industry in developing regions of the world as well as create a global platform to highlight WRO’s key position within the livestock food chain, particularly with respect to animal disease biosecurity.

The speakers at the workshop include Leo Den Hartog, director of research and development and quality affairs for Nutreco, who will talk about sustainable ingredients in animal nutrition. Sean Zhou, Olymspan, China, will discuss opportunities for renderers in China, while Alexandra de Athayde, chief executive of the International Feed Industry Federation, will speak about how WRO and other international organizations can help the world move toward sustainable feed and food.

In completing this rapid tour of three continents, one can see that there is significant activity of international matters that are relevant to all renderers, wherever they operate in the world. To continue the theme of WRO on the world stage, the next edition of Render magazine will report on the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE, World Assembly in Paris, France, and the WRO workshop in Stockholm.

June 2014 RENDER | back