Friday, October 30, 2015

Novozymes scales back full-year forecast

Novozymes, the Denmark-based world’s largest industrial enzymes maker, scaled back its full-year forecast after reporting third-quarter results in line with expectations.
Novozymes said its earnings before interest and tax were DKK1 billion ($151.9 million), compared with an average forecast of DKK971 million in a Reuters poll of analysts. It had revenue of DKK3.5 billion, as expected.
The company said it expected earnings before interest and tax in 2015 to grow at 15 percent, compared with a 15-17 percent range previously forecast. That would be on top of organic sales growth of 4-5 percent compared with a previous range of 4-7 percent.
Chief Financial Officer Benny Loft said the biofuels market had changed significantly in the past year due to a dramatic fall in oil prices, which brought down biofuel prices and put its producers’ margins under pressure. In response, Novozymes is launching new enzymes for the sector.
According to a report, analysts say Novozymes is losing market share in the segment. The company's biggest competitor in the ethanol segment is DuPont, which took over Denmark's Danisco and its cellulosic ethanol enzymes business in 2011.
This month, Novozymes announced that it had acquired Pacific Vet Group-USA Inc. (PVG) for an undisclosed amount. Based in Arkansas, PVG develops and produces probiotics for animals. The company has significant know-how in probiotic applications for poultry, strong development expertise, a pipeline for the poultry hatchery segment, and a smaller commercial product portfolio.

Vet strike threat brings fear of meat shortage in Israel

Poultry veterinarians in Israeli cities are threatening to go on strike October 26 in protest over changes to food safety inspections of meat and fish. Shortages could occur if the strike lasts more than 1 or 2 days and, already, there has been a jump in wholesale meat and fish prices, reports Haaretz.
The Ministry of Agriculture announced this week that a strike would reduce the number of poultry sent to slaughterhouses by about one-quarter, adding that processors were already working at full capacity in order to mitigate the effects of any strike on supplies.
At the heart of the dispute is the “Cornflakes Law,” which was passed to bring more competition to the country’s food industry. One of its clauses shifted responsibility for meat inspection from municipal veterinary authorities to local government. A new joint venture has been set up between the agriculture and health departments to oversee the handling of animal products, with the aim to reduce regulations and costs. Instead of taking place at municipal borders, inspections will be carried out at retail level in future by the veterinarians in the new service. This will allow meat processors to use their transport fleets more efficiently and to maintain the cool chain by ending the need for trucks to be opened for inspection at each municipality boundary.
“We want the products to be inspected, but at the end point and not in the middle of the process,” said Avshalom Dolev of the poultry wholesalers association, whose members account for about half of the country’s slaughterhouses. “We’re even ready to pay for the inspections, as is written in the law, and take responsibility for the products until they reach the grocery store.”
Veterinarians say that the new legislation does not advance reform. Furthermore, the government pays less than the municipalities and they will have to work longer and more flexible hours.

Argentina receives authorization to export eggs to US

Argentina’s National Health Service and Food Quality (Senasa) has been notified by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA of authorization to export eggs and egg products to the United States.
Senasa said this authorization is recognition of the high health status of the country’s poultry, which are free of avian influenza and Newcastle disease. The U.S. egg supply has been down due to the avian influenza outbreak.
So far in 2015, Argentina has exported 1,832 tons of shell eggs and egg products.
There are around 1,100 egg producers in Argentina, according to Arnaud Seyman of Global ITM Consulting Group. He was invited by Bretagne Commerce International of France recently to describe the current agricultural situation in Argentina, according to a report in the French poultry magazine, Filières Avicoles.
Latest data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s statistics agency, FAOSTAT, reveal that in 2013, Argentina produced almost 10.37 billion or 539,180 metric tons of eggs in shell. In 2012, exports amounted to 538 metric tons of eggs in shell and 3,784 metric tons of dried egg products.

Bachoco net income drops 30 percent in third quarter

Mexican poultry company Bachoco posted a net income of MXN 786.3 million (US$46.8 million) during the third quarter of fiscal year 2015, more than a 30 percent decline from the MXN1.124 billion posted during the same period of fiscal year 2014.
The quarter ended on September 30.
While the net income is down for the third quarter, it is up for the first nine months of the year. The company recorded a net income of MXN3.45 billion for the period during 2015, an improvement from the MXN2.87 billion recorded during the same period of fiscal year 2014.

Bachoco sales up in Mexico, US

The company’s net sales increased during the third quarter, growing from MXN10.6 billion to MXN11.3 billion on a year-over-year basis.
Most of those sales increases were in the U.S., where Bachoco operates the subsidiary O.K. Industries. Sales in the U.S. increased by 30.4 percent, whereas sales in Mexico increased by a mere 0.8 percent.

Commentary from Bachoco’s CEO

Reflecting on the performance of the company during the third quarter, Rodolfo Ramos Arvizu, Bachoco’s CEO, commented: “For Bachoco, this third quarter behaved as, what we can call, a typical third quarter for a year, which seasonally used to be a weak one. The comparison with [the third quarter of 2014] is difficult, as last year did not present this behavior.
“In general, even when we observed a good level of demand in the Mexican markets during the quarter, we also saw a stronger supply in our main product lines. At the same time, there was a strong supply in our U.S. markets, where leg quarter prices were affected due to weaker exports.

Tyson Foods increases wages at poultry plants

Tyson Foods is increasing hourly pay at most of its U.S. chicken plants, company officials announced on October 23. The decision was made in hopes of boosting employee recruiting and retention.
The move, effective November 1, affects hourly production, maintenance and refrigeration workers at 51 of the company’s chicken plants. This includes raising the starting pay for production workers at almost 40 plants to at least $10 an hour. The starting rate at some facilities had previously been in the $8 to $9 range.
This change in the starting rate, along with other increases of varying amounts for experienced production, maintenance and refrigeration workers, means the average hourly pay for those who have been on the job for more than a year will be more than $12 an hour. Top hourly production pay in Tyson Foods’ chicken operations exceeds $16 an hour.
Maintenance and refrigeration workers at the 51 chicken plants will also experience increases of varying amounts. As a result, top pay for some maintenance jobs will reach $23 an hour while the highest pay for certain refrigeration jobs will be $26 an hour.
“We’re increasing pay to remain competitive in the labor markets where we operate and to retain the quality team members we need to keep running successfully,” said Noel White, president of Tyson Foods’ poultry business. “We believe we have the best team in the chicken business and we want to keep it that way.”
Tyson Foods’ compensation department frequently coordinates third-party wage surveys and job market research in the areas where it has facilities. “We offer the highest-paying entry level jobs in many of our plant communities and pay more than most companies in the chicken business,” White said.
In addition to competitive pay, Tyson Foods offers affordable health, life, dental, vision, and prescription drug benefits to its team members and their families, the company stated.
Nearly half of Tyson Foods’ team members in the chicken business have been with the company for five years or more and almost one-quarter of them have been with the company for 20 years or more.

Antibiotics strategies must target resistance, not use

The objective of any antibiotic strategies should be to reduce resistance to antibiotics and not their use, the International Federation of Animal Health (IFAH), including IFAH-Europe, reiterated at the conference Farmers and veterinarians together to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
Conference attendees called for policies regarding antibiotics use to be based soundly on science and for the focus to be on responsible use, with care taken to ensure that any restrictions on antibiotics in veterinary medicines do not adversely impact animal health and welfare.

As and when needed

In September, following the publication the European Commission’s Guidelines for the prudent use of antimicrobials, IFAH-Europe, while welcoming the publication, noted that the goal of responsible antibiotic use is to come to a use of antimicrobials “as little as possible, as often as necessary,” and that this does not automatically equate to a reduction of use in all situations.
Some national targets have shown that simple reduction targets can lead to antimicrobials being used incorrectly, a risk highlighted by the guidelines, notes the association, pointing to prescribed courses not being completed and lower dosages than prescribed to keep records low.

Counter-productive strategies

This could be counter-productive to the real objective of reducing antimicrobial resistance development, which involves correct use and the elimination of unnecessary use.
Experience with introducing firm, or political, reduction targets shows that initially the use of antimicrobials decreases, but often rises again due to unacceptable animal health and welfare issues because of changes in disease conditions which necessitate proper use on medical and ethical grounds.

Sysco honors top poultry, pork suppliers

Sanderson Farms, Mountaire Farms, Tyson Foods and Clemens Food Group were among the companies receiving top honors recently as part of the annual Sysco Supplier Excellence Awards program.
Sysco Corporation is a global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home.
Poultry company Mountaire Farms was presented with the Emerging Supplier Award. The company was honored for making dramatic changes it its partnership with Sysco to significantly increase volume and have a positive impact on customers.
Sysco also presented gold, silver and bronze winners in various categories.
Sanderson Farms won the gold award in the poultry category. Mar-Jac was the silver winner, while Mountaire Farms, Butterball and Renaissance Man were recipients of bronze awards.
In the pork category, Clemens Food Group earned the gold award, Fresh Mark Inc. earned the silver, and bronze awards were given to Smithfield Foods, Hormel Foods, Nathans Famous, JBS and Tyson Foodservice earned bronze awards.
Tyson Foods won the gold award in the beef category, with Cargill earning the silver award. JBS, John Soules, American Food Group, Lower Foods and Dan’s Prize earned bronze awards.
Tom Bené, executive vice president and president of foodservice operations at Sysco, stated:"We appreciate the commitment from our suppliers across the numerous product categories in doing their part to help our customers succeed and to help us be our customers' most trusted and valued business partner. We are fortunate to have such exceptional partners who understand what it takes to ultimately delight diners across the footprint that Sysco serves."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

CDC: Barber Foods Salmonella outbreak appears to be over

A Salmonella outbreak traced to chicken products from Barber Foods "appears to be over,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced.
A total of 15 people became ill with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis in seven states. Four of those people were hospitalized, but there were no deaths.
The company had issued a recall on July 2 on raw stuffed chicken products, and expanded that recall less than two weeks later.
The chicken product subjected to the recall was: 2-lb. 4-oz. cardboard box containing 6 individually pouched pieces of “BARBER FOODS PREMIUM ENTREES BREADED-BONELESS RAW STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH RIB MEAT KIEV” with use by/sell by date of April 28, 2016, May 20, 2016 and July 21, 2016 and Lot Code number 0950292102, 0950512101, or 0951132202. They were produced between February 17 and May 20.
While CDC states the Salmonella outbreak appears to be over, it cautioned that the chicken product could be in people’s freezers and if someone who was unaware of the recall ate the product, an illness could still occur.
The products subjected to the recall bear the establishment number “P-276” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were shipped to retail locations nationwide and Canada.  

Koch Foods expanding Mississippi poultry plants

Koch Foods is expanding operations at its poultry processing facilities in the Mississippi communities of Forest and Morton.
The expansions represent corporate investments of approximately $2 million and $33 million, respectively, and will create a total of 203 jobs – 23 at the Forest location and 180 at the Morton location. Koch Foods currently employs approximately 3,200 in Scott County.
For the expansion, Koch Foods has renovated the Forest facility and is in the process of constructing additions totaling 32,000 square feet at the Morton location.
“I appreciate the team at Koch Foods for choosing to expand its operations in Forest and Morton and for creating hundreds of new jobs for the area’s workforce,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Mississippi strives to provide a business environment that fosters growth and longevity, and Koch Foods’ decision to further invest in these two locations reinforces that fact. I look forward to the company’s continued growth.”
“As a corporate citizen of Scott County, we are pleased to show our commitment to the growth and prosperity of both our company and our communities. Koch is very pleased to be a part of Scott County and Mississippi, and will continue our pursuit of excellence here in the years to come,” said Koch Foods COO Mark Kaminsky.
Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance in support of the project for road improvements. The City of Forest, the City of Morton and Scott County provided assistance, as well.

Brazil poultry, pig farmers face record production costs

Average production costs for both chicken meat and pork in Brazil for the month of September broke previous records with each exceeding an index of 190, according to figures published by CIAS, the Central Intelligence Poultry and Swine agency. The basal index of 100 points was established in January 2005 for pigs and in January 2010 for poultry.
CIAS is part of the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária or the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa).
The broiler index (ICPFrango) reached almost 192.0 points in September, an increase of 7.1 percent from the previous month and 9.6 percent for the year so far. Over the last 12 months, the costs have shown variation of 21.0 percent.
The index peaked even higher last month for pigs (ICPSuíno) at 195.0 points. That is 4.4 percent higher than in August and 11.2 percent above the start of 2015.
The report does not speculate on the causes of these increased costs but the Brazilian real lost around one-third of its value against the U.S. dollar over the first nine months of this year, according to figures presented by Hamish Smith of Capital Economic at the Grain Market Outlook Conference 2015 held in London, U.K. last week.

Brazilian pork exports

Brazilian pig meat exports were 52,571 tons in September, 19.2 percent more than in the same month of 2014, according to the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA). This brought revenues to the value of US$121.6 million, which is 23 percent less than September 2014. For the year to date, the exported volume is up by 6.2 percent to 393,400 tons, representing a fall in value of 17.5 percent at US$948.2 million. Russia remains the leading destination of Brazilian pig meat exports, accounting for 48 percent of the total volume exported during September 2015.

Brazilian broiler exports

For chicken meat, the principal importers from Brazil maintained positive levels in September shipments and avoided a sharp drop on the strike of agricultural federal tax, according to the ABPA. Brazilian chicken exports in September were down just 0.5 percent in volume from a year ago at 366,400 tons.Revenue was 18.9 percent lower at US$592 million. For the year so far, Brazilian chicken meat exports are 4.8 percent higher than last year at 3.186 million metric tons, with a value 9.1 percent lower at US$5.4 billion. Saudi Arabia is Brazil’s leading export market for chicken meat.
For 2015, exports are expected to be around 3 percent higher than the previous year, according to ABPA Poultry Vice President Ricardo Santin.

Brazil’s poultry production costs reach record high

The cost of poultry production in Brazil reached a record high in September, according to CIAS, a division of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Organization, Embrapa. For the first time since its creation, the ICPFrango index exceeded 190 points.
For the month of September the ICPFrango index registered 191.97 points, almost double the 2010 reference of 100, and continuing the upward trend seen throughout this year.
CIAS notes that the index for the month was 7.11 percent higher than for August, and has risen by 9.62 percent so far this year. Over the last 12 months, the ICPFrango index has increased by 21.02 percent.
Over the last year, almost all of the input costs used to calculate the index have risen. The highest costs have been recorded for feed, up by 16.7 percent, followed by day old chick prices, which are 2.36 percent higher than 12 months ago. Labor and health costs, however, have fallen over the period.
There may, however, be some relief in sight for Brazil’s poultry producers as, while feed, which accounted for almost 68 percent of costs, and equipment prices continued to rise in September, all other input costs used to compile the index were either stable or fell. Additionally, demand for poultry meat is expected to remain strong.
A similar situation has occurred in pig production, with the sector also recording record high production costs during September and over the last 12 months. However, the increase in input costs, while still in double, figures, has not been as high as for poultry producers.

Yum! Brands to split into two publicly traded companies

Yum! Brands, the parent company of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurant chains, intends to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies, each with distinct strategies and investment characteristics.
The transaction will create two companies, each with a separate strategic focus: Yum! Brands and Yum! China.
According to a news release from the company, as an independent company, Yum! China will have a strong, predominantly Chinese leadership team and compelling growth profile in one of the world’s fastest-growing restaurant markets. The China business delivered annual revenue of $6.9 billion in 2014, and has a substantial free cash flow, with no significant debt, allowing it to focus and capitalize on the unparalleled growth opportunities ahead of it.
Yum! is already the leading restaurant developer in China, with approximately 6,900 restaurants in over 1,000 cities. China’s consuming class is expected to double from 300 million in 2012 to more than 600 million people by 2020, providing a strong tailwind to the growth of Yum! China. The business remains on pace to open about 700 new locations in 2015 and is targeting expansion to over 20,000 restaurants in China in the future.
Completion of the transaction will be subject to certain conditions, including, among others, receiving final approval from the Yum! Brands’ Board of Directors, receipt of various regulatory approvals, receipt of an opinion of counsel with respect to certain tax matters, the effectiveness of filings related to public listing and applicable securities laws, and other terms and conditions as may be determined by the board.

Agreement protects pork trade between US, EU

Pig meat trade between the United States and the European Union has been protected following a new agreement over animal health controls in operation in Europe.
The European Commission has welcomed the recent move by the U.S. to recognize its animal health regionalization system, which was put in place to contain the spread of African swine fever (ASF). With trade in pork products between the EU and the U.S. valued at around EUR335 million (US$380 million) in 2014, the announcement by the U.S. will help to avoid trade disruptions in the event of an outbreak of a disease.
"This significant move reflects the confidence of the United States, one of our major trading partners, in our robust system to control animal diseases,” said Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety. “It comes at a time when pig farmers across the EU face particular difficulties. It is of crucial importance that unjustified restrictions on imports of European pork are lifted."
In the U.S. Federal Register notice, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recognizes any EU region that the EU or any EU Member State has placed under restriction because of ASF. In so doing, APHIS recognizes the EU as a single entity with a single animal health legislation, veterinary oversight and disease control programs. The significance of this notice is that, rather than carrying out its own assessment, the U.S. will accept EU decisions regarding regions affected by ASF.

Eastern Europe and Zimbabwe report new ASF outbreaks

New outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) have been reported in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia and Zimbabwe.
While Poland has had no new cases of ASF since August 2015, outbreaks have been reported in other EU member states over the last month.
The Veterinary and Food Board in Tallinn has reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) a total of 93 outbreaks of the disease in Estonia since mid-September. All but one of the outbreaks were in wild boar, affecting 111 animals in total, all of which were found dead. In one farm outbreak in Vöru in the south-east of the country in September, two domestic pigs died and the remaining 102 were destroyed.
Latvia has been regularly reporting new ASF findings in wild boar in the north and east of the country, with 81 new cases reported over the last month. All of the cases – 90 in total - were in areas already known to be infected with ASF.
There have been 13 outbreaks in Lithuania, according to the national veterinary authority, affecting 14 wild boar in the north and east of the country and a single domestic pig in Vilnius county.
Moving beyond the European Union, Ukraine has recently reported its first cases of ASF in domestic swine: 4 village pigs died at 2 locations in Burynsky in the second week of October. Like all the previous outbreaks, these cases are in Sumi oblast, which is in the north of the country and borders Russia.
In September, the federal veterinary service in Russia reported 2 new outbreaks of ASF to the OIE, both in the west of the country. The disease led to the death or destruction of all 29 animals in a village herd in Vladimir oblast and 6 wild boar in a herd of around 100 animals in Ryazan oblast.

ASF outbreaks continue in Zimbabwe

A new report to the OIE details one outbreak in late August in a group of 203 free-ranging village pigs in Mashonaland Central, with 185 animals showing signs of the disease, which was later confirmed. All 7 previously reported outbreaks since July of 2015 have been in the Dande valley area of the province, which is in the north-east of the country and borders Mozambique. The infected area has been placed under quarantine and movement of pigs and pig products out of the area is prohibited, while awareness campaigns are on-going for local people.

Classical swine fever returns to Russia

In the last month, Russia has reported 2 outbreaks of classical swine fever (CSF) in domestic pigs in Primorsky krai in the south-east of the country. The first was in a backyard herd of 5 animals, and this was followed by more cases in 24 village pigs at a different location in the same region.
Latvia continues to report on CSF to the OIE but no cases have been seen there since March of 2015. Vaccination has been taking place since 2013.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Avian influenza control to be stepped up in Africa

Initiatives to control highly pathogenic avian influenza in West Africa are to be stepped up following a grant of $87 million by The United States Agency for International Development to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s animal disease control programs.
The new funding will support animal disease prevention and control work across Asia, Africa and the Middle East and, in West Africa, it will be used to boost prevention and emergency response efforts to stem the spread of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza.
The FAO’s work in the region is aimed at eliminating the disease in the poultry sector, and building the capacity of animal health authorities and poultry producers to avoid future recurrences of the disease and economic losses.
The first incursion of H5N1 in West Africa occurred in 2006, but it was successfully eliminated within three years.
In late 2014, however, the avian influenza was reintroduced in Nigeria, where it has since spread rapidly to Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger with more than 2.5 million birds culled or dead from the virus.
With outbreaks recently detected in Ghana, FAO is concerned that, without a region-spanning effort to contain and stamp it out, H5N1 could expand to other countries in the region.
The funding will also be used to tackle other diseases with human health implications, including ebola and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, for which studies will be conducted to better understand any link that livestock may have in transmitting the diseases to humans.

County gets $1.1 million for roads near Wayne Farms mill

The State of Alabama has awarded a $1.1 million grant to Dale County to make road improvements for access to the Wayne Farms feed mill that is being built in the county.
According to a Southeast Sun report, The Alabama Department of Transportation’s Industrial Access Committee awarded the grant to the county, which is to be used for access and turning lane upgrades at County Road 18’s intersections at the U.S. 231 and Alabama 123 highways. Dale County Commission Chairman said that upgrades to those roads are required for the expected 200 to 300 trucks that will travel daily to the feed mill.
Wayne Farms broke ground on the new feed mill, which will be located near the Alabama community of Ozark in August, with plans for construction of the mill to be completed by the beginning of 2017.
The new feed mill has been designed to handle Wayne Farms’ expanding business needs, in light of its 42,000 square-foot Wayne Farms fresh processing facility’s expansion in Dothan, Alabama.
When fully operational, the feed mill is expected to have a weekly output of 25,

Subway switching to antibiotic-free poultry, pork, beef

Sandwich restaurant chain Subway revealed that it intends to stop serving meat and poultry from animals that have been raised with the use of any antibiotics at all of its restaurants in the United States. The antibiotic-free policy was announced on October 20.
Under the new policy, the restaurant chain confirmed that it will transition to only serving chicken raised with no antibiotics of any kind in early 2016, departing from a statement made earlier in 2015 that the company would switch to serving chicken from birds raised without the use of antibiotics deemed important in human medicine. The chain also announced it would start serving turkey raised without antibiotics in 2016 and completely transition to turkey raised without antibiotics within 2-3 years.
All beef and pork served in the restaurant chain will be antibiotic-free by 2025.
 “Today’s consumer is ever more mindful of what they are eating, and we’ve been making changes to address what they are looking for,” said Dennis Clabby, executive vice president of Subway’s Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC). “A change like this will take some time, particularly since the supply of beef raised without antibiotics in the U.S. is extremely limited and cattle take significantly longer to raise. But, we are working diligently with our suppliers to make it happen.”
“Given the size and scope of the Subway brand, this commitment is the largest of its kind in the restaurant industry,” added Clabby. “We hope that this commitment will encourage other companies in our industry to follow our lead, and that, together, this will drive suppliers to move faster to make these important changes for consumers.”
Subway, headquartered in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has more than 27,000 restaurants in the United States.
The announcement comes just one month after Subway received a failing grade on its antibiotics policy in the report, Chain Reaction: How Top Restaurants Tate on Reducing Use of Antibiotics in Their Meat Supply. The reportwas prepared by a coalition of groups, including Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumers Union, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Keep Antibiotics Working and Center for Food Safety.

Kraft Heinz ordered to honor contract for turkey sales

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered the Kraft Heinz Food Company to provide meat processor Mrs. Ressler’s Food Products with 36,000 pounds of fresh turkey breast meat twice a week for the remainder of the 2015 contract earlier signed by the two companies.
Kraft Heniz had notified Mrs. Resslers that it had to reduce its sales of turkey breast because of shortages brought on by the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, reported the Post-Gazette. However, Mrs. Resslers argued that Kraft Heinz was using avian influenza as an excuse to not honor its contract.
Court documents state that Mrs. Ressler’s and Kraft entered a contract in late 2014 that stated Kraft would provide more than 4 million pounds of turkey breast meat throughout 2015. The deal was reached before Kraft was purchased by H.J. Heinz and the Kraft Heinz Food Company was formed.
In May, according to court documents, Kraft asked Mrs. Ressler’s if it would consider selling back some of the raw turkey breast, but company officials refused. Later that month, Kraft notified H&H Trading, the company that had brokered the deal, that it was reducing its delivery of turkey breast because of the avian influenza situation.
The complaint stated that Kraft promised to make up the deliveries at a later date. However, in September, Kraft Heinz told H&H that it would be suspending all sales of breast meat indefinitely, court papers said.
Mrs. Ressler’s contended it had to notify customers that it couldn’t supply them with finished turkey products, and without that supply from Kraft Heinz, Mrs. Ressler’s could face as much as a 25 percent loss of business. Mrs. Ressler’s also had to discontinue at least six lines of turkey products, court documents stated.
The ruling was made by Common Pleas Judge Patricia A. McInerney.

IFIF’s new chairman positive but realistic about future

As Joel G. Newman settles into his new position as chairman of the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF), he is setting his sights on building partnerships and strengthening IFIF’s role.
“I want to continue the positive momentum that is recognizable within IFIF as the membership works together on behalf of the global feed industry,” Newman told WATT Global Media in an email.
The IFIF elected Newman, president and CEO of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), as its new chairman for 2016-17 at IFIF’s 28th annual general assembly held on October 13.
He said he has three main objectives for 2015-16: building on the partnership already in place between IFIF and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); ensuring continual growth in global membership while providing meaningful opportunities for those members to be actively involved in the organization; and strengthening IFIF’s voice on vital issues affecting the industry.
But, Newman said that he realizes that, like any industry, the feed industry faces hurdles.
“However, how we face the hurdle is what matters,” he said. “Being a member of IFIF affords the opportunity to prepare for challenges as a united front and working together utilizing expertise from across the globe. Be it the long-term challenge of potential food insecurity due to growing demand and population or the daily challenge of answering questions from consumers, companies are stronger because of their commitment to IFIF.”

FDA focuses on FSMA Phase 2 implementation

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) focused on implementation of Phase 2 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) at its public meeting in Chicago on October 20.
According to Roberta Wagner, associate director for FSMA operations, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA, FSMA is being implemented in three phases:
  • Phase 1: Setting standards by developing regulations and policy.
  • Phase 2: Designing strategies to promote and oversee industry compliance by identifying performance metrics to measure success.
  • Phase 3: Transitioning strategies and performance metrics from design to operation and evaluating their success.
To implement Phase 2, which is the next step in the process, FSMA workgroups were established by the FDA’s food and veterinary medicine executive council. Those workgroups are charged with developing the framework and multi-year implementation plan for ensuring compliance.
“We’ve set ourselves up so we are not operating in silos within the agency,” Wagner said.
Guiding Phase 2 FSMA implementation is a Program Alignment Initiative that relies on several factors to result in successful FSMA implementation:
  • Vertically integrated, commodity-based programs
  • Specialization of inspection and compliance staff and regulatory labs
  • Clear, current and consistently applied policy
  • Streamlined decision-making
  • Risk-based allocation of program resources
  • Agreed-upon performance and public health metrics

Key implementation principles

Joann Givens, food and feed program director for the FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs, explained that Phase 2 implementation relied on several key principles. Those are:
  • Industry education, outreach and technical assistance: This can be achieved by facilitating industry compliance with prevention-oriented standards through guidance documents, tools and resources for education, alliances with stakeholders, and technical assistance networks.
  • Regulator training: Stringent training will promote uniform, quality inspections, which will result in consistent decision-making by regulators.
  • Inspections: Systems-based inspections, as opposed to observation-focused ones, will be interactive and cooperative.  
  • Compliance and enforcement: The development and implementation of explicit inspection and enforcement strategies will facilitate consistent decision-making by regulators. The FDA also will encourage the industry to comply with regulations and make corrections on its own. The agency says it realizes that not all observations are equal relative to risk and the potential for public health impact and that it is aiming for a dynamic regulatory strategy.
  • Accountability and stakeholder engagement: The FDA is looking to develop meaningful public health and performance metrics to measure the success of FSMA implementation. It says it recognizes the role of the marketplace in influencing and expanding industry compliance with FSMA rules and therefore plans to work closely with industry, government agencies, academia, other key stakeholders and partners.

Poultry production in Barbados on road to recovery

Barbados looks likely to produce record numbers of poultry in 2015, according to James Paul, the CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS). He asserted to the association’s Annual General Assembly recently that the industry is on the rebound. For the first time, a million broiler chicks were placed in a single month and output has been rising throughout the last year, he said, according to a report from the Barbados Advocate.
Despite the strong performance, the industry remains concerned about imports – not only as a threat of cheaper competition but also because of the employment opportunities that the sector can offer to young Barbadians. The Sandals hotels group recently committed to purchasing local produce, and Paul called on others in the tourism sector to follow their example.
Data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Statistics Division, FAOSTAT indicate that Barbadian chicken meat production in 2013 – the most recent year for which statistics are available - was unchanged from the previous year at 15,354 metric tons. The most recent trade data – for 2012 – show the country does not participate in significant trade in chicken meat, importing just 39 metric tons and exporting 49 metric tons. For comparison, in 2000, 2,900 metric tons of chicken were imported into Barbados but the volumes have since followed a declining trend.
“I am therefore saying if they can do it, why can’t all of our existing local hoteliers demonstrate a concerted effort to work with the sector to increase their purchases of locally produced agricultural products? If there was ever a time that this is needed it is now because the economic challenges that we face demand it,” Paul said. “It would afford us the opportunity to maximise our tourism earnings by encouraging more expenditure on locally produced items.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

China broiler companies report losses for third quarter

China’s broiler industry was still faced with deep loss in the third quarter of 2015. Two of the country's biggest broiler companies-Yisheng and Shandong Minhe-recently released their achievement announcements of the past three quarters, respectively.
On October 14, Yisheng Livestock & Poultry Breeding Co. Ltd. released its revised achievement announcement of the first three quarters of 2015. The company forecasted a loss ranging from US$44.12 million to US$43.34 million in the first nine months. According to Yisheng, the prices of parent broiler breeders and commercial broiler breeders were stuck in the downturn. Since September in particular, the prices of commercial broiler breeders continued to decline.
On the following morning, Shandong Minhe Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd. released the revised achievement announcement of the past three quarters. As per the announcement, the achievement of the company registered a decrease in the range of US$33.10 million to US$34.67 million in the first three quarters of 2015. The company announced that, the sale prices of main products saw a significant decrease, resulting in big losses. Due to the price decline, the company was expected to make provision for the asset impairment of related inventories, and thus announced the performance correction.

Smithfield pork plant evacuated because of faulty roof

A Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina was evacuated on October 19 because of safety concerns with the facility’s roof and ceiling.
WWAY reported that about 2,000 workers from the plant were evacuated around 10 a.m., after part of the ceiling dropped several feet.
Kathleen Kirkham, Smithfield Foods’ director of corporate communications, released the following statement concerning the situation at the Tar Heel plant: “Smithfield Foods is working to fix a problem with the roof at the company’s Tar Heel facility. Our main concern is for the safety of our employees, and all employees have been sent home. The company plans to mitigate the impact of production losses by adding shifts at other plants.”
The plant had reportedly been evacuated in June 2014 after an ammonia leak had been detected.  Earlier that same year, Smithfield suspended slaughter at its largest pork processing facility in Tar Heel because the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus had limited the available supply of pigs to be processed.
Smithfield Foods is a subsidiary of Chinese company WH Group, which is the largest pig producer and pork processor in the world. WH Group finalized its purchase of Smithfield in 2013.

Poultry production in Barbados on road to recovery

Barbados looks likely to produce record numbers of poultry in 2015, according to James Paul, the CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS). He asserted to the association’s Annual General Assembly recently that the industry is on the rebound. For the first time, a million broiler chicks were placed in a single month and output has been rising throughout the last year, he said, according to a report from the Barbados Advocate.
Despite the strong performance, the industry remains concerned about imports – not only as a threat of cheaper competition but also because of the employment opportunities that the sector can offer to young Barbadians. The Sandals hotels group recently committed to purchasing local produce, and Paul called on others in the tourism sector to follow their example.
Data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Statistics Division, FAOSTAT indicate that Barbadian chicken meat production in 2013 – the most recent year for which statistics are available - was unchanged from the previous year at 15,354 metric tons. The most recent trade data – for 2012 – show the country does not participate in significant trade in chicken meat, importing just 39 metric tons and exporting 49 metric tons. For comparison, in 2000, 2,900 metric tons of chicken were imported into Barbados but the volumes have since followed a declining trend.
“I am therefore saying if they can do it, why can’t all of our existing local hoteliers demonstrate a concerted effort to work with the sector to increase their purchases of locally produced agricultural products? If there was ever a time that this is needed it is now because the economic challenges that we face demand it,” Paul said. “It would afford us the opportunity to maximise our tourism earnings by encouraging more expenditure on locally produced items.”

Rabobank: Exchange rates hurting global pork market

The global pork market will continue its slow recovery in the fourth quarter of 2015, analysts with Rabobank say. The adverse exchange rates are driving the limited growth.
The exchange rates resulted in a clearly visible mismatch between supply and demand across the globe, with elevated price levels in one group of countries and stable/pressured prices in the other countries, according to the Rabobank Global Pork Quarterly Q4 report.
The recovery of the global market in the second quarter contracted unexpectedly in July, followed by a slow recovery in the months thereafter. Depreciating currencies in main import markets pushed up prices of imported pork, which hampered import growth in the first part of the third quarter, according to Rabobank. This was largely compensated by rising Chinese imports in the second part of the quarter. Combined with the decline in domestic production in some countries, rising pork prices resulted.
"The global pork market shows a clear mismatch between supply and demand across the globe, with elevated price levels in one group of countries and stable/pressured prices in the other countries," said Rabobank Animal Protein analyst Albert Vernooij.
Supply growth in the main exporting regions (the US, EU and, to a lesser extent, Canada) was not able to reach the demanding markets in Asia. As a result, the Rabobank five-nation hog price index declined into Q3, followed by some recovery towards the end of the quarter.
The global pork market will slowly improve around the end of 2015 and into 2016, Vernooij said. Trade is expected to continue to rise, but exchange rate developments will impact both the volumes and returns in key export markets.
Beyond that, the main question concerning the world pork industry is how large the growth of pork production will be in importing countries and how this will impact global pork trade.

New hatchery in Japan will feature "Smart" equipment

Amuse Inc. has commissioned Pas Reform’s SmartPro single-stage incubation technologies for its brand new 5mio layer hatchery near Myakazi, on the island of Kyushu in Japan.
With a total capacity of 12mio hatching eggs per year, the new facility, will incorporate eight SmartSetPro 4 setters, eight SmartSetPro™ 2 setters and 12 SmartHatchPro hatchers. The first “Smart Hatchery” to be commissioned in Japan will be equipped with Adaptive Metabolic Feedback to automatically adjust incubation programs to the time-sensitive needs of the growing layer chick embryos and Energy Saving Modules to reduce the hatchery’s energy consumption.
Amuse Inc.’s new hatchery will also be the first in Japan to commission Pas Reform’s advanced SmartCenterPro hatchery information system: a web-based “Internet of Things” approach to monitoring, managing and capturing data at every level of operations, from incubation and climate control to hatchery automation systems.
Pas Reform is further supporting the development of the new hatchery with engineering and technical services, including the installation of ventilation systems.
Henk Markhorst, Pas Reform’s commercial director in Asia, says the project is the realization of a long-term plan passed from father to sons. “Through generations of the Akagi family, there have always been great care and precision in planning and creating a business of quality and substance, one step at a time,” he says.
Markhorst continues, “Having met Mr. Norimoto and Yasuo Akagi some years ago, the commitment that they made to building a single-stage hatchery with Pas Reform is now being realized – and we look forward to responding with the same level of commitment to the success of the Amuse layer hatchery.”

South Africa has failed to meet deadline for resuming poultry imports

U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Tom Carper, D-Del., and Chris Coons, D-Del., have expressed concern after South Africa missed an Oct. 15 deadline to finalize parts of the U.S.-South Africa agreement reached in Paris earlier this year. They urged South Africa to act immediately to allow U.S. poultry exports to South Africa to resume.
A settlement was reached in the longstanding poultry dispute between the United States and South Africa on June 8, during negotiations in Paris led by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the Department of State, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard and trade experts from the industry. The agreement was welcome news for the entire U.S. poultry industry, including the large poultry operations in the senators’ home states of Georgia and Delaware.
Since the settlement was reached, South Africa has been slow to fulfill the obligations agreed to in Paris, hindering the successful implementation of the agreement. Last month, Senators Isakson and Coons, both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on the South African President to act quickly to address the unresolved issues in the agreement. According to the Paris agreement, by Oct. 15, 2015, South Africa should have issued both a trade protocol for avian influenza and a health certificate for U.S. poultry. Despite assurances by high-ranking South African officials, they have not met the set deadline. The U.S. has insisted that South Africa follow World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines to use a regional approach for avian influenza, but South Africa continues to resist that approach. Differences also remain on the health certificate.
“We are concerned that South Africa has not followed through on its promise to address key issues by October 15, preventing full implementation of the deal,” said the senators. “South Africa failed to finalize both the trade protocol and health certificate for U.S. poultry despite the Administration’s intense engagement with South Africa over the past year to resolve these issues. We believe this inaction must be factored into the out-of-cycle review of South Africa's AGOA eligibility and urge the Administration to take appropriate action. South Africa must take the necessary steps to resolve outstanding barriers to U.S. poultry immediately if its AGOA benefits are to be preserved. Hardworking poultry farmers in our home states and across the country should not have to wait any longer to participate in the South African market.”
The senators have pressured the South African government for more than a year to end the antidumping duties on U.S. poultry. Most recently, the African Growth and Opportunity Act included language introduced by Isakson and co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Mark Warner, D-Va., that would put pressure on South Africa to remove unfair limits on American poultry imports. The bipartisan amendment would require the USTR to conduct an out-of-cycle review of South Africa’s trade practices, specifically antidumping duties on U.S. poultry. The senators look forward to seeing South Africa resolve this issue so they can focus on other important areas of collaboration.
Isakson and Coons are the co-chairs of the Senate Chicken Caucus, of which Carper is a member. Both of their states have large poultry industries and are major exporters of poultry. The poultry industry annually contributes over $15.1 billion to the Georgia economy, including farmers, processing, and allied industries. Delaware’s poultry industry supports more than 14,000 jobs and contributes more than $4.6 billion to the state’s economy, according to the National Chicken Council.

Hospitals urged to serve antibiotic-free meat, poultry

Scientists from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) are urging hospitals to stop serving meat and poultry from animals raised with antibiotics.
Pointing to a possible link between human antibiotic resistance and the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, the UCSF scientists wrote a letter that was recently published in the American Journal of Public Health. Michael Martin, MD, assistant clinical professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF was the lead author of the piece that was co-written by UCSF colleagues Sapna E. Thottathil, PhD, and Thomas B. Newman, MD.
“Hospitals have a moral responsibility to serve the community and patients,” said Martin.
The letter was published just days after the authors’ own governor the nation’s strictest law concerning antibiotics in animal agriculture. Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 27, which calls for an end to antibiotic growth promoters in livestock and poultry. It also requires that medically important antibiotics only be administered when ordered by a veterinarian. The provisions of the law will take effect at the first of 2018.
Many meat and poultry producers based in California had already been active in antibiotic-free production. For example, Foster Farms in 2015 launched the Foster Farms Organic and Foster Farms Simply Raised antibiotic-free chicken. Its first antibiotic-free turkey product, Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey, was introduced in July.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Romanian Cobb seminar strengthens business ties

More than 100 poultry specialists from Romania and the Republic of Moldova took part in a technical seminar organized by Cobb Germany and the Cobb team in Romania at the Palace Hotel in Sinaia.    
“The main purpose was exchanging new ideas, information and technical updates on the Cobb500 family of products, and also strengthening business relationships between the participant specialists,” said James Truscott, director of Cobb Germany.
“The presentations covered the latest information in hatchery technology, breeding and broiler farming and also the development of the global poultry market to provide good quality, safe products to help meet future food needs,” Truscott added. “We looked at how Cobb Germany manages to fulfill these needs through its organization and diversified agricultural activities. We also dealt with veterinary aspects of broiler and breeding farming to maintain high standards of biosecurity and animal welfare.”
The technical presentations were given by international specialists James Truscott, Ron Meijerhof and Gheorghe Ciripoi of Cobb Germany; Matthew Wilson and Paul Welten of Cobb Europe; and Romanian poultry veterinarian Dr. Ovidiu Sicoe.

Safety of Phibro’s virginiamycin affirmed

Poultry producers worldwide, who use virginiamycin-based animal medicines to maintain the health and welfare of their flocks, now have comprehensive European standards to support their poultry meat exports to the European Union.
The European Commission, known for its stringent approach to food safety, has established Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for virginiamycin, recognizing the safety of meat from poultry that has been treated with up to 4 times the 20 grams per ton commonly used in international markets. Phibro Animal Health Corporation has conducted extensive studies to support the establishment of the MRLs, which are used to ensure that no unsafe residue is allowed in meat for human consumption.
“These standards represent a significant step forward by adding another safeguard for consumers and removing any concern for producers that the use of virginiamycin-based animal medicines could limit export options to the European Union,” said Larry Miller, Phibro’s president, Animal Health. “Safety is our top priority and virginiamycin has a track record of safety that spans more than four decades.”
Virginiamycin is registered for use in 32 countries. It has been an effective tool to protect animal health for more than 40 years in the U.S. and for 35 years in Brazil.
The European Commission published the MRLs for virginiamycin on Sept. 3 in the Official Journal of the European Union, and the regulation comes into effect 60 days after publication. The European Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use recommended the standards and the European Commission adopted them without modification.

Conference on food waste reduction held at EXPO Milano

On Oct. 15 the European Commission organized a high level conference at the EXPO Milano, in contribution to the search of EU food waste reduction solutions.
Former foodstuff processors, with EFFPA as the representative body at EU level, already prevent an estimated 3.5 million metric tons of food chain losses from going to waste by processing foodstuff no longer suitable for human consumption into feed for food-producing animals. Former foodstuffs are removed from the human food consumption market, by food manufacturers, because of unintentional and often unavoidable production errors.
Examples of former foodstuffs used in animal feed are broken biscuits and chocolates, surplus bread, incorrectly flavored crisps and breakfast cereals. In addition, surpluses resulting from seasonal festivities such as sports events, Easter and Christmas are used, after the food manufacturer has taken the options for food bank donation into account. Moreover, former foodstuffs must be in full compliance with EU feed safety requirements as well as the General Food Law’s demands as regards traceability to become eligible for feed use.
EFFPA President Paul Featherstone said, “It may surprise people, but energy-rich former foodstuffs like biscuits, chocolates and confectionary are highly valued resources in animal feed manufacturing. In fact, our end-product can be used as an alternative to cereal grains, thereby reducing the dependence on land-requiring raw materials, and thus the environmental footprint of foodstuffs of animal origin.”
EFFPA calls on EU policy makers to clarify the regulatory framework for former foodstuff processors through the planned proposal on the circular economy, making it clear that former foodstuffs are by-products and by no means legal “wastes.”
According to Featherstone, “It is clear that the safe use of former foodstuffs in animal feed contributes to a more sustainable food chain and should unambiguously be encouraged. Our innovation-driven, non-subsidized industry could still double in production within the EU with the right regulatory guidance.”

Spanish technical seminar being offered at IPPE

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is hosting its second annual “Seminario Técnico para Maximizar la Eficiencia de la Industria Avícola” (Technical Seminar for Maximizing the Efficiency of the Poultry Industry), which will be conducted entirely in Spanish. The program will discuss improvements in the areas of breeding, incubation, grow-out, egg production, processing and health. The full-day program is scheduled for Jan. 25 and is $150 for all registered International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) attendees.
The program will feature a variety of topics, including a world’s poultry industry status; effective, realistic biosecurity; energy cost reductions; performance improvements; integrated management for broiler gut health; broiler leg problems and impact in the processing plant; emerging diseases in the American continent; latest advancements in ventilation systems; and future nutritional tendencies.
IPPE, the world's largest annual poultry, feed and meat industry trade show, will be held Jan. 26-28. It is a collaboration of three trade shows—International Feed Expo, International Poultry Expo and International Meat Expo—representing the entire chain of protein production and processing. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, American Feed Industry Association and the North American Meat Institute.
For more information about the “Seminario Técnico para Maximizar la Eficiencia de la Industria Avícola” program, click here. For more information about IPPE, go to

H5N2 avian influenza returns to Taiwan

In the last two weeks, new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Vietnam, Nigeria, Ghana and the Palestinian Autonomous Territories have been reported by their respective national veterinary authorities to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Avian influenza outbreaks continue in Taiwan, Vietnam

After a recent let-up in new outbreaks, Focus Taiwan reports that more than 20,600 native chickens died or been destroyed in the last few days in the county of Changhua. The cause of disease has been confirmed as the H5N2 highly pathogenic subtype of the avian influenza virus. Following the confirmation, local poultry keepers were urged to watch out of signs of disease in their birds and to tighten up biosecurity measures by Tung Meng-chih, the director of Changhua's Animal Disease Control Center.
According to a report in Asia One, Tung suggested that the latest outbreak might have been a resurgence in the virus following a previous outbreak in January. The farm only resumed operation last month after movement restrictions were lifted in July.
The veterinary authority in Vietnam has reported three new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian flu to the OIE in the last two weeks, all of which started this month. Two of the outbreaks were in Thai Binh and Tuyen Quang, north-eastern provinces of the country. Caused by the H5N6 variant of the virus, they affected backyard flocks and a total of 2,316 birds. A larger backyard flock was hit in the other outbreak, which was in Kon Tum province, which borders Laos and Cambodia. The H5N1 virus was confirmed there.
A week ago, it was confirmed that high-pathogenic avian influenza had returned to Laos for the first time in one and a half years.
Fears of influenza being transmitted to people from poultry have led to the authorities in Indonesia clamping down on birds kept in residential areas. Officials have destroyed five cages and confiscated 24 doves in the capital. “The cages are demolished and some of the birds destroyed. Raising birds in residential could spread some diseases including bird flu,” the Head of Jakarta Central Marine Agriculture and Food Security sub-department told Berita Jakarta.

Nigeria, Ghana suffer new outbreaks

Highly pathogenic avian flu returned to Ghana a month ago following a brief respite. The veterinary authority reported 2 new outbreaks of the disease caused by the H5N1 virus in the Western region in the southwest of the country. A backyard broiler flock was affected in late September and earlier in October, a farm in another district lost 4,731 layers to the disease.
H5N1 avian flu has hit a new state in Nigeria, with the first report of an outbreak in Jigawa, which is in the north of the country and borders Niger. In that outbreak, 4,000 laying hens died or were destroyed in the first week of October.  With a history of outbreaks, Rivers state in the south of Nigeria was hit by two more cases, with one farm of 1,000 broilers and another with 2,500 layers in the following week.
A report received recently by the OIE from Palestine indicates that there was an outbreak of high-path avian flu in Gaza in early August. The presence of an H5 variant of the virus was confirmed but turmoil in the region means that further details are unavailable.

BRF finalizes purchase of Argentinian brands

Brazilian meat, poultry and food company BRF has finalized its acquisition of the Vieníssima, GoodMark, Manty, Delícia, Hamond, TresCruces and Wilson brands, the company announced on October 16. The transaction is valued at US$43.5 million.
All of the recently acquired brands are known in Argentina. The acquisition was carried out through BRF subsidiaries Quickfood S.A. and Avex S.A., both of which are also headquartered in Argentina.
With the acquisition, the company also expands its presence in the sausage, hamburger and margarine business.
In making the announcement of the acquisitions, BRF stated that the transaction is in line with BRF’s strategic plan of globalizing the company by means of reaching local markets, strengthening BRF‘s brands and distributing and expanding its product portfolio around the globe.

Other recent BRF growth initiatives

BRF, formerly known as Brasil Foods, has been actively involved in growth projects that expand its global presence. The company earlier in October announced that it had entered a memorandum of understanding with Qatar National Import and Export Co. (QNIE) for the acquisition of a part of QNIE’s frozen distribution business.
 In April, BRF formed a joint venture with the U.K.’s Invicta Food Group with the main objective to distribute processed food in the U.K., Ireland and the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark. Also, in June, BRF finalized the formation of a joint venture company with Singapore Food Industries, known as SATS BRF Food, to create a food distribution and meat processing business that offers branded products initially for the Singapore market and later also for other parts of Southeast Asia.

'Extraordinary' avian flu precautions at Sanderson Farms

Sanderson Farms has not had any cases of avian influenza at any of its farms or facilities in 2015, and the company is taking every extra precaution to make sure that the virus continues to stay away, company CEO Joe Sanderson Jr., said during the Sanderson Farms Investor Conference, held on October 16.
According to Sanderson, company officials have been communicating with its growers every month for the past year, and everyone at those farms has an understanding that the main way to protect the farms against avian influenza is to limit traffic on the farms and to prevent cross-contamination from a maintenance worker, truck or other piece of equipment that may have been an another farm previously.
But even common, everyday things can put a farm at risk, he said.
“It’s so very simple to prevent, but it is so very simple to occur,” said Sanderson. “The farmer can go to the grocery store in his boots and go through the grocery store or service station and cross paths with some hunters who have been out hunting geese out in the field … and go back to his farm and not go through his footbath and boom. It’s a very virulent disease, and that farm is gone.”

Sanderson Farms taking extra precautions concerning hunters, wild birds

The potential spread of avian influenza through wild birds has Sanderson Farms officials particularly protective, considering Sanderson has two families of geese on the farm where he lives. Adding to the risk is the fact that duck hunting is a popular form of entertainment for Sanderson Farms and the people it does business with.
Sanderson Farms has a camp in Arkansas that it takes customers to 45 days out of the 60-day season, Sanderson said, but as a precaution, it is not taking any of the company’s planes to the location this eyar. Instead, it is chartering flights “so our planes be clean.”
“We’re doing extraordinary things to protect our flocks,” he said.
Sanderson also mentioned that the two families of geese at his home farm have all been tested for avian influenza.
But when he arrived home one day, those geese he keeps were joined by some wild Canada geese, bringing his goose population to about 60.
“I can’t test all of them,” he said. “I’m going to have to shoo them off as kindly as I can.”

Friday, October 23, 2015

AFIA to offer FSMA Phase III training at IPPE

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) will host its second Food Safety Modernization Act Phase III training Jan. 27 as part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, GA. The one-day session will cover various components of the new law, published in the Federal Register on Sept. 17, “Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals.”
The seminar is ideal for all employees involved in feed, ingredient and pet food manufacturing. AFIA staff experts and Daniel McChesney, Ph.D., of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, will address:
  • Completing an animal food safety plan;
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practices;
  • Developing an effective supply-chain program;
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Program and Third-Party Rules;
  • Records for FSMA compliance
  • AFIA’s next steps
For the complete agenda, click here.
“AFIA was ready for the release of the FSMA final rule and you can rest assured our staff is preparing to make the implementation process as smooth as possible,” said Henry Turlington, Ph.D., AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs. “This training will help plant managers, quality associates and feed industry personnel gain a better understanding of the animal food rule.”
To register online, visit On-site registration will also be available.
IPPE is expected to attract more than 28,000 attendees and is a collaboration of three trade shows—International Feed Expo, International Poultry Expo and International Meat Expo—representing the entire chain of protein production and processing. The event is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the North American Meat Institute. More information about IPPE, including registration details, lodging and education offerings, is available at

First Animine Academy held in Paris

The European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) and Animine hosted the first Animine Academy in mid-September. This two-day scientific conference in Paris brought together more than 100 people from Europe, Asia, Australia and the U.S. Renowned speakers from INRA (France), Wageningen University (the Netherlands), the Technical University of München (Germany) and Agroscope (Switzerland) gave in-depth reviews on trace mineral nutrition of monogastrics, focusing on zinc and copper for the first edition.
Andrea Rosati, secretary general of the EAAP said, “We are pleased to build bridges between science and the industry, when an event with a high scientific content is organized.”
Stéphane Durosoy, president of Animine, said “We believe that the industry needs, from time to time, to be educated with robust scientific reviews, and we achieved this objective with Animine Academy.”

Foster Farms sponsors Food 4 Thought program

With school back in session, Foster Farms kicked off its seventh year of sponsoring the Food 4 Thought program that delivers more than 13,500 pounds of groceries each month to 800 elementary students in seven Stanislaus County schools. At Eisenhut Elementary, one of the program’s first schools, students received 2,000 pounds of groceries. During the event school leaders, food bank staff and company representatives congratulated students for their hard work. This comes at a time when California food insecurity rates are the highest in 10 years. One in four California children – 2.4 million – have limited or uncertain access to adequate amounts of nutritious food. In Stanislaus County alone, 65.7 percent of all students are eligible for free and reduced-cost lunches.
Food 4 Thought is an incentive-based program that addresses two fundamental needs – hunger and education. Students participate in eight hours of weekly after-school programs (four academic, four extracurricular) in exchange for a 15- to 18-pound bag of groceries twice a month. In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, Foster Farms brought the Food 4 Thought program to Stanislaus County in 2009. Since then, the program has provided 4,500 Central Valley elementary students with more than 1.3 million pounds of food. According to a recent Second Harvest parent survey, the program is improving students’ diets and lifestyles.
The Food 4 Thought program serves students with the support of major sponsors Foster Farms and Wells Fargo as well as other businesses. The 2015-2016 program serves Agnes Baptist, Chrysler School, Eisenhut Elementary, Empire Elementary, Orville Wright School, Franklin School and Capistrano School in Modesto. County school districts designated these schools on the basis of free or reduced-cost school lunch participation and nutrition-related after-school programs, which are a gauge of food insecurity.
In a survey of parents whose children participated in the latest Food 4 Thought program:
  • 95 percent reported that Food 4 Thought significantly stretched their family’s grocery budget.
  • 88 percent reported that their child’s grades improved as a result of participating in Food 4 Thought.
  • 97 percent said the program improved their child’s well-being.
  • 89 percent said that Food 4 Thought helps prevent their child from skipping meals.
Michelle Bell, director of After School Programming for the Stanislaus Union School District, said, “The Food 4 Thought program helps those of our students who are most in need. Foster Farms’ consistent support of this program helps our students build a bright future.”
“With school budget cuts and the need for nutritional assistance on the rise Food 4 Thought continues to help bridge the gap for students and families in need,’ said Ira Brill, the company’s director of communications. “Foster Farms is committed to making a difference in the communities it serves.”
For more information about Second Harvest Food Bank, visit:

First Swine Expo in Xiamen was a success

The three-day Swine Expo in Xiamen, China, concluded successfully on September 21, 2015. This very first Swine Expo, boasting an exhibition area of 13,000 square meters, attracted almost 10,000 visitors and 172 exhibitors, 17 of which had travelled overseas to attend the event.
The highlights of the expo are as follows:
1.  Grand-scale event -- Three vice-ministerial leaders from the Ministry of Agriculture attended the Swine Expo. This was unprecedented in the history of animal husbandry expos. Four academicians and 18 foreign experts delivered lectures recounting the developments in science and technology that have taken place in the pig industry.
2.  Showcasing pork -- During the Swine Expo, 11 top chefs presented 30 Huai Pork dishes, capturing the attention from both inside and outside of the industry.  “Pork Delicacy Tasting” album specially designed by the organizing committee highlighted the artistic merit of pork.  The Swine Expo became a splendid venue for pork delicacy tasting.
3.  Piglets on display-- The “Piglet Pavilion from the Taiwan Strait” offered visitors the opportunity to admire several breeds of the cute piglets.
4.  Seminars – The“Cross-Strait Swine Science and Technology Seminar” attracted an audience of over 200 people.
5.  Awards Ceremony -- After more than a year of competition, 50 prize-winning finalists from all over the country received their trophies for the “Looking for China’s Beautiful Pig Farms” contest.
6.  Commendations -- Market leaders that have an interest in the future direction of the industry attended the Xiamen Expo. The board chairman of Muyuan Foodstuff Co. Ltd., as well as executives of DaChan Greatwall Group look forward to the Swine Expo being held every two years as planned. They expect that such event will provide a needed and specialized exchange platform for the industry. Ms. Anneke, general manager for Asia of the most eminent professional exhibitors VIV Group, seeks an opportunity for further cooperation in the future.  Guozhong Lin, general manager of Taiwan Guoshou Livestock Farm, was so happy to see his black breeding pig auctioned at CNY24,000 (US$3,772) at the expo.

Mountaire building new corporate offices in Delaware

Mountaire Farms has broken ground on its new corporate offices being built in Millsboro, Delaware.
The new building will be 45,000-square-feet and incorporate multiple modern energy-efficient technologies according to John Wren, Mountaire’s chief engineer on the project.
The new building, which will be located at the corner of Maryland Camp Road and John J. Williams Highway, should take about one year to finish and should be ready for the ribbon cutting in the fall of 2016.
Mountaire CEO and President Paul Downes, drove the first shovel into the dirt and told those attending a recent groundbreaking ceremony: “The new project creates the opportunity for Mountaire to bring our administrative people together in one location; the time is right for us to build a new state of the art facility to provide spacious and modern accommodations for our employees. We are pleased to make this commitment to our employees, to the community, and to the state; we are here for the long run.”
Those attending the groundbreaking ceremony were: Karen McGrath, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper’s Sussex County Regional Director; State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, 19th District; State Sen. Gerald W. Hocker, 20th District; State Rep. Ruth Briggs-King, 37th District; State Rep. Richard Collins, 41st District; the Delaware House Minority Leader Daniel Short, 39th District; Melody Booker-Wilkins, economic development director, Sussex County; and Millsboro Mayor John Thoroughgood.
Mountaire Farms had demolished an office building in Selbyville in 2014, and since that time employees have been working in small rental offices across Sussex County.

Indian River Training Academy held in Malaysia

Business Manager Fred Kao and his Indian River® team hosted more than 65 customers from 19 countries at the 4th Indian River Training Academy in Penang, Malaysia in September.

The full three-day agenda featured a varied program covering genetics, breeder nutrition, lighting, management and chick output, embryo viability, water quality, a gut health analysis, managing coccidiosis, serving customers, broiler brooding and trouble shooting and management without antibiotics. Each day included a dedicated interactive workshop designed to engage attendees and test their knowledge. The individual workshops focused on egg breakouts, breast scoring for pullets and least cost feed formulation.

Of particular note was the presentation by Dominic Elfick, Aviagen International product manager, who showed data and financial benefit of Indian River’s genetic potential in bodyweights ranging from 1.3 to 2.7kg in the region. Guest speaker Dr. Susan Watkins from the University of Arkansas spoke of the importance of water quality, raising a lot of interest in the audience.  Mark Wright, Aviagen regional service manager - Asia, discussed the Aviagen® commitment to make Indian River the brand of choice for customers in the region and highlighted the global service and support team. Key speaker, Esmi San Pedro, commercial and service manager - Indian River, addressed the importance of what small improvements in brooding management can turn into when harvesting the final flock.

The program was followed on day four with team-building activities for all attendees prior to a conference dinner in the evening.

“Support for the Indian River Training Academy has been growing each year that it has been held. We are pleased with the attendance and the whole Indian River team puts in a lot of time and resource into making the program attractive and valuable for production and support people within the Indian River customer family. The event is dedicated to improving understanding, sharing experiences and the advancing the performance of Indian River,” said Kao.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

IFIF, FAO strengthen collaboration on critical issues

The International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held their 14th annual meeting at FAO Headquarters on October 12-13 to further strengthen their collaboration on critical issues to ensure safe, nutritious and sustainable feed and food.
Dr. Ren Wang, FAO assistant director-general for agriculture and consumer protection, welcomed delegates and highlighted the importance of private partnerships to support the FAO strategic goals to the IFIF delegates representing more than 80 percent of global compound feed production.
The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Berhe Tekola, director of the FAO animal production & health division and Mario Sergio Cutait, IFIF chairman, who reiterated their commitment to this longstanding partnership and agreed to continue to strengthen their work together to tackle the challenges facing the feed and food chain.
Cutait highlighted that “the FAO focus on five strategic objectives, emphasis on working in a goal-oriented manner, and the FAO strong efforts reaching out the private sector have made a tangible and positive difference in our already longstanding collaboration.”
“Together with the dedicated colleagues at the FAO, we have achieved very important milestones, including the Feed Manual of Good Practices for the Feed Industry, the International Feed Regulators Meetings (IFRM) and the Global Feed & Food (GFFC) Congress Series,” Cutait said. “We have to support sustainable livestock production and intensive farming, innovation and technology and fair trade. Feed is part of the solution.”
Joel Newman, IFIF chairman-elect for 2016-17, highlighted that, looking ahead, IFIF is committed to continue to support the FAO initiatives on capacity development for feed safety, the LEAP partnership and the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, as well joint efforts on feed and food safety at the Codex Alimentarius,” Newman said.
Daniela Battaglia, livestock development officer at the animal production and health division of the FAO, said: “FAO and IFIF have a longstanding partnership, and this meeting addressed a number of critical issues of common interest, such as the need for capacity development to ensure feed safety. FAO is committed to work with the private sector and feed operators and believes that they can valuably contribute to make the livestock and food sectors more responsible and sustainable to achieve important goals such as public health, and animal health and welfare.”

China allocates US$203 million for animal agriculture

A sum of nearly US$203 million has been allocated by the Central Budget to support China’s animal husbandry industry in 2015, an increase of US$29.63 million compared to 2014, reported the Department of Agriculture of Ministry of Finance of People’s Republic of China.
The effort aims to increase animal products production in China, and guarantee that there are sufficient supplies of meat products in large city and medium-sized cities.
Of the total funds, US$171.47 million is to be used to support the standardized farming of livestock and poultry, with an emphasis on the standardization of moderate-scale pig, layer, broiler and beef cattle farms. Also, the money is used to improve the infrastructure, such as housing of animals, farming equipment and facilities, environmental control, and disinfection. Another US$31.52 million is used to facilitate the standardization of the fishery industry.
Ten provinces such as Hebei and Jilin are chosen to pilot financial programs for rural areas by making full use of Central Financial Assistance Grants by means of credit guarantee and subsidies, and maximizing the benefit of financial capital.

China’s egg market likely to struggle in October

With the post-vacation sufficient supply of eggs, seasonal declining demand and the impact of a slowing economy, the consumption of eggs in China is likely to be adversely affected in October.
In August 2015, the number of layers totaled up to 1.198 billion, up by 4.38 percent from July and 7.28 percent year on year, wrote Kai Cao, analyst from Soochow Futures, in an article for As the margins of layer farming are decreasing due to the passage of consumption spikes, the prices of eggs are not favorable for layer farmers. The number of replacement layers suggests a year-on-year decrease. Therefore, the prices of eggs in domestic markets are unlikely to make an upturn any time soon. However, insufficient stock of replacement layers might contain the downturn trends.
In September, the newly-harvested Chinese corn crop started to enter the market. According to the new purchasing policy for temporarily stored corn released on the State Administration of Grain, the purchasing price for corn this year is CNY2,000/metric ton (US$315.5/metric ton), ending the uptrend since 2008.  On the other hand, the purchasing and storage standards are stricter to relieve the pressure of national grain reserves.
With corn being one of the major feed ingredients for layers, the prices of eggs will be adversely affected as a result of lower corn prices. Last but not the least, recent moderate fall of pork prices and the possible outbreaks of avian influenza in the fall will come into play as well.

Hendrix Genetics: from concept to reality

It was a few years ago when the egg sector first heard about the mission of ISA – the Layer Business Unit of Hendrix Genetics – “Breeding layers capable of producing 500 first quality eggs by 2020.” Only five years from the announced date, field results from commercial layer farms show that goal has been met. Some flock performances are already reaching that target.
Hendrix Genetics layers are widely-recognized for their excellent persistency. This is especially remarkable in Dekalb White birds: achieving peaks of 97% is not exceptional, production often remains above 90% for more than 45 weeks; there are flocks laying at 93% at 70 weeks of age. Total egg number per hen housed can easily exceed standards by 20 eggs at 90 weeks of age, with 27 kg of egg-mass produced, accounting for an egg output of almost 16 times the hen body weight. Around 2020 the Dekalb parent stock will produce about 120 day old chicks and the commercial layers will produce about 500 first quality eggs in a production cycle of 100 weeks without molting. There are already flocks who reach 500 eggs in aviary systems.
Genetics has a significant impact on achieving these levels of performance, but management, nutrition and flock health are also important in allowing birds to express the maximum of their genetic potential.
Key points for reaching these good results include an excellent rearing period, focused on attaining strong, early growth to ensure later egg production and shell quality; and obtaining a pullet flock uniformity of 85% at 16 weeks of age.
After transfer, the period until 35 weeks of age is also of utmost importance in securing optimum performance: achieving quick, steady growth until adult body weight is reached, leading to robustness and improved ability to cope with eventual stress and challenges.
Nutrition also plays a major role in obtaining these impressive figures, not only in total egg number per hen housed, but also in egg mass and feed conversion rate. Diets that are properly adjusted to observed feed intake should be used, paying special attention to mineral (Ca/P) content to maximize first quality eggs and ensure skeletal integrity: total eggshell weight produced by one hen in a 90 weeks cycle exceeds 1.7 times its own body weight. Amino acid levels adapted to produce egg-mass are essential to avoiding the risk of mild deficiencies that can decrease egg size or sometimes negatively affect feather cover in highly productive flocks.
Feedback from the field shows that the breeding program of Hendrix Genetics is a success for longer production cycles and efficient layers, providing suitable housing, health conditions, management and nutrition for egg producers.

Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture tours Aviagen hatchery

Oklahoma Secretary/Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Reese toured Aviagen’s Sallisaw, OK, hatchery on Oct. 8. Reese along with Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture members and 10 of the state’s directors of agricultural departments recently visited various agricultural facilities throughout eastern Oklahoma.
The Aviagen Sallisaw site was chosen as part of this tour because of its current $9.5 million expansion, which benefits the area’s economic growth. It also helps strengthen the state’s leadership role as one of the nation’s top poultry producers.
“Poultry is Oklahoma’s second largest agricultural industry, and Aviagen is the state’s largest primary breeder hatchery. Aviagen’s Sallisaw expansion will substantially contribute to the state’s ability to provide breeding stock, and ultimately, an affordable source of protein to customers around the world,” said Jason Mack, vice president of operations for Aviagen North America. “These issues are vital to the state’s agriculture and extension programs, as well as to Aviagen’s longstanding presence in and collaboration with the state.”
The expansion, slated for completion on Oct. 12, will promote Aviagen’s Sallisaw hatchery to the largest in its U.S. fleet, increasing the facility’s performance by 50 percent and its workforce by 20 percent.

BRF buying part of Qatar National Import and Export Co.

BRF, a meat, poultry and food company headquartered in Brazil, has signed a binding memorandum of understanding with Qatar National Import and Export Co. (QNIE) for the acquisition of a part of QNIE’s frozen distribution business in Qatar.
QNIE has been BRF’s distributor in the State of Qatar for more 40 years.
Subject to the satisfaction of the conditions precedent set forth in the memorandum of understanding, the parties will execute the definitive documents providing for the acquisition of the business, based on a total enterprise value of US$140.0 million. The acquisition will be made in accordance with local laws and regulations of the State of Qatar.
According to a statement issued by BRF, the QNIE transaction is in line with the company’s strategic plan of globalization, accessing local markets, strengthening BRF’s brands, distribution and expansion of its product portfolio around the globe.
BRF’s decision to purchase part of QNIE comes on the heels of the announcement of another planned acquisition. The company, formerly known as Brasil Foods, announced in early October that it intended to expand its presence in Argentina by acquiring the Vieníssima, GoodMark, Manty, Delícia, Hamond, Tres Cruces and Wilson brands.
In June, BRF finalized a joint venture with Singapore Food Industries, which will be known as SATS BRF Food and will create a food distribution and meat processing business that offers branded products initially for the Singapore market and later also for other parts of Southeast Asia.

5 tips to prepare your processing operation for avian flu

When highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) suddenly hit Jennie-O Turkey Store operations in Minnesota in spring 2015, the poultry processor found itself scrambling to document plant operations and comply with regulations to prove that its poultry products were still safe to transport to customers and trading partners. Speaking at the 2015 National Meeting on Poultry Health, Processing and Live Production, Tom Smith, vice president of quality management at Jennie-O Turkey Store, offered five tips for other poultry processors to follow, based on Jennie-O’s experience, in order to be prepared in advance of an outbreak at their own facilities.
Tom Smith
1. Create intervention plans ahead of time for your plants.
Because farm locations are often private, your plant may not be aware of avian influenza outbreaks at nearby farms even if it’s not affecting your operation. However, because you will still be required to comply with biosecurity regulations if located within a control area, Smith advises poultry operations to figure out in advance where their farms sit relative to others by mapping out plants and drawing circles around where a control area would be located should the plant or a nearby farm experience an outbreak.
2. Know how you are going to wash trucks and trailers.
The truck is considered “dirty” as soon as it comes to your plant, regardless of where the truck is in the plant. Maintenance staff should have a plan in place for cleaning and disinfecting all trucks at the plant and containing any chemicals and water used in the process.
3. Make sure to take into consideration that runoff cannot go into storm drains, so a containment system may be needed.
4. Develop your traffic routes to prevent cross-contamination.
Figure out traffic patterns for trucks entering and leaving the plant ahead of time so that, if an outbreak of avian influenza occurs, you can continue to move poultry. Smith said that, at his Jennie-O plant, there was a separate entrance for dirty trucks coming into the plant and a separate exit for clean trucks leaving the plant.
5. Develop your report of where product is shipped so you can submit for permits easily.
In order to move product in and out of control zones, within and outside of the state in which the plant is located, permits are needed. Smith advised companies to work directly with their state and get APHIS involved. He said APHIS does not come in until requested, but it is still your responsibility to ensure that permits are on record.
The Delmarva Poultry Industry 2015 National Meeting on Poultry Health, Processing and Live Production was held October 13-14 in Ocean City, Maryland.