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History

Foundation

Already 4 years after the constitutional foundation of the European Economic Community (EEC) a few visionary, courageous personalities from the casing trade established in Paris , 1956 the European Natural Sausage Casings Association comprising of:

· Chambre Syndicale de la Boyauderie Française, Paris

· Zentralverband Naturdarm e.V., Hamburg

· Nederlandse Bond van Handelaren in en Bewerkers van Slachtproducten, Amsterdam

· Union Professionelle de la Boyauderie Belge, Bruxelles

· Associazione Italiana Industriali Prodotti Alimentari, Milano

The secretariat was established in Paris at the office of the Chambre Syndicale de la Boyauderie Française.

Membership

While in the following years other European countries joined the EEC, national associations from newly joined EEC members also became members of ENSCA.

  • Natural Sausage Casing Association, London, 1973
  • Tarmhandlerforenigen i Danmark, Copenhagen, 1973
  • Associacion Espanola de Tripa Natural, Madrid, 1986
  • Associacáo Portuguesa dos Industriais de Tripas e Afins, Lisboa, 1986
  • Verband Österreichischer Naturdarmhändler, Wien, 1995
  • Svenska Tarmimportörers Förening (STF), Malmö, 1995

Although Switzerland never joined the EEC, its national association, Verband des Schweizerischen Darmhandels, Zürich, joined ENSCA in the early seventies. Associate membership was granted to the Turkish Natural Sausage Casing Association, and the China Chamber of Commerce for the import and export of foodstuffs, native produce and animal by-products (CFNA). The composition of the membership reflects adequately the importance and activities of the natural casing trade in Europe.

ENSCA itself is a member of the International Natural Sausage Casing Association INSCA, together with other regional and national associations.

After the reorganisation of ENSCA was completed during the spring of 2005, the membership had changed, allowing for private companies to become full ENSCA member and allowing non-European companies and organisations to become associate members. At present there are eleven European national associations full member of ENSCA.

Presidents

ENSCA’s reputation and acceptance by national and international authorities, the general public and among its members was established by the visions and leadership power of the Presidents during the existence of ENSCA. These personalities were / are:

- Mr. Serge Cleret (France) period: l956 to 1960.

- Mr. Paul van Hessen (The Netherlands) period: 1960 to 1980. Appointed Honorary President of ENSCA in 1980.

- Mr. Erich Brosell (Germany) period: l980 to 1990.

- Mr. Lex van Hessen (The Netherlands) period: l990 to 1994.

- Mr. Reiner Juerging (Germany) period: 1994 to 1998.

- Mr. Bengt Landquist (Sweden) period: 1998 to 2001.

- Mr. Lindy Munkholm (Danmark) period: 2001 to 2004.

- Mr. Lex van Hessen (The Netherlands) period: 2004 to 2007.

- Mrs. Heike Molkenthin (Germany) period: 2007 to 2011.

- Mr. Jan Roelsgaard (Denmark) period: since 2011.

Secretariat

Since the representation of ENSCA to the outside world (public audience, authorities, scientific world etc.) and the service to its members demanded professional assistance, ENSCA established also from the beginning a secretariat which was combined in different compositions with national member-associations over the years.

· Paris, period: 1956 to 1960, at the Chambre Syndicale de la Boyauderie Française.

· Rotterdam, period: 1960 to 1975, Mrs. An Breeman.

· Hamburg, period: 1975 to 2001, Dr. Gisela Panzer / Zentralverband Naturdarm.

· Hamburg, period: 2001 to 2002, Mrs. Monica Beutgen / Zentralverband Naturdarm.

· Berlin, period: 2002 to 2004, Mr. Peter Haarbeck / Zentralverband Naturdarm.

· Brussels, period: since 2005, Mrs. Ingrid Morvan / UECBV / European Livestock and Meat Trades Union.

Objectives

Already in the statutes from the early beginning in 1956 the objectives of ENSCA were defined as to:

· Coordinate the national interests and different interpretations of legal requirements;

· Establish the image and reputation of the European Casing Industry vis-a-vis European officials and the public opinion;

· Bring forward the needs and interests of the European Casing Industry to the legislative authorities, both national and European;

· Establish scientific background of all aspects of casing production and casing trade.

This objective was started with the establishment of the Scientific Working Group of ENSCA in l995 and was combined in 1997 with the R&D Working Group of INSCA (International Natural Sausage Casing Association).

Some outstanding results

Over nearly 50 years (1956 – 2005), ENSCA was actively involved in defending the interests of the casing industry. Sometimes as trouble-shooter when problems were facing the industry, but mainly as pro-active “think-tank” providing strategies and solutions to emerging problems which would be needed to secure the future of the natural casing industry. Out of many of examples showing how this strategy has worked some outstanding results:

Just in time in 1992, before the EU finalised the harmonised Hygiene Legislation for Meat and Meat-Products a special chapter with “tailor-made requirements” for natural casings was adopted. No special demand that natural casings had to come from EU-approved slaughterhouses was integrated!

For the complicated process of approving casing establishments in so called third-countries, the main suppliers for the markets in the EU, the EU-authorities asked for ENSCA`s guidance and advice. This way on the exact date when the regulation came into force in l994 all the information on third-country suppliers known at that date was compiled and published in the Official Journal of the EU.

With respect to the BSE-problem, ENSCA succeeded by carefully conducted scientific argumentation, on special request of the Scientific Steering Committee of the EU (now known as EFSA), to keep small ruminant natural casings out of the requirement for destruction. Only the ileum was designated as Specific Risk Material destined for destruction.

(A high ranking EU-Official told ENSCA at that time that the ileum is the sacrifice to save the sheep casings).

CRAFT – I – PROJECT: a comprehensive science-based source of information on both food-safety and food-technology aspects of natural casings. This project made a reliable argumentation platform to become availabe.

Logic

In the “history” of ENSCA milestones can be identified as:

Assistance and guidance provided to governmental and non–governmental bodies for legislative or administrative activities concerning natural casings;

Objective assessment on specific issues concerning natural casings;

Critical analysis of all developments (legislative, scientific, political) in the best interest of the natural casing industry;

Cooperation between the different national member associations of ENSCA and the coordination of their activities.

(Special thanks to Dr. Gisela Panzer, former ENSCA Secretary General, in preparing this historic overview)