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A practical example

Systematic collection and recycling

 From fuel for power plants to the pharmaceutical substance, heparin – many different products can be made from animal by-products and all of them are sustainable


A company profile of the SARIA group


The specialist subsidiaries of the SARIA Group are internationally active as manufacturers of high quality products for human or animal consumption, for agricultural businesses, for aquaculture as well as for industrial applications. Around 5,000 employees work for the company at its 116 locations in 11 countries. Via its share in the Dutch Teeuwissen Group, SARIA has recently become active on growth markets such as Brazil and China. The business fields of this innovative RETHMANN subsidiary: the sustainable use of animal by-products as well as of residual waste from the food supply chain.


Not all animal by-products from the meat industry and agricultural sector are suitable for human consumption nor can they all be processed into pet food. On the contrary: the European Union has classified fallen animals from farms as well as certain abattoir by-products as hazardous material that must be disposed of in accordance with strict regulations. A number of SARIA subsidiaries have been processing these residual materials quickly and hygienically for years now using highly efficient industrial facilities and uniform standards throughout the group. During the disposal process, priority is always given to protecting humans and animals. The only products made from such residual materials are alternative fuels used, for example, by power plants or the cement 

 Six ReFood biogas plants in Germany, France and the UK produce electricity from food waste for over 30,000 households

industry. The calorific value of animal fat is around 25 percent higher than that of hard coal. It makes a great contribution, therefore, towards conserving our fossil resources.




By-products with many uses

A further business field of the SARIA Group: the production of high quality meal and fats from good animal by-products. Thus, for example, animal fats are used in metallic soap and ensure that freshly printed high gloss paper comes away from the printing roll or that façade plastering is impermeable to water. Farmers use bonemeal as an organic fertilizer. Furthermore, high-quality animal proteins and fats serve as a primary material for the production of pet food. When based on fish scraps, they are also a nutritious ingredient in animal feed. SARIA also processes animal skins and furs on an industrial scale. The automobile industry, for example, uses them for their car seats and fittings.




Electricity from food waste

SARIA’s subsidiary ReFood and its 17 branches in Germany are the leading service provider when it comes to recycling food waste and used frying fat in an eco-friendly way. The company provides its customers from the restaurant sector as well as from trade and industry with 120-litre or 240-litre bins as well as with special containers for used frying oil. Each time the waste is collected, the employees exchange the containers with bins that have been cleaned both inside and out. The customers arrange when and how often the bins should be collected by ReFood. Digital scanners on site at the customers’ ensure that all stages of ReFood’s services can be tracked at any time.


This innovative service provider uses the organic residual waste as a sustainable raw material: climate-friendly electricity and heat is generated at ReFood’s biogas plants which are only run on food waste. Furthermore, the ferment product is used by farmers as a high quality fertilizer as it contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The company hands over the used frying fats to the biodiesel industry which uses it as a sustainable base material. ReFood now also offers its services beyond the German borders in, for example, France, the UK and Spain.




Eco-friendly biodiesel

Being one of the pioneers of the German biodiesel industry, SARIA has developed process technology to produce fuels based on animal fats. Each year, the company produces a total of 240 million litres of eco-friendly biodiesel. This is enough to fill considerably more than four million car diesel tanks helping to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. The mineral oil industry uses the fuel to fulfil the legal regulations concerning blend ratios: it conforms to all sustainability criteria required by the EU Commission. Thus the rape seed, which is used to produce biodiesel from rape seed oil, only comes from accredited suppliers. And it is clear that the animal fats are sustainable.




Food and pharmaceutical applications

A further business field of the Group: food. Individual subsidiaries have been processing particularly high quality animal by-products for many years, for example pork rind into shortening and frying fat for human consumption. 


The Teeuwissen Group, which has been one of SARIA’s cooperation partners since 2010, has a particularly innovative way of using animal by-products. It collects, among other things, pig intestines from abattoirs across the world. This by-product is not only suitable for producing sausage products. The mucosa in the intestines is essential for producing heparin. This pharmaceutical substance is used as a blood thinner in hospitals and during surgery – animal by-products are often used to make base materials for pharmaceutical products.

Facts & Figures for 2011:
5,000 employees
116 locations in 
11 countries

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