Editorial

Sanderson Farms Rescinds Changes to Grower Contracts

Contracts determining payment and conditions of association for growers were apparently changed concurrently with the announcement of the acquisition of Sanderson Farms by a consortium comprising Cargill Inc. and Continental Grain Company. This transaction merged the third ranked U.S. broiler producer with the Wayne Farms segment of Continental Grain, resulting in some overlaps in areas of operation.  Faced with opposition from contractors in Mississippi, Sanderson Farms withdrew the proposed contract and issued an alternative on August 19th.

 

Sanderson Farms has restructured marketing programs including form of product and packaging in response to changes in retail and institutional demand attributed to COVID restrictions.  The changes that were proposed, although appearing to represent a short-term cut were effectively neutral with respect to annual income given increased volume and shorter down-time between flocks in response to the demand for lower live weight mainly for tray-pack products. 

 

With the merger of Wayne Farms and Sanderson Farms, many growers felt that they had fewer  or in some cases no alternative options available and accordingly formed the Mississippi Poultry Growers Alliance.  The group requested a retraction of the apparent pay cut, increased transparency and an end to the tournament system. It is indeed unfortunate that the precipitate but understandable actions by Sanderson Farms were regarded as a cut in pay.  The intentions of the company were obviously inappropriately communicated to growers and the timing only intensified the underlying concerns and insecurity of growers.

 

The situation that has yet to be resolved will be the subject of Congressional inquiry with Senators representing Midwest states producing beef and pork questioning concentration in red meat packing.  Despite the fact that Sanderson Farms issued a written explanation on September 17th, an advocacy organization, the Rural Advancement Foundation International addressed a letter to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division on behalf of poultry growers in the State of Mississippi outlining the issues in contention.  Growers in contiguous counties with only one integrator are obviously at a disadvantage with respect to their ability to bargain.  Once having taken on the burden of long-term loans, they are obviously obliged to work with a single integrator to maintain cash flow.  In most counties in the U.S. major integrators are working harmoniously with growers to their mutual benefit.  In recent years where expansion of production has required recruitment of growers for pullet rearing, hatching-egg production and grow-out, applicants for contracts exceed demand attesting to the inherent equity of the contract system.

 

Recent action in Washington involving both the Senate Judiciary Sub-Committee on Antitrust and the Senate Agriculture Committee are reminiscent of the joint Department of Justice and Department of Agriculture hearings on supply chains and contracts that led to new rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act. The testimony of aggrieved contractors formed the basis of new rules issued in January 2017 by the then and now, current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Although rescinded by Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue in 2017, the draft of the Rule is still on the desk of Secretary Vilsack. There is growing sentiment in Congress opposing consolidation, size and scope of integrators and even foreign ownership of enterprises.

 

Given the prevailing climate chicken integrators should be extremely careful to work collaboratively with contractors and to exercise fairness in their interactions to avoid litigation and possible onerous new rules and restrictive legislation. The contract system has worked to the benefit of all for decades and should continue albeit with appropriate recognition of the need for security and profit for both sides of the transaction. More transparency, adjustments of conditions where necessary, mutual respect and understanding will all contribute to continuation of the system. This will be to the mutual benefit of integrators and contractors and ultimately consumers.

 

Poultry Industry News

Broiler Week

Weekly Broiler Production and Prices, October 15th 2021.

Chick Placements.

The Broiler Hatchery Report released on October 13th 2021 confirmed that a total of 231.3 million eggs were set during the week ending October 9th 2021, up seven percent from the corresponding week of the previous year and up 0.2 percent (0.5 million eggs) compared to the previous week in 2021.

 

A total of 168.5 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending October 9th 2021. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 177.8 million, down two percent from the corresponding week in 2020 and 1.1 percent (2.0 million) chicks) less than the previous week. Claimed average hatchability was 79.6 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier, (also 79.6 percent for the previous week). Each 1.0 percent change in hatchability represents 2.4 million chicks placed per week with the current range of weekly settings.

 

Cumulative chick placements for the period January 9th 2021 through October 9th 2021 amounted to 7.44 billion chicks, up less than one percent from the corresponding period in 2020.

 

During the period September 4th through October 9th 2021 weekly placements were on average 1.5 percent lower compared with the corresponding six weeks in 2020. This represents on average, placement of 3.5 million fewer chicks per week. This is attributed to setting a proportion of hatching eggs with depressed fertility derived from high-yield breed combinations maintained by some integrators. Additional breeder flocks have been placed to compensate for reduced fertility and hence hatch but their contribution has yet to be realized based on age. The average 3.5 percent increase in eggs per week set over the past six weeks should be reflected in higher placements during late-October and in broilers harvested during early December onwards.

 

Broiler Production

According to the October 15th USDA Broiler Market News (Vol. 68, No. 41) for the processing week ending October 9 th 2021, 169.4 million broilers were processed during the past week (previous week 168.5 million) at an average live weight of 6.52 lbs. (6.42 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76 percent. The number of broilers processed was 0.7 percent more than the corresponding processing week in 2020. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week was 839.5 million lbs. (381,582 metric tons), (822.1 million lbs. last week), 10.7 percent more than the corresponding processing week in 2020. In 2021 Processed (RTC) production attained 32.2 billion lbs. (14,640,836 metric tons), 0.4 percent less than YTD 2020.

 

Broiler Price

The USDA National Composite Weighted Wholesale price on October 15 th 2021 was down 0.8 cents per lb. compared to the previous week at 103.9 cents per lb., compared to 67.9 cents per lb. during the corresponding week of 2020; 105.8 cents per lb. for September 2021 and 77.0 cents per lb. for the three-year average. The industry is still impacted by contraction in the food service segment following imposition of COVID-19 restrictions, although universities and schools are generally functional and QSRs are using increasing quantities of breast meat for sandwiches, strips and nuggets.


 

Turkey Week

Weekly Turkey Production and Prices October 15th 2021

 

Poult Production and Placement:

The October 15th 2021 edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 27.1 million eggs in incubators on October 1st 2021 (25.6 million eggs on September1st 2021*) and down 0.9 percent (0.24 million eggs) from October 1st 2020.

 

A total of 21.2 million poults were hatched during September 2021 (21.8 million in August 2021*), representing a decrease of 1.0 percent (186,000 poults) from September 2020.

 

A total of 19.3 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in September 2021, (21.8 million in August 2021*), 11.1 percent (2.4 million poults) less than in September 2020. This suggests disposal of 1.9 million poults during the month (0.3 million in August 2021). Based on the proportion of 45 percent hens to 55 percent toms processed year-to-date it is calculated that 0.9 million tom poults representing 4.3 percent of September hatch and 1.0 million hen poults representing 4.7 percent of September hatch were not placed in the month.

 

For the twelve-month period October 2020 through September 2021 inclusive, 265.9 million poults were hatched and 246.8 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 19.1 million poults. Assuming the proportion of placements corresponded to the respective numbers of toms and hens reared year to date (55:45), for the 12-month period, 7.2 percent of all poults or 3.2 percent of tom poults (8.6 million) and 3.9 percent of hen poults (10.5 million) were not placed. This is an unsubstantiated estimate with a fluctuating demand for processed toms and hens in a post-COVID affected market. (See relative numbers of hen and tom poults processed under Production Data below).

 

* USDA revision from previous monthly report.

 

 

To be updated in mid-November 2021 following release of monthly USDA data


 

Crop Progress

Status of 2021 Corn and Soybean Crops

The USDA Crop Progress Report released on October 18th documented corn and soybean crop conditions to October 17th compared to 5-year averages. This past week 97 percent of the corn crop was mature, 4 percent ahead of the 5-year average. Fifty two percent has been harvested. For soybeans 95 percent of the crop was dropping leaves consistent with the 5-year average and 60 percent has been harvested, an advance of 11 percent in a week and ahead of the 5-year average of 55 percent.

 

Surface moisture levels were relatively higher during the past week over the corn-belt attaining an average of 16.0 percent for areas classified in the two lowest categories of “Short” and “Very short”. The severe drought in Western states and the Dakotas continues with extensive wildfires in the Northwest and low levels in the Colorado waterway and associated dams. Topsoil moisture in Iowa this past week remained low at 42 percent compared to 43 percent last week in the two lowest moisture categories. High topsoil moisture levels consistent with rain at the time of harvest will result in higher moisture levels in corn with a propensity for mycotoxicosis.

 

Despite the variable levels of topsoil moisture among states, approximately 60 percent of the corn crop was classified collectively under the “Good” and “Excellent” categories by USDA. This appraisal was unchanged from last week. The corresponding figure for soybeans for the week ending October 10 th was 59 percent, up one percent from the previous week.

 

The ProFarmer Crop Tour completed five weeks ago, estimated corn yield to range from 175.2 to 178.8 bushels per acre with a mean value of 177.0 bushels per acre compared to the October WASDE value of 176.5 bushels per acre. The ProFarmer evaluation corresponded to a projected range for the 2021corn harvest of 14.965 to 15.265 billion bushels with a mean value of 15.116 billion bushels compared to the October WASDE value of 15.019 billion bushels.

 

The ProFarmer Crop Tour estimated the soybean yield to range from 50.2 to 52.2 bushels per acre with a mean value of 51.2 bushels per acre compared to the October WASDE value of 51.5 bushels per acre. The ProFarmer evaluation corresponded to a projected range for the 2021 soybean harvest of 4.347 to 4.525 billion bushels with a mean value of 4.525 billion bushels compared to the October WASDE value of 4.448 billion bushels.

 

CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of the 2021 harvest in November.

 

Reference is made to the October 12th WASDE Report #617 and the Acreage Report in this edition for projected 2021 acreage and yields. This data will be updated when WASDE #618 is released in mid-November with a final projection of yields, ending stocks and markets.

 

WEEK ENDING

 

WEEK ENDING

 

Crop

October 10th

October 17th

5-Year Average

Corn Mature (%)

Corn Harvested (%)

94

41

97

52

93

41

       

Soybeans Dropping leaves (%)

Soybeans Harvested (%)

91

49

95

60

95

55

       
         

Crop Condition

18 States

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn 2021 (%)

Corn 2020 (%) 1

1. Late planting

4

5

10

9

26

25

45

46

15

15

October 10th 2021

Soybeans 2021 (%)

Soybeans 2020 (%)1

1. Late planting

4

3

10

7

27

26

46

50

13

14

Parameter 48 States

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture %: Past Week*

14

23

54

9

Past Year

22

34

41

3

Subsoil moisture %: Past Week

18

27

50

5

Past Year

20

33

44

3

 

For topsoil moisture the major corn and soybean-producing states had an average of 16.0 percent in the “Very Short” and “Short” categories (last week 20.2 percent) with a range of 3 percent for MI to 42 percent for IA.

  • Iowa 42% (was 43%)
  • Illinois 7% (was 21%)
  • Indiana 8% (was 12%)
  • Kansas 37% (was 42%)
  • Kentucky 11% (was 14%)
  • Michigan 3% (was 4%)
  • Missouri 18% (was 29%)
  • Ohio 6% (was 7%)
  • Pennsylvania 12% (was 0%)

 

USPOULTRY Approves Research Grants

On October 4th, USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation approved three research grants dealing with aspects of poultry meat production.  Research funding was approved by the Boards of Directors of both organizations following evaluation by the Research Advisory Committee.  The three grants comprised:-

 

 

 

  • Evaluating vertical transmission of the Salmonella Reading outbreak strain in turkeys using bioluminescent imaging: Mississippi State University with a grant from Cargill Inc
  • Increasing the efficiency of avian reovirus characterization via real-time sequencing: University of Georgia with a grant from Pilgrim’s Pride Corp
  • Identifying genetic determinants of Campylobacter jejuni that promote bacterial survival during processing and storage: University of Tennessee funded by Koch Foods

 

Boehringer Ingelheim to Increase Investment in Vaccine Plant

Boehringer Ingelheim announced that an additional $120 million will be invested in the vaccine plant currently under construction in Lyon-Jonage in France.  Previously the company announced that the initial phase would cost $240 million, representing the largest veterinary vaccine facility in the E.U. and is scheduled to produce vaccines in early 2023.

 

The extension will allow the facility to satisfy the demand for vaccines especially for catastrophic diseases that transcend boundaries.  The executive responsible for animal health at Boehringer Ingelheim stated, “Our business is positioned to be at the forefront of innovation in protecting animals and subsequently humans from trans-boundary and emerging diseases.  This additional investment in our production capabilities will help governments around the world as well as other customers ensure a rapid response to new threats”.


 

Soft Robotics Receives Funding from Tyson Ventures

Soft Robotics Inc. recently announced a $10 million series-B extension from Tyson Ventures.  The company is developing equipment capable of deboning with high precision and speed to replace manual labor.  It is evident that workers are disinclined to perform repetitive labor that is becoming more costly with higher wage rates and benefits.  Disruptions caused by COVID have stimulated demand for equipment and installations that can displace workers.


 

U.S. EEOC Extracts Settlement from Meat Processors

Chicago Meat Authority Inc. (CMA) has agreed to pay $1.1 million to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit initiated in 2018.  At issue is the contention that the company discriminated against black applicants and favoring Hispanic employees.  A number of workers complained to the EEOC beginning in 2013 and the Company allegedly retaliated against those complaining of racial harassment.

 

The founder and president of the company noted that CMA functions as an Equal Opportunity Employer and agreed to the settlement without admitting fault in order to resolve the issue without additional dilution of management effort and legal costs.


 

River Otters at Brevard Zoo Die of Necrotic Enteritis

Two otters, respectively aged four and six years, died of necrotic enteritis at the Brevard, FL. Zoo. According to a report in the October 13th AVMA Newsletter, the animals were infected with coccidiosis followed by clostridial enteritis approximately one week later.

 

It is evident that the combination of coccidiosis followed by clostridial enterotoxemia can result in mortality in carnivores following the same pathogenesis as in chickens. 


 

Sad Passing of Rejean Nadeau of Olymel

Rejean Nadeau, CEO of Olymel, a major meat cooperative based in Quebec, died of cancer this past week at the age of 71.  Nadeau assumed the presidency of the cooperative in 1996 and embarked on an expansion program, including acquisition of competitors and branding of products for national distribution in Canada.

 

Ghislain Gervais, Chair of the Boards of Olymel and the Solio Cooperative, expressed appreciation for his achievements.  Yanick Gervais, Senior Vice President of Operations, has assumed the duties of CEO until a successor is appointed.


 

Chr. Hansen Reports on Fiscal Year

In a company release dated October 14th Chr. Hansen reported an 11 percent increase in revenue for fiscal 2020/2021 to $1.25 billion. The Company generated an EBIT of $346 million approximately nine percent lower than the previous financial year.  Chr. Hansen benefited from acquisitions but was negatively impacted by currency exchange.  The Food Cultures and Enzymes Segment posted eight percent organic growth followed by the Health and Nutrition Segment with five percent organic growth.

 

In a statement accompanying the results, Mauricio Graber, CEO stated, "a prolonged impact from the COVID pandemic increased the complexity of transitioning Chr. Hansen to a fully-focused bioscience company.  Limited customer access, delayed registration times and general macroeconomic uncertainty restrain growth opportunity.  Our Human Health business disappointed in the second half of the year due to that part of the business serving traditional sales channels.  In 2021/2022 we will be focused on commercial execution and anchoring the new businesses while making progress in our 2025 strategic priorities.

 

In providing guidance, Chr. Hansen expects an increase in revenue in the range of five to eight percent and an increase in EBIT of 27 percent. During the recently completed fiscal year, Chr. Hansen divested Natural Colors and acquired HSO Healthcare, UAS Labs and Jennewein.


 

SCOTUS Denies Certiorari for PR Cock-Fighters

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will not hear an appeal from petitioners in Puerto |Rico regarding the banning of cock fighting in all fifty states and territories.  Animal activist organizations including Animal Wellness Action have campaigned for legislation that now appears constitutional with respect to interdicting movement of fighting cocks among states and to territories including Guam and Puerto Rico.

 

The difficult part will be enforcing the law since cock fighting has considerable support in southern states where birds are bred and multiplied and in territories and states where cock fighting is entrenched in the local culture.

 

Movement of fighting cocks has the potential to maintain erosive diseases and to spread catastrophic infections and places in jeopardy the export eligibility for poultry products from numerous states or even the entire U.S.


 

Despite Inflation Consumers Continue Buying Meat and Poultry

 

The Consumer Price Index for September issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics documented a 17.8 percent in the retail unit price for beef and veal compared to September 2020.  Pork was up  12.7 percent and chicken was 7.6 percent higher compared to the corresponding month in 2020.

 

Studies conducted by IRI in collaboration with market research group 210 Analytics noted a fractional decline of 0.7 percent in dollar value of meat purchased by consumers at retail.  Average expenditure on refrigerated meat and poultry was $14.38 per grocery trip over the first three quarters of 2021.  The pattern of purchases varied according to region with a decline of 6.1 percent in the plains states, down 5.1 percent in the northeast but only 0.4 percent in the mid-south.

 

It was determined that 98.1 percent of U.S. households purchased fresh meat at some point during the nine-month period in 2021, approximately 0.5 percent lower than for the first three quarters of 2020.

 

During September, the value of pork sold increased by 9.9 percent over September 2020 and was 23.1 percent higher than in September 2019. For the September 2020 to 2021 comparison, dollar sales of fresh beef were up 6.1 percent and chicken by 6.6 percent.  Given the general inflation in energy, rent and food, consumers are justifiably seeking deals and discounts in all supermarket departments.


 

Hamlet Protein Presents Nutrition Seminars in Germany

Following suspension of in-person technical meetings as a result of COVID in 2020, Hamlet Protein has reestablished the platform bringing together nutritionists, from academia and industry to interact in an in-person event. 

 

Welcoming participants to a program on poultry nutrition, Dr. Jan Kamphof, Director for the Europe Middle East and African Region commented, "we are very happy to be able to meet with our customers again and to exchange ideas on the latest developments in the German as well as global markets.  Hamlet Protein has made significant investments in product development in scientific research in the past year". 

 

Presenters at the poultry nutrition seminar included Dr. Elizabeth Satin discussing gut health and sustainability: Dr. Maarten de Gussem on maintaining performance in broiler chickens vaccinated against coccidiosis; Dr. Alfred Blanch, Category Manager for Poultry with Hamlet Protein reviewing recent findings on dietary anti-nutritional factors in chicken diets.

 

In commenting on the seminar, Dr. Kamphof noted, "research shows that the inclusion of high-quality ingredients in starter and pre-starter feeds results in improved gut health, better digestion and absorption of feed components and a more active immune system".  He added, "that in turn leads to better returns for producers".


 

Domestic Chicken Production in the U.K. Falling

According to the USDA-FAS GAIN report, UK 2021-0084 released October 7th chicken production in the U.K. fell 1.4 percent from market year 2020 to 1.75 million metric tons in 2021.  For the upcoming market year beginning October 2021, an additional two percent decline in production is projected.  The reason for the successive lower output relates to reduced demand commencing in 2020 following the emergence of COVID and continuing with restrictions in 2021.  Currently producers are faced with high feed costs and availability of labor.  Although not as critical as in red meat processing, both turkey and broiler producers have experienced difficulty in recruiting U.K. citizens following the departure of temporary workers from Eastern Europe.  The U.K. Government has granted short-term visas for 5,500 poultry workers through December 24th, 2021, mainly for turkeys.

 

In 2022, the U.K. will be a net importer of 300,000 metric tons of processed broiler meat.  Imports will be up eight percent to 675,000 metric tons and exports will fall 25,000 metric tons to 375,000 metric tons.  Consumption by a population of 67 million will attain 66.5 pounds per capita.

 

The U.K. poultry industry has yet to recover from the impact of Brexit involving an increase in certification and paperwork and delays at ports of entry into the E.U. The precarious financial state of chicken producers in the U.K. is exemplified by intensive opposition to a bilateral trade deal that would allow U.S. broiler products to be shipped to the U.K. Opposition to an agreement is based on spurious justifications relating to washing or immersing carcasses in chlorine solutions and claimed administration of “hormones” and antibiotics. Essentially onerous regulations that may be included in a trade agreement are directed to protection of producers and not a valid public health consideration.


 

Butterball Recalling Seven Tons of Ground Turkey

Approximately seven tons of ground turkey packed in 2.5 and 3-pound trays and distributed under the Butterball and Kroger brands have been recalled.  Product may be contaminated with plastic remnants introduced into the recalled batch derived from the Mount Olive, NC plant 7345.

The recall was initiated following consumer complaints but there have been no confirmed reports of injuries.

 

 


 

Couple Supplying Labor for Mar-Jac Plant Found Guilty of Conspiracy

On Wednesday, October 13th a federal jury convicted Delvin Escalante and Crystal Escalante, residents of Haleyville, AL. of a series of crimes arising from a Department of Homeland Security raid on a Jasper, AL. Mar-Jac plant. 

 

The Escalante's were found guilty of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens, money laundering and related charges.  According to court records, the Escalante's supplied Mar-Jac with undocumented contract labor using false identities.  Over a three-year period, the defendants apparently earned more than $16 million.

 

The Escalante’s face up to 10 years in prison on the illegal aliens charge and considerably longer for money laundering. In addition to incarceration and fines, the Government will seize assets including property and vehicles.


 

Lightlife ® Brand to be Available in Walmart Stores

Green Leaf Foods, a subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods, has negotiated with Walmart to sell a range of Lightlife ® and Field Roast™ products.  They will include burgers, breakfast links, and patties to be offered in the refrigerated breakfast-meat section.

 

Lightlife® plant-based burgers are based on pea protein and the company claims fewer ingredients than competing plant-based alt-meat products.


 

McDonald’s Corp. to Test Vegetarian Burger

McDonald’s Corporation has announced that a test will be conducted in the U.S. on a plant-based McPlant™ Burger developed in cooperation with Beyond Meat.  The burger will be tested from November 3rd over a limited period in eight outlets.  McDonald’s is currently marketing the McPlant Burger in the U.K. and Scandinavia.


 

USAPEEC Urges FSIS to Expedite Inspection of Cold Storage Facilities

Restraints impacting chicken exports include availability of refrigerated shipping containers, port delays and documentation. Inspection of product in cold storage facilities has recently been identified as a new pinch point.  The USAPEEC has addressed a letter to Paul Kiecker Administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service urging action to alleviate problems at ports and specifically Savannah, GA. responsible for a considerable volume of U.S. broiler exports.

 

UASPEEC has suggested a review of the re-inspection program as outlined in FSIS Directive 9000.1.  This program would require re-inspection of only a small proportion of pallets consigned and not every container.  In the letter to Paul Kiecker, USAPEEC suggested using retired FSIS inspectors and establishing a cooperative program with the Agricultural Marketing Service until new inspectors can be recruited and trained.  It is considered essential to coordinate inspection of products in cold storage facilities to conform to the scheduled departure time of vessels in order to move product and reduce demurrage and port congestion.


 

Administration Announces End to Workplace Immigration Raids

Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has instructed the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service and the Customs and Border Protection Service to cease raids on plants and factories and to shift emphasis to promote a fair labor market.

 

In an October 14th release, Mayorkas stated, “We will not tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities or impose unsafe working conditions.  Employers engaged in illegal acts compel the focus of our enforcement resources.  By adopting policies that concentrate on the most unscrupulous employers we will protect workers as well as legitimate American businesses.”

 

The Department of Homeland Security release noted, “Under the previous Administration resource-intensive operations resulted in simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers and were used as a tool by exploitative employers to suppress and retaliate against workers’ assertion of labor laws.”


 

JBS to Purchase Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats

JBS USA has announced that Swift Prepared Foods Inc. a subsidiary, will acquire Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats Inc. based in California for $90 million.  The company produces smoked bacon, ham and turkey products under the Sunnyvalley Brand.  The purchase includes the production facility in Manteca, CA.

 

Tom Lopez, president and CEO of Swift Prepared Foods stated, “Today’s announcement is consistent with our company long-term strategy to increase our value-added and branded portfolio to provide even more diverse product offerings to customers and consumers.”

 

Swift Prepared Foods operates seven plants located in Mississippi, Indiana, Iowa and Vermont in addition to a new facility to prepare Italian meats to be located in Columbia, MO.

 


 

Shane Commentary

USDA Awards $10 Million for Research into Cell Cultured Protein

The USDA has awarded $10 Million to Tufts University to establish a National Institute for Cellular Agriculture.  The grant was part of a $146 million investment in sustainable agricultural research.

 

Professor David Kaplan, an expert in cell cultured meat will head the Institute that will cooperate with scientists at Virginia Tech, Virginia State, University of California-Davis, MIT, and the University of Massachusetts.

 

The National Center will “integrate research, education, and extension activities to develop innovative technologies and improve outreach and extension activities in cellular agriculture.”

 

Why the USDA grant?

 

The Department of Agriculture should be supporting traditional livestock production and developing technology that reduces the environmental footprint of beef, pork, and poultry.  It is evident that many of the USDA “investments in sustainable agricultural research” run counter to the needs of traditional livestock production.

 

If cell-cultured meat has a future, it is up to venture capital funds, financial institutions and industry to invest in this technology. as in the E.U and Israel.  It is apparent that many of the policies of the present Administration, and specifically the Department of Agriculture, are directed at environmental issues and the policies of the Left to the detriment of traditional agriculture.

 

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