Monday, December 31, 2012

ADM sells interest in Gruma, related ventures

    Archer Daniels Midland Company announced that it has sold its 23 percent interest in Gruma S.A.B. de C.V. and its equity investments in related joint ventures for $450 million plus an additional contingent payment of up to $60 million.
    According to ADM, the sale is part of the company's ongoing portfolio management actions to redeploy capital into key strategic areas that will help drive higher returns in the future.
    Under the terms of the sale, ADM received $450 million up front and will also receive up to $60 million in future contingent payments over the next 42 months. The contingent payments are triggered based upon various conditions, including the increase in Gruma’s stock market price, over the closing price of Gruma’s stock determined for purposes of the transaction, at the end of the 42 month period; the difference between the price of Gruma’s stock fixed for public offers made by Gruma and the closing price; the acquisition, by any strategic investor of Gruma, of 15 percent or more of Gruma’s capital stock; or the percentage of Gruma’s shares that are considered to be held by the public at any time.
    While ADM has exited from its ownership position in Gruma and related investments, ADM said it expects to maintain a healthy and strong commercial relationship with Gruma globally. Bank of America Merrill Lynch was the financial adviser to ADM in the transaction.

Poultry seized in Malta

    The Environmental Health Directorate and the Veterinary and Phytosanitary Regulatory Department in Malta seized more than 106 kg of fresh poultry products because of a lack of traceability.
    Approximately 8 kg of whole chicken also was seized. The products were being marketed as originating in Malta, but they actually originated in Italy.
    Authorities removed the products from two outlets and said legal action will be taken.
    "Once again, food business operators are being reminded of their duties in particular to ensure traceability of the food supply and that truthful information is displayed to consumers," read a statement released by the Maltese government.

National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection hosts public meeting

    The National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection will host a two-day public meeting to review and discuss strengthening agency verification activities pertaining to veal and categorizing FSIS regulations as public health regulations.
    According to Food Safety and Inspection Service test results, veal trimmings and ground beef produced from veal have a higher percentage of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli than do trimmings and ground beef produced from other cattle classes. FSIS is seeking feedback from the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection on improvements the agency can make to its verification activities of sanitary dressing and interventions and its compliance guidance in addressing veal slaughter operations. FSIS is also seeking feedback from committee on outreach strategies for communicating with the veal industry. FSIS has also revised its criteria for identifying regulations that are most closely related to public health outcomes and is seeking input from the committee on the criteria and feedback on the proposed approach.
    The meeting will be held January 16-17, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Registration will begin on site at 8:30 a.m. each day.
    FSIS welcomes comments through January 12, 2013, on the topics discussed at the public meeting. Comments may be submitted via email to: or by mail to: National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection, USDA, FSIS, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Mail Stop 3778, Washington, DC 20250 or submitted via fax at: +1.202.690.6519.

US advances agricultural interests in meetings with China

    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack participated in the discussions concluding December 20 for the 23rd session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade.
    "USDA continued advancing American agricultural interests [December 20] in our bilateral trade discussions with the Chinese government," said Vilsack. "China is currently the top export market for agricultural products produced by America's farmers and ranchers, and we were able to make progress on several key issues, while reinforcing the inherent value of the products produced in the United States. Much more work remains to be completed, and we'll continue working with our Chinese counterparts in the year ahead."
    Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk co-chaired the joint commission along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. The U.S. officials announced progress on key elements of the U.S.-China trade relationship but also underscored much more work remains to be done to open China's market to U.S. exports and investment.
    "The 23rd meeting of the [Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade] demonstrated that the U.S. and China will continue to work toward ensuring healthy and balanced growth in our commercial and economic relationship," said Blank. "We made progress [December 20], though we also recognized that there is still work to do. Among other important outcomes, we were able to address U.S. concerns relating to intellectual property and innovation, to agree on the elimination of significant regulatory obstacles that were impeding U.S. exports, and to secure meaningful steps for dealing with core issues in China's Government Procurement Agreement accession. As China continues to open its market to American exports and investment, it will benefit both of our countries."
    The U.S. and Chinese governments also signed agreements related to enhancing understanding and measurement of bilateral trade, and increasing the numbers of reverse trade missions that support China's continued development while creating more U.S. exports and jobs.

Minnesota poultry producers can export again to China

    Minnesota poultry producers now can export poultry again to China. China placed a ban on Minnesota poultry imports in 2011 after an outbreak of avian flu in the state.
    Prior to the November 2011 ban, China was Minnesota's second-largest international market for poultry, including both chicken and turkey. The executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Steve Olson, said producers will hopefully regain their market share.
    The H7 avian influenza virus was found in 2011 in two turkey flocks in Wright County, Minn.

Friday, December 28, 2012

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Danisco demonstrates enzyme innovations at Eurotier

    Danisco Animal Nutrition focused on the rising costs of raw feed materials, particularly vegetable proteins like soybean meal, while exhibiting at EuroTier 2012. Feed industry visitors saw enzyme combinations like the Avizyme 1500 series, with effects of protease on protein digestibility, beyond the release of energy by xylanase and amylase.
    While at the exposition, Danisco hosted a technical seminar that provided a forum for customers and scientists to share the latest knowledge of gut health in monogastric animals. The seminar attracted a large audience that was addressed by international speakers including Richard Ducatelle from Ghent University, who shared the latest research on factors influencing poultry gut health, and Jaap van Milgen from INRA, France, on precision feeding for sustainable livestock production.
    Eurotier was Danisco's first event in Europe to exhibit as a business unit of DuPont and promote its brands like Avizyme, Porzyme, Phyzyme XP and Betafin under the DuPont name.
    "Our mission is to exploit the strength of DuPont in agriculture and market-driven science and to build on our expertise in enzymes, betaine and probiotics, with a pipeline of new solutions, for example, Axtra XB, a feed enzyme launched recently in the EU and approved for use in mixed grain diests for all species," said Danisco regional director Jose Manuel de la Fuente.
    DuPont acquired Danisco Animal Nutrition in May 2011.

Imaxio signs option for Merial license agreement

    Imaxio has signed an option for a license agreement with Merial, the animal health division of Sanofi, to develop an animal health vaccine based on Imaxio's immune-enhancing IMX313 technology.
    Merial will conduct an internal review of the IMX313 technology for 12–18 months, and depending on the results, will sign a license agreement. Details of the vaccine candidate and the financial terms of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.
    The aim of IMX313, Imaxio's proprietary technology for antigen re-engineering, is to significantly enhance the immune response and the efficiency of vaccines with which it is used. In response to the challenge of certain ineffiacious vaccine candidates, IMX313 is a high-potential solution, which would not only enable the dose to be reduced, but also the number of revaccinations needed, according to the company.

Amelis, Genoe and Urceo unite in new cooperative

    Amelis, Genoe and Urceo are forming a union of cooperatives, Evolution, which will include pigs, goats, horses, rabbits and dairy and beef cattle. Evolution will begin operations on January 1, 2013, and the multi-species group will become the leader in France, the second largest in Europe and seventh largest in the world, according to organizers.
    Evolution's activities include genetic selection, animal reproduction management, embryos and animal trade. Goals of the group include keeping genetic and biotechnology ownership in breeders' hands through the cooperative, improving research and development investments in strategic activities to bring innovations and differentiation to markets, and developing genetic activities internationally.
    The Evolution project started in 2011, based on the awareness that the three cooperatives had common points of view. With the world's growing needs for food, increasing environmental stakes and technological revolutions, the three cooperatives of Western France decided to unite.

California State University, Modesto Junior College receive USPOULTRY Foundation grants

    California State University, Fresno, and Modesto Junior College in California recently received student recruitment grants of $7,000 and $6,500, respectively, from the USPOULTRY Foundation. The checks were presented by Richie King, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association board member, to Dr. Michelle Ganci, lecturer, poultry instructor and internship coordinator with the Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education Department at California State University, Fresno, and Marlies Boyd, professor with Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Modesto Junior College.
    “The USPOULTRY Foundation recruitment grant is an indispensable resource for universities and colleges, such as California State University, Fresno, and Modesto Junior College, that help encourage students to consider a career in the poultry industry," said King. "The poultry industry is constantly growing, and attracting youth to become a part of our industry is essential for our future."
    The USPOULTRY Foundation board approved student recruiting grants totaling more than $160,000 to the six U.S. universities with poultry science departments and 15 other institutions with industry-related programs. The foundation provides annual recruiting funds to colleges and universities to attract students to their poultry programs.

Perdue wins Clean Water Act lawsuit

    Perdue Farms Inc. and the company's contract grower Hudson Farm in Berlin, Md., did not pollute the nearby Chesapeake Bay and Pocomoke River, or violate the Clean Water Act, according to a federal judge. The decision closes a three-year lawsuit filed on March 1, 2010, by Waterkeeper Alliance Inc.
    The civil suit was filed against Hudson Farm based on a pile of material on the property that was assumed to be chicken manure, but was instead municipal sewage sludge from Ocean City, Md., that was used to fertilize crops. The Maryland Department of the Environment inspected the farm, confirmed the pile was biosolids, asked the Hudsons to move the pile and the Hudsons complied. Lawyers for the Waterkeeper Alliance then argued manure leaving the poultry houses from ventilation fans and foot traffic polluted a ditch along the farm which leads to the Pocomoke River.
    "We feel like this was a lawsuit against all of us, and we are pleased that Judge Nickerson ruled that the Waterkeeper Alliance had not met the standard of preponderance of evidence in its argument," said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

EPA withdraws order against poultry farmer

    The Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn its order against West Virginia poultry grower Lois Alt which had stated the farmer must obtain a Clean Water Act discharge permit for stormwater runoff from her farmyard or face up to $37,500 in penalties per day. The order withdrawal comes after the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled in October that the American Farm Bureau Federation and West Virginia Farm Bureau had the right to join the lawsuit Alt filed in response to the order.
    In withdrawing its order, the agency cited new management practices identified during a May 2012 re-inspection of the farm. However, the inspection report also states that dust, feathers and small amounts of manure were still observed on the ground at the farm, which was the basis of the agency's original order, according to American Farm Bureau Federation General Counsel Ellen Steen. “The EPA still has not backed away from its position that any amount of pollutant on the ground at a livestock or poultry farm requires a Clean Water Act permit,” said Steen. “The more likely reason for the EPA’s withdrawal is that it does not want to defend its position in court.”
    The Environmental protection Agency's November 2011 order said Alt would have to pay $37,500 in fines each time stormwater came into contact with dust, feathers or small amounts of manure on the ground outside of her poultry houses as a result of normal poultry farming operations. The agency also listed separate fines of $37,500 per day if Alt failed to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Alt responded by filing her own legal challenge to the agency order in June 2012.

Midwest Poultry Federation donates turkeys to Minnesota organization

    The Midwest Poultry Federation and the Saint Paul Convention and Visitors Authority have joined together to provide a holiday gift of twenty turkeys, totaling nearly 300 pounds, to families served by Neighborhood House on Saint Paul, Minn.’s, West Side.
    “We know there are many families in need this holiday season, and through the strength of our partnership with Visit Saint Paul, it has become an annual tradition for our two organizations to join together to give back this time of year,” said Lara Durben, communications director of the Midwest Poultry Federation. “We want to share our success with the people who rely on the Neighborhood House to assist them in feeding their families during challenging economic times.”
    Neighborhood House operates the largest single-site food shelf in Minnesota and has served as a multicultural, multilingual resource network for Saint Paul’s immigrants, refugees and low-income families since 1897.
    The gift turkeys recognize a partnership between Visit Saint Paul and the Midwest Poultry Federation, which has been holding its annual conference in Saint Paul since 1997.
    The conference will bring 2,100 poultry farmers, companies and suppliers to the Saint Paul RiverCentre in March 2013. The federation recently committed to hold the conference at the RiverCentre through 2015.

US table egg production up in October

    The U.S. table egg laying flock in October was estimated at 288 million hens, 2.2 percent above 2011 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    The number of hens in the table egg flock on a year-over-year basis was higher throughout the first 10 months of 2012. With higher hen numbers, the number of table eggs produced has increased. In October, table egg production was 574 million dozen, an increase of 2.2 percent from 2011, said the USDA. Table egg production on a year-over-year basis has been higher in every month so far in 2012.
    Overall table egg production in the first 10 months of 2012 was 5.5 billion dozen, an increase of 1.3 percent from the same period in 2011. The table egg flock and table egg production are expected to be at higher levels than in 2011 through the remainder of 2012. At the beginning of November, the number of birds in the table egg flock was 291 million, up 2.5 percent from 2011 numbers, and table egg production is expected to total 1.72 billion dozen in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 2 percent from 2011.

    U.S. egg prices
    Even with larger table egg production, wholesale prices for eggs have continued to be strong, according to the USDA. The fourth-quarter 2012 wholesale price for one dozen Grade A eggs in the New York market is expected to average $1.30 to $1.33, roughly the same as in 2011. At the beginning of December, wholesale prices for Grade A large eggs in the New York market were approximately $1.38 per dozen.

    Hatching egg production
    Hatching egg production was lower than 2011 numbers throughout the first 10 months of 2012, according to the USDA report.
    With lower broiler production, the decline in hatching egg production has largely been due to significantly lower production of meat-type hatching eggs in every month compared with 2011. Over the first 10 months of 2012, production of meat-type hatching eggs was 4 percent lower than in 2011, while the production of egg-type hatching eggs was 1 percent higher. Decreased production of meat-type eggs is expected to continue into the first half of 2013 until broiler integrators begin to expand production.
    For more information and statistics on U.S. egg production, see

Safeway eggs earn Certified Humane designation

    Humane Farm Animal Care has announced that all of Safeway's brands of cage-free and organic eggs have earned the Certified Humane designation. Those brands include Lucerne Cage Free, O-Organic and Open Nature eggs. Safeway is the first major retailer in the U.S. to require all of their cage-free and organic egg producers to become Certified Humane.
    "Safeway's commitment has been unique and impressive," said Adele Douglass, Humane Farm Animal Care's founder and CEO. "All of their suppliers had to make the changes necessary to become certified. As a result, they have had a major impact on improving the lives of millions of laying hens in the United States. Safeway's leadership is unparalleled within the retail food industry."
    Safeway has been working with Humane Farm Animal Care since June 2008, when Michael Talbott, one of the Safeway supplier quality management team members, chose the organization out of several animal welfare certification programs Safeway was considering.

Animine conducts research using HiZox in piglet diets

    Animine recently presented results from three piglet diet experiments conducted in Asia at the 15th Conference of the Asian Association of Animal Production Bangkok.
    HiZox, as a source of potentiated zinc oxide, was tested at low inclusion rate in comparison to the pharmacological dosage of the regular ZnO in piglet diets. Trials differed by piglet age at weaning, feeding program during the nursery phase, diet composition, levels and sources of zinc oxide, antibiotic supplementation, and level of growth performance. In the typical conditions found in the three countries, HiZox fed piglets had the highest growth, resulting in increased weights at the end of the experimental phase.
    Trials were supervised by Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Dankook University in Korea and the Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Vietnam. 

PIC, Iwatani celebrate 30 years of partnership

    In 2012, Genus subsidiary PIC and its franchise partner Iwatani Corporation of Japan have celebrated 30 years of a successful ongoing business relationship.
    It was 1982 when the first licensing agreement was ratified by PIC founding father Ken Woolley and Naoji Iwatani, the founder of the diversified energy conglomerate. In 2012, the companies signed a new agreement to continue their successful partnership in the Japanese market. "Such a long-standing international business relationship is rare and is a great credit to our respective teams who have worked together to make it successful," said Andrew Bateson, business development director for PIC in Asia.
    "The Japanese market is characterized by the emphasis it places on meat quality and by its near-total dependence on imported feed ingredients," said Bateson. "In the current climate of high global prices of grains and soybean products, the feed conversion advantage of PIC Genetics has never been more relevant and is driving demand from producers in Japan as elsewhere."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

US pork exports up 2.2 percent in October

    October U.S. pork exports were almost 493 million pounds, 2.2 percent above October 2011 numbers, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report. For the first 10 months of the year, U.S. pork exports totaled almost 4.5 billion pounds, more than 7 percent higher than the same period of 2011.
    Strong year-over-year gains through July 2012 were largely due to shipments to China-Hong Kong. In October, year-over year lower shipments to Japan (-1.1 percent in October and -5.2 percent for January–October) and China-Hong Kong (-61.6 percent in October and +16.5 percent for January–October) were more than offset by strong exports to NAFTA partners Mexico (+32.8 percent in October and +15.6 percent for January–October) and Canada (+20.3 percent in October and +17.4 percent for January–October), and Russia (+75 percent in October and +45 percent for January–October).
    U.S. pork imports in October were almost 4 percent below 2011 numbers, due mostly to lower imports from Denmark, according to the USDA. Imports of live swine from Canada were fractionally higher in October (+0.56 percent). Imports of feeder pigs (23–50 kilograms) were 36 percent higher than in 2011, likely due to strong prices for finishing animals in the U.S. Strong imports of feeder pigs offset year-over-year lower imports of all other categories of imported live swine. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Eighty percent of EU still pig stall ban non-compliant

    Roughly 2 million pigs per week from farms operating illegally will be entering the European food chain once new European Union animal welfare legislation banning sow stalls goes into effect on January 1, 2013, according to Britain's National Pig Association.
    Eighty percent of EU countries have not yet complied with the ban, according to data published by Brussels. "As the United Kingdom imports around 60 percent of its pork — much of it as processed food such as ham and bacon — shoppers will need to be very careful about what they choose from supermarket shelves and when eating out in restaurants," said Richard Longthorp, chairman for the National Pig Association.
    So far, France is 33 percent compliant with the European stalls ban, Germany is 48 percent compliant and Ireland is 57 percent compliant. Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain are also expected to miss the January 1 deadline for compliance. "The major British supermarkets have promised they will not sell pork from continental farms operating illegally, but our concern is that in many cases these farms will be difficult to identify and everybody admits that imported processed foods will be almost impossible to trace," said National Pig Association general manager Dr. Zoe Davies.
    "Our advice to shoppers is always to look for the independent Red Tractor logo on the pack, which is an absolute guarantee that the product comes from a British pig farm where keeping sows in stalls has been banned for over a decade."

Friday, December 21, 2012

Symposim discusses Orego-Stim economic, zootechnical benefits

    Meriden Animal Health recently participated in the symposium “Significant Effects of Herbs for Better Livestock Performance," with Dr. Gene Jin discussing the zootechnical results and economics of using feed additive Orego-Stim in both poultry and swine production.
    Orego-Stim also gained support from experts who explained that the whole plant extract should be used as feed additive rather than just certain components, since there are different active components within the extract that work synergistically to improve the intestinal health of livestock animal.
    The event was organized by Kasetsart University and The Thailand Research Fund in conjunction with the 15th AAAP Animal Science Congress, and was held at Thammasart University, Thailand. In addition to Meriden's Jin, speakers included Dr. Numtavan Bunyapraphatsara of Mahidol University and Amnart Poapolathep of Kasetsart University.

Russia gains right to supply poultry to EU

    Russia has gained permission to supply poultry meat to the European Union after passing European Commission quality and production safety tests, according to Russian agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.
    The group has been carrying out efforts to establish a system for monitoring the safety of production in poultry companies interested in exports to the EU for several months. "The results of the check show that Russia's veterinary authorities can ensure that the guarantees they provide in relation to EU regulations on exports to its territory of poultry meat and poultry meat products are implemented," said the watchdog.
    According to the Russian Poultry Union, Russia could increase poultry product exports to 0.5 million metric tons by 2020. Exports should reach 50,000 metric tons in 2012, compared to 40,000 metric tons in 2011. In addition, Russia may export over 75 million eggs by the end of 2012.

October US turkey production up 11 percent

    U.S. turkey meat production in October totaled 580 million pounds, 11 percent higher than in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    Much of the year-over-year gain was due to the two more slaughter days in October 2012, which more than offset the reverse situation in September (two fewer slaughter days), where turkey meat production fell by 4 percent compared with 2011. Over the last three months, turkey production has totaled 1.56 billion pounds, 4.3 percent higher than in the same period in 2011. In October, much of the increase in turkey production was due to a higher number of birds slaughtered, up 7.3 percent, but a 2.4-percent gain in the average liveweight of birds at slaughter to 29 pounds also played a role, according to the USDA.
    Cold storage holdings of turkeys and turkey parts totaled 454 million pounds at the end of October. This 68-million-pound reduction from September was driven by many whole turkeys being taken out of storage in preparation for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Between the end of September and the end of October, stocks of whole turkeys fell by 47 million pounds and stocks of turkey products fell by 21 million pounds, according to USDA numbers.
    Even with the decline in whole turkey stocks, the stocks were still 25 percent higher than at the same time in 2011. In contrast, the stocks of turkey products (196 million pounds) were down 2 percent from 2011 numbers. This increase in cold storage holding for whole turkeys is a significant change from earlier in 2012 and is expected to place downward pressure on prices for the rest of fourth-quarter 2012 and into 2013.
    Over the first 10 months of 2012, turkey poults placed for growout totaled 239 million, an increase of 3.1 percent from the same period in 2011, according to the USDA report. Over the last three months, the percentage change from 2011 has varied considerably, with the number of poults hatched in August and September down (2 and 7 percent). However, in October the number of poults placed totaled 22.7 million, a gain of 6 percent from 2011 numbers. Given higher stocks and lower prices for whole birds, turkey producers are expected to lower production in 2013.
    For more U.S. poultry information and statistics, see

Italy grain imports fall on fewer wheat, corn purchases

    Italian grain imports fell in the first nine months of 2012 due to a drop in domestic wheat and corn purchases, according to the Associazione Nazionale Cerealisti.
    Soft-wheat imports fell to 3.24 million tons costing €765.2 million from January through September, from 4.07 million tons and €995.2 million in 2011. Buying of durum wheat declined to 1.09 million tons worth €331.7 million, compared with 1.65 million tons and €457.9 million in 2011's first nine months.
    Nine-month corn imports dropped to 1.43 million tons from 1.97 million tons, and the value fell to €332.2 million from €466.4 million, according to data.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

GrainCorp rejects ADM acquisition bid as too low

    Australia grain handler GrainCorp Ltd. has rejected Archer Daniels Midland Corp.'s acquisition offer of A$2.8 billion (US$3 billion) as too low, after also rejecting a previous, lower offer, according to reports.
    According to ADM, the bid offers more certainty, greater value and immediate realization of potential future value for GrainCorp shareholders than the company's standalone plan. But GrainCorp said it believes that ADM's offer materially undervalues GrainCorp.
    “It is important for all shareholders to be aware that the board remains focused on maximizing shareholder value and will remain constructive in any dealings with relation to proposals that have the potential to be in the best interests of shareholders,” said GrainCorp chairman Don Taylor in a letter to shareholders.
    ADM raised its stake in GrainCorp to 19.9 percent and said GrainCorp shareholders would still be entitled to the 35 cents share dividend announced in November. “ADM showed its hand by only slightly bumping up their offer,” said Peter Esho, Sydney-based chief market analyst for City Index Ltd. “The agribusiness space doesn’t always move in in a straight line. There will come a point where GrainCorp earnings growth disappoints the market. ADM might see that as an opportunity to then re-initiate its takeover.”

China to drive global agricultural commodity demand over next decade

    China's continued influence on agricultural commodity demand and global economic growth stand out as a key issue for North American food, beverage and agribusiness in 2013 and over the next decade, according to a recent poll of Rabobank clients. The poll of over 350 executives from leading companies in the North American food, beverage and agribusiness industry was conducted at Rabobank's Markets Forum held in New York City.
    Despite recent signs of slowing economic growth in China, 61 percent of executives polled by Rabobank see China continuing to be the most important driver of long-term global economic growth. Forty one percent of respondents said China would drive the global economy for between five and 10 more years, while 40 percent said China will remain the primary driver of global economic growth for the next 50 years.
    "These results are not surprising and reflect the significant impact that China has had on the food and agribusiness industry over the past 10 years, globally as well as in North America," said Bill Cordingley, head of Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory for Rabobank in the Americas. "China today has the second-largest middle class in the world at 157 million, which will surpass the U.S.'s middle class in the next ten years, so China's demand for agricultural commodities is going to continue to grow.
    "Our North American clients in the food, beverage and agriculture sectors see opportunities to play a role in the Chinese market, not only as exporters but also as investors in the country's domestic growth by bringing technology, know-how and capital to support development of a more modern, safe food system in China," said Cordingley.

Reduced poultry production helps Sanderson Farms profits

    Sanderson Farms Inc. saw a significant improvement in its net income for fiscal 2012, largely based off of a decrease in poultry production, according to the company.
    The company recorded a yearly income totaling $53.9 million for 2012, compared to a loss of $127.1 million in 2011. Sanderson Farms' top managers held a conference call on December 18, just after releasing figures for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012.
    While the company does not look to immediately ramp up production, it is still keeping expansion plans in mind. Plans for a new production facility are in the works, but no formal announcements have yet been made. CEO Joe Sanderson Jr. said one of their biggest stumbling blocks now is the high price of feed.
    "Feed grain costs in fiscal year 2012 were only slightly higher than in 2011, but moved significantly higher during our fourth fiscal quarter and remained high today," said Sanderson. "While grain market prices have come down from their highs in August, market prices on both corn- and soybean-based meal remain well above historical average." Had Sanderson Farms locked in all its feed needs for fiscal 2013 the night prior to their conference call, the cost of grain would be $116.4 million higher than the cost from 2011.
    Consumer confidence and demand for Sanderson Farms' finished product is also a driving factor. "Because we expect food service demand to remain weak until macroeconomic conditions improve, we will maintain our reduced production levels to better balance our production with customers' demand as reported on our August call," said Sanderson. "We currently plan to leave that production in place through 2013."
    The company is currently looking at several driving factors to improve the odds of profitability. Those include the success of South American grain crops which could take pressure off U.S. grain exports, the outcome of the fiscal cliff debate in Washington and its impact on consumer confidence, the planting intentions and success of the 2013 crops in the U.S., and the overall European financial situation.
    Meanwhile, the company is thinking forward in terms of expansion plans.
    "We hope to be in a position to announce the location of the next plant soon," said Sanderson. "We are committed to continuing to grow our company to add value for our shareholders and opportunities for our employees. I am ready to do that. No matter the market conditions we will continue to focus on those things we can control, and manage those we can't the best we can.
    "The main thing is we need to have a good crop in the bin ... Corn and soybean meal need to be at reasonable levels. We don't need to be looking down at $7.50 corn and $425 soybean meal. We don't need to have a huge potential challenge to our balance sheet when we embark on a building campaign."
    There is a possibility the new facility could be in a geographic area than its existing plants.
    Mike Cockrell, treasurer and CFO of Sanderson Farms, said effective October 4, Sanderson Farms amended its revolving credit facility to remove the geographic limitations on new facilities. This will now allow the company to build facilities anywhere in the U.S., rather than limit those plants to the states of North Carolina and Georgia. 

Pilgrim's Pride moving stock listing to NASDAQ

    Pilgrim's Pride Corporation has announced that it will voluntarily transfer its stock exchange listing from the New York Stock Exchange to the NASDAQ Global Select Market, an exchange of the NASDAQ OMX Group Inc.
    The company expects that its common stock will commence trading on the NASDAQ on December 28 and will continue to be listed under the ticker symbol PPC.
    "As part of our effort to reduce costs and optimize value for our stockholders, we determined that the move to NASDAQ will provide our stockholders the most cost-effective services available in the market today," said William Lovette, president and CEO of Pilgrim's Pride. "This decision is one more step supporting our vision of becoming the best managed and most respected company in the industry."
    NASDAQ is happy to welcome Pilgrim's Pride to its family of listed companies, according to Bruce Aust, executive vice president of NASDAQ OMX. "Pilgrim's is a wonderful company with a great product and we look forward to supporting Pilgrim's Pride and its stockholders through our partnership in the years to come," said Aust.

Sanderson Farms net income hits $53.9 million for 2012

    Sanderson Farms Inc.'s net income for 2012 came in at $53.9 million, up significantly from the loss of $127.1 million the company experienced in 2011, according to Sanderson Farms' latest financial report.
    The company's fourth-quarter net income was $9.3 million, compared with a net loss of $21.6 million during the same quarter in 2011. "The fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 marked the end of another challenging year for Sanderson Farms and the poultry industry," said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms. "We reported record annual sales of $2.386 billion, a 20.6 percent increase over fiscal 2011. However, while poultry markets improved compared to fiscal 2011, grain prices surged to record levels during August as a result of drought conditions across much of the corn belt. As a result, the improvement in poultry market prices was offset in part by higher feed costs.
    "Our increased sales and return to profitability during the year reflect higher production as we completed the ramp up to near full production at our Kinston, N.C., facility," said Sanderson. "For the year, we sold 2.952 billion pounds of dressed poultry, another record, compared with 2.794 billion pounds in fiscal 2011."
    Sanderson said that the company's profitability has allowed it to set up its balance sheet for 2013 and continue its growth strategy once the market improves. "A strong balance sheet is an important advantage in our industry, especially given today's economic environment, and provides us with the financial strength to not only support our growth strategy, but also to manage through challenging conditions," he said.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

USPOULTRY Foundation namesake and industry leader dies

    Harold Ford, retired executive director of what was then Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association (now U.S. Poultry & Egg Association), died on December 14.
    In 1954, Ford originally joined the association staff at its headquarters in Richmond, Va. He had previously served as assistant commissioner of agriculture in Kentucky. In 1957, he was named executive secretary of the association before leaving it to join Mar-Jac Poultry Company in 1961.
    Ford was eventually asked by the Southeastern board of directors to return as executive secretary. He guided the association to prominence as one of the most effective and influential trade associations, not only in the poultry industry, but throughout the U.S. He grew the organization’s signature event, the International Poultry Expo, still held annually in Atlanta, Ga., to become the largest, preeminent poultry industry convention and trade show in the world.
    Ford retired in 1992. The association’s foundation is named after him, along with the organization’s highest recognition, the Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award. He also was inducted into the Poultry Industry Hall of Fame.
    Ford is survived by three daughters, Karen, Debbie, and Anita, along with grandchildren and great grandchildren. His funeral will be held on December 17, at Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, Ga.

Academics address how to deal with and destroy phytate

    More than 70 of the world's leading academics in the fields of phosphorus, phytate and phytase nutrition took part in the Second International Phytase Summit, held Dec. 11-13 in Rome, Italy.
    Presentations there covered whether phytate should be considered as the enemy, how to deal with phytate and how to destroy phytate, including an evolution of phytase "superdosing."
    "There was an interesting blend of papers on a diverse but inter-related series of topics, from plant breeding through human nutrition to formulating animal feeds with phytase," said Dr. Hadden Graham, AB Vista's technical director. "The major focus of the summit was on the anti-nutritional effects of phytate, and the subsequent benefits in animal performance of destroying phytate through the use of highly effective phytases."
    The original summit took place in Washington, D.C., in 2010.
    "[The second International Phytase Summit] was a great success," said Dr. Nathan Cowieson, a delegate to the summit. "It's important for academic researchers, like myself, to understand the priorities of the industry and the event was a great way to achieve this."
    The summit was jointly hosted by Schothorst Feed Research; Massey University, New Zealand; University of Maryland; University of Sydney, Australia, and AB Vista. 

US broiler meat production up 8 percent in October

    U.S. broiler meat production was 3.3 billion pounds in October, up 8 percent from 2011 numbers, mostly because the month had two additional slaughter days compared with October 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. In contrast, production in September was down 8 percent due to its having 2 fewer slaughter days than in 2011.
    Examining broiler meat production over a slightly longer time frame shows that production has been very similar to 2011. Broiler meat production from August to October was only 0.3 percent less than in the same period in 2011.
    In October 2012, the number of broilers slaughtered was up 6.3 percent to 746 million birds, while the average liveweight per bird was 5.95 pounds, an increase of 1.1 percent from 2011 numbers, according to the USDA. Broiler meat production for the fourth quarter of 2012 is forecast at 9.05 billion pounds, an increase of 50 million pounds from the previous estimate and 2.7 percent higher than in 2011. The fourth-quarter 2012 increase is expected to come from a greater number of broilers slaughtered and slightly higher average liveweights in the quarter.
    The high corn prices forecast for the remainder of 2012 and into 2013, even with relatively strong prices for a number of broiler products (mostly whole birds, breast meat and wings), are expected to lead broiler integrators to scale back production in 2013. The number of chicks being placed for growout continues slightly lower than in 2011. From November 10 to December 8, chick placements averaged 155 million, down 0.9 percent from the same period in 2011. Chick placements are expected to remain below year-earlier levels into the first half of 2013 and then to gradually exceed year-earlier levels in the second half of 2013. The timing and speed of this change will largely depend on corn and soybean supplies, according to the USDA report.
    For more information and statistics on U.S. poultry, see

Pakistan poultry prices up 40 percent on insufficient stock

    Pakistan poultry products have increased in price by 30–40 percent in less than a week due to insufficient domestic supplies, according to a recent survey.
    Chicken meat has increased to Rs 166 (US$1.70) per kilogram from Rs 110 (US$1.13) per kilogram since December 13 in the wholesale and retail market. Live chicken is currently being sold at Rs 250–260 US$2.57–US$2.67) against the previous week's rate of Rs 200 (US$2.05). Egg prices have increased from Rs 110 to Rs 130 (US$1.33) per dozen in the open market.
    Minimum poultry rates had previously been fixed due to a stock surplus six months ago. "We have been forced to quit business as a number of poultry farms closed down due to facing immense financial losses," said Haji Jhangariz, a wholesaler and owner of a local poultry farm. He said that dealers have had to sell chicken at the prices fixed by the district administration for the last three to four months, and that because of those restrictions 50 percent of poultry farms have been closed down due to growing financial losses to the owners. "The closure of a large number of farms causes huge shortages of poultry products in wholesale and open markets," said Jhangariz.
    High poultry feed prices and overall production costs have also made it difficult to lower prices and compete with other markets, according to farmers.

US turkey eggs down, poults up in November

    U.S. turkey eggs in incubators on December 1 totaled 27 million, down 6 percent from December 1, 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. Eggs in incubators were down 2 percent from the November 1 total of 27.6 million eggs.
    Turkey poults hatched during November in the U.S. totaled 23.7 million, up 4 percent from November 2011. Poults hatched were up 2 percent from the October total of 23.3 million poults, according to the USDA. The 23.1 million net poults placed during November were up 5 percent from the number placed during the same month in 2011. Net placements were up slightly from the October total of 23.1 million.
    For more U.S. poultry information and statistics, see

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

USPOULTRY supports 2012 National 4-H Poultry & Egg Conference

    The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association continued its commitment of supporting industry-specific programs for students interested in becoming part of the poultry industry by presenting awards in five separate events at the National 4-H Poultry & Egg Conference, held at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville.
    The conference, which allows members to compete in educational events that help them learn to formulate and defend decisions, speak publicly and expand their poultry-related skills, hosted 154 senior 4-H’ers representing 25 states. Twenty-one teams and four independent individuals participated in a poultry judging contest, and 11 teams participated in the avian bowl. Eleven individuals participated in the chicken barbecue contest, nine in the turkey barbecue and 7 in the egg preparation demonstration.
    "USPOULTRY has been a proud sponsor of 4-H for many years now," said Barbara Jenkins, USPOULTRY's vice president of education programs. "We know these youth are the future of our industry, and we want to help encourage these students to pursue a career in the poultry and egg industry."
    A poultry careers workshop was also held which gave the 4-H students hands-on information from poultry food industry personnel, as well as pertinent information about career and educational opportunities in the poultry industry. Tracey McKinney of Perdue Farms spoke about her job responsibilities; and Dr. Keith Bramwell with the University of Arkansas discussed how to pursue a college program that will give students diverse experiences in poultry to develop a successful career. 

Mississippi poultry, eggs top agriculture commodities in 2012

    Mississippi's agricultural commodities reached $7.3 billion in total estimated value in 2012, with poultry and eggs the top commodity at $2.53 billion, according to Mississippi State University agricultural economists.
    The $7.3 billion represents a 9.4-percent increase over 2011 numbers. Soybeans, with an estimated record value of $1.16 billion, moved past forestry to claim the number two spot in the state’s rankings for the first time. Number three forestry saw a 7.7-percent increase and estimated value of $1.03 billion. “The fact that soybeans surpassed forestry is indicative of the year that we had,” said John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the university's extension service. “The jump has everything to do with production and prices for soybeans, and the general economy as it relates to housing starts and the use of forest products. We saw a small growth in forestry value, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the huge gain in soybeans.”
    Mississippi's 2012 corn crop came in at number four with an estimated production value of $891 million, the highest on record. As of mid-December, corn had the highest-ever yield per acre at 156 bushels. The number of bushels harvested — 1.22 million — is the highest since 2007, and the second highest in Mississippi’s history, according to economists.

Cargill expands animal nutrition presence in South Africa

    Cargill's animal nutrition business has announced an investment of approximately US$20 million in South Africa, where the company has gained a majority shareholding and assumed managerial control of NuTec Southern Africa, its existing joint venture with Astral Foods, an integrated Southern African poultry producer. As part of this investment, Cargill plans to build a new premix and base mix facility at NuTec's existing location in Pietermaritzburg, which will expand Cargill's animal nutrition capabilities in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Cargill now owns 75 percent of the shares in NuTec, a manufacturer of vitamin and mineral premix for the animal nutrition industry. Astral Foods retains a 25 percent shareholding in the business and remains an important partner and customer to Cargill. NuTec will migrate its name and product portfolio to Cargill's Provimi brand.
    "We are delighted to announce this investment, which will allow Cargill Animal Nutrition to better serve our customers in sub-Saharan Africa," said Gudo klein Gebbink, general manager for Cargill's Premix and Nutrition Sub-Saharan Africa business. "We see great potential and opportunities to expand our business. The rapidly growing markets and increasing animal productivity in this strategic area are an excellent fit for Cargill's animal nutrition business's market approach. Supported by our worldwide research and development capabilities, the combination of high-quality nutritional products and world-class technical support will enable our customers to further optimize their results and effectively produce safe food."

Iowa researchers study growing algae in poultry houses

    Iowa State University researchers are exploring the feasibility of growing algae in poultry houses using ammonia produced from the exhaust air. The algae, in turn, could be used to create products including biofuel, biojet fuel, biomaterials, biochemicals and animal feed, said the researchers.
    “We want to improve the environmental stewardship of the poultry operation,” said Honwei Xin, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering. “It would be a perfect match if we could remove ammonia from the exhaust air in poultry houses and use it to grow algae.”
    The tests have shown that up to 96 percent of the ammonia is removed from the air exhaust using the bioreactor they've created. Juhyon Kang, graduate research assistant in food science and human nutrition, is currently working on scaling up the algal bioreactor to commercial scale while other team members study optimal algae growth conditions, analyze algae to produce feed and explore optimum amounts of ammonia concentration for the algae to grow.
    “Algae can serve as a feedstock for biorenewable energy or [an additive] for animal feed," said Xin. "It’s a win-win situation; you kill two birds with one stone.”

Tyson Foods CEO to speak at IPE 2013 career program

    Donnie Smith, CEO of Tyson Foods, will be the keynote speaker at the college student career program that will be held during the 2013 International Poultry Expo, part of the International Production & Processing Expo.
    Smith’s presentation, Transitioning from Academics to Industry, will encourage and challenge students to work toward achieving their career aspirations as they move from academics to a work environment. The program provides companies with the opportunity to interview top students for industry jobs and internships in one location, during a three-day period. It has been a vital part of the hiring process for many companies for more than 40 years, with over 300 students from more than 25 universities participating in the program.
    “Donnie Smith is an alumnus of the college student career program and now an industry CEO and leader, so who better to inspire students of all they can achieve in the poultry industry," said said Alan Duncan, chairman of the college student career program planning committee. "We are excited about his participation and know that this excitement will spread to the students as they learn from [Smith].”
    The 2013 IPPE, one of the world's largest poultry, feed and meat industry events, will be held January 29–31, 2013, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. The college student career program is scheduled for January 29–31. Information on the program can be obtained at under the "Programs" header.
    College Student Career Program
    • Rooms B-216, B-217 & Foyer
    • Tuesday, January 29, 1 – 5 p.m.
    • Wednesday, January 30, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Thursday, January 31, 8:30 a.m. – Noon
    Opening Session with Donnie Smith, CEO of Tyson Foods:
    • Room B-206
    • January 29, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hubbard poultry leaders die at 83, 82

    Wentworth Hubbard, son of Hubbard Farms founder Oliver Hubbard and former president/CEO from 1962 to 1986, has died at the age of 83. J.B. Barnes, former Hubbard Farms director of production and sales for the eastern U.S. and Canada, has died at age 82.
    Hubbard also served throughout the years on the National Broiler Council, American Egg Board, N.H. Poultry Growers Association, N.H. Agricultural Commission, 4-H Foundation of N.H., and numerous civic and educational organizations. Since retiring from Hubbard Farms in 1986, he was president and owner of Tulsa Baseball Inc. His strong work ethic and vision allowed Hubbard Farms to grow as a worldwide leader in both broiler and egg laying genetics.
    One of Barnes's many accomplishments was designing and developing the Hubbard Pikeville, Tenn., grandparent complex, including construction of the world's largest primary breeder hatchery at that time. He was a member of an advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, a member of the N.C. Agricultural Foundation, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association director — serving as president in 1991 — and past president of the N.C. Poultry Federation. In 2004, Barnes was inducted into the N.C. Poultry Hall of Fame.

US calls on Russia to suspend ractopamine testing requirements

    Russia has implemented a requirement that all pork and beef imported from the U.S. be tested and certified free of the feed additive ractopamine, a move which could affect more than $500 million a year in U.S. meat exports to the country, according to reports.
    In response, the U.S. has called for a suspension of the requirement, with some saying the implementation is retaliation for a Senate bill that expands bilateral trade while punishing Russian human rights violators. "The United States is very concerned that Russia has taken these actions, which appear to be inconsistent with its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization," said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. "The United States calls on Russia to suspend these new measures and restore market access for U.S. beef and pork products.
    "The United States sought, and Russia committed as part of its WTO accession package, to ensure that it adhered rigorously to WTO requirements and that it would use international standards unless it had a risk assessment to justify use of a more stringent standard," they said. "Especially in light of its commitment to use international standards, this is an important opportunity for Russia to demonstrate that it takes its WTO commitments seriously."

Sow management critical to reducing pre-weaning mortality rates

    Because newborn pigs are the future of any farrow-to-wean/finish operation, cases of pre-weaning mortality can be detrimental to an operation’s long-term bottom line, according to Purina Animal Nutrition LLC. Providing proper care and nutrition to sows during the gestation and farrowing periods plays a significant role in promoting litter performance.
    According to current industry estimates, 12.9 percent of pigs born live die prior to weaning. To decrease pre-weaning mortality rates, producers should prepare their sows for the next lactation before they enter the farrowing room.
    Dan McManus, DVM, swine nutrition specialist for Purina Animal Nutrition, said a healthy litter resulted from the overall care provided to the sow during gestation. After a sow weans a litter, nutritional energy supports piglet growth in-utero as well as the rebuilding of the sow’s body condition. Because sows require significant nutrients during this period, McManus said he encouraged producers to feed ad libitum rations to sows post-weaning. In his experience, he said, these sows will be able to consume approximately six pounds of feed per sow per day.
    “Proper nutrient levels are crucial during this period,” said McManus. “The gestation ration sets the sow up for her next lactation and determines the level of litter growth in-utero.”
    The length of gestation also impacts litter health and the probability of full potential pigs (pigs that reach eight or more pounds at weaning) produced by each sow. McManus said he encouraged producers who induce labor to not do so until day 116 of gestation. A suitable gestation period can promote heavier birthweights.
    “Most of today’s genetics will average 116 days of gestation length,” he said. “Allowing pigs to stay in the sow to that point will improve birthweight, as pigs grow between 0.1 and 0.2 pounds per head per day in the sow the last week of gestation. Secondly, colostrum antibodies will increase in the sow as gestation length goes from day 113 to 116.”
    Colostrum antibodies are important, according to Purina, because high-quality colostrum provides newborn pigs with immune protection. Pigs that receive adequate levels of high-quality colostrum will also better transition into the feeding period. Many farms are now providing 24-hour care in the farrowing rooms to ensure that each piglet receives colostrum and gets off to a good start.
    In addition to the power of quality colostrum, McManus said he has found that sanitation of the farrowing facility and herd management enhances herd health. “Most farms with low pre-wean mortality practice strict all-in all-out production in their farrowing rooms and never move older pigs back into rooms with younger pigs,” he said. “These producers have excellent cleaning, disinfection and sanitation practices so pregnant animals arrive to a farrowing room environment with minimal stress.”
    McManus said that producing healthy pigs that have the ability to reach their full potential at weaning requires a complete management strategy. “Healthy litters begin with proper sow management and quality nutrition programs in gestation,” he said. “Proper management and quality rations must then continue through lactation.”

Ukraine poultry growth could reach 15 percent in 2013

    Ukraine's poultry production in 2013 could grow by 14–15 percent in 2013 over 2012 numbers, according to Oleksandr Bakumenko, board chairman of the country's Union of Poultry Farmers. Projected numbers are at 1.05 million metric tons, compared to nearly 1 million metric tons in 2012, said Bakumenko, due largely to a boost in the facilities of key market players.
    Poultry exports are also expected to increase in 2013, to 120,000–150,000 metric tons from 2012's estimated 80,000 metric tons. In 2010, Ukraine supplied some 50,000 metric tons to foreign markets, according to union statistics. The country mainly supplies frozen chicken.
    In 2011, domestic poultry consumption in Ukraine came to 1 million metric tons, compared to 953,500 metric tons in 2010. In January–November 2012, Ukraine produced 963,000 metric tons of poultry, up 6.5 percent year-over-year, according to union data.

Vion reaches buy-out agreement for UK pork operations

    Dutch-based food producer Vion NV has reached an agreement for a management buy-out of its UK pork operations, securing around 4,000 jobs, subject to Competition Authority approval in Ireland.
    The deal, led by Seamus Carr, managing director of Vion’s pork business unit, is backed by UK private equity firm Endless, and follows Vion’s November announcement that it was selling its UK food operations to focus on its core food activities in the Netherlands and Germany and its global ingredients business.
    Vion’s UK pork facilities are located in Wiveliscombe, Malton, Haverhill, Scunthorpe, Hull, Stoke and Enfield in England, at Cookstown in Northern Ireland and the pig farming and feed mill operation in Scotland at Brydock, Aberdeenshire. In addition, Vion operates the McGees butchers business in the Republic of Ireland. “Vion’s decision to sell its UK business naturally caused a degree of uncertainty amongst staff, suppliers and customers,” said Carr, who will be managing director of the new company. “Therefore, I’m very pleased that we have quickly been able to agree a deal for the pork business which secures the future for our staff, our suppliers and gives our customers a seamless transition. Our ambitions for the new business are firstly to maintain the excellent levels of service and product quality which have helped us secure orders from all the major supermarkets, and then to build upon the opportunities in the marketplace to grow the business.”
    Peter Barr, chairman of Vion UK, said he welcomed the management buy-out. “When we announced our intention to sell, we highlighted the viability of the UK businesses and the strong interest from prospective purchasers,” said Barr. “The swiftness with which we’ve been able to agree a deal with the management team of the pork business unit, which knows the company inside-out, underlines our confidence in the sales process. It’s therefore very encouraging that the pork business unit should be the subject of a successful and swift sale and this augurs well for our ongoing discussions with prospective buyers of the remaining areas of the business.”
    Vion said it will now be focusing its attentions on securing the sales of its remaining poultry and red meat operations in the UK, which employ around 8,000 people. “Both businesses remain profitable and cash-generative and are generating significant interest from prospective purchaser,” said Barr.

Friday, December 14, 2012

International Production & Processing Expo sets exhibitor, space records

    The 2013 International Production & Processing Expo, IPPE, has set a record with over 1,150 exhibitors, covering more than 430,000 net square feet (21+ acres) of exhibit spaceaccording to show organizers. Comprised of the three integrated trade shows — International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo, and the American Meat Institute's International Meat Expo — the IPPE is still growing in the weeks left until the start of the expo.
    “We very much appreciate the participation of so many of our industry’s suppliers," said John Starkey, president of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. "Their support of the IPPE helps each of our trade associations accomplish our respective mission for our industries.”
    The global poultry, feed and meat industry tradeshow will be held January 29–31, 2013, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. The expo will highlight the latest technology, equipment and services used in the production and processing of poultry, meat and feed products.
    The expo will also feature education programs that will be held from January 28 through February 1, 2013, and will include the annual line-up of the International Poultry Scientific Forum, Pet Food Conference, Animal Agricultural Sustainability Summit and International Feed Education Program. In addition, the 2013 IPPE will feature eleven new educational programs: Recalls and Public Health Investigations; Improving Food Safety, Sanitation and Maintenance; Animal Care and Handling: Focus on Poultry Processing; Meat and Poultry Processing: A Global Perspective; Consumer Trends; Plant Operations and Management; Antibiotics Conference — Current Issues for the Poultry and Egg Industry; The Future of the U.S. Egg Industry; Meat and Poultry Research Conference; Media Training for the Meat and Poultry Industry; and Poultry Handling and Transportation Quality “Train the Trainer” Workshop. Also returning for 2013 are the Poultry Market Intelligence Forum and the International Rendering Symposium. 

Mexico egg prices remain high after avian influenza outbreak

    Mexico is considered to have the greatest per-capita consumption of eggs in the world, and the high level of egg consumption coupled with the production decrease and highly pathogenic avian influenza-related market speculation have pushed egg prices higher for all major population centers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Mexico's poultry and egg industry organization, UNA, reported that industry members attempted to maintain supplies and dampen the price spike by reducing or eliminating egg and egg product exports while also extending egg-layer production cycles to between 125 to 128 weeks. Still, prices more than doubled during the outbreak and are still hovering more than $0.50 per kilogram greater than the same period in 2011, whereas U.S. egg prices in dollars per dozen are virtually unchanged from 2011 numbers. In response, Mexico opened its market more broadly to imported eggs.
    Most egg imports as a result of the avian influenza outbreak did not get into full swing until September. U.S. shell egg exports to Mexico totaled 1.998 million dozen for January–August; in September alone the U.S. exported 7.89 million dozen eggs.
    Mexican authorities and industry members indicate that egg prices have stabilized, albeit at levels greater than before the outbreak. The pre- and post-incident prices are considerably different in Mexico, while prices in the U.S. are similar to 2011, according to the USDA. In addition to disrupting the general supply and demand of Mexico’s egg market, escalating prices pushed Mexico’s Foreign Trade Commission, COCEX, to refrain from imposing anti-dumping duties on imported U.S.-origin chicken leg quarters. U.S. chicken leg quarters remain a low-cost protein source for many Mexican consumers and are much cheaper than their Mexican equivalents, as feed grain input costs and consumption preferences between the countries differ significantly.

Cappoquin Chickens business saved by joint investment

    Ireland's Cappoquin Chickens will remain in business after High Court approval of a group of investors in partnership with Cappoquin Poultry Producers Co-op acquiring the business. The creditors will invest €650,000 to acquire Cappoquin Chickens, a move which is expected to save roughly 70 of 140 jobs, according to reports.
    "There is a substantial market in the UK and Irish food service sectors and in the butcher trade for high quality Irish poultry products offering value and traceability," said Dr. Sean Brady, newly appointed chairman of Cappoquin Poultry Holdings Ltd. "The Cappoquin business, now under new ownership, will drive forward with determination to service these markets and to grow the business to its full potential. The processing facility in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, can process up to 11 million chickens a year. It also produces chicken in accordance with Halal regulations, respectful of the Islamic faith. We aim to significantly expand the export of Halal processed chicken into the UK and Europe, where there is substantial export opportunity, with many retail multiples in the larger cities and towns stocking Halal produced meats."
    While the company's current situation necessitates temporary layoffs, Cappoquin's new managing director, Raymond O'Hanlon, said he hopes the company is soon in a position to re-build employee numbers. "We believe that by strengthening our sales/marketing function and by streamlining the business, we can create a solid foundation which will allow us to consolidate our position in both the Irish and British markets, and to grow new export opportunities in continental Europe," said O'Hanlon.