Minimising the livestock industry’s environmental burden

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					                   Digital Re-print -
               January | February 2014
           Minimising the livestock industry’s
                environmental burden

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F    44 | January - February 2014                                                                             Grain  &Feed millinG technoloGy

    Minimising the
    livestock industry’s
    GFMT interviews Sonac’s international sales
    manager Geert van Der velden
    The Netherlands

         earning how livestock carcass-                Category One animals, those that die on        that are allowed onto land. So if farmers
         es and by-products are processed         farm including those with disease, whether          want to produce more animals we provide a
         is giving greater confidence to          it's a cow, chicken or a pig, triggers a sophis-    solution for their manure.
    consumers that the threat of contami-         ticated logistics collection and monitoring             “We have high stock densities within The
    nation cannot now enter the food chain        system whereby farmers use the internet to          Netherlands, and our farmers have to provide
    – and that in addition the burden on          inform company Rendac who records, col-             the government with a contract stating that the
    the environment is being reduced.             lects and delivers the carcass to it’s dedicated    manure they produce is being processed cor-
                                                  processing plant in Son, in The Netherlands         rectly – we have currently contracted approxi-
                                                       “This is what we call Category One – this      mately 100 thousand tonnes of manure.
                                                  material will not return to the feed chain. It is        “There are multiple phases in which we
      Animal protein for ruminants                mostly used for energy purposes and as such         will produce different products. In the solid
                                                  goes towards green energy initiatives. This is      phase we will turn it into pellets and it is sold
      While in Europe there is currently no       just one of the activities that we have here,”      as an organic fertilizer, exported to countries
      legal approval for the use of animal        says Geert Van Der Velden, international            that are short on organic materials.
      proteins in ruminant diets, there is a      sales manager for Sonac in The Netherlands.             “When it is in the liquid phase it will
      strong market for blood meals and                “We also have two Category Three lines         be used in our biogas plants and used for
      haemoglobin powder in the dairy sector      in Son for products that can go back into           electricity generation.
      in the USA as it is a proven, valuable      feed.                                                   “This is quite an impressive operation. We
      source of by-pass protein.                       “One line is a hydrolyzed feather protein,     have a broad portfolio of different products
          “Here for example, we use a protec-     which can be used in aqua feeds.                    and activities. For example, we are currently
      tive soybean meal that is heat treated as        “In addition we have a blood meal line,        processing some eggshells, but as eggshells
      an alternative to animal proteins.          which is from mixed species. This product           are commonly provided by hatcheries, there
          “However, we do have one rumi-          is not allowed for aqua feeds but instead is        might be dead birds present. Therefore this is
      nant application: we sell a lot of animal   allowed in petfood and in fur animal feeds.         classed as Category Two material.
      fats into the milk replacer market for      These are Category Three products.                      “We process this material in a special way
      calves. There is a massive industry in                                                          and then it is sent as feed for fur animals such
      The Netherlands for fattening young         By-products from animal manure                      as mink and foxes. This is a business forbid-
      calves up to almost one year of age.            “We also have a plant in Son to do fat          den in the UK and here. Some people don’t
      They are only fed milk replacers so         refinery, where we process fats in order            like it, but nevertheless there is a market for
      they can produce white meat which           to make sustainable materials for bio diesel        fur coats and these animals are still being
      is considered a specialty here. These       fuels. We are also currently in the process         farmed.
      products are also sold to France and        of building a plant to process pig manure –             “If we don’t produce it here, it will be
      Italy as white veal.”                       there has recently been new legislation that        produced in places such as Denmark, China,
                                                  limits the amount of phosphates and nitrates        Poland or the Baltic States.”
F    46 | January - February 2014                                                                                    Grain &Feed millinG technoloGy
    Protecting the environment                           to develop special lines and plants where we
        “Basically, we are working out of a delta; if    specifically supply the hydrolyzed phetapro-
    we cannot sell a product for a high price we         tein for aquaculture, for example. We have
    must procure raw materials at a lower cost           another plant doing poultry meal, another
    and minimize processing fees.                        doing poultry blood meal and yet another
        “In general when we are looking at a             doing pork blood meal.
    supply chain, you want to find the product
    that sells at the highest price possible – as it     Global markets for aqua
    allows you to provide your suppliers with a               Globally, Sonac’s sales breakdown by species
    better return. It is better for the long-term        is roughly 40 percent pig, 35 percent poultry and
    sustainability of the animal supply chain.           everything thats left goes towards aquafeeds.
        “At the same time we have to always              Most products are sold in Europe.
    pay attention to what we are putting into                 “As a company our biggest footprint for
    our environment. It is a burden on us, but           aquafeed would be within Europe. However,
    we must always watch our environmental               I would say the largest market for aqua prod-
    impact.                                              ucts would be China. Our Chinese operation
        “If we produce something with great              is much smaller but sells quite a bit into the
    care, you always want to ensure that it is           market. We see potential growth in this area          Darling International
    used in the best possible way. I find that it        in future.                                            Inc. completes the VION
    is the main target we have in this industry.              “Bigger companies, such as Skretting and         ingredients acquisition
        “Obviously meat, which is the major              Biomar are looking to acquire or expand               - which includes feed
    part of livestock rearing, is consumed and           operations in China.                                  industry supplier Sonac
    stands alone for what we provide. But we                  “Another example of a growing market is
    should ensure that all parts of the animal           Australia where Sonac’s blood product plant           Darling International Inc with over 120
    are taken proper care of when utilising their        services Skretting, which dominates 95%               rendering processing plants, announced
    by-products.                                         of that market in salmon production. The              on January 8, 2014 that it had com-
        “Historically, we could say that the by-         Australian company Ridley, in the Brisbane            pleted the planned acquisition of VION
    product left over from the animal was                area, has two aquafeed plants as well.                Ingredients, a division of VION Holding
    relatively small. As in the old days you would            “We are hardly selling into Norway how-          NV (a member of the VION Food
    have backyard slaughtering where individuals         ever – it is still without blood animal proteins.     Group), for approximately €1.6 billion
    were processing the whole pig and using the          We look at countries with different species,          in cash.
    parts for themselves.                                like Denmark which has two production                     VION Ingredients is a worldwide
        “But with the move to mass industriali-          plants processing trout; Germany which has a          leader in the development and produc-
    zation, you have a lot of by-products that           plant, France, Poland, Italy, Greece – we also        tion of specialty ingredients from animal
    no individual can take care of. For example          export occasionally to Turkey as well.                origin for applications in pharmaceuti-
    in the UK everyone at one time ate black                  “The Turkish market has grown huge               cals, food, feed, pet food, fertilizer and
    pudding; but now very few eat it. This               recently with its trout, seabream and seabass         bioenergy.
    illustrates one challenging aspect. Recently         production. Egypt is a hard market though                 Headquartered in Son en Breugel,
    information came out of the UK that it is            as it does not import much from Europe.”              The Netherlands, VION Ingredients'
    trying to get a movement going whereby                                                                     global network of facilities on five con-
    by-products for ingredients such as lard are         The aquisition                                        tinents covers all aspects of animal by-
    more extensively used by consumers. We                   When asked if the aquisition by Darling           product processing through six brands
    like that idea, but these are mostly still niche     will effect Sonac products in Europe, Mr              including Rendac (rendering), Sonac
    developments.                                        Van Der Velden answers, “We still sell our            (proteins, fats, edible fats and blood
        “Unfortunately the masses will still go to       products as Sonac and they will not become            products), Ecoson (green power),
    McDonalds and other fast food outlets. So we         a part of the DarPro product line.                    Rousselo (gelatin), CTH (natural cas-
    have to find the best applications in which to           “Nevertheless, we try to achieve syner-           ings) and Best Hides (hides).
    most effectively re-utilize the parts in an effec-   gies and see how we can come together                     Vion Ingredients, now Darling
    tive way; maybe pharmaceutical uses.                 – especially in the Asian markets. Because            Ingredients International had sales rev-
                                                         we are primarily active in separate markets           enue at January 8, 2014 equated to
    Retailers are still cautious                         - DarPro in North America and Sonac in                €115 billion. Under the brand names
        “What was relatively new to us was the           Europe - we are hoping to bring proteins              of Darling the total company has com-
    reintroduction of animal proteins into aqua-         from both markets to Asia.”                           bined sales revenues of approximately
    feed. It will become an additional application           DarPro in comparison would be on an               US$4billion.
    in poultry feed, but we are still waiting for EU     equal ratio of 1:1 with Sonac, with hardly any
    approval, but the aquafeed approval is there         overlap in products, portfolio or geographic
    nonetheless.                                         areas marketed to, he adds.                            New markets include Nigeria for aquafeed
        “These are massive changes, and although             When asked if there were opportunities          and also South Africa for petfoods as well.
    it would be good to hop on it early – many           to bring Sonac products to the USA, Mr                 “We plan to expand into South America,
    retailers may not like the utilization of animal     Van Der Velden said, “ Yes and no – we do           South East Asia and then possible Africa as
    proteins. Many consumers still object to it,         bring some special products to the USA, but         our next target markets. When in South
    so these are the restrictions we must work           more importantly is the OIE update for its          Africa I asked why they didn’t render their
    around. The EU authorities have put restric-         qualifications for BSE risk.                        own poultry, relying on imports. This was
    tions on what can and cannot be used. For                “The USA, Netherlands as well as                because they eat all the by-products locally,
    example there cannot be any contamination            Belgium have been classified as negliable risk.     leaving nothing for reworking.”
    – no bovine DNA - it is extremely strict. The        with regard to BSE.                                    In China Sonac provide blood products
    methods to analyze are PCR that are very                 “This makes it far easier to export bovine      exclusively for feed – however, it is hoping
    sensitive. Because of this you have to organ-        material to the USA. This will be a major           to develop the blood pudding market for the
    ize dedicated slaughterhouses, transporters,         help for doing business from here to the            food sector
    people and then more dedicated transport-            USA – it will take about 33 months for this            “While blood pudding isn’t popular in
    ers from the plant to customers.                     law to take effect, but then we will export         Europe, it is still very popular in China and
        “Plants have to be dedicated. We need            more to the USA.”                                   South East Asia,” he adds.
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Description: Learning how livestock carcasses and by-products are processed is giving greater confidence to consumers that the threat of contamination cannot now enter the food chain – and that in addition the burden on the environment is being reduced.
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