Chick-fil-A will supply Irving-headquartered Darling Ingredients with its delicious chicken grease — not for human consumption but for fuel.
Darling Ingredients’ core business is producing specialty ingredients like blood plasma, collagen, animal hides and bone-based protein that are needed to make products including pet food, soaps, leather and other consumer products.
The company is also part of a joint venture with Valero called Diamond Green Diesel that turns waste fat into renewable fuel that releases less emissions than fossil fuels. For the last several years, Darling Ingredients has been turning hundreds of millions of pounds of food manufacturing byproducts like chicken grease and other fats into alternative fuels.
Darling Ingredients’ DAR PRO Solutions will collect the grease from Chick-fil-A’s U.S. and Canada stores.
“We admire Chick-fil-A’s commitment to reducing food waste and are proud to be part of a solution that keeps food waste out of our landfills while delivering a renewable fuel that reduces GHG emissions,” Darling Ingredients vice president over renewables Sandra Dudley said in a statement.
The fuel Diamond Green Diesel produces is a low carbon transportation fuel that the company says is interchangeable with diesel.
Though it’s a relatively new space for the more than 70-year-old company, Darling Ingredients has been expanding its fuel sources in recent months, and growing revenue with it. In December, it agreed to acquire food processing company Valley Proteins for $1.1 billion.
Last year, Darling’s renewable fuel ingredients business made up 9% of its overall sales, up from 8% in 2019, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company had $4.1 billion in sales revenue in 2021.
The business is poised to grow even faster now that a $1.1 billion expansion of its Louisiana plant has been completed and an additional $1.45 billion refinery plant in Port Arthur is expected to begin production in the first quarter of 2023.
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