With the start of the new marketing year only a week away, the process of monitoring corn consumption and corn consumption prospects is underway.
According to Darrel Good, a University of Illinois agricultural economist, not much is known about consumption prospects as the ongoing process of updating expectations begins.
“In the case of feed and residual use of corn, the USDA’s quarterly Grain Stocks reports are the only source of data on actual consumption,” Good said.
The Sept. 1, 2014, corn stocks estimate to be released on Sept. 30 will allow the calculation of the magnitude of feed and residual use of corn for the final quarter of the 2013-14 marketing year and will provide some guidance for potential use during the year ahead. Expectations of feed use for the year will be derived primarily from weekly, monthly, and quarterly U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports of livestock and poultry inventories.
“Feed use of corn will not receive much support from the beef sector. The liquidation of the cow herd and the smaller calf crops of the past few years mean there are fewer cattle available for feeding, and that deficit will continue for an extended period. The USDA reported that for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or more, there were 2 percent fewer cattle on feed as of August 1 this year than on August 1 last year. Seven percent fewer cattle were placed on feed during July 2014 than during July 2013,” Good said.
He said the poultry and dairy sectors appear to be experiencing some very modest expansion. The USDA reported that the number of broiler chicks placed for meat production during the two weeks ended August 16 was up 2 and 1 percent, respectively, compared to placements of a year earlier.
“Two weeks do not constitute a trend, so that placement will continue to be followed closely to determine if expansion is actually underway,” Good said.
The average number of layers has been running 1 to 2 percent above those of a year ago each month this year. The USDA also reported that milk cow numbers in 23 selected states were up about 1 percent in July.
Uncertainty in hog sector
According to Good, the most uncertainty about livestock production comes from the hog sector. The USDA reported that the June 1 inventory of market hogs was 5 percent smaller than the inventory of a year earlier, but producers expected to increase the number of sows farrowed by 4 percent in the June-September quarter. Production prospects continue to be clouded by the ongoing impact of the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus on the number of pigs actually weaned.
The USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report showed a 7 percent year-over-year decline in hog slaughter in July. That decline was partially offset by a 5 percent increase in average slaughter weight. The USDA’s Hogs and Pigs report to be released on Sept. 26 will provide additional information about pork production prospects during the 2014-15 corn marketing year. Good said that because feed consumption of corn includes an unknown and sometimes surprising residual component, only the quarterly stocks estimates will provide a measure of actual disappearance.
Sales of U.S. corn for export during the 2014-15 marketing year were reported at 365 million bushels as of August 14. Sales are about 50 million bushels smaller than those of a year ago, but about 60 million bushels larger than the average for the years 2008 through 2012, Good said. He explained that last year, China had purchased 117 million bushels of U.S corn, compared with essentially none this year. Sales to unknown destinations are also down about 40 million bushels.
On the other hand, sales to Japan and South American destinations are larger than those of a year ago. Total export sales as of August 14 accounted for 21 percent of the USDA’s projection of total marketing-year exports, about the same as sales of a year earlier.
“The level of export sales to date is in line with USDA’s projection of exports for the year,” Good said. “However, the seasonal pattern of sales varies from year to year so that it is not yet known whether the current level of sales reflects only timing decisions or is indicative of total export potential.
“There are some early signs that corn consumption during the year ahead will increase modestly in response to lower prices,” Good concluded. “However, that response is not yet large enough to offset the impact of the market expectation of an even larger corn crop than was forecast by USDA two weeks ago. Corn prices are expected to stay under some pressure at least through the USDA’s Sept. 11 Crop Production report. The size of the corn crop forecast in that report will be important in determining where the low may be in the corn market,” he said.
Indonesian trade officials are reportedly in talks with officials in Japan to resume poultry exports, which were halted in early 2004 following an avian influenza outbreak that affected many local poultry breeders.
Producers in Indonesia have expressed their readiness to ship processed poultry products to Japan, which could boost export earnings to at least US$200 million a year.
McDonald’s Japan discontinued purchasing chicken from China’s Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd. after the exposure of a food safety scandal involving sales of expired meat at the end of July 2014. Seeking import substitutes, Indonesian producers may provide an alternate from Thailand, which has been supplying the majority of the Japanese market.
Indonesian poultry producers could meet standards applied in Japan and had already gained a competitive edge compared to rivals in China or Thailand thanks to efficient production, according to Indonesian Poultry Breeders Association (GAPPI) chairman, Anton J. Supit. “I am optimistic now we can make it. We still only need to see whether the price matches or not,” Supit said.
A staff member in agriculture at the Japanese Embassy in Indonesia, Kazuko Takabatake, said two Japanese veterinary officials will carry out on-site inspections at five factories from Aug. 24 to Aug. 29, but declined to specify the names of the firms. According to Takabatake, “They will check to see whether the factories are sufficiently hygienic and whether the whole producing process is carried out appropriately."
A poultry production startup company has been awarded a $750,000 grant to open a new chicken processing line in a former Townsend chicken plant in Siler City, North Carolina.
Carolina Premium Foods, based in Whispering Pines, North Carolina, signed a deal to lease the 95,500-square-foot facility that has remained mostly vacant over the past three years, aside from its partial use by Chaudhry Halal Processing Company, which closed its operation in May 2014.
Carolina Premium Foods reportedly plans to invest $4 million in renovating the facility and equipping it with two broiler production lines, as well as to create 38 full-time jobs that could grow to more than 300 over the next five years.
According to national director of SAG, Angel Sartori, this new publication "is the result of close work that holds the SAG and APA, in order to ensure high standards of product safety for consumers of birds both in Chile and in the abroad. The SAG has all the technical expertise to develop a document with these characteristics that meet the current requirements of the food industry."
Meanwhile, APA president, Juan Miguel Ovalle, said: "Undoubtedly, this Atlas is an important contribution to the inspection process, allowing us to see the process, avoid unnecessary seizures, adding technical and scientific information to the inspection SAG performs today. It also allows to provide a tool for training new professionals entering the process at a time to correct deficiencies and shortcomings of the system."
Nestle, one of the world’s largest food companies, has signed a partnership agreement with World Animal Protection, requiring all 7,300 of the company’s suppliers of animal-derived products to comply with the organization’s tougher animal welfare standards.
Nestle cut ties last year with Wiese Brothers Farm in Greenleaf, Wisconsin, after Mercy for Animals conducted an undercover investigation in which an employee took secretly recorded video of employees beating and stabbing cows and dragging them with farm equipment. Wiese Brothers had supplied milk for Nestle’s pizza division.
"Mercy For Animals praises Nestlé for stepping up to the plate to improve the lives of farmed animals on a global level,” said Nathan Runkle, president of Mercy For Animals, in a report. “We are heartened that Nestlé not only took notice, but also took action, after egregious cruelty was exposed at one of its dairy suppliers.”
Runkle said Nestle’s new policy is the most sweeping animal welfare policy ever adopted by a major food distributor.
In a blog written by Wayne Pacelle, president/CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, commending Nestle’s move, he states: “ … this announcement marks the most comprehensive and ambitious animal welfare program by a global food retailer to date.”
The new program will eliminate standard practices from Nestle’s supply chain that are controversial, including:
Confinement of sows in gestation crates
Confinement of calves in veal crates
Confinement of layers in cages
Forced rapid growth of chickens used for meat products
Cutting of horns, tails and genitals of farm animals without painkillers
Nestle said it has commissioned an independent auditor, SGS, to ensure the new standards of animal welfare are met by its suppliers. Some checks also will be conducted by World Animal Protection. Nestle said it will not work with suppliers who are not willing to meet the new standards.
Nestle brands include Jack's, DiGiorno and Tombstone pizza, Hot Pockets and Lean Cuisine.
The China Feed Study Team became the first group to do hands-on training with the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) Feed Center’s newly upgraded equipment during the Feed Manufacturing Technology course August 18-22 at NCI in Fargo, North Dakota. After three days at NCI, the group traveled to Portland, Oregon, for the wrap-up.
The course was co-sponsored by Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, and South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, in conjunction with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).
“China is the largest user of soybeans and the largest manufacturer of animal feed in the world,” said Kim Koch, Ph.D., NCI Feed Center manager and lead instructor for the course. “Their demand for feed is increasing annually by 10-12 percent. China raises 50 percent of all the pigs in the world, but their poultry production is gaining ground on swine, and aquaculture is becoming more important. Chinese domestic production of soybeans and corn has probably peaked, and therefore, they are becoming major importers of soybeans and corn.”
“We strongly believe that the high-quality soybeans produced in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota result in better animal performance,” Koch said. “Regional soybean production will continue to increase in the next five to 10 years. NCI is very grateful to the regional soybean commodity groups who conceived and sponsored this course.”
In addition to providing hands-on demonstrations about size reduction and pelleting at the NCI Feed Center, Koch lectured on efficient use of protein, feed mill efficiency, feed mill design, mixing, particle size reduction, hygienic feed manufacturing, and pelleting.
Additional speakers included Frayne Olson, Ph.D., North Dakota State University, who discussed commodity price outlook; Peter Mishek, president of Mishek Inc. & Associates, Omaha, who introduced essential amino acids in soybeans and soybean meal; David Hahn, Ph.D., NCI director of technical services and business development, who spoke on food and feed safe manufacturing practices; and Robert Thaler, Ph.D., South Dakota State University, who presented information on soybean meal utilization.
The group visited the Scott Gauslow farm near Colfax, North Dakota. The group also toured the EGT Export Terminal in Longview, Washington, and the Wilbur-Ellis Company, a feed ingredient company in Clackamas, Oregon, so participants could see first-hand the quality, efficiency and reliability of U.S. soy and logistics systems.
The NCI Feed Center equipment upgrade includes the installation of a new mixer, a new automation system, and the facility’s first micro-ingredient system. Funding for the upgrade was a collaborative effort between the North Dakota Legislature, the feed equipment industry, and regional commodity groups, according to Mark Weber, NCI director.
Trial results from a University of Berlin study have confirmed the benefits of combining phytase superdosing with a high-efficacy single-enzyme xylanase. Compared with phytase superdosing alone, the inclusion of the xylanase produced a significant additional 4 percent improvement in broiler body weight gain (BWG) over a 35-day period.
The trial compared performance of a superdosing-optimized phytase (Quantum Blue) and a latest generation single-enzyme xylanase (Econase XT) in wheat-corn-soy fed broilers grown from 0 to 35 days of age. Superdosing with 1500 FTU/kg of the phytase increased BWG by 3 percent (2205g versus 2140g) compared to the control diet containing a standard 500 FTU/kg phytase dose (formulated using a phytase matrix of 0.2 percent calcium, 0.2 percent phosphorous, 100 kcal/kg AME). Addition of a standard 16,000 FXU/kg dose of the xylanase raised BWG a further 4 percent (to 2291g).
“This is a gain that is not only statistically significant, but is also economically worthwhile, whether used to boost performance or add to the matrix and further reduce feed costs,” said Gilson Gomes, AB Vista’s global technical manager for poultry.
“When the target is phytate elimination, improving the availability of that phytate through the action of a well-targeted xylanase should be an advantage. This trial confirms that when both enzymes are optimized for efficacy, that advantage translates into a genuine performance gain.”
Jennie-O Turkey Store’s profits increased 42 percent during the third quarter of fiscal year 2014, helping its parent company Hormel Foods overcome losses in its other segments. Hormel’s third quarter net income was $138 million, a 21 percent increase when compared to the third quarter of 2013.
Sales for Jennie-O Turkey Store were down 2 percent in terms of volume, but dollar sales were up 4 percent. Increased sales of value-added products, along with strong commodity turkey prices and lower feed costs more than offset lower live production performance and higher fuel expenses as the flocks from the winter moved through Jennie-O’s system during the quarter. Jennie-O ground turkey and deli products contributed to its sales growth over the quarter.
“Our team was able to achieve another quarter of record sales and earnings, with sales up 6 percent and earnings per share up 21 percent versus the same quarter a year ago,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman, president and CEO of Hormel Foods.
“Strong demand for pork and turkey, and increased sales of value-added products in our Refrigerated Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store and International & Other segments more than offset a challenging quarter for our Grocery Products and Specialty Foods segments. Our balanced model continues to support consistent revenue and earnings growth.”
Looking forward, Ettinger expects Jennie-O to continue to thrive through the fourth quarter.
“We anticipate a strong finish to the year from our Jennie-O Turkey Store segment, aided by beneficial grain markets and growing value-added sales, and from our Internation & Other and Specialty Foods segments,” he said.
The American Farm Bureau Federation on August 20 asked a federal appellate court in Pennsylvania to reverse a lower court ruling that upheld pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay watershed imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Although restricted to areas surrounding the Chesapeake Bay, the court’s decision could have sweeping effects on states and economic activity across the country.
EPA has claimed that its bay limits were developed in cooperation with the bay states. But the AFBF brief points out that “if EPA can set federal limits and deadlines in a TMDL [total maximum daily load], then it can do so with or without state cooperation: that is why 21 State Attorneys General have supported us as amici.”
The appellate court will decide whether EPA has the power to set only the “total” allowable pollutant load for waters, as AFBF and its allies maintain, or also to set individual limits for farming, construction or other activities across the landscape, as EPA claims. AFBF maintains that Congress reserved such land use decision-making exclusively for the states.
According to AFBF, under EPA’s view of its power, “EPA could assign nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment limits for each farm, home site, or even each acre of undeveloped land across the countryside.” Such broad power “amounts to nothing short of federal land use zoning authority, which cannot be squared with Congress’s clear and consistent determination to reserve such authority for the states.”
AFBF also noted that because restoration of the bay does not depend on the unlawful aspects of the TMDL before the court, cleanup would continue with a court ruling in AFBF’s favor. According to the AFBF brief, a ruling in its favor would not disturb the total pollutant limit set by EPA for each segment of the bay. In addition, a ruling removing the challenged EPA source limits or “allocations” from the TMDL “would in no way impair the ability of any state to achieve those objectives. It would only allow them the freedom—as Congress intended—to set different allocations and deadlines, if they so choose.”
The RAPCO Poultry course participants work through an experiment to determine egg-specific gravity.
Thirty participants from 11 countries attended the RAPCO Regional Animal Production Courses (RAPCO) poultry course on August 11-15, at the Kansas State University (KSU) International Grains Program (IGP) Institute Conference Center in Manhattan, Kansas. The IGP Institute partnered up with United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) to hold the annual nutrition-based course.
“The partnership helps to continue the technical program under RAPCO that allows Latin Americans who import U.S. soybeans and soybean meal to better understand and utilize its nutritional benefits and how to improve their operations,” said Carlos Campabadal, IGP Institute specialist in feed manufacturing and grain storage, and course manager.
Throughout the course, participants studied a broad range of topics including digestive systems, poultry diets, and approaches for reducing the toxic effects of mycotoxins in poultry, among others. One participant, Fernando Ramíerez, felt that the course was good for any individual involved in the poultry industry.
“There are a lot of things that we know but because we do these tasks daily, we forget how important they are. We have a tendency to overlook the normal duties,” Ramíerez said. “But when you come here, you start to notice all the details and you realize that you are missing some little things that we have a lot of impact on in production.”
In addition to attending the lecture series from USSEC representatives and IGP faculty, participants were able to tour the KSU O.H. Kruse Feed Mill to expand their understanding of feed manufacturing and plant operations.
Production manager at Cargill Meats Central America, Jerónimo Bonilla, said that the tour was the most important part of the course for his team.
“We are now managing our own feed mills whereas before we would buy our feed. Touring the feed mill was a big opportunity for my business in particular,” Bonilla said.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on August 21 released its compliance guidelines for training poultry processing carcass sorters in the new poultry inspection system. The new guidelines are developed to help poultry slaughter establishments train employees to conduct the carcass and associated viscera sorting activities that are required under the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS).
Under the NPIS, poultry slaughter establishment personnel are required to sort carcasses and remove unacceptable carcasses and parts before the birds are presented to the FSIS online carcass inspector. FSIS believes that training of sorters is vital to ensure they are able to properly perform their duties.
Training program elements
The compliance guideline recommends training elements and post-mortem inspection standards that FSIS has found effective in training online inspectors to identify carcasses and parts exhibiting condemnable conditions that would make the poultry meat unfit for human consumption.
FSIS recognizes that a single training method may not be applicable to all establishments and recommended that individual poultry establishments design its own training programs. FSIS further recommends the following types of training as effective elements of a sorter training program: classroom, wet lab, on-the-job training, follow-up sessions and continuous monitoring.
Public comment sought by FSIS
The FSIS is seeking public comment on the compliance guidelines regarding any of its aspects. FSIS will update the guidelines in response to any comments that it receives as needed. The public comment period will last until October 21.
The Mondernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection rule was published in the Federal Register on August 21. The published rule is the final rule that came as a result of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) 2011 regulatory review efforts, conducted under Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.
The rule is effective October 20. All young chicken and turkey slaughter establishments will have until February 23, 2015, to notify their district FSIS office in writing of their intents to operate under the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS).
Line speeds unchanged
The rule, released by FSIS on July 31, leaves the current regulations for line speeds unchanged at 140 birds per minute. Additionally, all poultry companies operating must maintain a program to encourage the early reporting of work-related injuries and illnesses, and FSIS employees will receive new instructions on how to report workplace hazards that may affect plant workers, including access to a confidential 1-800 number to report concerns directly to OSHA.
Salmonella, Campylobacter prevention requirements
Poultry companies will have to meet new requirements to control Salmonella and Campylobacter, and FSIS estimates that up to 5,000 foodborne illnesses will be prevented each year as a result of the new rule, which positions food safety inspectors throughout poultry facilities in a smarter way.
According to FSIS, it will now require that all poultry companies take measures to prevent Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination, rather than addressing contamination after it occurs. Also for the first time ever, all poultry facilities will be required to perform their own microbiological testing at two points in their production process to show that they are controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter. These requirements are in addition to FSIS' own testing, which the agency will continue to perform.
Feed enzymes were introduced to China's feed industry in 1980s. After entering into the 21st Century, as China's fermentation technology of enzymes improved, the production cost has dropped and, as a result, China's enzyme enterprises have developed rapidly and self-dependent brands have been established. Those brands not only take up most share of the domestic market, but are well acknowledged in international market, so the export volume has improved year by year.
The output of China's feed enzymes was 142,000 tons in 2013, up 20.9% over 2012, with total output value reaching CNY2.5 billion (US$4 million). As for the segment market, the output of compound enzyme was 74,900 tons, and that of phytase was 66,900 tons in 2013, up 21.8% and 20.1% over 2012 respectively.
Though the industrial penetration rate is still less than 43%, the future development space is adequate. As the domestic feed sales volume grows and the penetration rate improves, the demand of feed enzyme will surely increase.
Reasons for growth
According to the report, the reasons accounted for the broader development space in China's feed enzyme industry are as follows:
The stable development of the feed industry has driven the expansion of feed enzyme industry
Under the background of the constantly improvement of feed industrial scalization, the scientific breeding performed by the large-scale feed enterprises will improve the utilization of feed enzymes
The improved product utility brought about by continuously innovation and technological improvement of feed enzyme products and the dropping cost of products brought about by the scalization will all promote wider application of feed enzyme
Under the background of the constantly emphasis on food safety and advocacy of environmental protection, feed enzyme industry will continuously acquire national policy support and promote feed industry to advance forward
The total output of China's feed enzyme industry is estimated to reach 167,200 tons with output value of CNY2.9 billion in the end of 2014. By 2018, the total output will reach 272,000 tons with output value of CNY4.7 billion, and the annual growth rate will be 12.9% and 134% respectively.
The export growth in several large markets helped Brazilian chicken meat achieve record revenues in July. According to the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA), Brazilian exports of chicken (whole chicken, cuts, salted and processed products) totaled 371,100 metric tons in July, a result 9.4 percent higher when compared to the same period of 2013.
In addition to the significant increase in volume, revenues went up 14 percent as compared to the same quarter, to reach US$771.8 million, a record high.
From January through July, industry shipments reached 2.274 billion metric tons, a result 2 percent higher compared to the same period of 2013. In income, there was a reduction of 5.9 percent in comparison with the first seven months of 2013, with US$4.489 billion.
According to the data of ABPA, comparing the performance in the months of July 2014 and 2013, shipments to Saudi Arabia rose 2.47 percent;to Japan, 40.37 percent; China, 36.8 percent; and the European Union, 16.24 percent.
As explained by ABPA Poultry Vice President Ricardo Santin, "Shipments delayed by the rains of June [in the state of Santa Catarina] accumulated and defined a higher level of exports than initially planned for July. This, coupled with the recovery of average prices relative to the start of the year, allowed the industry to achieve record revenues in July. "
According to ABPA, 1.235 billion tons of poultry cuts were shipped between January and July, a 4.3 percent increase when compared to 2013. Exports of whole chicken during the first seven months of 2014, Brazil’s second-most exported product, totaled 841,500 metric tons, a year-over-year decline of 1.9 percent. Salted meat exports amounted to 104,200 metric tons, a 3.8 percent increase, and processed products, with 92,700 metric tons, represented a 6.8 percent increase.
Top markets for Brazilian chicken
The Middle East remains the largest destination of chicken meat from Brazil with 799,900 metric tons shipped, a decline of 8.1 percent compared to the same period of 2013. Asia ranks second, importing 673,500 metric tons, up 7.4 percent. The third largest destination, Africa, accounted for 288,400 metric tons, a decline of 3.7 percent. To the European Union, the fourth largest importer, 240,500 metric tons were shipped, an increase of 0.8 percent. With the largest growth increase, the Americas imported 216,100 metric tons of Brazilian poultry in the period, up 49 percent. Imports from the non-EU European countries, with 53,800 metric tons, represented a 12.9 percent increase, and Pacific countries, at 1,100 metric tons, represented an 18.4 percent increase.
Saudi Arabia was the largest market for Brazilian chicken meat between January and July, with 381,000 metric tons, down 5.6 percent when compared to 2013. Ranking second was the European Union, with 240,500 metric tons, up 0.8 percent. In the third ranking, Japan imported 233,200 metric tons, a 3.2 percent increase. To Hong Kong (the fourth largest market) 183,700 metric tons were shipped, a decline of 1.2 percent. The United Arab Emirates ranked fifth, importing 147,900 metric tons between January and July.
Feed binders are substances that are included in the animal feed to bind the feed particles as one entity and enhance its nutritive value. They also help in making the feed water-stable and easily consumable. They also help in making storage of feed more efficient and keep them from segregating into fines.
Factors that act as a driving force for this market are the increase in the preferences among the feed producers for pelleted feeds and the rise in global meat consumption. Rise in the cost of raw materials act as a hindrance for this industry.
To capitalize on the growth trend in this market, several leading companies are quickly taking to the development and manufacture of feed binders. The growing demand for feed binders is forcing the global players to add feed binders to their product offerings. The leading players of this industry have also been profiled with their recent developments and other strategic industry activities. These include Archer Daniels Midland Company (U.S.), AVEBE (The Netherlands), Borregaard Group (Norway), CP Kelco (U.S.), Danisco (Denmark) and Ingredion (U.S.) among others.
The National Pork Board announced today a study that will explore alternatives for promoting pork's quality and sustainability benefits with international consumers. The study, to be conducted by SIAM Professionals, LLC, will evaluate existing marketing strategies and partners to identify methods for improving pork's position as the global meat of choice.
Funded through America's Pork Checkoff, this project will evaluate the effectiveness of current global marketing efforts and identify potential partnerships and marketing tools for promoting U.S. pork. SIAM specializes in evaluating and developing international market opportunities for the food andagribusiness industry.
"Throughout the world, pork is the single most consumed meat. The popularity of U.S. pork is driven by its taste, versatility as a recipe and menu item, and affordable cost," said Chris Novak, chief executive officer of the National Pork Board. "For many years, pork has been marketed globally with all other meats, and it's our intention to determine the ideal way to market U.S. pork on an international basis. It is part of our ongoing commitment to examine all of our Pork Checkoff programs to ensure continuous improvement."
According to Euromonitor International's latest estimates, global pork sales are expected to grow by 12 percent in the 2013-2018 forecast period, adding 10.6 million metric tons in sales volume by 2018. Most of this increase will be seen in emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America where populations and incomes continue to grow. In the first six months of 2014, exports increased 9 percent from the same time period a year ago, according to current data from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Most of the gains are due to growth in Mexico and continued demand in Asia.
The National Pork Board is committed to addressing the international trade barriers facing the pork industry. Currently, the United States exports approximately 28 percent of the pork raised here, delivering around $70 per animal raised back to America's pig farmers.
"In 2013, the U.S. sold pork in more than 100 countries. International markets represent a significant sales channel and, grown properly, will be critical to the success of pig farmers across thecountry," Novak said. "As an industry, we must remain keenly focused on developing global markets and effectively promoting pork worldwide."
The Pork Checkoff's International Trade activities are overseen by the Checkoff's Board of Directors and a 23-member International Trade Committee from throughout the United States. The committee's mission is focused on:
Research: Conducting technical and economic research andmarket analysis to prove or dispute non-scientific barriers tointernational trade.
MarketAccess: Seeking and pursuing alllegitimate avenues to market U.S. pork worldwide.
MarketDevelopment: Defining key targetmarkets and creating promotion and education outreach opportunities withimporters and consumers.
The National Pork Board has funded international market development activities through the U.S. Meat Export Federation for more than 25years and is interested in further expanding how U.S. pork is marketed on a worldwide basis. SIAM will investigate the potential for a revised or complementary approach, developing systems with a focus on identifying new and emerging markets, incorporating new messages, and more effectively measuring results.
"Our farmers, staff, contractors and others involved in U.S. pork production look forward to using insights gleaned from SIAM's analysis in shaping and sharing pork's story with our international consumers," Novak said. "We plan to engage our entire industry in this process of global market review."
Results of SIAM's evaluation will be presented to Pork Checkoff's full board of directors in spring 2015.
Local authorities in Germany will soon be able to recommend change where antibiotic use on farms is found to be above average and, in extreme cases, suspend livestock owners from farming.
The change, aimed at gradually reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock farming, is part of the 16th Act amending the German Drug Act, which came into force in July, and applies to chicken, turkey, pig and cattle farmers.
Under the new system, supervisory authorities will assess the frequency of antibiotic therapy on a farm and make comparisons with other farms. Following comparisons, a farmer can be required to take action deemed necessary.
As part of the system, poultry and other farmers must report every six months on what antibiotics they have administered to which animals in the period and in what quantities. After federal state authorities and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety have analyzed the data, a nationwide “farm-specific biannual therapeutic frequency” list will be drawn up, with first due for publication in March 2015.
If a farm’s individual index exceeds the federal average, the farmer and veterinarian will have to jointly identify the causes and take steps to curb antibiotic use. If a farm’s index is among the highest 25 percent, the farmer will, after consultation with veterinarians, have to draw up a written plan to cut antimicrobial use and submit that plan to the competent authorities.
Farmers can now be obliged to change husbandry methods, feeding practices, stocking densities and hygiene measures, and failure to comply could result in fines or a suspension from keeping animals.
Bunge Australia plans to build a port terminal on Australia’s east coast, with capacity to export 45,000 tons of grain per year.
The company has applied for planning permission to build its second port terminal, which would have three storage silos, according to a Reuters report. Bunge opened its first Australian port in Western Australia this year. The new bulk grain terminal is expected to open at the end of 2015.
"We decided on Geelong due to the capabilities of its port, complementary infrastructure and good transport access for grain supply," Chris Aucote, Bunge general manager, said in a statement.
The new terminal would be built in Geelong, Victoria, and would create even more competition for GrainCorp Ltd., Australia’s largest agribusiness company. GrainCorp also operates a port in Geelong, along with Emerald Grain, which recently was acquired by Sumitomo Corp.
"This is further evidence that grain exports from eastern Australia are highly competitive and contestable," said Angus Trigg, a GrainCorp spokesman.
"The regulation of our ports means that GrainCorp as an Australian-based company is increasingly disadvantaged against the much larger multinationals behind competing ports," he said, referring to rules that say GrainCorp must offer rivals access to its ports.
According to Reuters, logistics firm Qube Holdings said in March that it had formed a joint venture with Noble Resources, a unit of Singapore's Noble Group, to develop a new port terminal at Port Kembla in New South Wales, Australia.
Cargill Group and Emerald Grain have been granted the option to acquire up to a 20 percent stake each in the new venture, Quattro Grain, which is expected to be operational by early 2016.
Associates at Perdue’s operation in Gainesville, Georgia, celebrated a first-time safety milestone after working one million production hours without experiencing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable lost-time case. Counting toward the milestone began in March 2013.
To celebrate, the operation’s 365 associates were served lunch and each associate received from Perdue a commemorative t-shirt in recognition of their achievement.
“It is very important to recognize that it was our associates who made this milestone possible for the first time here in Gainesville,” said Tommy Waters, Perdue director of operations.“Perdue has a strong safety program, but it takes the cooperation and commitment of all of our associates to make it work, and be successful.”
The Gainesville operation includes associates from two further-processing plants, shipping and receiving, maintenance, refrigeration, wastewater, purchasing, sales, accounting, marketing and information technology.
According to Waters, Perdue has a standard, companywide safety program that encourages active employee participation and input. Associates take part in safety committees, which meet regularly to discuss safety issues, as well as perform safety inspections before the start of each shift. Associates have the authority to stop production or prevent start-up if any unsafe condition exists. In addition, every associate attends safety awareness training, and is encouraged to look for and report any potential hazard.
The first loaded vessel has departed Archer Daniels Midland Company’s new export terminal in Barcarena, in the northern Brazilian state of Pará. The terminal is a significant addition to ADM’s expanding logistical network in Brazil, and offers an efficient pathway for the export of grain from the increasingly productive western and northern regions of the country. ADM received approval to begin operations at the terminal at the end of July.
“We are pleased to see operations underway at our new terminal in Barcarena,” said Valmor Schaffer, president, ADM South America. “This terminal positions ADM to continue to grow hand in hand with Brazil’s expanding agricultural production, particularly in the country’s highly productive northern and western regions.”
ADM acquired the terminal in 2012. It has the capacity to handle approximately 1.5 million metric tons of grain on an annual basis; ADM intends to expand the terminal’s capacity to 6 million tons by 2016.
“The Barcarena terminal builds on our existing network, which uses inland waterways, rail and truck transportation to move crops and products throughout Brazil,” Schaffer added. “We are excited by the opportunities presented by Brazil’s expanding agricultural production, and look forward to continuing to be a part of the country’s success.”
ADM is one of the largest agribusiness companies in Brazil. With more than 4,700 employees, the company processes soy at four facilities, and markets the soy oil brands Concórdia and Corcovado. The company operates the largest biodiesel plant in Brazil, four fertilizer blending facilities, a cocoa processing plant, a sugar cane processing facility that produces ethanol, and more than 40 elevators across the country. In March, ADM announced plans to construct a soy protein production complex next to the company’s existing soybean processing facility in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul.
Cargill released its fiscal 2014 corporate responsibility report titled, “Delivering Responsibly in the Global Food System.” The report focuses on the work Cargill does around the world to improve access to safe, affordable and nutritious food, operate responsible supply chains, and benefit communities in which it operates.
“The global food system is being challenged to provide safe, nutritious and affordable food for everyone – and we all want confidence that our food is grown, processed and distributed responsibly,” said Greg Page, Cargill executive chairman. “Our goal is to help make the system better, more resilient and up to the challenge of producing more food with the same or fewer natural resources for a world that is more populous, more urban and more affluent.”
Cargill is committed to ensuring that the supply chains it operates respect people and human rights, produce safe and wholesome food, treat animals humanely, promote responsible agricultural practices, and reduce environmental impacts. The report shares information on Cargill’s efforts to boost agricultural productivity and incomes around the world while working with customers and others to meet sustainable sourcing requirements.
“Cargill’s vision of being the global leader in nourishing people comes with a commitment to being responsible,” said Dave MacLennan, Cargill president and CEO. “Building sustainable, responsible supply chains is complex, and requires trust-based partnerships with many stakeholders.”
The report documents Cargill’s efforts to help produce enough food to feed the world’s growing and more affluent population, while also protecting the planet. Included are examples of the company’s facility investments to improve efficiency and increase agricultural capacity, as well as storage, handling and transportation investments designed to reduce food waste and improve food security. In fiscal 2014, Cargill invested $3.2 billion in assets and facilities to help it more efficiently move food from where it is grown and processed to where it is needed.
Over the past year, Cargill also continued to build vibrant, stable communities by supporting long-term solutions to reduce hunger, improve education and protect the environment. During this time, Cargill contributed nearly $59 million to communities in 59 countries in support of food security, education and the environment.
The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council recognized 96 chicken and turkey facilities for outstanding safety performance through the implementation of innovative and effective employee safety and health programs. The annual safety awards were presented during the 2014 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry held in Destin, Florida.
The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council consist of members from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation. Collectively, the three organizations represent companies that produce 95 percent of the nation's poultry products and directly employ more than 350,000 workers.
"The 2014 awards program resulted in a record number of award recipients despite more stringent requirements to qualify, further highlighting the industry’s commitment to workplace safety. Congratulations to these facilities and their management teams. The awards recognize their excellent safety performance achievement as a result of effective and innovative programs. The notable and constant decrease in illness and injury rates among poultry’s workforce over the last two decades is a direct consequence of their dedication to worker safety,” the council stated.
The total recordable poultry processing illness and injury rate for 2012 was 4.9 cases per 100 full-time workers (per year), down from 5.8 in 2011. This represents a 78 percent decrease from 1994, when the recorded rate was 22.7, demonstrating the enormous progress poultry processors have made in improving safety for our workforce. Award consideration was based on injury statistics over three years and an evaluation of written applications by three judges: Gary Pohlmann, Marsh Risk Consulting; Doug Britton, program manager for Agricultural Technology Research at Georgia Tech Research Institute; and George Nassif , Aon Global Risk Consulting. Twenty-nine facilities received the highest level of recognition, "Award of Distinction." The other categories included "Award of Honor" and "Award of Merit."
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told ministers of health and agriculture meeting in Indonesia on August 20 that animal disease monitoring systems require sustained support and have a critical role to play in preventing human disease threats.
"Animal health remains one the weakest links in terms of how the world deals with disease risks," FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth said in remarks delivered at a meeting on the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) in Jakarta, Indonesia (20-21 August) being attended by human and animal health authorities and experts from around the globe
According to Lubroth, the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a "tragic reminder" not only of the need for increased support for public health systems in the developing world, but also of the importance of ensuring that countries are able to monitor and respond to animal health diseases as well.
While curbing human-to-human transmission remains the most important focus in West Africa, the epidemic there is thought to have started when the virus crossed over from infected wildlife into the human population.
Other recent outbreaks of diseases affecting humans -- including avian influenza, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) -- are believed to have had their start in animals. Indeed, an FAO report published last year highlighted that 70 percent of new infectious human diseases detected in recent decades are of animal origin.
Preparedness is key
"Zoonootic diseases that can make the jump from animals to humans are a real concern, but there is much that we can do before the jump occurs and outbreaks take place, causing loss of life and disrupting fragile livelihoods," said Lubroth.
"To be more resilient in the face of such risks, countries need the resources to be able to better understand where disease is coming from and to prevent it from ever reaching people in the first place. By understanding animal health threats, we have the potential to be ahead of the curve and help prevent human tragedies from happening," he added.
According to FAO, there is a need to rethink how the international community provides global health support, with a new focus on investment in infrastructure, systems and capacities at the national level to help reduce the risks of such emergencies happening in the first place and increase the resilience of communities and health systems to respond when they do.
To support such a transition, FAO and its partners are advocating what is known as the "One Health" approach, which looks at the interplay between environmental factors, animal health, and human health and brings human health professionals, veterinary specialists, sociologists, economists, and ecologists together to work on disease risks in a collaborative way.
At the Jakarta conference some 60 countries as well as international organizations like FAO, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are discussing how to collaborate under the auspices of the GHSA, an international effort to strengthen health systems to help prevent, detect and respond to emerging disease threats.
In Jakarta, FAO is also making the point that better prevention of disease has long term-development benefits as well. Both animal and human diseases have broad impacts on societies, including reductions in food production and food availability that impact food security in the short term, as well as disruptions to rural economies and livelihoods that can linger for years.
Tyson Foods has extended the offering period of its previously announced tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Hillshire Brands for $63 per share in cash, without interest and subject to any withholding of taxes required by applicable laws. Pursuant to the agreement where Tyson Foods would purchase Hillshire Brands for an estimated price of $8.55 billion, the offer, which was previously scheduled to expire at the end of the day on August 19, has been extended until the end of the day on August 26, unless it is extended further under the circumstances set forth in the merger agreement.
The offering period has already been extended, having earlier been set to expire on August 12.
All terms and conditions of the offer shall remain unchanged during the extended period.
The offer has been extended to allow additional time for the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. As previously announced, Tyson and Hillshire Brands each received a request for additional information, often referred to as a "second request," from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (the "Antitrust Division") on August 12, in connection with the transaction. Tyson and Hillshire Brands are continuing to work expeditiously to resolve this matter with the Antitrust Division and expect that the transaction, which remains subject to customary closing conditions, will be completed by or before September 27, the last day of Tyson Foods’ fiscal year.
Computershare Trust Company, N.A., the depositary for the offer, has advised Tyson and Hillshire Brands that, as of August 19, approximately 91.3 million shares of common stock of Hillshire Brands (not including 9.1 million shares tendered by notice of guaranteed delivery for which shares have not yet been delivered) had been validly tendered and not validly withdrawn pursuant to the offer, representing approximately 73 percent of Hillshire Brands' outstanding shares. Shareholders who have already tendered their shares of common stock of Hillshire Brands do not have to re-tender their shares or take any other action as a result of the extension of the new expiration date of the offer.
Julie DeYoung, spokesperson for Perdue Farms, based in Salisbury, Maryland, confirmed on August 19 that the company has sold the intellectual property as well as several supporting assets of Heritage Breeders to Cobb-Vantress, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods. Assets included in the sale include company-owned primary breeder farms that directly support the company’s primary breeder operations.
Perdue Farms started its breeding program in the 1970s, which evolved into Heritage Breeders.
Employees at the Heritage Breeders facilities involved in the sale will become employees of Cobb-Vantress, according to DeYoung.
Based in Princess Anne, Maryland, Heritage Breeders offers birds that deliver the highest white meat yields available. Its signature birds are the Heritage 32 broiler breeder female and the Heritage 78 broiler breeder male. The breeds had been used for not only Perdue Farms stock, but also for stock used by other poultry companies.
Founded in 1916 in Massachusetts, Cobb-Vantress is the world’s largest oldest poultry breeding company, according to its website. Since that time, it has grown and remains one of the world’s largest poultry breeding businesses. It was fully acquired by Tyson Foods in 1994.