Food safety inspectors have closed 102 Dutch pig and veal farms and 11 German farms because they were delivered feed containing the antibiotic furazolidone, which is banned in Europe, according to the department. Business premises and a private house of a producer near Utrecht, Netherlands, have been searched as part of the investigation.
Food safety inspectors will decide if the animals on the farms should be destroyed. At the time, inspectors said the meat from the farms – sold in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands – would not be recalled because there was no immediate risk to public health, according to a report.
The report says the feed producer blames the contamination on manure from racing pigeons that gather at the farm.
The institute’s awards are open to any company or employee of any sector of the New Zealand food and beverage industry, not only institute members. The Eco-Efficiency Award recognizes an exceptional individual or group contribution to achieving resource efficiencies in a New Zealand food business, particularly associated with a culture change that embeds eco-efficiency in the business.
Examples of qualifying activities are changes in processing systems, operating practices or technologies that result in favorable environmental outcomes, through reduction, recovery or re-use. Example outcomes might be significant reductions in water usage, solid or liquid waste disposal, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions or chemical usage.
In the case of Inghams, which has the philosophy of "Doing the right things and doing things right," the award recognized the company’s achievements in “creating a team and environment, led from the highest level of management, where environmental sustainability is one of the company’s three driving business priorities, along with animal welfare and food safety.”
Tyson Foods will sell its poultry businesses in Brazil and Mexico to JBS SA and JBS subsidiary Pilgrim’s Pride, the companies announced July 28. The transaction is valued at $575 million and will be paid in cash.
The proposed transaction is expected to be finalized before the end of 2014, and is subject to regulatory approval. JBS and Pilgrim's Pride expect to maintain all the operations working to capacity with the existing workforce and to maintain all labor contracts in both countries.
"Although these are good businesses with great team members, we haven't had the necessary scale to gain leading share positions in these markets," explained Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods.
Tyson’s Mexcian operations to be part of Pilgrim’s Pride Mexico
Tyson’s Mexican operation, known as Tyson de Mexico, will be purchased for an amount of $400 million and will become part of Pilgrim’s Pride Mexico. Tyson de Mexico is a vertically integrated poultry business based in Gomez Palacio in North Central Mexico. It has three plants and employs more than 5,400 team members at its plants, offices and seven distribution centers.
Pilgrim’s Pride Mexico anticipates incremental annual revenue of about $650 million as a result of the transaction.
"Today's announcement demonstrates Pilgrim's continued commitment to our growth strategy of disciplined acquisitions that add company value for our shareholders and strengthen our strategic position in the market," Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s president and CEO, stated in a press release.
While Tyson Foods is selling its Mexican poultry operations, the company will continue to serve customers in Mexico. The company will supply them with U.S.-produced chicken as well as chicken produced in Mexico, in part through a co-packaging arrangement with Pilgrim's Pride.
Tyson do Brasil to be acquired by JBS Foods
Tyson Foods’ Brazilian entity, known as Tyson do Brasil, will be sold for the remaining $175 million of the total price of the acquisition. It will be acquired by JBS SA subsidiary JBS Foods.
The Brazilian acquisition represents three fully integrated production plants – two in the state of Santa Catarina and one in the state of Parana. Tyson do Brasil, which has been in existence since 2008, employs 5,000 people and is expected to generate annual revenues of about $350 million for JBS Foods.
Tyson to use proceeds from sale to pay down Hillshire debt, expand in Asia
"In the short term, we'll use the sale proceeds to pay down debt associated with our acquisition of Hillshire Brands,” said Smith.
The proposed acquisition of Hillshire Brands, parent company of brands like Jimmy Dean, State Fair and Ball Park, is valued at $8.55 billion and is expected to close by September 27, the last day of Tyson Foods’ fiscal year. Pilgrim’s had also made two bids to purchase Hillshire, but withdrew its offers after Tyson submitted its $8.55 billion bid.
Longer term, Tyson Foods intends to remain focused on growing its poultry operations in Asia, which include three poultry plants in China and majority ownership of two poultry plants in India. Combined, these Asian operations employ approximately 5,000 people.
Cal-Maine Foods has entered into a new joint venture for specialty egg sales with Hickman’s Egg Ranch Inc. Based in Buckeye, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix in western Maricopa County, Hickman’s Egg Ranch has been family-owned and operated since 1944. With processing operations located in Arizona, Colorado and California, and a capacity for approximately 6.0 million laying hens, Hickman’s Egg Ranch ranks among the top twenty family egg farms in the United States.
Pursuant to this transaction, the new joint venture, known as Southwest Specialty Eggs LLC, will acquire the Eggland’s Best, Inc. franchise for the state of Arizona with exclusive licensing agreements for the sale of Eggland’s Best and Land O’ Lakes branded specialty eggs and other premium brands. Sales of Eggland’s Best specialty eggs accounted for approximately 14.3 percent of Cal-Maine’s total shell egg sales in fiscal year 2013.
Commenting on the announcement, Dolph Baker, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cal-Maine Foods stated: “We are very pleased to enter into this new joint venture to market Eggland’s Bestand Land O’Lakesbranded specialty eggs in Arizona, a new market area for Cal-Maine Foods. This transaction is commensurate with our growth strategy to expand our market reach in specialty egg sales. Consumer demand for specialty eggs has continued to grow, and Cal-Maine Foods is well positioned to meet this demand with a variety of healthy choices for our customers. Hickman’s Egg Ranch has a long history of excellence and a solid reputation in this market area. We are excited about the opportunity to work together to market and distribute these popular and well-respected brands in Arizona.”
Glenn Hickman, chief executive officer of Hickman’s Egg Ranch, added: “We are very proud to join Cal-Maine Foods as a partner in this new joint venture. We have a unique opportunity to leverage our established customer relationships and market expertise in Arizona and work with one of the largest producers and marketers of value-added specialty eggs in the United States.”
As part of ongoing efforts to improve the performance of its Prepared Foods business, Tyson Foods plans to discontinue operations at three facilities, the company announced July 25. The closings will enable the company to use more of the available production capacity at some of its other prepared foods plants.
Tyson Foods' Cherokee, Iowa, plant will close effective September 27, while the company's Buffalo, New York, and Santa Teresa, New Mexico, plants are expected to cease operations during the first half of calendar 2015. The decision will affect approximately 950 people, including 450 at Cherokee, 300 at Buffalo and 200 at Santa Teresa.
"This is a very difficult decision since it affects the lives of our team members and their families," said Donnie King, president, Prepared Foods, customer and consumer solutions for Tyson Foods. "However, these plants have been struggling financially. After long and careful consideration, we've concluded it no longer makes business sense to keep them open."
The planned closures are due to a combination of factors including changing product needs, the age of the Cherokee facility and prohibitive cost of its renovation and the distance of the Buffalo and Santa Teresa plants from their raw material supply base in the Midwest. In addition, the closings will allow the company to shift some of the production and equipment to other, more cost-efficient Tyson Foods locations.
Affected workers will be encouraged to apply for openings within the company and also will be invited to job fairs Tyson Foods plans to host. In addition, the company intends to work with state officials to ensure the employees are informed about unemployment benefits and any potential re-training opportunities.
All three plants have been part of Tyson Foods since 2001, when the company acquired IBP Inc. The Cherokee plant, which Tyson Foods leases, has been producing processed meats since 1965. It currently makes deli meats, hams, Canadian bacon and hot dogs. The Buffalo facility produces hot dogs, sausage and hams. It first opened in 1969 and operated as Russer Foods until 1999, when it was acquired by IBP. Santa Teresa makes a variety of cooked products including dinner meats, diced ham and roast beef. The facility was built by John's Brothers and opened in the spring of 1982. It became part of IBP in 1994.
The UK’s Food Standards Agency has launched an investigation following allegations of failure to follow good hygiene and food safety practices at 2 Sisters plants in Anglesey and Scunthorpe.
The agency has reviewed video footage and photographs gathered by The Guardian of three specific incidents at the plants and checked against its own records. It has announced that it is satisfied that the specific problems at the plants were addressed appropriately at the time by the business and did not present a food safety risk.
However, the agency notes, The Guardian investigation highlighted broader concerns about practices at the plants, including chickens that had fallen onto the floor being put back on production lines. Given these allegations, audits and investigations were started last week.
British Poultry Council response
In response to the allegations, the British Poultry Council (BPC) notes that the incidents highlighted by The Guardian have been thoroughly investigated and corrective action has been taken to ensure they do not happen again. The events were isolated, the BPC notes, and are in no way representative of the high standards of the chicken industry as a whole.
Food safety is the top priority for BPC members, the organization continues, and the companies concerned have strenuously denied the allegations accompanying the images, and have restated their commitment to producing safe food for all their customers.
Java’s AS Putra is adding broiler breeding and hatchery operations to its established poultry business on West Java, with a significant investment in SmartPro modular single stage hatchery technologies from Pas Reform.
Research to find a preferred incubation solution was very extensive and a quite a challenge, said company director Aif Sidhik.
“After more than 15 years in the broiler producing business,” he said, “we believe that the process does not start on the farm, but rather when embryo development begins - in the incubator,” said Sidhik.
“Ultimately this was why we selected Pas Reform’s SmartPro incubation system for our new hatchery. We see a great synergy between our beliefs and observations in practice – and Pas Reform’s focus and results in achieving greater chick uniformity, as a precursor to greater efficiency throughout the broiler production process.”
The new hatchery will include three SmartSetPro setters, equipped with Pas Reform’s innovative Energy Saving Module (ESM), to reduce the use of electricity while providing active control over ventilation in the setter; the SmartCenter hatchery information system and six SmartHatchPro hatchers, equipped with SmartWatch, an innovation that monitors and adjusts the hatching process automatically from the day of transfer through to the last chick hatched.
First established in 1986 as an egg producer for the local market, AS Putra began broiler production to serve its local market in 1997. Today, the company raises 1.5 million chickens each week, for distribution throughout Java Island and Southern Sumatra, with day old chicks sourced from various producers. The new hatchery operation is targeting 30 percent of supply for the company’s broiler operations over the next three years.
Bas Kanters, Pas Reform’s sales director in Asia, has been instrumental in working with AS Putra to develop plans for the new hatchery. He says of the new project: “Aif and his father are a great pleasure to work with. Their company is an excellent example of a poultry business that has grown through absolute dedication to quality, with a firm focus on the future.
“Pas Reform is delighted to have been selected for this pivotal project in AS Putra’s continuing development – and we very much look forward to working in partnership to help realize the company’s ambitions for the future.”
Dutch agricultural consortium Grupo AgriMex-Holanda has been formalized with the signing of a three-year covenant between the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands Enterprise Agency and eleven Dutch companies. With its main objective to actively participate in delivering sustainable production and animal health to the Mexican market, Grupo Agrimex-Holanda will invest around EUR1 million (US$1.35 million) collectively. The consortium will initially have a special focus on the Mexican poultry sector.
Member companies of Grupo AgriMex-Holanda are dedicated to different animal production sectors, from breeding technologies, feed, housing and transportation to manure management, water and waste management. The companies involved in the AgriMex-Holanda consortium are: PTC+;Schothorst Feed Research, Ottevanger Milling Engineers BV, Walinga Inc., Dutrion North America Ltd., Dorset Green Machines, Twinpack BV, Vencomatic Group, Pas Reform Hatchery Technologies, Excentials/Orffa and Marel Stork Poultry Processing.
With a large domestic market and rapidly growing exports, Mexico can offer plenty of diverse opportunities for animal production companies from the Netherlands, particularly in the production of poultry, eggs and pigs. Grupo AgriMex-Holanda formalizes a sustained and collaborative effort to bring the Dutch expertise and technology to the fore in Mexican animal production and especially in the poultry production sector.
UK poultry processors 2 Sisters Food Group and Faccenda Foods assert they follow strict food safety practices after a July 23 report in The Guardian called the companies out for apparent failures in hygiene practices that prevent Campylobacter contamination. Both companies have questioned the accuracy of the report.
Allegations against 2 Sisters, Faccenda
The Guardian stated it obtained undercover footage, photographic evidence and information from whistleblowers at facilities operated by the two companies.
The allegations are:
Chickens that fall on to the floor have repeatedly been put back on to the production line at two 2 Sisters sites.
Breakdowns led to high-risk material – feathers, guts and offal – piling up for hours on separate occasions while production continued at a 2 Sisters factory in Wales.
Another breakdown at the same 2 Sisters site led to the scald water not being cleaned for three days. As a result, around 250,000 birds allegedly passed through dirty water after slaughter.
Biosecurity rules to stop the spread of Campylobacter in chicken sheds at Faccenda were regularly ignored by workers when he was employed there.
2 Sisters says it follows industry best practice in food safety
In response to The Guardian report, 2 Sisters Food Group on its website released a statement that said the allegations concerning 2 Sisters’ business and Campylobacter management “untrue, misleading and inaccurate. The company went on to say there is no Campylobacter contamination or problems at its sites, as confirmed by both internal and external audits.
“We strongly deny and defend ourselves against these allegations. Our company’s heritage is steeped in the poultry sector. We are extremely proud of this heritage and our excellent track record as a poultry processor, and we will remain so. We are doing more than any other business in addressing the key issues our sector is facing and we are leading the way in establishing and enforcing industry best practice,” the company stated on July 23.
A day later, 2 Sisters outlined the measures it was taking to assure that it maintains consumer trust. The company highlighted its GBP6 million (US$10.2 million) independent study into Campylobacter, initiated in November 2013, that the FSA praised as sector-leading. 2 Sisters also said it worked regularly with customers to reassure them the processes and procedures are best in class. Employees undergo a robust training and induction process and regularly are briefed to reinforce the importance of hygiene, the company stated. Finally, 2 Sisters said its food safety practices have been supported by stakeholders such as the FSA and the British Poultry Council.
Faccenda says food safety is a top priority issue
Faccenda Foods has also responded to the allegations, stressing that it has invested heavily in projects to tackle Campylobacter and that food safety is a top priority issue.
“Our action plan has been proactively shared and acknowledged with the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and our customers, focusing on three key areas - farm biosecurity, interventions in our factory operations and improved food safety in the kitchen,” the company stated.
"We have further improved biosecurity arrangements in place at all our farms working to revised Red Tractor standards.
"We also continue to invest in testing for routine surveillance as part of our risk assessment program. We have committed significant resources to the development of innovative factory interventions to reduce Campylobacter and will move to full-scale in-line trials later this year.
“Any change in our process will, where possible, be independently validated and our results shared with the FSA Joint Working Group on campylobacter. Again, we will use our testing program to monitor progress throughout this period.”
Food Standards Agency looking into allegations
According to a follow-up report in WalesOnline, The UK’s FSA said it was aware of the allegations, and would address them with the concerned companies.
The third annual International Poultry Forum China, scheduled for September 20-21, will bring attention to continued challenges with the Chinese poultry industry, including H7N9 avian influenza, decreasing consumer confidence and increasing environmental regulatory pressure. The event will be held at the Kuntai Hotel, Beijing.
International Poultry Forum China 2014 will focus on three central themes: China Agriculture Ministry’s policy and regulation of the poultry industry, the global development trend of the poultry industry and the Chinese export market, and the China consuming market.
Speakers for the poultry forum include:
Jan Cortenbach, chief technical officer Wellhope – De Heus Animal Nutrition B.V.
She Fang, general manager, Beijing Huadu Group
Cao Jisheng, chairman, Shandong Yisheng Livestock & Poultry Breeding Co.
Dominic Elfick, international product manager, Aviagen
Jinghui Li, vice president, Dachan Group
Benjamin Ruiz, editor, Industria Avicola, WATT Global Media
The forum will conclude on the afternoon of September 21 with an engaging roundtable discussion involving leading members of the new China Broiler Alliance.
The two-day conference is being organized by Poultry International China Edition, WATT Global Media and Shanghai Lyja Cultural Media Co. Ltd. with support from the China Animal Agriculture Association (CAAA), the China Broiler Alliance (CBA), and sponsored by VNU Exhibitions (VIV Worldwide), Zhengxinyua Pharmaceutical Group and Merial Co. Ltd.
Pork and turkey company executive Ronald William Prestage has pleaded not guilty to charges of carrying a pistol outside his home or business, a felony in Washington, D.C. The president of Prestage Farms of South Carolina and president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) was arrested a day earlier after allegedly trying to enter the Cannon House Office Building with a handgun.
Prestage, 59, appeared with attorney Robert Spagnoletti on July 24 in D.C. Superior Court. Spagnoletti entered the plea and requested a speedy trial, according to The State. Prestage was released until his next court appearance. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for August 13.
Prestage holds a concealed-carry permit in his home state of South Carolina, but concealed-carry permits are not issued in Washington, D.C., and open carry there is prohibited.
Prestage was searched as a matter of routine as he entered the federal building, and an officer allegedly found a loaded 9-millimeter Ruger handgun in his bag. Prestage was believed to have been on his way to meet with members of South Carolina’s congressional delegation. An NPPC spokesperson said that Prestage was not representing the pork organization while he was in the nation’s capital.
Prestage Farms has pork and turkey operations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Iowa, Oklahoma and Mississippi.
During a recent visit to the University of Edinburg’s Easter Bush campus, Lord de Mauley, UK parliamentary under secretary of state for natural environment and science, was provided with an overview the National Avian Research Facility, which is based at the campus.
Lord de Mauley was briefed on the aims for the facility, which include addressing the need for improved sustainability in poultry production in light of an increasing global population, developing vaccines against infections and benefiting human health through reducing food-borne diseases.
The under secretary’s visit to the Easter Bush campus included discussions about animal health and welfare with researchers from The Roslin Institute, the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (RSVS) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) who are based at the Easter Bush campus. Food safety issues were also addressed in the visit.
"The Roslin Institute is the UK's leading farm animal research institution and SRUC is a brilliant model for disseminating new technology to farmers across Britain and the world," said de Mauley.
The visit offered an opportunity to highlight the close links that The Roslin Institute and RSVS have with SRUC. Research at The Roslin Institute is focused on the health and welfare of animals, applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security.
A research project completed at North Carolina State University (NCSU) has shown there are benefits of zinc supplementation in broilers. The research, led by Dr. Doug Smith, recently studied the effects of zinc and copper supplementation on broiler live performance, carcass yield and breast meat color.
Supplementation of zinc and copper in broiler diets is a common practice. It has been postulated that this supplementation may be involved in the occasional red discoloration of fully cooked poultry products. NCSU researchers found that neither zinc nor coppers supplementation were associated with discoloration of the meat, however redness of the bone marrow was associated with zinc supplementation. In male broilers, body weight gain, feed conversion and breast fillet weights were all enhanced by zinc supplementation. Similar effects were not seen in female broilers. This research indicates that supplementation of 120 mg/kg of zinc has important potential benefits for broiler production.
Smith was assisted by Dr. John Brake and Rasha Qudsieh, also of North Carolina State University.
The project was funded as part of the comprehensive research program offered by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) and USPOULTRY Foundation. The research program encompasses all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.
The Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) will promote Brazilian agriculture products in the Brazilian Embassy in Mexico City during a July 29 workshop. Mexican authorities will be in attendance as ABPA focuses on opening the Mexican market to exports pork and poultry genetic material from Brazil.
Coordinated by Francisco Turra, ABPA president; Ricardo Santin, the poultry vice president of the association; and Rui Saldanha Eduardo Vargas, swine vice president, the agenda aims to broaden the export program of chicken meat to the Mexican market.
The secretary of international relations of the Ministry of Agriculture, Marcelo Junqueira, confirmed participation in the event.
Within the agenda, a meeting is scheduled with Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food of Mexico Enrique Martinez y Martinez. Actions are supported by the Brazilian ambassador in Mexico, Marcos Raposo Lopes, and Mexico's ambassador in Brazil, Beatriz Elena Paredes Rangel.
According to the president of the ABPA, Mexico and South Korea are priorities for exports of pork from Brazil.
"Recently, we participated in the Mexican market and we have been informed of pork supply problems in the country, following the outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED). For this reason, we streamline processes to consolidate Brazil as a partner, to ensure the supply of the product for local consumers," he pointed out.
About poultry exports, the president of ABPA highlighted another health problem that recently faced the Mexican poultry industry: the avian influenza outbreaks recorded in 2012, which still cause impact on local production.
"Last year, Mexico opened its doors to Brazilian chicken meat. However, just now shipments are gaining strength, reaching 3,500 metric tons in the first five months of the year. Therefore, although our primary focus is the opening of pork market, we want to expand the chicken exports program to this destination, while looking toward the opening of poultry genetics segment, which was also affected during the health crisis of 2012," Turra said.
Alltech's Deirdre Lyons accepts a symbolic key to the city from Pikeville, Kentucky Mayor Frank Justice, left. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, right, announced nearly $6 million in funding for the development of an industrial park in eastern Kentucky, where Alltech has committed to building aquaculture and layer facilities. (Photo courtesy of Kentucky Office of Creative Service)
Global animal nutrition company Alltech will become the first occupant on the new Marion Branch industrial site in Pikeville, Kentucky, with plans to develop an aquaculture and poultry layer facility. The project incorporates objectives of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative, begun by Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers in late 2013 to revitalize the struggling economy in eastern Kentucky counties.
The initiative falls in line with Alltech’s core business in animal nutrition, implementing its sustainable and natural solutions designed to help farmers feed a rapidly growing world population of 9 billion people by 2050.
“We are delighted to have the support of Gov. Beshear, Congressman Hal Rogers and the Commonwealth of Kentucky that will make it possible for Alltech and other companies to operate at the Marion Branch Industrial Park,” said Deirdre Lyons, co-founder and director of corporate image and design at Alltech. “We are also thankful to the City of Pikeville for their continued support and shared vision for prosperity in eastern Kentucky. We hope that through our decision to build an aquaculture and layer facility at Marion Branch, as well as a new brewery and distillery in downtown Pikeville, we can be a catalyst for further economic development in the area.”
Marion Branch is a 380-acre former surface mine site that is within Pikeville city limits and owned by the city. Pikeville City Commission worked to obtain the infrastructure of a bridge, road, water and sewer to encourage business development in the area.
“This announcement is proof that there are opportunities for economic development in eastern Kentucky if we work to make them happen,” Beshear said. “This type of partnership, which brings in government resources along with private-sector investment, is an example of what we are trying to do with the SOAR initiative. We want local communities to be key drivers in recovery efforts, as is happening with this project.”
“Eastern Kentucky is a great place to work and live – we’re spreading the word that we’re open for business,” said Rep. Rogers. “One of the top companies in Kentucky is planting roots in our region, and other businesses should take notice of the benefits we have to offer with our competitive workforce, beautiful landscape and growing entrepreneurial support system. I commend Gov. Beshear and our state legislators for realizing the value of investing in the Marion Branch Industrial Site, and Pikeville city leaders for continuing to raise the bar for progress in eastern Kentucky.”
The Pikeville/Alltech announcement is in line with the efforts of the 10 SOAR working groups that are leading discussions throughout the region on topics related to eastern Kentucky’s future economic well-being and quality of life. Based on citizen and organizational input, the groups will identify significant opportunities and a long-term vision related to their topics. The working groups’ focus areas include broadband; agriculture, community and regional foods; business recruitment and incubation; education and retraining; and health.
Ronald William Prestage, president of Prestage Farms of South Carolina and president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), was arrested July 23 after allegedly trying to enter a federal building in Washington, D.C., with a handgun in his bag. Prestage was charged with carrying a handgun outside a home or office, which is a felony.
Concealed-carry permits are not issued in Washington, D.C., and open carry there is prohibited, according to usacarry.com.
Officer Shennell S. Antrobus, a spokesman for the U.S. Capitol Police, told the Washington Post that the incident occurred about 9:20 a.m. at the Rotunda entrance. He said the pork and turkey company executive was searched as a matter of routine and an officer found the loaded 9-millimeter Ruger handgun in his bag. Prestage, who reportedly has a concealed-carry permit in South Carolina, was believed to have been on his way to a meeting inside the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., when he was apprehended.
The entrance to the building was reportedly closed after Prestage tried to enter, but was reopened about an hour later.
Dave Warner, a spokesman for NPPC, told the Post that Prestage’s visit to the Cannon Building did not involve the pork organization. Prestage is scheduled to take over as president of NPPC in March 2015.
Prestage Farms has pork and turkey operations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Iowa, Oklahoma and Mississippi.
As the USDA has worked through some of issues surrounding a federal mandate on porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus and swine delta coronavirus, the agency has set labels and protocols for the different phases of infection. The new labels will assist the pig industry with diagnostic sampling, as well as reporting the viruses.
The goal was to create a uniform language for producers, veterinarians and laboratories classify the viruses. These definitions are designed to help producers understand when and what will be required of them if they experience a PED virus outbreak or reoccurrence.
Suspect – Observation of acute contagious (spreading) watery diarrhea on a farm. When the suspect stage is discovered, the action necessary is to contact the herd veterinarian and complete sampling for diagnostic positive.
Presumptive positive – There are no clinical signs, but diagnostic test indict positive animals. When the presumptive positive stage is detected, producers and veterinarians should submit diagnostic tests with national premises ID number and other required information to the USDA or a state veterinarian.
Confirmed positive – Positive diagnostic tests and observed clinical signs are found, based on colonic PCR samples. When this stage is found, like with the presumptive positive stage, diagnostic tests with national premises ID number and other required information should be sent to the USDA or state veterinarian. Also, a health management plan should be implemented and completed at the infected site. Finally, required documentation should be provided to the state veterinarian’s office, which will then be documented and forwarded to the USDA.
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.
Plans are in the works for two large poultry farming operations in Southern Delaware’s Kent County. One of the farms would be the site of ten poultry houses, while the other would have 20 houses with each chicken house having a capacity to hold between 35,000 and 50,000 birds.
While both potential poultry farms are larger than the norm for Delaware, the 20-house poultry farm, if plans are realized, would be by far the largest poultry farm in Delaware, according to Delaware Online.
Bill Satterfield, executive director of the Delmarva Poultry Industry, says the plans represent good faith that the property owners and chicken companies have for the poultry industry in Delaware.
Large poultry farms may prompt changes to law
The unusually large size of the potential poultry farms has caused concerns for area residents, other poultry producers and officials from county and state agencies. One concern is that large operations like these could become a trend and not require any forewarning to neighbors whose lives may be affected by the construction of large poultry farms in their vicinity. The way Delaware’s Right to Farm law reads, anyone can put as many chicken houses on a plot of agriculturally zoned land as they want.
State Rep. Bobby Outten, R-Harrington, suggests changing the law would be a good idea.
“We aren’t going to do too much here now, but we need to get it changed so it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
The National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) of India has appealed to the government to grant a one-year moratorium on payment of interest and loans used by poultry farmers. The organization believes that the moratorium will provide immediate relief to the farmers who have been facing a severe financial crisis for the past two years because of an unprecedented increase in the cost of essential feed ingredients such as corn and soybeans.
Since April 2012, soymeal prices have been constantly rising in India, and has now reached unaffordable levels. NECC has cited forward trading, exports, speculation and manipulation of price by traders and multi-national companies as reasons for the jump in soy costs, the organization said in a press release. The price of soymeal, according to the committee, has jumped about 67 percent in two years’ time. The increase in input costs has led to a 35 percent jump in the costs it takes to produce one egg, according to the Hindu Business Line.
Already worried about the high cost of soymeal, the NECC says egg and poultry producers are also concerned that the costs of feed may further increase, as there is a strong possibility that insufficient rainfall will lead to a smaller soybean crop.
Goodband was selected for this award for his excellence in research in production management. He is part of a progressive swine extension team that focuses on developing, evaluating and disseminating the latest research to increase the profitability of pork producers and has played an important role in developing an intensive applied research program that has conducted numerous on-farm trials in several states.
Along with his dedication to research, Goodband is a trusted advisor to many graduate and undergraduate students.
Goodband received his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and earned his master’s and PhD in swine nutrition at KSU. He then joined the KSU Department of Animal Science and Industry as an assistant professor. In 2001, Goodband made full professor, a position he still holds today.
The ASAS Animal Management Award is given to animal scientists who have made significant contributions to basic or applied research in animal behavior, environmental science, economics or other biological or production management. The American Society of Animal Science is a professional organization that serves more than 5,000 animal scientists and producers around the world.
PIC, an international leader in the provision of continuous genetic improvement in swine breeding stock, will implement relationship-based genomic selection in all its crossbred boar products, effective in August. PIC will continue its differentiated implementation of genomic technology and be the first entity to use relationship-based genomic selection in all pure and crossbred products and in every trait impacting selection decisions.
“PIC continues to lead the global livestock industry in utilization of genomics to accelerate genetic gain for our customers. This implementation step builds on our previous implementation in all pure lines and will increase the accuracy of our selection process. It will subsequently increase our rate of progress by an additional 35 percent, versus other industry programs” said Dr. Matt Culbertson, director of product development for PIC.
Dr. Bill Christianson, COO PIC, added: “PIC is focused on making the investments needed to bring our customers’ greater product differentiation and performance potential. This latest advancement is another step in our quest to never stop improving and to deliver on our goal of increased profit potential for our customers.”
PIC’s relationship-based genomic selection, also known as single-step genomic selection, uses a proprietary genotyping and statistical platform to calculate how related animals are at the genetic level. It will increase the accuracy of evaluating animals as parents of the next generation. PIC began implementing relationship-based genomic selection in its pure lines in the winter of 2012-2013 and completed full implementation for all nucleus populations and traits in the fall of 2013.
More chicken is being consumed in the United States, according to new research presented July 21 at the National Chicken Council's Chicken Marketing Seminar in Greensboro, Georgia.
Overall, the average number of meals or snacks that contained chicken eaten by survey respondents in the two weeks prior to the survey was 6.1. This is up from 5.2, or 17 percent, from the 2012 findings. Millennial respondents (18-34) remain the most likely to eat chicken meals or snacks frequently (7.7).
"With the tight supplies in the cattle and hog herds, and accompanying record beef and pork prices, it's not surprising to see a double digit increase in chicken consumption this year," said National Chicken Council Vice President of Communications Tom Super. "What is surprising to me," Super noted, "is that health and nutrition and taste both topped cost as the reason consumers are turning more to the original white meat."
In 1998 and 2006 respondents were asked if they are likely to eat more, less or about the same amount of chicken. In 2014 they were asked more specifically about likely changes in chicken consumption from a grocery store and likely change in behavior regarding a food service establishment.
24 percent say they will buy more chicken at stores in next 12 months
The 12 month outlook for the grocery segment looks promising with a net of 24 percent saying they will be eating more chicken. This is more than three times the proportion previously noted.
The primary reasons for eating more chicken from a grocery store are health/nutrition (34 percent) and taste (32 percent). These are trailed by cost (17 percent). Women are somewhat more concerned than men about both health/nutrition and cost.
20 percent say they’ll eat more chicken at restaurants
Turning to eating out, one in five (20 percent) respondents are likely to buy more chicken at restaurants and other food service establishments. This indicates a net gain in purchasing among 9 percent of the population.
The primary reasons for eating more chicken at restaurants are taste (25 percent) and health/nutrition (24 percent). Predictably, men are more focused on the taste while women are more focused on the health/nutrition aspect.
Overall, among the total sample, nine out of ten respondents had eaten a meal or snack that contained chicken in the two weeks prior to the survey; this is in line with the 2012 survey.
Other highlights of the survey include:
Chickenconsumption does not differ significantly by gender.
Midwesternersate the lowest number of meals or snacks that contained chicken in the twoweek period prior to the survey. It is the only region where the rate ofconsumption did not increase since 2012.
Men, younger adults and those with at least three people in the household are more likely than counterparts in increase their consumption of chicken.