Rothsay rendering plant expansion gets support from Mapleton mayor at tribunal

·3 min read

MOOREFIELD– The Township of Mapleton is putting support behind the Rothsay rendering plant as the company goes through an appeal process relating to expansion.

The Rothsay plant in Moorefield processes poultry and pork by-products into finished products for use in pet food and supply feed mills.

The townships are sending letters of support but Mapleton mayor Gregg Davidson will be reading a letter at an environmental tribunal.

In a phone call, Davidson said the plant, which is located in Mapleton, has not only been an important employer for 50 years but an integral part of the agrifood industry.

He explained pork and poultry farming is a major industry in North Wellington County making the Moorefield rendering plant crucial to the area.

“You need to have places like (Rothsay) because otherwise those carcasses just get buried on the property or get sent to landfill,” Davidson said. “It’s part of that circular economy and Darling is part of that whole chain.”

Plant manager Duff Moore also stressed the plant as an essential service to the food and feed industry “by environmentally sustainable conversion of input by-product materials from food processing into value added proteins and fats in order to keep pace with the growth in poultry as a consumer protein of choice.”

Davidson said because the plant is located in Mapleton, the township is going beyond sending a letter and he will be at the tribunal meeting.

He said they’re not getting into the technical merit of the ECA but advocating for them on their economic value to the community.

Davidson said he doesn’t believe the plant will close if the tribunal doesn’t favour Darling but he’s hopeful success could mean more jobs for the region which Moore backs up.

“Indirectly via economic growth as the amended ECA approves additional plant capacity which is critical to the growth of agribusiness in the region and province,” Moore said. “As an essential business this added capacity helps ensure the sustainability of food and feed production in Canada.“

Moore said via email the plant has upgraded its processing equipment which requires a new environmental compliance approval (ECA).

“The upgraded processing equipment which has been completed and operational since Nov 2020 serves to increase the throughput rate in order to more efficiently, effectively and sustainably service the consistently growing poultry industry in Ontario,” Moore said.

Rothsay’s parent company, Darling Ingredients, is appealing some new conditions, particularly odour emission limits, in the ECA which Moore said aren’t sustainable.

“Darling filed a legal appeal to the amended ECA recently issued in an effort to have certain conditions changed to address regulatory and science based inconsistencies that do not appear to provide an environmental benefit,” Moore said. “Not addressing these inconsistencies has the potential to challenge our ability to comply with the ECA.”

Moore sent a letter to three Wellington County municipalities – Minto, Wellington North and Mapleton – seeking support for the company as an important employer in the industry.

Moore said the plant employs 110 full-time workers who mostly live in the surrounding area.

Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com