Know the Facts

What is animal ingredient production?

According to the North American Renders Association, animal ingredient production is the process of cooking and drying meat and other animal byproducts not used for human consumption. Sometimes called “the original recycling,” animal ingredient production has been turning unused and unwanted meat into animal food and fertilizer for hundreds of years. The animal ingredient product – which would be made exclusively from chickens in Gadsden –contain valuable fats and proteins filled with vitamins and minerals that animals need to maintain their health. The high temperatures at which the chicken byproducts will be cooked ensure the elimination of bacteria, viruses and other hazards (Source).

Did you know?

Rendering is Recycling: Animal ingredient producers collect 56 BILLION pounds of raw materials every year in the U.S. and Canada. If all products that could be turned into animal ingredient were instead sent to the landfill, all available space would be used in 4 years (Source).


Rendering Reduces Greenhouse Gases: Carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gas emissions are emitted through natural decomposition. Producing animal product, instead of natural decomposition, has the same effect on greenhouse gas emissions as removing over 12 MILLION cars from the road (Source).

Know the Facts: The proposed Gadsden project

The proposed state-of-the-art chicken ingredient plant would be built on a site adjacent to the Northeast Alabama Regional Airport. Pilgrim’s Pride is currently engaging in all due diligence to obtain the required permits for the facility.

  • There is no contractual agreement between Pilgrim’s Pride and the City of Gadsden.
  • Pilgrim’s Pride has not requested or received a tax abatement from the City. Any future incentives requested would require a vote of the City Council.
  • The project will not impede the ability of the airport to expand, nor will it affect airport air traffic or safety operations.
  • The plant will be used exclusively for producing chicken ingredient, primarily for pet food. We do not store animal parts. Rather, the parts are placed into process to become animal ingredient immediately.

The project will create high-paying jobs, stabilize the Gadsden tax base and bring money to local schools.

  • More than 100 jobs employing workers in the building trades would be created during construction of the facility.
  • The plant would infuse over $17 million directly into the local economy each year through labor, utilities, maintenance and repairs, suppliers, freight and other ongoing business expenses. Another $50 million in positive economic impact is expected indirectly.
  • The project would bring more than $360,000 annually to city, county and state schools.
  • An estimated $90,000 annually will be paid to the city in taxes.
  • The plant will be a boon to agriculture and poultry industries, providing much-needed chicken ingredient production capacity and future growth for the poultry industry. 
  • The proposed project will help offset the impact of the recent closure of the Goodyear plant, which cost hundreds their jobs and the community an estimated $1.5 billion in economic stimulation.

The plant will incorporate state-of-the-art systems to capture and eliminate odors.

  • The odor-capturing technology eliminates odor at the source, preventing it from leaving the property.
  • The building is designed to be kept at negative pressure, containing odors in the facility. When a door opens, the negative pressure keeps air and odors from escaping outward.
  • The facility will employ a thermal oxidizer, which is 99 percent effective at collecting and destroying VOCs (volatile organic compounds), meaning discharge is carbon dioxide, nitrogen and clean water vapor. All of these elements are odorless.

Our water treatment technology exceeds state and local permitting requirements.

  • All water used during the animal ingredient production process is collected and treated at the facility. The clean, treated water is then piped to the Gadsden water treatment plant to be cleaned again before discharge. 
  • Our system collects storm water separately, which will be treated by the water treatment plant.
  • The system ensures that all water meets our high clean water standards, which will ensure the protection of the Coosa River, Neely Henry Lake and other area waterways.
  • To be clear: No water will leave the site without first being treated to meet our high clean water standards.

We will employ stringent requirements for trucks entering and leaving our plant.

  • All tractor-trailers arriving and departing from the plant will be covered and/or sealed.
  • The design incorporates an area for deliveries to occur completely inside the facility, allowing materials to be offloaded inside and trucks cleaned before leaving the site.
  • Similar trucks are already using city and county roads.
  • The proposed plant would receive an average of 2.5 trucks per hour. On some days, including Sundays, there will be little to no traffic.

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