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Rendering: a traditional, essential “recycling” method

In North America, only half of what is produced by the livestock industry ends up on our plates. Slaughterhouses, butcher shops, food processing plants, and even supermarkets are left with huge quantities of organic products that will never be consumed. So, what happens to these leftovers? That’s exactly where companies like Sanimax come in! 

Sanimax, proud to transform it all

Rendering: a traditional, essential “recycling” method

In North America, only half of what is produced by the livestock industry ends up on our plates. Slaughterhouses, butcher shops, food processing plants, and even supermarkets are left with huge quantities of organic products that will never be consumed. So, what happens to these leftovers? That’s exactly where companies like Sanimax come in! 

Sanimax, proud to transform it all

Rendering companies play an important role in the communities they serve. How?

A by-products journey inside Sanimax

What happens to the materials that arrive at our facilities before they return to market? This short clip makes it easy to understand!


At Sanimax, we are proud to transform it all

Creating value in new ways: that’s what the circular economy is all about.

With this principle as our guide, we repurpose more than 2 million tons of organic remains every year. The benefits include much less waste thrown into landfills and lots of everyday items being manufactured with renewed materials. Driving your car, painting your house, feeding livestock… Our value-added ingredients can be found in a number of everyday tasks.

Rendering: an impactful recycling process

Sanimax rendering steps

In North America, half of what is created by the livestock industry does not make it to our plates. Sanimax reclaims what’s left over.

Instead of being thrown away, these unconsumed by-products are transformed into value-added ingredients.

Our high-quality industrial ingredients are used to manufacture everyday items. That’s the magic of the circular economy!

Icone Emissions

In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, rendering is the equivalent of taking more than 12,000,000 cars out of circulation each year in the United States and Canada.

Icone Feuille Gris

Rendering: the eco-friendly option

Transporting visibly unusable organic residues to modern facilities, then transforming it into new ingredients, is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of these materials. Studies* have shown that the associated greenhouse gas emissions are much lower than other potential solutions.

Comparing greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) for 1,000kg of meat by-products


Rendering industry


Industrial composting


Anaerobic digestion

Frequently asked questions

The circular economy is an economic system that aims to reduce the consumption and waste of primary materials as much as possible. This model, which is based on recycling, works to eliminate the idea of waste. Supporting the circular economy means preserving our planet’s resources.

Rendering is a process that is used to treat agri-food by-products by transforming them into oils, greases, and proteins. In the context of the circular economy, these value-added ingredients are then used by manufacturing companies that create everyday products.

Check out this animation to better understand how our process unfolds.

Sanimax reclaims used cooking oil, meat and animal by-products, farm deadstock,  organic residues, and hides and skins. What we do is important for public health: by eliminating pathogens that are carried by farm deadstock, for example, Sanimax prevents these carcasses from posing a health risk to neighbouring communities.

Each year, we invest a significant amount in making sure our company can happily coexist with nearby communities. We are aware that our neighbours have increasingly high expectations, and that we must minimize the impact of our operations. To facilitate a more harmonious coexistence, Sanimax is more attentive than ever to municipal authorities and communities. Learn more about our commitments.

Sanimax itself doesn’t create any unpleasant smells – they are released during the transformation process. Sometimes, transporting organic materials to our facilities can create a smell, especially when the weather is warm. We take this situation very seriously and we do everything in our power to limit how much our operations impact the people who live in surrounding communities. Targeted investments and the adoption of automation and artificial intelligence have improved our facilities’ stability and performance: these improvements have allowed us to work more quickly and experience fewer unforeseen issues, which minimizes the risk of odours.

Check out this animation to better understand how our process unfolds.

Sanimax produces proteins, greases and oils, as well as ingredients that are used in pet food. We therefore contribute to the essential role that rendering plays in the food production chain. Each year in North America, our industry produces 4.5 billion kilos of grease and oil, and 4.1 billion kilos of protein.

Everything we reclaim is repurposed into ingredients that are used in various industries. These value-added ingredients help manufacture livestock feed, biodiesel, fertilizers, solvents, paint, tires, crayons, and much more!

While we reclaim a huge quantity of organic by-products, we don’t create any waste. What’s more, rendering captures five times more carbon compared to the emissions it generates*. That’s the equivalent of taking 12,000,000 cars off the road across Canada and the United States.

Rendering is also the most efficient treatment option for agri-food industry by-products (compared to burying, composting, anaerobic digestion, or simply leaving them on the ground). In addition to releasing fewer greenhouse gases, the treatment process only takes a few hours.

Check out this animation to better understand how our process unfolds.

Burying organic residues releases five times more greenhouse gas emissions compared to rendering.* If our industry didn’t exist, the colossal quantity of organic by-products that would need to be buried in a landfill would have serious environmental consequences.

*Source: Gooding, C. and D. Meeker. 2016. Review: Comparison of 3 alternatives for large-scale processing of animal carcasses and meat by-products. Prof. Ani. Sci. (Vol. 32, Issue 3, p259–270)

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Katya Laviolette

Katya Laviolette is a bilingual executive who has extensive global experience in human resources and M&A. She has worked in both large-scale multinational organizations as well as founder led high growth scale-ups, across a number of industries.

Katya currently holds the role of Chief People Officer with 1Password, a password management and credentials security platform. Prior to joining 1Password, Katya held several executive level HR roles at SSENSE (Chief People Officer & Head of Real Estate), TC Transcontinental (CHRO), CBC | Radio-Canada (VP, People & Culture), and Rio Tinto (VP, Human Resources). Katya is also a Board Director.

Katya holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and a Master’s degree in Industrial Relations from Queen’s University. She is a member of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (ORHRI) as well as a certified coach with Integral Coaching Canada.

Yanick Gervais

Yanick Gervais was appointed President and CEO of Olymel on November 11, 2021. He succeeded Réjean Nadeau, who passed away on October 14 of the same year after leading the company for nearly a quarter of a century. When La Fernandière was acquired in 2016, Yanick Gervais joined Olymel and first became Vice President and General Manager of this new division, which focuses on the production of fresh sausages.

In 2018, Yanick Gervais was appointed Senior Vice President, Operations, in addition to overseeing the Engineering and Logistics departments. In this capacity, he had the key responsibility to oversee the operations of more than 30 plants located mainly in Quebec, but also in four other Canadian provinces. Before joining Olymel, Yanick Gervais was co-owner and general manager of La Fernandière for over 10 years. He was the grandson of one of its founders.

Trained as an accountant and tax specialist, Yanick Gervais previously worked with the accounting firm Dessureault, Leblanc, Lefebvre, C.A. from 2001 to 2005. He has been very active on various committees related to the chartered accountancy profession, particularly on training and recognition of the next generation of chartered accountants. Yanick Gervais volunteers for several charitable organizations and is very involved in his community. He holds a graduate diploma and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, as well as a master’s degree in taxation (MTax) from the Université de Sherbrooke.

Paul Beauchamp

Paul Beauchamp joined the Olymel executive team in 2000 and currently holds the position of First Vice President. In this capacity, he is responsible for supply in the hog and poultry sectors, is also in charge of corporate affairs, communications and public affairs, and acts as the company’s spokesperson. He is also directly involved in decisions about acquisitions, mergers, partnerships and business strategy.

Mr. Beauchamp previously served as Secretary and Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Lactel from 1996 to 2000, and as Director of Public Affairs for the Coopérative Fédérée de Québec from 1992 to 1996. He also worked for the Government of Quebec from 1985 to 1992 as Chief of Staff to the Ministers of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, as well as the Minister of Education.

Paul Beauchamp is a graduate of Laval University, where he studied law and economics. He has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1986.

Réjean Nadeau

Réjean Nadeau a consacré sa vie professionnelle au secteur de la transformation agroalimentaire. Nourrir le monde aurait pu être sa devise dès le début de sa carrière. Détenteur de deux baccalauréats de l’Université Laval, l’un en pédagogie et l’autre en relations industrielles, Réjean Nadeau se joint à La Coop fédérée dès 1976.

Visionnaire et innovateur, Réjean Nadeau a toujours lancé de grands chantiers. C’est ainsi qu’il crée Unidindon, plus importante entreprise canadienne du secteur du dindon, avec Exceldor comme partenaire. Il regroupe les activités des secteurs porc et volaille de La Coop fédérée sous la filiale Olymel. Il procède à l’acquisition de la plus importante usine canadienne de transformation de porc à Red Deer, en Alberta. Il réalise la fusion d’Olymel avec Supraliment, division des viandes du Groupe Brochu, ajoutant aux marques Olymel et Flamingo celle des célèbres charcuteries Lafleur. Il met en œuvre un partenariat d’affaires avec Westco, producteur de volailles du Nouveau-Brunswick, pour la construction de l’usine d’abattage et de découpe de poulets Sunnymel, desservant les Maritimes. Il acquiert le deuxième plus important producteur de porcs du pays, Big Sky Farms de Saskatchewan, afin de garantir les approvisionnements d’Olymel dans l’Ouest canadien.

Au Québec, au cours des dernières années, il conclut des partenariats importants dans le secteur du porc frais avec ATRAHAN Transformation Inc., ainsi qu’avec le Groupe Robitaille dans Lucyporc. Sous sa direction, Olymel a aussi procédé à plusieurs acquisitions dont celles de La Fernandière en 2016, de Pinty’s Delicious Foods et des Aliments Triomphe Inc. en 2018, ainsi que de l’ensemble des activités porcines de F. Ménard en 2020.

En moins de vingt ans, Réjean Nadeau a été responsable d’une expansion qui a permis à Olymel d’être active au Québec, en Ontario, au Nouveau-Brunswick, en Saskatchewan et en Alberta. Sous sa direction, Olymel n’a jamais cessé de se moderniser, de valoriser ses produits, d’innover dans ses façons de faire et de répondre aux attentes des clients et des consommateurs.

Il a siégé à plusieurs conseils d’administration et s’est également impliqué auprès de nombreuses œuvres de charité. C’est aussi sous sa direction que l’entreprise a remporté de nombreux prix, tant pour ses produits et l’originalité de leur mise en marché que pour sa gestion des ressources humaines. En novembre 2013, Réjean Nadeau s’est vu attribuer l’honneur d’accéder au Temple de la renommée de l’Association des détaillants en alimentation (ADA) pour l’ensemble de sa carrière. En 2016, Réjean Nadeau a également reçu le Prix Hommage Grand Bâtisseur Desjardins pour ses qualités d’entrepreneur et de leader du secteur de la transformation agroalimentaire.

François Berthiaume

Vice President, Finance and Administration

François has nearly 25 years of experience working for companies with national or worldwide operations. Having held key positions in various industries, he joined Sanimax in early 2015, attracted by the company’s entrepreneurial profile and international presence

Focused on improving and optimizing results and processes, François seeks to strike the right balance between strategy and fieldwork. His area of expertise includes strategic planning, management of accounting and financial operations as well as business and financial process reengineering.

Holder of a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Sherbrooke, he is a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec (CPA, CA) and the Québec Chapter of Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada).

Terry Finn

Vice President, Supply chain

Terry’s successful sales career began at H.J. Heinz, where he moved up the ranks from Sales Representative to National Sales Manager in just ten years. More recently, he served as Vice-President of marketing and sales for Vidéotron, a leading Quebec telecommunications company. Terry focuses on building solid teams and developing strong, long-lasting relationships with his customers. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Montreal’s École des Haute Études Commerciales.

Denis Caron

Executive Vice President, Colombia

Denis is a graduate of Université Laval in Quebec City in the field of people management. As Vice-President, People and Culture, he has worked in all areas of human resources management, where he has met significant challenges over the course of his career, including the modernization and cultural transformation of organizations, succession strategy of management teams and coaching of leaders and executives.

With a strategic and pragmatic approach, he has held executive positions with major Canadian companies such as Provigo, Loblaws and Walmart. Prior to joining Sanimax, Denis was Vice-President, People and Culture for Rona, where he held a management role in promoting leadership change strongly focused on the customer.

Sanimax is currently experiencing significant growth in South America, mainly in Brazil and most recently in Colombia with the acquisition of Agrosan. To this end, Denis currently holds the position of Vice-President – Strategic Development, Governance and Culture for all South American operations, in order to build a high-performance management team that can, with a 5-year strategic plan, support the strong growth of future years.

Michael Carlson

Vice President, Finished Product Sales

Michael Carlson is based in Green Bay and began his career with Sanimax in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and has been trading cash commodities for over 25 years. Michael’s role with Sanimax is in leading the Sales team for internally produced, finished rendered products as well as related third party products. Prior to Sanimax, Mike was with US Commodities located in Minneapolis and also with Tysons (IBP) located in Dakota City.

Éric Trudeau

Vice President, People & Culture

With over 25 years of experience in human resources management, Éric Trudeau focuses his work on understanding business issues and provides solutions that are aligned with corporate values and culture. Eager to promote employee professional development, he acts as a facilitator in change management, which enables him to build a partnership with managers and support the management of their teams. He pays particular attention to challenges related to recruitment, employee engagement and talent retention within the company.

Eric has held senior positions in Human Resources for various organizations, including Komatsu and General Mills. Between 2007 and 2013, he served as the Corporate Director of People & Culture at Sanimax. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Human Resources for Groupe Robert, before returning to Sanimax in 2018, where he now holds the position of Vice President, People & Culture.

Martial Hamel

President, North America

Martial joined Sanimax in 2010 after spending twelve years in the chemicals and food ingredients industries, where he held several key positions both in sales and supply chain. Before joining us, Martial was General Sales Manager at Univar, a global industrial and specialty chemicals distributor, where he led the company’s Central Canada Region through a major turnaround.

At Sanimax, Martial has led the transformation of our customer experience and supply chain operations, which was realized over a 3-year period through the implementation of major company-wide initiatives. Martial held the position of Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, until July 2018, when the Board of Directors appointed him President of Sanimax to lead the company’s North American operations.

Holder of an MBA from Athabasca University, Martial was named “Supply Chain Executive of the Year” in 2017 by the Freight Management Association of Canada, in recognition of his leadership and innovative approach in the field of supply chain management.

Richard Goulet

Chair of the governance and human resources committee

President of Alter Ego Capital, which he co-founded in 2013, Mr. Goulet is a committed entrepreneur with a successful track record in mergers & acquisitions and portfolio management.

He started his career as an auditor at Ernst & Young in 1992. He made the leap into the industry in 1995, serving in various management positions at Bombardier. In 1997, he joined the management team of De Luxe Group, a North American leader of flexible packaging solutions for the food industry. He quickly rose to the position of President and became a major shareholder. Under his leadership, the company experienced exceptional growth, organically and through major acquisitions. Operating several manufacturing plants in Canada and in the United States, serving customers worldwide, De Luxe Group became a dominant player in the industry, recognized for its capacity to innovate and its strength in the international markets.

Mr. Goulet is a chartered accountant (CPA, CA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (accounting, urban planning and real estate) from Laval University. He is also involved with the Young Presidents’ Organisation since 2008.

John Meyer Jr.

John brings 18 years of experience in various operational and development roles at the Anamax Group. Since 1995, he has been an active member of the National Renderers Association and other industry organizations. John is the major shareholder of Rock Removal Resources LLC and Sand and Sun LLC, both of which he has participated at a senior management level. He has served on numerous board positions, both business and charitable. He is currently serving on Pro Con – a national paper converting business, Jo to Go – a franchise coffee distributor, FVMT – a metal fabrication business. John earned a BS from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and a BA from St. Benedicts’ in St. Joseph, Minnesota.

Julie Couture

Julie is President of Placements Julie Couture Inc., a private holding company with interests both in rendering and commercial/residential real estate. She has served on the Board of Directors of Sanimal Inc. since 1999 and has been an active board member of other charitable organizations. Julie earned a BA in Fine Arts from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, as well as a post-graduate degree from Ontario College of Art in Toronto.

André Couture

Chairman Emeritus

André has held top leadership positions for more than 25 years, leading the transformation of a single-plant renderer into the current cross border company and creating a smooth transition from second to third generation ownership.

Now, as Chairman of Sanimax, he is focusing on the strategic alignment between the management, the Board of Directors and the shareholders of Sanimax. André has served in several leadership roles in the National Renderers Association and the Fats and Protein Research Foundation. He serves as a trustee at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, from which he earned a BA in Economics, at Collège François-de-Laval and also at Fiducie du patrimoineculturel des Augustines, both in Quebec City.

Hani Basile

Chairman of the financial audit and verification committee

Mr. Basile has extensive experience as a senior manager in the consumer goods sector. Until recently and since 2009, he was President and CEO of the Juvenile Segment at Dorel Industries Inc., overseeing many operating entities in Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and South America. From 2003 to 2009, he held a number of strategic positions within that company. From 1990 to 2003, he exercised his skills on behalf of I-Tech Sport Products Inc., where he held various key management positions, notably that of Senior Vice-President and COO from 1999 to 2003.

Mr. Basile is a member of the Board of OPMEDIC Group Inc. (TSX: OMG). A Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Concordia University, he is also a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Management Accountant

Robert Coallier

Chairman of the Board

The Board of Directors of Sanimax is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Robert Coallier as its Chairman.

Mr. Coallier has enjoyed an illustrious and diversified business career holding executive positions at several leading businesses such as La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (Vice President Investments), C-MAC Industries (Vice President and Chief Financial Officer), Molson Coors (Vice-President Executive Development and Global Affairs) and Dollarama (Chief Financial Officer), after which in 2012 Mr. Coallier joined Agropur as its Chief Executive Officer, a position he held up until 2019. Mr. Coallier sits on the Board of Directors of Stella-Jones and has been the recipient of several industry awards and honours.

Martin Couture

Chief Executive Officer

Holding a Bachelor degree in Economics from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, Martin is a creative, forward-thinking and charismatic leader. He combines strong leadership skills with extensive operational experience.

Since joining Sanimax in 1989, through his involvement in the Rendering and Restaurant Services units, two core sectors of the family business, Martin has gained an in-depth knowledge of the industry. Since taking the helm of the company in 2009, he has invested his efforts in modernizing the operations and putting corporate values into practice.

Martin was named one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40”, a Caldwell Partners award, in 2007, and received the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2008. He is an active member of the National Renderers Association, the professional association of the rendering industry in North America, and is also deeply involved with the Young Presidents’ Organization since 2003.