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Home: Friends of the Family Farm: Spotlight: Darling International, Inc.

Darling International: taking pride in being a good neighbor by supporting the local community

Darling International opened in Fresno in 1987, when it bought a facility that had been in operation since 1953. Since then, the company has been providing the local food processing industry a means to safely and efficiently dispose of by-products that would otherwise become a health and environmental hazard. The company is a leading provider of rendering, recycling and recovery solutions to the nation's food industry, converting valuable waste streams into animal feed and fuel products.

General Manager Jim Roth knows how important it is for the company to be a valued Fresno business. "We take pride in being a good neighbor and contributor to our community's needs," Roth said.

Darling International is a business that operates 120 facilities in 42 states. Roth manages the Fresno and Turlock facilities that cover the territory from Sacramento to Bakersfield. Each location employs up to 43 people including drivers, plant workers, management and office staff; in addition, approximately 4,500 jobs in the Fresno area are dependent on the company.

"We joined and became a supporter of the Farm Bureau because it is the voice of agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley, instrumental in providing much needed communication, political support, keeping businesses up-to-date on all the industry changes and new requirements," explained Roth about Darling International's recent Friends of the Family Farm sponsorship.

Darling International exists to support the local operations of major meat and poultry producers, along with many small animal harvest and grocery store businesses located in the San Joaquin Valley.

Roth says the company prides itself on maintaining good relationships with vendors and clients. The company works directly with the agriculture industry by providing farmers and animal harvest facilities with disposal of the animal waste without negatively releasing green-house gasses. The plant also offers oil and grease disposal to restaurants.

"Darling International benefits the farmer and agriculture in general because rendering is the quickest, most efficient way to dispose of this kind of product," Roth explained. Through rendering, the company is able to create animal by-products such as fats, oils and proteins that will be used for animal feed, in addition to benefitting the oleo chemical and biofuel industries.

Over the last seven years, the company has invested in modernizing the Fresno and Turlock facilities to better serve their customers and the community by installing innovative air-scrubbing technology. "We strive to stay ahead of the ever-changing compliance requirements," Roth said. The Turlock plant recently added a new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility.

The company's most recent venture is a joint project with Valero Energy, which is in the final stages of construction. This facility is expected to provide North America with the largest refinery that will produce ultra-low sulfur renewable fuel that is made from animal by-products and recycled cooking oil. This fuel will be able to be mixed and distributed through pipe line across the United States.

Darling International is a proud supporter of the local Fresno community and several organizations including Boys & Girls Club, the 41 & North group, Habitat for Humanity, the Learn to Earn program and Ronald McDonald House.

"We want to continue to branch out into the community and further the mission that is critical to agriculture in California," Roth said.


Friends of the Family Farm Spotlight Profile: Ag Today, April 13
By: Courtney Sorensen