Success, but Challenges Still Ahead

By Niels Leth Nielsen
President, European Fat Processors and Renderers Association

Editor’s note – The following is a speech, in part, given by Niels Leth Nielsen, Daka Denmark A/S, at the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association 17th Annual Congress in early June in Hamburg, Germany.

This year is not much different from previous years as the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association (EFPRA) is still facing many challenges that keep it busy in maintaining its members’ interests. However, in 2016, EFPRA had great success when, after a long and intense struggle, it succeeded in getting the export ban lifted on ruminant processed animal proteins (PAPs) to third countries. The regulation goes into effect July 1, 2017.

Of course it is unknown if European renderers will face any complications, but after some introduction period, European ruminant and mixed PAPs have great potential to be sold close to world market prices.

With the legal export of ruminant and mixed PAPs, the previous irregularities with export of mixed PAP to third countries will come to an end. Yet EFPRA and its members must still be aware of possible indiscretions that could take place with the export of category 2 meat and bone meal. This type of gray market can be a threat to the liability of the industry and harm the good reputation EFPRA has with the European Commission and Parliament as well as other political bodies. Further self-regulation is imperative in the rendering sector so EFPRA staff will work on proposals that can then be discussed with the group’s council.

Lifting the ban on export of ruminant and mixed PAPs was the top priority for EFPRA in 2016. Therefore, the list of main targets going forward has changed somewhat to include:
• porcine PAP fed to poultry and avian PAP fed to pigs with species identification;
• ruminant PAP fed to aquaculture;
• other heat treatment methods for porcine PAP; and
• ruminant PAP in non-ruminant diets.

However, one very important issue is the performance of European porcine PAP and poultry meal in feed. It was nearly 20 years ago that these products were in the market for feeding farmed animals and no doubt the composition of PAPs has changed so test results from 2000 may not be valid anymore. Consequently, the EFPRA council has decided to cooperate with the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands to conduct performance and digestibility testing over the coming year. Such tests are expensive and will cost around 214,000 euros. EFPRA is contributing 75,000 euros with the rest graciously donated by member organizations and individual companies. I am pleased that many companies and organizations offered to contribute toward these important tests that will no doubt be a great benefit when European porcine and poultry PAPs are ready to reenter the marketplace.

After that, EFPRA intends to open the discussion on ruminant PAP in aquaculture diets. In fact, ruminant PAP in aquaculture is in line with World Organization for Animal Health recommendations and is currently allowed in aquaculture feed outside the European Union (EU). A risk opinion from the European Food Safety Authority will be needed on this issue so it will take some time.

Another important area for EFPRA is the pending revision of the EU Renewable Energy Directive. While not all EFPRA members produce biodiesel most are producing animal fat that is used as feedstock for tallow methyl esters (TME). Once again, this market is greatly challenged and I personally do not understand why biofuels are not promoted and supported more. Recently, 2016 figures of carbon dioxide emissions from the transport sector in Denmark were released showing an increase despite a mandatory blend of biofuels and more fuel-efficient cars being produced. Yet these good efforts are being taken over by more cars and trucks on the roads. EFPRA will need to lobby strong for TMEs in the future with support from organizations like Copa-Cogeca, the European Biodiesel Board, and European Waste-to-Advanced Biofuels Association.

As always, it is extremely important to do our homework and approach the European government and authorities in charge of the different issues the industry is dealing with. These efforts must be followed up by seeking support from other stakeholders, a task EFPRA is willing to do.

August 2017 RENDER | back