My two years as president of the World Renderers Organization (WRO) came to an end at the group’s meeting in Hamburg, Germany, in June. I am saddened to step down but pleased as WRO will have a new leadership team who will be strong, confident, and knowledgeable, and will receive good support from WRO members.
As my term ended, I also reached a milestone in my career by achieving 20 years of experience in rendering. This is not something one thinks about and suddenly it is 20 years later. Looking over those years back to when the industry was “invisible” and trying to stay low, there have been many issues that the industry has managed to resolve.
Renderers today are confident and proud to be known as part of the sustainable industry. People now want to know what the industry does and why, so it is time to go out and tell them. Have employees be the advocates by informing others about the importance of rendered products. Argue the fact that rendering is the solution and not a problem.
The rendering industry still has its challenges and the WRO is actively providing leadership to its members. Recently, a customer was displeased after a test indicated tallow had a high polyethylene level. Another customer stated that pet food pellets exported into Japan were almost banned because a plastic speck was identified and not a declared ingredient. At the Argentinean renderers congress it was made clear that for tallow to be a viable feedstock for biodiesel manufacturing the polyethylene level needs to be less than 50 parts per million. Moving forward, managing raw material supply is of utmost importance for renderers around the world so a foreign material handbook is being developed by WRO as a management tool.
Similarly, WRO’s work on DNA testing is being closely watched by the pet food industry, which is in a similar situation when ingredients specify one species and another species is identified. Is one molecule too much? Does it need to be declared in specifications that protein meal “may contain foreign species”? What is the reasonable limit? WRO’s project on DNA will assist in understanding limitations and pave the way forward.
The WRO scientific panel consisting of Martin Alm, Lucas Cypriano, David Meeker, Shane Lieth, and John Brennan has been able to provide valuable thought and scientific knowledge to help lead direction where required. All are thanked for their continued support and WRO is proud to have them working on behalf of the organization.
I worked in the chemical and food industries before venturing into rendering and this industry has been interesting, challenging, exciting, intriguing, and most enjoyable. It is the people we work with who make the 20 years feel like a fleeting moment.
The process of renewal is important for WRO so as one individual steps away another person brings fresh ideas, passion, and thinking. The organization also needs members who challenge and push the boundaries to give leadership perspective and an alternate point of view.
So I join my predecessors – Stephen Woodgate, David Kaluzny, Alan von Tunzelman, Andy Bennett, and Niels Nielson – who all still play a role in the back room of WRO by providing guidance and thought. I greatly respect these “men of rendering” and their assistance and guidance over the years is much appreciated.
I have enjoyed working with WRO first vice president Fernando Mendizabal Fernandez, second vice president Martin Alm, and Nancy Foster of the National Renderers Association and thank them for their time, effort, and cooperation over the past two years.
Most of all, thanks to the WRO members for their support. I won’t be a stranger.
August 2017 RENDER | back