The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Egg Safety and Quality Management (ESQM) program is announcing two vacancies on the Shell Egg Advisory Committee (SEAC). SEAC makes recommendations to the Secretary of CDFA on all matters pertaining to quality standards for shell eggs, uniformity of inspection, adjustment of fees for administration and enforcement, and the annual budget.
ESQM monitors egg quality at production, wholesale, and retail levels. The goal is to provide California consumers with eggs that are wholesome, properly labeled, refrigerated, and of established quality, while maintaining fair and equitable marketing standards in the California egg industry.
The term of office for a member of SEAC is three years. Members of the committee receive no compensation, but are entitled to reimbursement for per diem expenses such as the mileage, lodging, meals, and incidental expenses.
The vacancies are for two industry members. One member is to be a company representative whose principal business is located out‐of‐state and is registered with the CDFA. The other member is to be a citizen or resident of the state of California and employed by a California egg company that is a registered California egg handler whose entire layer population is under 50,000. Individuals interested in being considered for the SEAC appointment should state the vacancy of preference and send a brief resume to: ESQM Program Supervisor Anthony Herrera, California Department of Food& Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. The deadline to submit resumes is July 31.
The Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR), designed to leverage public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to boosting America's agricultural economy, has been created, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on July 23. A 15-member board of directors has been appointed to guide the new foundation.
Authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 farm bill, the foundation will operate as a non-profit corporation seeking and accepting private donations in order to fund research activities that focus on problems of national and international significance. Congress also provided $200 million for the foundation which must be matched by non-federal funds as the Foundation identifies and approves projects.
"Studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research creates $20 in economic activity," said Vilsack. "Investments in innovation made over the past several decades have developed new products and new procedures that have been critical to the continued growth of American agriculture. We must continue to make strategic investments in research and technology if we are to remain leaders in the global economy."
The research funded by FFAR will address issues including plant and animal health; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; agricultural and food security; and agriculture systems and technology.
The foundation's board of directors was chosen to represent the diverse sectors of agriculture. Seven of these board members were selected by the unanimous vote of the board's five ex-officio members from lists of candidates provided by industry, while eight representatives were unanimously elected from a list of candidates provided by the National Academy of Sciences. Congress mandated that the ex-officio members choose the initial 15 board members from among the lists provided by these two groups. However, new board members now have the option of adding additional members if they so choose. Vilsack said he hoped the board would exercise its prerogative to add more members to expand the board's diversity.
In announcing the 15-member FFAR board, Vilsack remarked, "Public-private partnerships are vital to the agricultural research community, and this is reflected in the membership of the foundation's board of directors."
The 15 voting members are:
Dr. Kathryn Boor - the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of theCollege of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
Dr. Douglas Buhler - Director of AgBioResearch and seniorassociate dean for research for the College of Agriculture and NaturalResources, Michigan State University
Dr. Nancy Creamer - Distinguished professor of sustainableagriculture and community based food systems, North Carolina StateUniversity
Dr. Deborah Delmer - Professor emeritus of biology,University of California-Davis
Dan Glickman - former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture andcurrent executive director of the Aspen Institute's Congressional Program
Dr. Robert Horsch - Deputy director, Bill & MelindaGates Foundation
Pamela Johnson - Chairwoman, National Corn GrowersAssociation
Dr. Mark E. Keenum - President, Mississippi StateUniversity
Dr. Michael Ladisch - Director of the Laboratory ofRenewable Resources Engineering and Distinguished Professor ofAgricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University
Dr. Christopher Mallett - Vice president of researchand development, Cargill
Dr. Pamela Matson - Chester Naramore Dean of the Schoolof Earth Sciences, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor ofEnvironmental Studies and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for theEnvironment, Stanford University
Dr. Terry McElwain - Associate director and professor,Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, and Executive Director,Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Washington StateUniversity
Dr. Stanley Prusiner - Director of the Institute forNeurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurology, University ofCalifornia-San Francisco and 1997 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine
Dr. Yehia "Mo" Saif - Professor emeritus, TheOhio State University
Dr. Barbara Schaal - Dean of the faculty of Arts &Sciences and Mary-Dell Chilton distinguished professor at WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis.
The five ex-officio board members, all of whom were designated by Congress, are Vilsack; Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist; Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, administrator of the USDA Agricultural Research Service; Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, firector of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and Dr. France A. Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation.
In a time of federal budgetary restraints, the new foundation is another innovative way to continue and expand investment in agricultural research. FFAR will complement existing federal and federally-funded agricultural science research endeavors and accelerate solutions to the challenges American agriculture.
Consolidated first semester sales of Ceva Group reached EUR366.5 million (US$493.49 million) at the end of June, representing growth of 18.3 percent when compared to the first six months of 2013. At constant perimeter (excluding the Sogeval acquisition at the end of 2013) and exchange rates, growth was 10.8 percent. Unfavorable exchange rate movements impacted Ceva’s sales by EUR22 million (US$29.2 million).
Sales grew in all zones, with a particularly strong performance from the companion animal sector, where a 12 percent improvement was reported. Vectra, Ceva’s leading topical parasiticide for companion animals, benefited from strong sales in the U.S. and a successful launch across the European Union.
Ceva’s LMBO to help company’s growth
Ceva began its 4th and latest leveraged management buyout (LMBO) on July, 1, following a highly successful reshaping of its capital structure to include a diverse range of new shareholders who will help Ceva to achieve its ambition to become one of the top five global animal health companies by 2020.
Marc Prikazsky, Ceva’s chairman and CEO commented: “To finish the last 6 months of our previous LMBO on such a high note is extremely pleasing. Our new shareholders have placed a lot of confidence in the future of our business, not least the management team who re-invested very significantly to retain majority control. These results demonstrate that we have the right platform in place to deliver future sustained growth.”
Tyson Foods has agreed to pay a $7.75 million settlement to workers in its Tyson Fresh Meats beef and pork processing plant in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. A federal judge in Tennessee has given preliminary approval of the donning-and-doffing settlement.
As part of the settlement, the meat and food processor will pay $7.75 million into a fund to cover awards to employees not paid for time spent putting on and taking off work clothes and protective gear “under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law breach of contract claims.” Tyson Foods will also be expected to pay attorney fees and costs and the settlement administrator fees, The City Wire reported. Tyson Foods also will cover the employer’s portion of payroll taxes for the payout, according to documents filed in federal court.
The Tyson Foods settlement puts an end to seven months of negotiations, and avoids a trial that had earlier been slated to begin in August.
As Chinese authorities investigate allegations that Husi Food Co., a subsidiary of OSI Group, sold expired poultry and beef to McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Dicos restaurants in China, the list of restaurants that have cut ties with Husi Food is growing. In addition to the four restaurants identified, Burger King, Starbucks and Papa John’s have also stopped purchasing from Husi Food Co.
The international restaurant chains have ended their relationships with Husi Food Co., after China’s Dragon TV released a report, alleging that the company repackaged expired poultry and beef to include false expiration dates, and sold them to McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Dicos, a sandwich restaurant chain.
According to a USA Today report, Starbucks removed its Chicken Apple Panini from its shelves after it realized the dish, sourced from one of its suppliers, uses chicken provided by Husi.
Burger King China has launched a full investigation into the matter, and suspended the sale of all products that contain food that came from Husi. Papa John’s stated that meat in its beef and Italian sausage toppings at five of its locations in Shanghai came from Husi Food Co.
Husi Food meat reaches McDonald’s locations in Japan
McDonald's not only purchased meat products from Husi Food Co. for locations in China, but also in Japan. The fast food chain said it has severed ties to has stopped selling Chicken McNuggets at more than 1,300 outlets in Japan as those locations had been using chicken supplied by Husi. McDonald’s stated that the Husi had been supplying chicken to its Japan locations since 2002.
OSI Group continues investigation
After learning of the allegations that Husi Food Co. sold expired meat to the restaurant chains, parent company OSI Group decided to launch an investigation, which is ongoing. The company issued the following statement: “OSI Group takes very seriously a recent media report on Dragon TV regarding products manufactured by its subsidiary, Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. Company management was appalled by the report and is dealing with the issue directly and quickly. The company has formed an investigation team, is fully cooperating with inspections being conducted by relevant, supervising government agencies, and is also conducting its own internal review. The company is committed to sharing the investigation results with the public and taking all necessary actions based on those results.
“Food safety is the cornerstone of our company and our guiding principal when serving the needs of our customers. We have zero tolerance for any actions that compromise food safety. We sincerely apologize to our customers for any problems this has caused and to consumers who may be affected by these events. Our company management believes this to be an isolated event, but takes full responsibility for the situation and will take appropriate actions swiftly and comprehensively.”
Price is the most important factor for consumers when choosing which meat to buy and eat, with 61 percent of consumers saying cost has the biggest impact on their decision. Appearance is an important factor for a third of consumers (33 percent), followed closely by taste (31 percent), according to the British Poultry Council (BPC).
Consumers in the Southwest and aged 18-24 (both 70 percent) are the most price conscious, whereas those who are 65 years old and over are the least likely to prioritize cost (45 percent).
Poultry is meat of choice in Great Britain
Following the horsemeat crisis in January 2013, the poultry industry has continued to flourish with one in five respondents (19 percent) saying they now eat more poultry than beef, pork or other meats.
The survey conducted by Populus on behalf of the BPC shows that buying British is a priority for many consumers with 60 percent reporting that they always or mostly make sure that the meat they buy is British. Twenty-nine percent of Scots say they always buy British meat, compared to only 14 percent of those in Yorkshire and Humber.
Commenting on the figures, Andrew Large, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, said: “The UK poultry industry continues to feed the nation. British provenance remains important for the majority of consumers and so we will strive to provide them with high quality, healthy and affordable products.”
Operations at a Perdue Farms cooking plant in Perry, Georgia, have been suspended after a fire broke out on July 21 outside of the facility. No injuries resulted in the fire.
The Houston County, Perry and Warner Robbins fire departments responded to a call that came in around 3:59 p.m. The fire was brought under control in about an hour. A Georgia State Patrol helicopter with a firefighter inside flew over the building to survey the scene and make certain the fire was out.
According to Julie DeYoung, Perdue Farms spokesperson, boiler equipment on the exterior of the building had caught fire. That portion of the Perdue Farms facility included the cooking plant and was evacuated. Employees at the cooking plant did not report to work on July 22 as operations were suspended for the day. It is presently uncertain when operations at the cooking plant will resume, but DeYoung said the company hopes it will be at least partially operational on July 23.
While the cooking plant is temporarily closed, the remainder of the Perdue Farms facility was not affected and the facility’s processing plant and distribution center continue to be operational.
The company is evaluating the cause of the fire. A damage estimate has not yet been provided.