Electric versus Diesel Comparison Relates to the RFS


An insightful editorial in the April 24th edition of The Wall Street Journal compared carbon emission by an electric-powered Tesla Model 3 vehicle and a Mercedes C220 diesel-powered equivalent.  The Tesla claimed as being “zero emission” actually was responsible for indirect release of between 150 and 180 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.  This figure took into account the carbon emission in producing the battery, amortized over ten years at 15,000 km (9,000 miles) per year. The calculation included the carbon emitted by coal-fired electric power stations that produce a high proportion of electricity in Germany.  The diesel Mercedes released 140 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer including a provision for carbon release associated with drilling, refining and transport of fuel. It is estimated that in Southern Germany, charging a Tesla Model 3 releases 83 grams of carbon on a per kilometer basis.

Irrespective of the specific data comparing the two propulsion systems for the autos compared, it is evident that in calculating environmental impact, it is necessary to establish carbon emissions through the entire production chain.  This approach also applies to ethanol as an additive (diluent?) to gasoline.


To quote The Wall Street Journal, “It is better read as a warning that new technologies aren’t a climate-change panacea.”  The casual giveaway line in the editorial is illuminating, “recall the false promises about corn and cellulosic ethanol”. This afterthought has profound significance to the U.S. In 2017 the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that 30 percent of electrical power is derived from coal with an almost equal amount from other fossil fuels, predominately-natural gas.  Nuclear provides 20 percent and renewables including hydropower (7 percent), wind (7 percent), and solar (2 percent) contributed to a total U.S. generation of 4.2 billion kWh.  A conservative and business-oriented periodical such as The Wall Street Journal simply acknowledges the myth of ethanol sustainability and alleged contribution to the environment. 


The Renewable Fuel Standard overestimated the requirement for gasoline use and concurrently predicted the replacement of corn by cellulose as a source of “renewable” fuel over a decade. Effectively the ethanol industry with the support of the USDA, EPA and the Department of Energy over-produced relative to demand. This is evidenced by the fact that excess ethanol is exported and plants have been mothballed based on a year-round 10 percent dilution rate in gasoline.  It is little wonder that the Renewable Fuels Association is actively pressing the EPA to permit addition of ethanol to gasoline at a level of 15 percent year-round.  This concession if granted would make little difference to ethanol demand since most vehicles on the road cannot operate with more than a 10 percent ethanol blend and there are insufficient blender pumps at gas stations capable of delivering either 10 percent or 15 percent mixtures.


The RFS is a gigantic boondoggle introduced without consideration for long-term consequences and incorporating false presumptions that were politically expedient at the time. At present the ethanol industry is unprofitable and consumers are paying an indirect tax that benefits farmers, corn-state legislators, fat-cat lobbyists and the Renewable Fuels Association.




Poultry Industry News



The following quotations for May and July as indicated were posted by the CME at close of trading on Thursday May 10th together with values for the previous week in parentheses. Last week the commodities market recorded marked declines in the futures prices of corn, soybeans and soybean meal for May and July. This was attributed to the unexpected imposition of tariffs on goods to be imported from China in response to backtracking and lack of progress in bilateral trade negotiations to settle the trade dispute. Optimism leading to increases in commodity prices two weeks ago was apparently premature. The negative effect of the release of the USDA Grain Stocks Report on Friday March 29th documenting soybean stocks followed by the April 9th WASDE #587 confirmed the effect of reduced shipments of soybeans to China. The numerous conflicting statements by White House spokespersons over the months since the dispute began is disconcerting to the commodities market and contributes to fluctuation in prices.



Corn (cents per bushel)

May 342 (355)

July 350 (370)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

May 798 (830)

July 808 (843)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

May 286 (292)

July 287 (297)

Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal this past week were:-


Corn: May quotation down 13 cents per Bu         (-3.6 percent)

Soybeans: May quotation down 32 cents per Bu  (-3.8 percent)

Soybean Meal: May quotation down $6 per ton.   (-2.1 percent)

  • For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

  • For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.40 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight


The USDA Crop Progress Report for the week ending May 6th noted that 23 percent of the corn crop had been planted, compared to a five-year average of 46 percent. Six percent of the corn crop has emerged compared to the five-year average of 13 percent.

Six percent of the soybean crop has been planted, compared to the five-year average of 14 percent

The March 29th USDA Grain Stocks Report, issued Quarterly confirmed a 3.2 percent decline in corn stocks in all positions to 8.60 billion Bu. compared to the March 2018 report. Farm storage represented 59.6 percent of this total, 2.5 percent higher than for the corresponding period in 2018.

Soybean stocks increased by 28.7 percent from March 2018 to 2.716 billion Bu. in March 2019. On- farm storage attained 1.270 billion Bu. representing 46.7 percent of all stocks. On-farm storage was 48.5 percent higher in March 2019 compared to 2018 reflecting the intent of farmers to hold stocks in anticipation of a rise in price following resumption of exports to China.

Negotiations with China are apparently at an impasse unless China makes extensive, durable and firm concessions as suggested following shuttles between Beijing and Washington that will continue as high-level discussions in the U.S. this week. Some concessions have been made by China on coercive trade practices and dispute resolution as amplified by President Xi addressing participants in a Belt and Road Conference this past week but apparently not to the satisfaction of the White House. From an agricultural industry perspective the question of delays by China in approving new GM cultivars has yet to be settled. No date has been set for a summit to sign a trade deal. Prices will be influenced by the trend in stock levels, area to be planted in 2019 and early crop progress in the face of possible flooding.

The March 28th USDA projection of plantings based on farmers' intentions suggest that an additional 3.66 million acres will be planted to corn compared to 2018.This increase will be offset by a reduction in soy acreage by 4.58 million acres.

According to the April 9th 2018 WASDE Report #587, 81.7 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2019 to produce 14.42 Billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.54 Billion bushels from 88.1 million acres harvested. The levels of production for the two commodities are based on preliminary pre-planting projections of yield and acreage. Ending stocks were revised based on anticipated domestic use and exports.

See the WASDE posting summarizing the March 8th USDA-WASDE Report #587 under the STATISTICS tab documenting price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced, used and exported from the 2019 harvest.

Unless shipments of corn and soybeans to China resume in volume, as anticipated, the financial future for row-crop farmers appears bleak despite the release of two tranches amounting to $8 billion as "short-term" compensation for producers of commodities.

Mid-May will be make-or-break for negotiations with China. The outcome has profound implications not only for the two antagonists but for the World economy.


Weekly Turkey Production and Prices


Poult Production and Placement:

The April 16th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 28.8 million eggs in incubators on April 1st 2018 (27.8 million eggs on March 1st 2019) up 2.1 percent (0.6 million eggs) from April 1st 2018.

A total of 24.0 million poults were hatched during March 2019 (22.8 million in February 2019) and down 8.9 percent from March 2018.

A total of 21.7 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in March 2019, (20.8 million in February 2019), 4.9 percent less than in March 2018. This suggests disposal of 2.3 million poults during the month. Assuming all tom poults were placed, 19.2 percent of hen poults or 8.6 percent of all March 2019-hatched poults were not placed.

For the twelve-month period April 2018 through March 2019 inclusive, 284.3 million poults were hatched and 262.1 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 21.9 million poults. Assuming all tom poults were placed 15.4 percent of hen poults or 7.7 percent of all poults hatched during the period were not placed.


Weekly Broiler Production and Prices


Chick Placements.

The Broiler Hatchery Report released on May 8th confirmed that a total of 232.0 million eggs were set during the week ending May 4th, less than one percent more than in the corresponding week in 2018. A total of 180.9 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending May 4th. This was two percent higher than the corresponding week in 2018. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 188.7 million. Claimed average hatchability was 82.5 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Broiler chick placements for 2019 through May 4th amounted to 3.33 billion, one percent more than YTD 2018.

Broiler Production

According to the May 10th USDA Broiler Market News Report (Vol. 66: No.19) for the processing week ending May 4th 2019, 164.1 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 6.20 lbs. (6.23 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76.6 percent. The number of broilers processed was 2.1 percent more than the corresponding processing week in 2018. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week was 785.6 million lbs. (357,113 metric tons), 3.8 percent above the corresponding week in 2018. Production YTD of RTC in 2019 is 13.51 million lbs. (6,141,870 metric tons), 0.6 percent more than in 2018 YTD.


U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports for January-March 2019.


Export data for the first quarter of 2019 indicate only a moderate increase in export of broiler parts in comparison to the corresponding period in 2018. The overwhelming impression from this and previous comparisons is the consistent erosion in unit price. This is attributed to the fact that leg quarters comprise over 95 percent of exports. This product represents a low-value commodity subjected to competition from domestic production in importing nations, vulnerability to trade embargos and exporters have a complete lack of pricing power.

Total broiler parts exported for the period attained 774,803 metric tons, 0.8 percent more than the corresponding period in 2018 (781,029 metric tons). Total value of exports declined by 9.3 percent to $711 million ($784 million).

During Jan.-March 2019 the National Chicken Council (NCC), citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 836,912 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $798 million with a weighted average unit value of $953 per metric ton, 10.3 percent lower in value compared to the first quarter of 2018 ($1,063 per metric ton).

The NCC breakdown of chicken exports during Jan.-March by proportion and unit price for each broiler category for 2019 compared with 2018 (with the unit price in parentheses) comprised:-

  • Chicken parts 95.9%; Unit value $876 per metric ton ($990)

  • Prepared chicken 2.9%; Unit value $3,455 per metric ton ($3,500)

  • Whole chicken 1.2%; Unit value $1,063 per metric ton ($1,003)

    The following table prepared from USDA data circulated by the USAPEEC, compares values for poultry meat exports in Jan.-March 2019 with corresponding figures for 2018:-



    Broiler Meat

    Volume (metric tons) 774,803 781,029 +6,226 (+0.8%)

    Value ( $ million) 784 711 -73 (-9.3%)

    Unit value ( $/m. ton) 1,011 1,098 -87 (-8.6%)

    Turkey Meat

    Volume (metric tons) 69,323 66,532 -2,791 (-4.0%)

    Value ($ million) 153.6 141.8 -11.8 (-7.7%)

    Unit value ($/m. ton) 2,215 2,131 -84 (-3.8%)



    Chicken Paws

    Volume (metric tons) 37,125 39,358 +2,233 (+6.0%)

    Value ($ million) 60.6 48.0 -12.6 (-20.8%)

    Unit value ($/m. ton) 1,632 1,219 -413 (-25.3%)




Status of Corn and Soybean Crops


The USDA Crop Progress Report released on May 13th documented the status of the 2019 corn and soybean harvests.

Although advancing planting was delayed by wet weather possibly attributable to an El Nino event.

EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS will report on the progress of the two crops and will post weekly updates through the end of the harvest.








Week Ending

Crop Parameter

May 5th

May 12th

5-Year Average

Corn Planted %




Corn Emerged %





Soybeans Planted %




Soybeans Emerged %





Subway Introduces Range of Club Sandwiches


The decline in sales and earnings by closely-held franchisor Subway is attributed in part to a lack of innovation in menus. Newly appointed professional management has addressed the issue announcing the introduction of the Club Collection. The Southwest Chipotle Chicken Club includes chicken strips, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, chipotle southwest sauce and guacamole. The American Club features turkey, ham and a choice of vegetables on an artisan flatbread. The two club sandwiches featuring poultry are complemented by a steak sandwich accompanied by turkey.

To launch Club Sandwiches, Subway has created a “Breaking Club Traditions” campaign that aired on media in late April.


Cornell Research Foundation Patent for Phytase Reviewed in Germany


The German Federal Patent Court is considering a request to revoke European Patent 1 090 120 (Over-expression of Phytase in Yeast Systems) granted to the Cornell Research Foundation by the Federal Republic of Germany.

The challenge to the patent was initiated by Kaesler Nutrition who argue that prior knowledge, concerning procedures to modify yeast expression to increase heat stability of a bacterial phytase preceded the grant of the patent.

It is a matter of record that there are a number of commercially available phytase enzyme feed additives available with claims for thermo-stability.


Bayer to Auction Animal Health Business


It is the intention of Bayer AG to divest their Animal Health business that generated revenues of $1.7 billion in 2018. Since the 2018 acquisition of Monsanto for $63 billion, CEO Werner Baumann has been under pressure to reduce debt and restructure the Company with a focus on pharmaceuticals that carry higher margins and less competition than animal health and consumer products. Bayer is facing substantial legal exposure as a result of glyphosate litigation.

The company is also actively negotiating with potential acquirers of their Coppertone and Dr. Scholl’s brands. Bayer AG has announced that it will reduce complement by 12,000 employees including 900 in R&D, 4,000 in crop science, and 6,000 in the corporate office over the intermediate future.

In 2017, Bayer AG turned down a proposal to purchase Elanco Animal Health from Eli Lilly. Subsequently the parent company failed to find an alternative buyer for the business and restructured the company as a free-standing entity with an IPO.

Potential acquirers of the animal health business include investment companies such as KKR, Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners. As yet, no existing competitor has come forward with an offer for the Animal Health business which has a narrow focus on anti-parasitics with a concentration on companion animal species with the HeartGuard™ flea and tick collar as the principal product. Bayer Animal Health employs 550 in Shawnee, in metropolitan Kansas City.

If Bayer Animal Health is acquired by an investment group, it is predicted that expenditure on R&D will be severely curtailed to maximize short-term profits. Other “rationalization” and possible divestments will erode the image and existing technical service offered by the company.  Given competition from established biopharmaceutical companies including Boehringer Ingelheim that markets biologics and anti-parasitics, it is questioned whether the Bayer Animal Health business is worth the $9 billion mentioned as a whisper number. In 2018 sales in the E.U., the U.S. and the Middle East were flat compared to 2017, although there are prospects for increased market penetration in China.


Aviagen Participates in National Poultry Show in Canada


The National Poultry Show held in London, Ontario on April 3-4 featured contributions by Aviagen.


Regional business consultant Dr. Scott Gillingham addressed a technical session emphasizing the importance of technology and collection of data for improved performance.  His presentation topic, “You cannot manage what you don’t measure” represents the future of intensive poultry production.


Gillingham observed, “Aviagen is committed to the success of our Canadian customers, and sharing the very latest developments and management advice to increase their productivity.”  He added, “The National Poultry Show offered us a great opportunity to strengthen relationships and gain ideas for improving our service.”


Aviagen has supported the Canadian Poultry Research Council for a number of years.  In 2019 a portion of their support has been earmarked for the Aviagen Poultry Genetics Scholarship.  This will assist with expenses for Canadian poultry students to pursue advanced studies in genetics.  Aviagen will regularly select students whose aspirations align with the Corporate vision to help feed the world’s growing population with a nutritious and sustainable source of protein.  Bird health and welfare must be advanced through continuous improvements in breeding programs requiring the contribution of veterinarians, nutritionists and geneticists.


Aviagen employees more than 4,600 and operates a distribution network serving customers in more than 100 nations.  Products included Arbor Acres®, Indian River®, and Ross®.  New specialty breed include Rowan Range® and Specialty Males® to meet specific or niche market requirements.


Contribution of USPOULTRY Foundation to Education and Research


According to the 2018 annual report of the USPOULTRY Harold E. Ford Foundation, during the past year the Foundation allocated $328,000 to 28 institutions under the Education Recruitment Funding Program.  Grants ranged from $2,000 to $25,000 and were funded by companies, individuals and families supplemented with a contribution from the proceeds of the IPPE.


During 2018, $1.2 million was allocated for research funding.  Competitive grants were awarded for studies on reovirus, infectious bronchitis, myopathy, intestinal function, salmonellosis and molecular diagnostic techniques.  Five Ford research initiative grants totaling  $500,000 were approved for studies on necrotic enteritis, protozoal parasites of turkeys and tenosynovitis reovirus infection.  During 2018 fifteen research projects were completed addressing current issues in production including disease, environmental concerns, processing and packaging and nutrition.


Competitive grants awarded by the USPOULTRY Foundation allow faculty members at research-oriented universities to initiate pilot projects generating data that can be leveraged into more substantial grants to support their basic and applied research.


China to Ban Import of Hogs and Pork from Cambodia


Thomson Reuters reports that China will ban importation of live hogs and pork products from Cambodia.  This action appears to be reflex and predictable response by bureaucrats with no material benefit to producers or consumers in China. 

It is fairly evident from epidemiologic data that Cambodia acquired African swine fever from China in the first instance.  Banning importation of potentially infected pork and live hogs from Cambodia would appear to be more cosmetic than practical given the reality that African swine fever is probably endemic in China given the extent of infection which embraces more than 25 provinces.  The actual prevalence rate is probably higher than official reports would indicate based on the policy of non-transparency.  The best indicator of the severity and extent of infection is the price of pork, which is steadily increasing, and according to the Ministry of Agriculture may be 70 percent higher by the end of 2019 compared to December 2018.


Perdue Farms Awards Prizes in Welfare Enrichment Competition


Perdue recently announced a competition among contractors to innovate simple enrichments to improve welfare during grow-out.  Thirty submissions were received and a prize of $5,000 was awarded to the Carpenter family in Wadesboro, NC.  Factors considered in judging the competition included a design that was beneficial for the flock, easy to build, store and deploy.


Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, senior vice president of Food Safety, Quality and Live Production commented, “The innovative design that the Carpenter family and our network of farmers have developed will encourage chickens to engage in their natural behaviors and interact with each other and their surroundings.”  He added, “At Perdue, our family farmers are the experts at raising healthy and happy chickens, and that’s why we turned to them to help us innovate new solutions to improve animal welfare.” 


Provimi Quantifies Mycotoxin Contamination in Corn


Provimi, a subsidiary of Cargill has published the results of mycotoxin assays covering January-March 2019. A  total of 54,000 samples were assayed worldwide with 10,700 in North America. Aflatoxin was detected in 46 percent of samples, DON in 85 percent, fumonisin in 81 percent and T-2 in 56 percent.

Cargill have established the following threshold levels for poultry:

  • Aflatoxin:  20 ppb
  • Fumonisin:  1 ppm
  • Ocratoxin:  50ppb
  • T-2:  50 ppb
  • DON:  300 ppb

It is noted that although modern technology allows sensitive and reproducible assay levels, there is considerable sampling error since grains contaminated with mycotoxins may not be distributed evenly through a batch of an ingredient.

Provimi recommended addition of a mycotoxin binder to diets containing individual or combinations of mycotoxins at levels potentially of clinical significance. Promote® is a natural bentonite purified to remove any potential contaminants and with an added surfactant to promote binding.


WH Group Posts Lower Earnings


WH Group based in China, a multi-national producer of pork including the owner of Smithfield Foods of the U.S. reported lower revenue and profit for Q1 of fiscal 2019. The company generated a net profit of $196 million on sales of $5.2 billion. These values were 21 and 6 percent lower respectively than the comparable first quarter of 2018.

The company attributes the decline in profit to a number of factors including reduced margins in the U.S. due to oversupply, losses in China due to African swine fever and the impact of retaliatory tariffs imposed by China in response to duties imposed by the U.S. on imported manufactured items.

For the remainder of 2019, prospects were stated as being more promising as the domestic price of pork in China has risen 40 percent since the outbreak of ASF and is expected to rise a further 30 percent by the third quarter. Profit will however be dependent on the ability of WH Group to maintain a supply of slaughter hogs and possible rescission of import duties on pork sourced from their U.S. and E.U. subsidiaries.


Salmonellosis Outbreak from Ground Turkey Now Over


An extensive outbreak of Salmonella Reading infection extending from November 20th 2017 to March 31st 2019 is now over according to CDC. The situation will be monitored by PulseNet. A total of 358 diagnosed cases were recorded in 42 states. There was one fatality and 133 hospitalizations.

It is significant that the source was not identified. FSIS conducted a review and identified the serotype involved in 24 processing plants and 14 facilities processing turkey.

A significant route of infection emerging from the study was that raw turkey pet food contaminated with Salmonella can result in colonization of the intestinal tract of house pets with intermittent shedding of Salmonella which may infect family members.

The CDC recommended appropriate kitchen hygiene and cooking turkey along with all protein foods to 165F to ensure freedom from infection.

As an incidental observation, this recommendation based on sound scientific evidence, conflicts with the misguided comments that pork chops should be barbequed or cooked to 145F to optimize juiciness and texture.


USDA-ERS Quantifies Decline in Farmer Income


The USDA Economic Research Service recently published a report noting a 17 percent decline in income received by farmers and ranchers over the past seven years. It is calculated that farmers earn 15 cents for every dollar consumers pay for food products.

The low figure is strongly weighted by sharp declines in commodity prices. Concurrently with lower unit revenue for corn, soybeans and wheat, farmers are experiencing higher costs of production including fuel, seed and fertilizer. Fortunately, interest rates have remained low. Farmers have been impacted by trade disputes with China especially affecting soybeans.

In contrast, contract growers for major broiler integrators have not experienced any decline in their income with the companies absorbing cost increases in feed and other inputs and carrying the risks from disease and market fluctuation.


Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union commented “Conditions for farmers have been eroding since 2011. There’s only so much longer they can hold on. Many have already made the heartbreaking decision to close up shop. In the last five years, the United States have lost upwards of 700,000 farm operations and we cannot afford to lose many more.”

Regrettably in a free market economy, prices are determined by supply and demand. In past decades, there have been oversupplies of milk and more recently, eggs. It is axiomatic that low prices are the cure for low prices. If producers cease operation, supply is diminished and consumer demand will raise prices. Unfortunately, the U.S. produces an excess of soybeans and corn and is reliant on export markets. Accordingly, every effort should be made to support existing markets and to extend the range of importing countries.

The USAPEEC has managed to sustain acceptable levels of exports to the benefit of growers, processors and the allied industry in the face of extreme competition.


Walmart Announces VP of Global Food Safety Compliance


Sara Mortimore has been appointed Vice President of Global Food Safety Compliance by Walmart, replacing Frank Yiannas who is currently the Deputy Administrator of the Food and Drug Administration responsible for Food Policy and Response. Mortimore was most recently the Vice President of Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs for Land O’ Lakes. In her new position, Mortimore will report to Chris Cyrenne, Senior Vice President of Global Regulatory Compliance effective May 13th.


South Africa Changes Import Certification Requirement


The Government of South Africa has announced that consignments to South Africa must be accompanied by certificates signed by the FSIS prior to the vessel sailing. Although a short grace period will be allowed for shipments en route, the USAPEEC advises consignors to comply with this requirement that will be added to the Export Library.


Research on Peracetic Acid to be Reviewed at USPOULTRY Processor Workshop


Research on peracetic acid, in part funded by USPOULTRY, will be presented at the Poultry Processor Workshop to be held May 22nd to 23rd at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Hotel in Nashville TN. Dr. Jenny Houlroyd will discuss application of peracetic acid and her findings including assay for the decontaminant.

The use of peracetic acid was raised as an issue by organizations antagonistic to intensive livestock production in their opposition to increased line speeds. Trade unions have claimed negative health effects from the compound which is extensively used, and when correctly applied, is effective in suppressing Salmonella and Campylobacter.


Shane Commentary

E.U. Considering Restrictions on Labeling of Vegetable-Based Meat Substitutes


Following a 2017 decision by the European Parliament concerning labeling of substitute milk and dairy products derived from other than cows, the E.U. Agriculture Committee proposed restrictions on labeling of vegetable-based protein. It is intended that any term which relates to meat derived from animals including “steak, sausage, burger et al” will be disallowed for plant-based substitutes. The ultimate decision will be the responsibility of the European Parliament and if passed as expected, a lengthy process of approval by each member state will be required before the policy decision is implemented.

According to the Mintel Group, barriers to adoption of plant-based meat substitutes include positioning in a store, concern by consumers over preparation and serving and unfamiliarity with a new product. In the U.S., lack of availability in many supermarkets and high price relative to meat substitutes disfavor market growth of this segment. Proponents of plant-based protein claim a high recent annual growth in sales value with an increase of 6 percent in 2017 to 24 percent in 2018. This should be compared to two percent for animal-derived meat in the most recent year. Obviously one must consider the base for the calculations of relative growth rates. “Real” meat sales in 2018 attained $90 billion compared to plant-based protein alternatives at $1 billion.

An editorial on the proposed IPO of Beyond Meat in EGG-NEWS (accessible under the SEARCH tab), highlighted the cost of production of meat substitutes and the need to sell at a discount to encourage trial purchases by consumers. Plant- based meat substitutes will not achieve significant market penetration in competition with “real” meat products simply on the basis of claimed sustainability and welfare considerations. The affluent demographic sensitive to these attributes is obviously limited and probably avoids meat in any event.


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