Members of the Canadian Renderers Association (CRA) took advantage of being in Chicago, IL, for the National Renderers Association (NRA) spring meeting to address some important issues renderers face in the north. Porcine epidemic virus and its impact on porcine by-products was extensively discussed, including negative statements, particularly those made by swine veterinarians, indicating that spray-dried porcine plasma should be removed from swine diets. It was noted that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has not yet published the results of its testing on spray-dried porcine plasma; the agency is awaiting findings from United States government tests and should be releasing information soon. NRA is conducting research on the safety of porcine by-products, but it will be several months before results are known. CRA members agreed it is problematic for either association to make any new or further statements regarding product safety without more research.
Since Canadian renderers export some of their finished products, international markets are always on the radar. Regarding animal fats and oils going to the European Union (EU), CRA members were informed that although export certificates for these products can theoretically be signed, the EU has imposed further conditions, making trade impractical. A technical meeting is being held with Canadian government officials to address this issue.
Canadian Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations are ongoing, although it is rumored that the agreement may be signed shortly. However, recent development regarding negotiations on beef and pork access may still create problems. CFIA is creating an electronic certification system for export of all agricultural projects that, to date, is focused on meat exports. However, the system being built is capable of incorporating rendered products so industry is participating in a series of teleconferences to examine issues as the system is being developed.
Donald Boucher, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, provided an overview of the current Livestock Market Interruption Strategy Committee initiative in which CRA is actively involved since the rendering industry has a well-organized carcass disposal structure. CRA will provide information describing the industry capability for emergency carcass disposal, but the issue of regaining export status and normal operating status after the disposal event has been a discussion point in the past and will need to be properly addressed during this work.
CRA is now a member of the Industry Government Advisory Committee on traceability. One issue of concern regarding the new regulations on hog carcass traceability that goes into effect July 1, 2014, is the requirement for matching traceability information from both the sender (producer) and destination (renderer). The question about what would happen if the information does not match is being raised.
Dr. Samuel Godefroy, director general, Food Directorate, Health Canada, has been nominated for the chairmanship of Codex Alimentarius (details can be found at www.canadaforcodex.com). CRA members noted it would be helpful to have a Canadian as the chairman of Codex so renderers are encouraged to lobby their Codex contact points to vote for Godefroy in July.
Grease theft remains a significant problem in Canada, particularly in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. CRA reiterated that the extent of the theft needs to be properly quantified in order to lobby regulatory authorities such as law enforcement to take the issue seriously. It is important to cut off the ability of organizations responsible for the thefts to sell the stolen product, a very difficult problem to resolve.
June 2014 RENDER | back