Friday, October 31, 2014

Koch Foods CEO has eye on acquisitions

  • Andrea Gantz
    Poultry company Koch Foods could grow, as its CEO Joe Grendys says he would like to acquire more companies.
    From WATTAgNet:
    Joe Grendys, CEO and majority owner of privately-held poultry company Koch Foods, is pleased with the success of the poultry company. But he would like to see the company to grow through acquisitions.
    That growth may not necessarily be through buying more poultry companies. He told the Chicago Tribune that other animal proteins are also being considered.
    "I want to acquire more" companies, Grendys said. "I definitely have our hook in the water, but right now the industry is performing well. So there aren't a lot of fish biting. But I could see us branching out in the next three to five years possibly into another protein; not sure what that protein would be yet."
    Listed No. 261 on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, Grendys leads the company that operates in six states and processes the chicken for Wal-Mart’s "Great Value" Buffalo wings, chicken strips, chicken tenders and popcorn chicken. The company also processes the chicken nuggets sold at Burger King and other private-label brands at grocery stores, such as Kroger and Aldi. None of those products carry the label “Koch Foods.”
    Koch Foods, headquartered in Chicago, processes 624 million birds annually, according to the WATT Global Media Top Companies Database.

Poultry products recalled over Salmonella enteritidis concerns

Community poultry vaccinators to fill Malawi veterinary gap

  • File photo
    A group of community-based poultry vaccinators has received training in Malawi in hopes of filling gaps in veterinary care.
    From WATTAgNet:
    The National Rural Poultry Centre (NRPC) Malawi, has trained 31 community-based poultry vaccinators around the Malomo and Chipuka extension planning areas in Ntchisi on how they can manage poultry and assist in implementing the work done by veterinary workers. NRPC, a non-government organization (NGO), has also given poultry medicine to the trained community-based poultry vaccinators.
    GRM International, an agricultural development company based in Australia, provided funding for the training.
    Speaking during a recent certificate presentation ceremony to the farmers, NRPC Malawi Interim Director Pat Poland, called on the certified community-based poultry vacinators to utilize the skills they gained during the three-day training to help assure that poultry meat becomes readily available at affordable price.
    "We have decided to assist poultry farmers because veterinary officers are very few and they not reach out to all farmers. … The trained community-based poultry vaccinators will train fellow farmers in their respective areas," he said.
    In her remarks, Ntchisi District Development Officer (DADO) Hycinthe Jere commended National Rural Poultry Centre in partnership with the Kyeema Foundation for training the community-based poultry vaccinators. Jere said having a new group of poultry vaccinators will reduce the gap of poultry veterinarians and will go far to reach more farmers.

Seaboard hopes to build hog finishing facility in Western Kansas

  • File photo
    Seaboard is filing paperwork in hopes of building its second hog finishing facility in Greeley County, Kansas.
    From WATTAgNet:
    Seaboard Foods has registered its intention to open a new hog finishing operation, Ladder Creek West, in Greeley County, Kansas. If approved, it would make Seaboard’s second hog finishing company in the county on the Colorado border.
    The operation is expected to have 110 buildings and would contain about 132,000 pigs. A filing with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) states that the waste from the operation would go into a lagoon for treatment, then be spread on fields.
    KDHE has yet to approve the facility. The company, based in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, will need to submit an application that includes engineering plans and nutrient management plans.
    If the project is approved, Seaboard would be able to house about 330,000 between the two facilities in Greeley County. Seaboard’s other finishing facility, which opened in 2010, is in the process of an expansion.
    Jack Arnold, a supervisor for Greeley County, said the new project would have both supporters and opponents in the county that is home to about 1,300 people. Supporters seem to favor the proposed project because of its job creating potential and the additional tax revenue it would bring in. Opponents include other farmers in the area, who are concerned about having to compete with Seaboard for water usage.

OSHA investigating Jennie-O plant where illnesses occurred

  • Andrea Gantz
    OSHA is investigating a Jennie-O Turkey Store plant, trying to determine why workers at the plant became sick.
    From WATTAgNet:
    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is working on an inspection of a Jennie-O Turkey Store processing plant in Willmar, Minnesota, where more than two dozen workers became ill on October 17.
    OSHA is presently gathering information to determine what may have caused so many people to get sick, said James Honerman, spokesman for the state's OSHA division, part of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
    "Minnesota OSHA Compliance will ... review what factors contributed to or caused the incident and then determine whether existing OSHA standards were violated," said Honerman. "The goal is to reduce hazards to workers and avoid a recurrence of similar accidents."
    The plant was evacuated after workers were displaying symptoms of illness, including coughing and vomiting. The affected employees all worked in the same area of the plant.
    Officials from Jennie-O Turkey Store and the Willmar Fire Department inspected the plant to check for any chemical leaks, but none were found. Tests to find carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and ammonia were negative.
    Honerman said OSHA would aim to close the inspection within a few months and said that if work hazards are found, citations or penalties from OSHA are possible. The plant’s last routine inspection, according to OSHA records, was conducted in February 2013 and did not yield any citations.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Moy Park begins construction on 100th new poultry house

  • Bigstock
    Moy Park has started construction on its 100th new poultry house.
    From WATTAgNet:
    Moy Park has hit a major milestone with its “Plan to Grow” program, as construction has started on its 100th new poultry house since launching the program in 2013. The 100th new poultry house will be located on a farm in Dungannon, Northern Ireland.
    Clive Marshall is the operator of the farm, and he expects birds to be housed there as soon as early 2015.
    “This is my first venture into poultry farming,” said Marshall. “I am currently a part time beef farmer with my father. I’ve always had a keen interest in farming and wanted to expand the existing farm business. I felt this opportunity with Moy Park was the perfect first step in making farming a long-term career for me.”
    David Gibson, Moy Park Director of Agriculture commented: “We are delighted to have reached this fantastic milestone and the success of the ‘Plan to Grow’ program has been highlighted through this build. We currently work with over 600 of the very best local poultry farmers, who employ the highest standards on their farms and we are very proud to be developing our farming base in Northern Ireland.’’
    Moy Park, through its Plan to Grow program, anticipates having 250 new poultry houses by the end of 2015.

Agri-food producers push for strong outcomes through TPP

Longtime egg industry leader Don Bell dies

Brazil’s competition body approves JBS’s purchase of Tyson do Brasil

Difficulties continue for French poultry producers

    While overall poultry production in France may have declined throughout the past 10 years, broiler production has increased.
    French poultry production fell in the first quarter of 2014, yet the country’s demand for poultry meat continues to grow, with imports taking a greater share of the market. The French poultry sector is experiencing difficulties both at home and in international markets.
    French poultry production fell sharply since the 1990s and the industry’s difficulties are continuing. Over the past decade, French production declined by an average of 2.3 percent each year, and this contraction was again evident over the opening months of 2014.
    World poultry production has grown by an average of 3.8 percent per annum over the last 10 years. In the global market, French poultry producers have become increasingly uncompetitive, and on the home market a similar story has played out with French producers less able to compete against imports.
    Despite these difficulties, however, the country remains Europe’s largest poultry producers if all species are considered, and the sector remains an important contributor to the economy with nearly 50,000 employees.

    Poor start to the year

    While 2013 may have been positive for French poultry production, figures released by France’s Ministry of Agriculture for the period show that the number or birds slaughtered from January to May this year stood at 382.5 million, while by weight the figure stood at 679,130 metric tons, decreases of 7.3 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.
    The number of broilers slaughtered was 8.7 percent lower while broiler meat produced contracted by 5.5 percent. The same data revealed that the number of turkeys slaughtered contracted by 0.4 percent while the number of ducks processed increased by 1.1 percent.
    The figures reveal a continuing worsening from the first quarter when 440,000 metric tons was recorded, a contraction of 4 percent in comparison with the year before. The Ministry attributes much of this decline to reduced exports.

    Consumption growing

    Yet French poultry meat consumption grew by 4.6 percent during the first quarter to stand at 431,300 metric tons, up on 2013’s record high. Broiler meat consumption was up by 6.6 percent to 270,000 tons, turkey meat consumption rose by 2.6 percent to 87,000 tons, while duck meat sales fell by 4.5 percent to 46,600 tons, the Ministry notes.
    Per capita poultry meat consumption in France has followed an upward trend during the past 40 years.

    Imports and exports

    2014’s first quarter figures reveal a negative trade balance for meat and meat products. Exports have dropped sharply and imports continue to rise.
    Overall poultry meat and poultry product imports stood at 136,000 metric tons, an increase of 3.4 percent over the quarter, while exports at 130,700 metric tons were 20 percent lower. As far as broiler meat and products are concerned, imports were 3.6 percent higher at 118,000 metric tons, while exports contracted by 20 percent to stand at 102,000 metric tons.
    The situation is a marked turnaround from reports issued at the end of the first quarter last year, when poultry exports were described as “stable”.Where imports are concerned, the main supplying countries were Germany, Spain, Belgium and Brazil.

    Egg production

    A stronger position has been recorded in French egg production, although growth has slowed this year compared to last. Over the first quarter, production of table eggs grew by 5 percent in comparison with the same period last year,
    Exports of table eggs and egg grew by 1.2 percent over the first quarter, while imports contracted by 17 percent.
    Stimulated by this upturn in the export market, the producer price of eggs was 9 percent higher in May this year in comparison to May 2013.

Semi hauling Prestage turkeys overturns; driver critically hurt

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bachoco triples net income in third quarter

  • Peter Dean/Agripicture
    Mexican poultry company Bachoco finished a successful third quarter, tripling its net income.
    From WATTAgNet:
    Mexican poultry company Bachoco reported its net income jumped to MXN1,124.2 million (US$ 82.95 million) in the third quarter of fiscal year 2014, roughly tripling it net income of MXN353.5 million (US$26.1 million) recorded in the same quarter of 2013. The company attributes much of this increase to a higher operating income and more stable expenses.
    Bachoco also reported that its net sales increased 12.5 percent during the third quarter. The quarter ended September 30.
    “For Bachoco, a third quarter used to be the weakest quarter for the year in terms of profitability; this year, the quarter did not follow that pattern, as favorable conditions present in the second quarter were extended into the third one,” said Rodolfo Ramos Arvizu, CEO of Bachoco.
    “Flexibility in our processes and implementation of new procedures, allowed us to take advantage of the conditions the industry offered and to achieve sound results. In general, during the quarter we observed a very stable supply in our main product lines in both the U.S. and Mexican markets; this, combined with the downtrend in our main raw material prices, allowed us to post a reduction in our production cost, contributing to our profits.”
    The largest poultry company in Mexico, Bachoco has more than 700 production and distribution facilities currently organized into nine complexes throughout Mexico with a presence in the U.S. as well, according to the WATT Global Media Top Companies Database.

Ronald Prestage pleads guilty to lesser charges in gun case

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Canada threatens retaliation against US if COOL law not changed

Biomin World Nutrition Forum offers food for thought

    The Biomin World Nutrition Forum, which took place in Munich in October, certainly gave delegates food for thought. With a focus on sustainability, presentations looked at how businesses can be made more sustainable, but alongside this there were warnings on what could happen to the planet if action is not taken.
    Growth in output comes at a cost. Michael Eder, Biomin CEO Americas, reminded delegates that the rising population, global warming and changes in economic development are leading to serious problems that will need to be resolved and that, if we continue to waste resources, by 2040, we will need the resources of two Earths to satisfy demand.

    Failing to change

    This situation is avoidable, but how quickly society is willing to change is another matter. The consequences of failure were detailed by Jorgen Randers of the BI Norwegian Business School, who offered a global forecast for the next 40 years.
    The Limits to Growth report, published in 1972, argued that humanity will allow its footprint to grow beyond levels that can be sustained in the long run. Its arguments were rejected.
    Now, however, we know better, but are we doing enough? The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established more than 25 years ago and, had we listened to its advice, we would already be well underway in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    “It is surprisingly cheap and easy to reduce emissions,” Randers said. “All it takes is a shift of 1-2 percent of the labor force and invested capital from ‘dirty’ to ‘clean’ activity. But instead, we have spent 25 years in fruitless international negotiations, with little impact on global emissions.”
    So what will happen over the next 40 years? According to Randers, society will face ever more problems: depletion, pollution, climate change, inequity and social strife.
    “I assume these problems will finally be met with increasing investment in solutions, but not before the problems become intense, only afterwards when repair costs are unavoidable,” he said.
    Global growth will slow, but not fast enough to avoid a climate crisis mid-century. Similarly, the global population will peak and then slow. And while many developing economies will catch up with leading economies, many will not.

    New ways of thinking

    More positively, Randers believes there will be a shift toward less carbon-intensive energy sources over the next 40 years and this will accelerate as society becomes more concerned about climate change.
    To solve climate change, global society needs to shift investment flows from what is most profitable to what benefits society most in the long run.
    Sadly, Randers said, capitalism won’t do this. Capitalism is made to allocate money to what is profitable, not to what society needs. Furthermore, he said, democratic parliaments seem unable to pass the regulations that would align maximum profitability and societal interests. Democratic parliaments do what the voters want, and most voters are against solutions that require higher taxes, more expensive gasoline, or higher electricity prices in the short term.
    Without a change in attitudes and action, by the mid-21st century, an ever-growing share of a nation’s labor and capital will be used to repair climate damage and to access more expensive resources, handle pollution problems and provide security, he warned, and after-tax income for citizens will be lower.

    A route forward

    It is surprisingly easy to reduce emissions, all it takes is a shift of 1-2 percent of the labor force and invested capital
    Against this vision of the future, attendees were told that it was in their hands to make a change.
    How to ensure sustainable production was examined by Marty Matlock, of the University of Arkansas, who argued that the environmental impacts of increasing production must be addressed, and that reducing environmental impacts, improving economic well-being and creating more resilient communities will require a transparent, science-based, and outcomes-driven sustainability strategy for continuous improvement.
    The framework for a sustainability strategy that supports continuous improvements includes three primary stages: defining, measuring and implementing, he said.
    The define stage requires a definition of sustainability for the enterprise in question, defining key performance indicators (KPIs) that represent the enterprise’s important elements of sustainability, and selection of metrics for each.
    The definition of what sustainability means for the individual enterprise often is overlooked, and this is a mistake. Animal agriculture producers must clearly understand the scope of their sustainability strategy prior to its adoption and implementation.
    For animal agriculture producers, the definition of sustainability should contain four primary domains: community, economics, environment and animal welfare.

    Seeking agreement

    Developing the list of KPIs with stakeholders can result in increased trust and agreement across stakeholders – and this can increase the range of acceptable options. KPIs should meet the following criteria:
    • Science base
    • Outcomes driven
    • Technology neutral
    • Transparent
    KPIs often are categorized as efficiency or impact indicators. Efficiency indicators are those that improve a unit of production output per unit of input, such as kg of meat per kg of feed. Increasing efficiency indicators can have a double advantage: it increases sustainability but also reduces production costs.
    It should be remembered that KPIs are not the same as metrics, Matlock said. Metrics are the things we can measure, while KPIs are the things we care about. In most cases, we cannot measure KPIs, but we can measure some characteristics that inform the KPIs. For example, feed conversion efficiency is a very common KPI, with several metrics.
    Once the KPIs and metrics are identified and prioritized, the enterprise should start the measurement stage. This includes benchmarking each KPI, implementing a monitoring program to assess each metric and developing goals to improve each KPI. The benchmark metrics for each KPI must be publicly reported if the process is to be legitimate. Developing goals for each KPI is, perhaps, the most critical step in a continuous sustainability strategy. The goals will drive priorities in decisions across the enterprise.

    Getting things done

    The implementation stage of continuous improvement begins with the declaration of goals, as this is when performance timelines are started. Strategies should be properly detailed to ensure legitimacy.
    So long as the enterprise is achieving its strategic goals, the processes by which management accomplishes those goals should remain within the enterprise, giving the producer the authority to innovate and adapt processes without intervention. The alternative is that stakeholders dictate practices and procedures for the new enterprise, often based on ideological rather than scientific criteria.
    The definition of what sustainability means for the individual enterprise is often overlooked, and this a mistake.
    The status of each strategic goal should be reported annually, with a more in-depth report published every five years. The five-year report should include a multi-stakeholder initiative process for review of outcomes, processes and emerging concerns. Proposed adaptations to the strategic goals, including KPIs, metrics and implementation practices, should be described.
    This process should be an ongoing part of the enterprise’s continuous improvement strategy, and should be effective in expanding opportunities for prosperity in a rapidly changing world.

FSIS posts guide on new ready-to-cook poultry chilling rules

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

JBS Foods again delays IPO

  • JBS SA has been given regulatory approval to delay an initial public offering (IPO) of its JBS Foods unit, which produces value-added pork, poultry and food products. In delaying the IPO, JBS puts off its plan to raise BRL4 billion (US$1.61 billion) for a period that could stretch into 2015.
    JBS, a Brazil-based company, had been working with banks on the IPO, but opted to wait, wary that uncertainty from an upcoming presidential election may deter investors.
    The request to make JBS Foods a public company was removed from securities industry watchdog CVM's website, but the application to file for the IPO remained there.
    This marks the third time since June that JBS Foods has put the stock offering on hold.
    JBS Foods accounted for nearly 10 percent of JBS's $40 billion in revenue in 2014. JBS has stated that it intends to list JBS Foods on the São Paulo Stock Exchange's Novo Mercado.
    With an IPO, JBS had hoped to use the money raised to help pay down debt and make investments. Recent purchases made by JBS include Seara, Massa Leve and assets from Canada’s XL Foods. The company and its subsidiary Pilgrim’s also have a pending deal with Tyson Foods to purchase its and Brazilian and Mexican operations, known respectively as Tyson do Brasil and Tyson de Mexico. The acquisition of Tyson units is expected to be finalized before the end of 2014.

OIE: H5N6 avian influenza outbreaks in Vietnam resolved

Koch Foods expanding poultry plant in Gadsden, Alabama

Formaldehyde key to in-feed PEDv control

EuroTier 2014 to feature Eastern Europe and Central Asia series

Save Farm Families video highlights Hudson legal battle

NPPC urges Obama, Congress to fix COOL law

GAO report: FSIS must work harder to reduce pathogens in poultry

  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a recently released report, said the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) must set strict pathogen limits for poultry products with the highest contamination rates and find ways to measure a poultry plant’s success in meeting these new standards approved earlier in 2014. The GAO is an independent legislative-branch agency.
    The GAO report noted that after FSIS set a standard of 7.5 percent for Salmonella on whole chicken carcasses, contamination rates fell to the single digits. A pathogen standard establishes the level of a bacteria that can be found on a poultry product before it is declared unfit for commerce.
    Federal law does not prohibit the sale of poultry products that are contaminated with pathogens, so the department has pledged to set limits for Salmonella and Campylobacter.
    The GAO pointed out that the FSIS missed a September 30 deadline for setting Salmonella and Campylobacter limits for chicken and turkey parts as well as Campylobacter in ground turkey. It also missed a deadline for updating the rate of Salmonella allowed in ground poultry, which is currently more than 44 percent for both chicken and turkey.
    FSIS stated it finds merit with the GAO’s report and is working toward meeting its recommendations.
    “FSIS appreciates the GAO’s acknowledgment that FSIS is putting in place an ‘increasingly science-based, data-driven and risk-based approach’ to protecting public health. We agree with the report’s recommendations and will continue implementing them,” an agency spokesperson stated.

Monday, October 27, 2014

UK pork industry targets trade with Philippines

Pilgrim’s worker dies at plant in Mount Pleasant, Texas

Thailand pork plants cleared for export to Russia

Big Dutchman expanding US headquarters

Friday, October 24, 2014

Large hog feeding operation approved by Indiana county board

  • The zoning board in Jackson County, Indiana, has given approval for a new large hog feeding operation in a rural area of the county.
    The board on October 15 voted 4-0 to approve a confined feeding operation site north of the community of Crothersville in Southern Indiana. The facility would house about 4,000 hogs.
    The vote followed a public comment period, where many opponents of the operation expressed worries about odors, truck traffic and possible water contamination to wells and the nearby Muscatatuck River from stored manure. An estimated 100 people attended the meeting.
    One neighbor, Trina McLain, said she had health concerns about the hog facility being about a quarter of a mile mile from her home and that it would harm the quality of life for nearly 500 homes in the vicinity.
    However, farmer Kyle Broshears said the hog facility would be built as far as possible from the closest home in the area.
    His plans call for spending about $900,000 on the facility that would include an 81-by-417-foot building housing the hogs and a concrete pit that would hold about 1 million gallons of manure. The facility meets all the requirements set forth by the county.

Chicken Farmers of Ontario recruiting new leaders