The utilisation of the inedible parts of animals is a very old practice. For centuries, this was limited to the removal of fat from tissues in order to manufacture candles and soaps. In the early nineteenth century, when the slaughter of animals began to scale up, the first rules were established for the channelling of “inedibles” to suitable destinations that would enhance their reutilisation. This was when the first units for the treatment of animal by-products, also known as “recyclers” or “tallow factories”, started to appear.
The origins of the ETSA Group date back to the sixties of the 20th century, when the first companies emerged, which, after several consolidations, served as a basis for the creation of our Group. The name ETSA came about in 1997, with the merger of the commercial activities of Sebol and ITS, which until then had been competitors in the market for the collection and processing of animal by-products. In 2008, the group was integrated into Semapa, representing the Environment pillar of this industrial group.
The recycling of animal byproducts brought innumerous advantages to our planet, allowing the reintroduction of nutrients and energy into the animal value chain, recycling phosphorus (non-renewable source) and extracting from the environment materials with high contamination potential. This circular economy mechanism reduced the dependency of vegetable sources and therefore the needs for additional land usage in agriculture, minimizing the destruction of our forests.
Over the past few years, ETSA has been growing steadily and investing in the range of solutions offered and in the sustainability of our activity. Examples of these recent investments include the installation of a Biomass Energy Facility (IVEB), pioneer in our industry. Through a co-incineration process, this facility processes category 1 meals and makes use of thermal energy for reintroduction in the production process and the blood processing line. Our blood processing line is the only such unit in Portugal and it operates under an innovative process due to its sterilisation capacity.