“Out with the grain and in with the farm-raised chicken,” promoted the pet food commercial recently seen on television.

“Our chickens are 100 percent veggie fed,” announced a poultry processor’s website.

Trends. Consumer demand. Marketing. Whatever you call it, statements like the above are coming out fast and furious these days and renderers need to take note.

Several articles in this issue of Render highlight choices being made on animal nutrition and regulations that stem from consumer trends and demand rather than science. A move toward all-vegetarian diets for poultry overlooks research that shows animal fats and proteins are necessary in poultry nutrition. In California, city government is specifically targeting rendering plants in an industrial area because of odor complaints from neighboring community members. Yet these regulations don’t affect other odor-causing industrial businesses.

Attendees at the National Renderers Association convention in October were told they need to tell their good story to educate the “conscious consumer” and downstream industries who are making decisions that could affect how renderers do business in the future. Renderers have known for years they can no longer remain “invisible” as they once were so many have gotten involved in their communities and invited local lawmakers into their plants to see first hand the environmental benefits of rendering. Yet rendering’s good story needs to be told over and over and over again – and louder than ever before.

As Trent Loos, Loos Tales, expressed to renderers at their convention, “We’ve moved so far away from basic science that we need to get back to basics. Be your own ambassador, and start with your own family.”

So as you gather with friends and family over this holiday season and into the New Year, share with them the benefits of rendering. Tell them that without rendering, the turkey or ham or prime rib on the family dinner table wouldn’t be possible. Let them be your ambassador, too.

December 2017 RENDER | back