Carrols Restaurant Group Claim Plateau in Sales of Meat Alternatives

Carrols Restaurant Group, a major franchisee of Burger King and Popeye’s Chicken reported a leveling of sales of the meatless whopper at their Burger King locations.

CHICK-NEWS has frequently noted that initial demand for alternatives to conventional beef burgers may attributed to a curiosity factor.  Even if meatless burgers are equivalent in texture and taste, which is debatable, they are still marked up by approximately 25% above conventional burgers.  Restaurant Brands International will be testing an impossible Croissan’wich® with meatless sausage in Burger King stores

It is considered significant that McDonald’s Corp has been slow to introduce a meatless equivalent to beef although a trial is currently underway in Ontario, Canada offering the P.L.T. Burger® with a Beyond Meat patty.  It is understood that three restaurants involved in the market evaluation will not continue offering the non-beef alternative after the test is concluded.

Initial consumer reaction and sales volume following introduction of a test may well be misleading.  Producers and aspirant manufactures of vegetable-based meat substitutes are using extrapolations from early data to convince investors of the large potential market for their products. They claim that vegetable alternatives will displace beef justified by unsubstantiated claims for health and sustainability.  The demand for beef substitutes in 2025 will only become apparent at the end of 2021 when consumers have had an opportunity to evaluate offerings from numerous companies including the existing leaders, Impossible Foods and Beyond Burger and the competitors including Nestle, Cargill and Maple Leaf Foods.  The largest market in the world for meatless quick service products will be China but it is anticipated that U.S. technology will be purloined and that domestic companies will dominate the market.


Poultry Industry News

Updated USDA-ERS Poultry Meat Projection for 2020.

The USDA-Economic Research Service released updated production and consumption data on January 16th 2020 for broilers and turkeys covering 2018 and 2019 (forecast) together with a projection for 2020.


Broiler data for 2019 was essentially unchanged from the November 2019 report. Production in 2019 will increase by 2.9 percent compared to 2018 to 19.93 million metric tons (43,839 million lbs.) RTC. Per capita consumption in 2019 was increased 2.6 percent from 2018 in the January report to 43.1 kg. (94.9 lbs.). Consumption is expected to increase in 2020 by 1.2 kg (2.8 lbs.). Exports will represent 16.4 percent of RTC production in 2020 attaining 3.375 million metric tons (7,425 million lbs.) This is based on the presumption that USMCA, (concluded in September 2018, modified in November 2019), will be ratified by the Parliament of Canada early in 2020 following the lead of Mexico and the U.S. and that no duties will be imposed on U.S. product. The projection does not take into account the prospect of renewed exports to China in 2020 following signing of the Phase-1 Trade Agreement on January 15th 2020.


Turkey production for 2019 was reduced by 2.1 percent from the December 2020 report to 2.622 million metric tons (5,889 million lbs.) RTC. Per capita consumption will remain at 7.3 kg. (16.0 lb.) for 2019, a 1.4 percent downward projection from 2018 despite promotions and introduction of further-processed items. Export volume was raised from a forecast 0.294 million metric tons in 2019 to 0.309 million metric tons (680 million lbs.) presumably from new markets purchasing MDM.


Forecast values for production and consumption of RTC turkey in 2019 and 2020 are considered to be optimistic given 2019 prices, egg settings, lower poult placements, disposal of hen poults, weekly production levels and inventories.


The projections do not allow for emergence of catastrophic diseases including HPAI and vvNCD.


Metric values for the broiler and turkey segments of the U.S. poultry meat industry are tabulated below:-



2018 (actual)



% Difference 2020

2018 to 2019 (projection)



Production (m. metric tons)



+2.9 20.636

Consumption (kg per capita)



+2.6 44.3

Exports (m. metric tons)



+0.5 3.375

Proportion of production (%)



-1.8 16.4




Production (m. metric tons)



-1.9 2.693

Consumption (kg per capita)



-1.4 7.2

Exports (m. metric tons)



+5.8 0.309

Proportion of production (%)



+7.6 11.5


Subscribers are referred to the weekly updates of production and inventories of broilers and turkeys posted weekly on CHICK-NEWS and the review of export data under the STATISTICS tab.


Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook -January16 th 2020


Turkey Week

Weekly Turkey Production and Prices

Poult Production and Placement:

The January 14th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 28.3 million eggs in incubators on January1st 2020 (25.8 million eggs on December 1st 2019) and up1.8 percent (0.5 million eggs) from January 1st 2019.

A total of 22.4 million poults were hatched during December 2019 (22.5 million in November 2019) representing a decrease of 3.3 percent from December 2018.

A total of 20.0 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in December 2019, (20.0 million in November 2019), 0.6 percent more than in December images/Post_Images/547image.jpg2018. This suggests disposal of 2.4 million poults during the month. Assuming all tom poults were placed, 21.4 percent of December-hatched hen poults or 10.7 percent of all December 2019-hatched poults were not placed.

For the twelve-month period January 2019 through December 2019 inclusive, 282.0 million poults were hatched and 257.3 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 25.0 million poults. Assuming all tom poults were placed 17.7 percent of hen poults or 8.9 percent of all poults hatched during the period were not placed.


Turkey Production:

The January 17th 2020 edition of the USDA Turkey Market News Report (Vol. 67: No. 03) confirmed the following provisional data for turkeys slaughtered under Federal inspection:-

  • For the processing week ending January 11th 2020, 1.573 million young hens were slaughtered at a live weight of 17.2 lbs. (last week 17.0 lbs.). During the corresponding processing week in 2019, 1.789 million hens were processed. Ready-to-cook (RTC) hen weight for the week attained 21.8 million lbs. (9,906 metric tons), 10.1 percent less than the corresponding processing week of 2019. Dressing percentage was a nominal 80.5. For YTD 2020 RTC hen production attained 38.46 million lbs. (17,481 metric tons), 11.4 percent less than during YTD 2019


  • For the processing week ending January 11th 2020, 2.543 million toms were slaughtered at 45.0 lbs. compared to 2.209 million toms processed during the previous week at 44.8 lbs. For the corresponding processing week in 2019, 2.361 million toms were processed. Ready-to-cook tom weight for the week attained 90.1 million lbs. (40,961 metric tons), 5.4 percent more than the corresponding processing week in 2019. Dressing percentage was a nominal 80.5 percent. For 2019 YTD, RTC tom product attained 169.7 million lbs. (77,140 metric tons), 14.9 percent less than for the YTD 2019.


Broiler Week

Weekly Broiler Production and Prices

Chick Placements.

The Broiler Hatchery Report released on January 15th 2020 confirmed that a total of 238.7 million eggs were set during the week ending January11th 2020, four percent higher than the corresponding week in 2019. A total of 182.6 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending January 11th 2020. This was four percent more than in the corresponding week in 2019. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 190.8 million. Claimed average hatchability was 81.6 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier.

Broiler Production

According to the January 17th 2020 USDA Broiler Market News Report (Vol. 607: No. 03) for the processing week ending January 11 th 2020, 173.1 million broilers were processed during the processing week at an average live weight of 6.26 lbs. (6.21 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 4.4 percent more than the corresponding processing week in 2019. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week was 823.7 million lbs. (374,412 metric tons), 5.9 percent more than the corresponding processing week in 2019. For YTD 2020 Processed (RTC) production attained 1,532 million lbs. (696,301 metric tons), 7.2 percent more than YTD 2019.


Commodity Report

COMMODITY REPORT: January 17th 2020.


Corn and soybean prices diverged this past week. Corn was up 0.8 percent and soybeans were down 0.6 percent. The fractional changes were despite signing of Phase-1 of the agreement with China, ratification of USMCA by the Senate and publication of the January 2020 WASDE #596.


Uncertainties still include:-

  • The extent and timing of soybean purchases by China in 2020. The U.S and China have now signed the Phase-1 agreement including U.S. tariff rescission, promised purchases of agricultural commodities, concessions on some structural issues by China and enforcement provisions
  • Exports of soybeans to China have resumed with 7.7 percent of projected shipments for 2019/2020 consigned during October and November. Notwithstanding the soybean exports, markets apparently do not sure the same optimism as expressed by the White House.
  • Fallout from uncertainty in the Middle East.

Questions still exist:-

  • Traders are reviewing projected ending stocks and taking into account the relative sizes of both corn and soybean harvests in 2019. Export of soybeans to China is still uncertain.
  • Brexit is now a certainty after the Conservative Party plan was approved by the House of Commons on Thursday 20th December.
  • A U.S. trade agreement with the U.K. will be concluded in 2020 but trade with the U.S. will be conditioned by commitments to the E.U. by the departing nation.
  • The relationship with the E.U. is tenuous especially with the threat of retaliatory tariffs by the U.S. on food products from France and auto imports from Germany.
  • An unpredictable political situation is delaying ratification of the USMCA by the Senate hopefully in early 2020.

Compared with the January 10th 2020 close, the CME quotation for March corn posted at close of trading on January 17th 2020 was up 3 cents to 389 cents per bushel. Soybeans that should be the beneficiary of the Phase-1 agreement were down6cents to 929 cents per bushel. During mid-December corn rose 6.0 percent and soybeans 2.8 percent based on prospects for commodity exports to China.

The signing ceremony for the recently concluded Phase-1 agreement on January 15th in Washington was a muted affair. Vice Premier Liu He represented China.

The following quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on January 17th 2020 compared with values for January 10 th 2020 (in parentheses).



Corn (cents per bushel)

March 389 (386)

May 395 (393)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Jan. 929 (935)

May 942 (958)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

Jan. 301 (299)

May 305 (308)

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


Corn: March quotation up 3 cents per bushel        ( +0.8 percent)

Soybeans: Jan. quotation down 6 cent per Bushel (-0.6 percent)

Soybean Meal: Jan. quotation up $2 per ton         (+0.7 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 0.44 cent per dozen

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



Subscribers are referred to the January 10th WASDE #596 under the STATISTICS tab.

Prices of commodities are influenced by projections of ending stocks as influenced by the 2019 harvest, 2020 exports and domestic use.

Two tranches of support funding were advanced in 2018 amounting to $12 billion as "short-term" compensation for disruption in trade.

On July 25th the USDA announced an additional $16 million package to support agriculture with Market Facilitation Payment (MFP) funds to be distributed in three tranches. Funds are distributed based on the higher of 50 percent of the producer's calculated payment or $15 per acre, provided a cover crop is planted.

The second MFP payment (November 2019) was $3.6 billion. The third (January 2020) payment, presumed to be $3.6 billion, will in all probability be paid given political and trade considerations.

Regulations framed in terms of the Additional Supplementation Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 enacted in June will determine eligibility. One million applications were received for the initial round in 2018 with 420,000 applications since July 2019. Additional request are being made by industry groups for 2020 MFP payments and will probably be justified by lower imports by China than previously announced by the White House.


Perdue Farms Introduces Plant-Based Degradable Foam Packaging for E-Commerce

Perdue Farms will use a non-GMO, cornstarch-based insulated packing material for shipments of food products through the E-Commerce platform. The Green Cell Foam supplied by KTM Industries is compostable and biodegradable and dissolves in water.


According to David Zucker, Senior Vice-president for E-Commerce and New Ventures, the cornstarch-derived product replaces Styrofoam as an insulation lining standard USDA-approved cardboard cartons to ship food items.


Federal Court Rules Against Foie Gras Production

A Federal Court rejected a challenge to the California ban on foie gras production and sale in the state.  In 2013 the Ninth Circuit ruled that the ban did not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution affirming the right of the California legislature in 2004 to regulate activity within its state.


Producers of foie gras have expended a considerable amount of time and legal fees in attempting to overturn the ban citing Federal poultry products laws, and more recently the Commerce Clause.

In the most recent verdict, the Federal Court stated that producers could comply with both Federal and state law by simply labeling their product in accordance with Federal Rules and withdrawing from the market in California.


According to press reports, the decision creates a precedent by which state legislators can set standards for welfare within their states.  Accordingly, challenges to California Proposition #12 will be unsuccessful. Regulations framed in accordance with California Proposition #2 enacted in 2008, are enforceable and the welfare laws themselves are constitutional.


Munters Welcomed As a Sponsor

Munters Corporation has joined major manufacturers and suppliers of North American and International poultry equipment and services as a co-sponsor of CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS.

The Company designs, develops and manufactures equipment for climate control, dehumidification, heating and abatement of pollution for a wide range of industries and agricultural applications. Munters can provide turnkey ventilation installations and components for retrofits compatible with a wide range of house configurations and flock densities.  

The ventilation range includes exhaust and turbulence fans up to 51 inches in diameter together with cones, louvers, air inlets, light baffles, controllers and evaporative cooling. Munters systems are supplied with sensors and warning systems all with user-friendly and practical features.

Munters supplies installations and components for pharmaceutical plants, supermarkets, the electronic, defense and aerospace industries, healthcare locations and chemical plants in addition to agricultural and livestock housing.

The Company provides assistance in the design and installation of systems and deploys a comprehensive service capability. Munters maintains an inventory of spare parts and provides kits for on-farm maintenance and repair.

Munters Celdek ® has received Green Guard Certification and VariMax ® fans carry USDA Equipment Acceptance Certification.

Munters is an established leader in designing ventilation equipment that contributes to optimal performance and to sustainability through efficient displacement of air relative to energy input.

Additional information on specific components of ventilation systems for broiler and egg-production installations can be obtained from the company website that can be accessed by clicking on the Munters logo on the right side of the welcome page.


Chick-Fil-A® Evaluating Menu Changes

According to a posting on the CNBC website, Amelia Lucas reported on a Chick-fil-A® test of new menu items. The latest evaluation will be conducted in Charlotte, NC. following preliminary consumer research in Arizona, Texas and Pennsylvania.


In order to reduce the scope of menus the Company will remove original Chick-n-Strips, Grilled Cool Wraps and decaf coffee from the menu.  Changes will be made to Kids’ nugget meals and the size of iced coffees, milk shakes and frozen beverages will be standardized to 16 oz.


The menu introductions will include spicy Chick-n-Strips, Grilled spicy deluxe sandwiches and Spicy Chick-n-Strips on biscuits.


Chick- fil- A® traditionally is conservative with respect to menu offerings and has favored elimination of slow-moving items to enhance efficiency.



Perdue Farms Launching Direct-To-Consumer Service

Perdue Farms has established an E-commerce site offering frozen meat products under the Perdue, Niman Ranch, Coleman Natural, Sonoma Red, and Skagit Red brands. The initiative is based on the knowledge that half of shoppers now buy perishables, including meat products,



David Zucker, senior vice-president of E-commerce and New Ventures at Perdue Farms stated, “as both online shopping and the demand for convenience show no signs of slowing down, we felt it was important to be in this space.” He added, “we are excited that this is the first time we have been able to offer so many of our brands in one place nationally.”


The Perdue E-commerce website has a decidedly pro-environmental image. All packaging is recyclable and orders include a shopping tote. Foam insulation composed of water-soluble compostible cornstarch is used. Each order will generate a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation to offset the carbon footprint of the shipment corresponding to 70 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per order.



USPOULTRY Annual Report

The 2019 Annual Report of U.S. Poultry and Egg Association highlighted advances in research programs, contributions to human resources, safety and health, environmental management, food safety, education and communications. The International Poultry Expo is a significant source of funds and has set successive records for attendance and floor space, number of exhibitors and extent of education sessions.

The USPOULTRY Foundation supported 34 colleges and universities with student recruiting grants and sponsored 90 FFA students to attend the 2019 IPE. The USPOULTRY Foundation advanced $1 million to fund industry-related research.


In reviewing funding, the following activities were supported with funding as indicated:

· Research - $350,343

· College and student programs - $724,815

· Environmental programs and projects - $508,951

· Educational programs and projects - $350,592

· Projects supporting activities of the NCC, NTF and UEP - $270,000

· Animal Agriculture Alliance - $109,950

· U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance - $101,440


During the year, USPOULTRY released 161 media items with more than 550 million exposures and distributed a 360° virtual reality video of a turkey farm.


USPOULTRY obtains funds from the IPPE and from member companies representing both producers and the allied industry. With a small staff of professionals, the achievements of USPOULTRY are made possible by contribution of time and effort by volunteers on 24 committees assisting the Executive Committee.


Impossible Foods Inc. Introduces Impossible Sausage

Impossible Foods has introduced a plant-based sausage that will be served at 139 Burger King restaurants in five U.S. test markets this month.


Impossible Foods claims that their Impossible Sausage offers 7 grams of protein, equivalent to a pork sausage but is lower in fat (8 g) and energy(130 Cal.) compared to a pork sausage which has 21 grams of total fat and 220 calories per two-ounce serving.


The National Pork Producer Council is opposing the description of the vegetable-based sausage as “pork” regarded as a violation of labeling laws.


Although promoters of vegetable protein substitutes make claims for total protein, they have yet to release details of amino acid content or state the level of salt and various additives that are required to produce a meat analogue.


Dan Kovich, director of science and technology for The National Pork Producers Council stated “this is a brazen attempt to circumvent decades of food labeling law and centuries of precedence. Any adjective placed in front of the word pork can only refine it, not redefine it.” 


The NPPC may well fall short of their intent to block pork substitutes since public interest is stimulating demand in meat analogs, not only from vegetarians but flexitarians and omnivores who are displaying an understandable curiosity over the range of meat substitutes.


McDonald’s Continue Testing of Beyond Meat™ Burgers in Canada

During December 2019, McDonald’s Corp tested a Beyond Meat burger, designated the P.L.T., (“plant, lettuce and tomato”) in Southwestern Ontario. According to Jeff Anderson, of McDonald’s Canada, the initial test was conducted to learn about demand and how to integrate the menu item into operations.


Based on the apparent success of the tests, the trial of the P.L.T. menu item will be extended beyond January 14th and will sell for US$4.50. The sandwich will comprise the plant-based patty from Beyond Meat served on a sesame bun with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise sauce, ketchup, and a slice of cheddar cheese.


Since the beginning of the year, Hooters and Burger King have launched menu items with vegetable-protein alternatives to meat. In addition other chains experimenting with meatless ground patties and sausages.


It is considered significant that McDonald’s is testing the product in Canada, although it is presumed that development work on menus were initiated and continue in the U.S.


Official Statement on Chicken-related Aspects of the Phase-1 Agreement with China

On January 16th 2020 the Office of the United States Trade Representative issued a summary of provisions relating to chicken exports to China incorporated into the Phase-1 Agreement signed on January 15 th in Washington DC. The statement is reproduced below with deletion of provisions relating to hogs and cattle.

The Phase One economic and trade agreement signed by the United States and China on January 15, 2020, will provide U.S. exporters of beef, pork, and poultry, as well as live breeding cattle with expanded access to China's rapidly growing market.


Market Overview: As incomes rise in China, demand for protein in diets increases. Chinese demand for imported beef, pork, and poultry is growing at a rapid rate, made more acute due to domestic pork supply constraints in China as a result of the ongoing outbreak of African swine fever.


China banned all U.S. poultry in 2015 and has maintained longstanding market access restrictions. The Phase One agreement addresses this issue and should give U.S. companies streamlined access to China's market while providing Chinese consumers with a wider variety of poultry products to choose from in the future. While Chinese livestock producers already import large volumes of livestock genetics from the United States, the Phase One agreement will provide an opportunity in the future for U.S. exports of high quality genetic material


On November 14, 2019, China reopened its market to U.S. poultry meat, partially eliminating the ban it had imposed in late 2014. On November 22, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated the online export library listing requirements for U.S. exporters to ship U.S. poultry meat to China. U.S. establishments can only export poultry to China that is slaughtered and further processed after the establishment has been added to the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) website. On November 22, 2019, GACC completed updating an initial online list of 349 U.S. establishments eligible to export to China. Upon GACC publishing U.S. establishments, Chinese importers are now able to obtain import licenses to start placing orders.


Key Achievements in establishing the Phase-One Agreement:


China has agreed to implement the following actions with respect to poultry:

• Finalize a protocol for the regionalization of poultry diseases, thereby ensuring that future trade disruptions will be minimized and solely based on internationally-accepted practices;

• Fully lift the ban on other poultry commodities, including live birds; and

• Abide by OIE standards for international trade of poultry products.

• Address the backlog of facilities awaiting approval and accelerate the process for future applicants by publishing within 20 business days of receipt the updated list of USDA-approved facilities;

• Permit, consistent with USDA directives, the use of replacement certificates;

• Begin utilizing USDA's Public Health Information System to facilitate the use of electronic transmission of export health certificates, greatly reducing the workload for exporters and regulators;



Audits and Inspections :

China has agreed to not require any routine audits or inspections of U.S. meat and poultry facilities as part of any facility registration process. However, in accordance with international standards, China may perform risk-based audits in coordination with USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). China may also conduct inspections of a risk-based selection of shipments of U.S. meat and poultry at the port of entry. China may refuse importation of a shipment of imported U.S. poultry products after conducting a scientific inspection and determining it is in violation of applicable food safety import requirements. China will notify the United States if it notices a significant, sustained, or recurring pattern of non-conformity by a particular facility and if it intends to restrict imports from that facility. The United States and China will work together to resolve any such issues should they be detected.


NTF Applauds Signing of Phase-1 Agreement with China.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) issued a statement on January 15th characterizing the prospect of exports to China as a “huge win for America's turkey farmers and processors”.


The NTF statement continued “the deal has created the potential for China to once again become a major market for poultry products. With the signing of the Phase One agreement, the Federation is looking forward to a strengthened trade relationship with China.


The NTF expressed thanks to President Donald J. Trump, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue and others “who have worked diligently to reach this agreement that boosts American agriculture.


In December 2019 the USDA-ERS projected exports of turkey products to attain 310,000  metric tons (682,000 million lbs.) without considering imports by China. This represented 11.5 percent of annual production of 2.693 metric tons (5,925 million lbs.)


Sysco Replaces CEO Effective February 1st.

The CEO of Cysco, Tom Bene will be replaced by Kevin Hourican.  Bene will remain as an Executive Advisor until March 1st to assist with transition. Hourican was recruited from CVS Health and previously served as president of the CVS Pharmacy chain.


A Sysco spokesperson noted “The Board believes Hourican’s expertise across key company capabilities including sales, supply chain, logistics, operations and digital technologies will unlock meaningful value for customers and other key stakeholders.”


For the most recent 1st quarter of FY 2020 ending September 28th 2019 Sysco Corporation (SYY) reported net earnings of $453 million on sales of $15.3 billion with an EPS of $0.87. Comparative values for Q1 FY 2018 were earnings of $431 million on sales of $15.2 billion and an EPS of $0.81.


SYY has traded over 52 weeks from $61.49 to $85.98 with a 50-day moving average of $83.70 and closed at $82.66 on January 16th 2020 trading with a forward P/E of 19.9.


The company has posted a 12-month trailing operating margin of 4.4 percent; a profit margin of  2.8 percent; return on assets and equity of 8.9 and 65.7 percent respectively.


HatchTech Breakfast Meeting at IPPE Sceduled

The HatchTech Breakfast Meeting will take place on Wednesday January 29 th from 07H30 - 09h00 at the Omni Hotel, CNN Center.

Speakers will be:


· Philip Wilkinson, OBE of the UK., an Executive Board member of Ingham's Australia and New Zealand will speak on the challenge of feeding a burgeoning population.


· Ing. Hector Santos Hatchery Manager for Cargill will discuss innovation and new technology in incubation.


· Dr. Donna Hill, Veterinary Consultant and Tjitze Meter Founder and CEO of HatchTech will discuss the state of the poultry industry. For further information and registration access www.hatchtech.com.


BV Science Field Tests Gamaxine Probiotic to Suppress E.coli Mortality in Broiler Breeder Replacement Pullets

BV Science recently concluded a field trial to evaluate the benefit of a Bacillus spp. solution Gamaxine, to suppress mortality in broiler breeder replacement pullets. The effectiveness of the product on two flocks compared to two controls on the same farm is evident from the results depicted in the attached slide set.


Download the Presentation PowerPoint file


ZhenMeat to Expand Vegetable-Based Meat Substitute in China

According to CNBC, ZhenMeat intends to raise $2 million in funding to initiate commercial production of plant-based ground meat with pork and beef flavors.


Founder of the company, Vince Lu considers that ZhenMeat will be highly competitive in China since it “tailors products to Chinese cuisine.”  Both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat intend to develop production in China during 2020.


It appears that there is a low technical barrier of entry to the market in China. Given the high demand for red meat and especially pork at high prices due to ASF, vegetable-based alternatives will be the beneficiaries of demand.


The Good Food Institute estimates the 2019 market for plant-based alternatives in China at $900 million compared to the U.S. at $680 million in 2018.


Sysco Offers Plant-derived Burger Patties

Sysco Corporation has announced the availability of  the Sysco Simply range of soy-based meatless burger patties.  The product will be vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and supply 18 grams of plant-based protein per serving.  Chef Neil Doherty, Senior Director For Culinary Development for Sysco stated “one of the key features of the patty is the special spice blend”. He added “we worked extensively to ensure that we got the recipe just right with a meat-like texture and a patty that cooks within minutes.” 

Brian Todd senior vice president for merchandising and marketing at Sysco stated “we developed Sysco Simply to offer our customers more of what they needed to be successful in a competitive marketing place.”

The introduction of a branded non-meat patty by Sysco is considered significant in that the company apparently has developed or accessed a product of acceptable quality within a short period of time confirming that there is a low barrier to entry for plant-based meat products.

Sysco is in a favorable position to sell their product with 320 distribution facilities worldwide serving 650,000 customers.  Sysco posted sales exceeding $60 billion during FY 2019.


Alltech Supports Australia Relief Efforts

The recent bushfires in Australia have devastated 25 million acres of farmland, more than the 2019 California and Amazon fires combined. Fires have resulted in 25 fatalities including first responders, killed as many as 500 million indigenous mammals, birds and reptiles and destroyed livestock.


Alltech subsidiaries Keenan Australia and Alltech Lienert have applied their resources to distribute emergency supplies including hay, finished feed, supplements, silage, water troughs, fencing and other necessities.  Company vehicles are delivering supplies in the affected states of Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and QueenslandCompany employees are volunteering time to rebuild fences and provide on-farm support with an initial focus on dairies, apiaries, sheep and beef stations.


Goods and services to support farmers will be provided by the Australia Farming Relief Fund Alltech is pledging a dollar-for-dollar supplement for donations to the Relief Fund. Alltech will  contribute through the Pearse Lyons ACE Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity.


Shipment of U.S. Chicken Paws Arrives in China

Five containers of chicken paws exported by Foster Farms to China entered through the port of Shanghai this past week. The consignment was subject to a 35 percent tariff and an additional duty of five cents per pound specifically for paws.

According to a January 15th release by USAPEEC, the Council president Jim Sumner is actively expanding the presence of the U.S. poultry industry in China. USAPEEC will be present at the SIAL China exhibition in Shanghai in mid-May and will host the U.S. poultry trade reception.


UK Supermarkets Launch Sustainability Initiatives

Asda, a major UK supermarket now partly owned by Walmart Stores, has introduced a series of sustainability initiatives. Asda is especially vulnerable, as it was ranked 9th among 10 supermarket chains in terms of sustainability. The test includes refill stations for House Brand rice, pasta, cereals and items. The initiative has received the support of customers in a Middleton location near Leeds in the north of England. CEO of Asda, Roger Burnley, stated “We will be testing and learning from the customers in Middleton to understand how we can reduce our environmental impact.” He added, “Our first priority will be to look at how we can reduce and remove plastic.”


According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, other chains have introduced sustainability programs. Morrisons  has pledged to have 100 percent recyclable, reusable, or compostibile packaging by 2025. Tesco is removing PVC from the packaging of their Own Brands and Sainsbury will use a recyclable material to displace plastic film for fruits and vegetables. Aldi is eliminating plastic wrapping on vegetables and is evaluating alternative materials, including cardboard for meat.


It is evident that supermarket chains have greater latitude to make changes in packaging for their house brands. It is possible that apart from reducing costs, consumer goodwill may be generated by offering recyclable and sustainable packaging on their own branded products, resulting in a move by food manufacturers to follow the trend.


USDA to Issue Two Proposals to Modify School Feeding

The proposed School Meals Proposed Rule issued by the USDA will allow greater flexibility in serving appetizing and healthy meals. Under the previous Administration more rigid standards were imposed, resulting in students rejecting meals and resulting in waste.


Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Sonny Perdue, noted “Schools and school districts continue to tell us there is still too much food waste and the more common-sense flexibilities needed to provide students, nutritious and appetizing meals. We listened and now we’re getting to work.” School meals are served to 30 million children each school day in 100,000 schools and institutions.


The Summer Food Service program, catering to 2.6 million children during summer when they are subjected to food insecurity, will undergo changes parallel to the school meals proposals allowing greater flexibility in meal offerings and adapting performance standards and eligibility requirements for individual locations.


The USDA Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs and co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans based on science-derived nutritional recommendations.


Perdue Foundation Donates $1 Million To Alleviate Hunger

The Delivering Hope To Our Neighbors initiative in conjunction with the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation has donated $100,000 to each of ten food banks located in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Delaware and California.


Perdue Farms is doubling its annual protein donation to Feeding America to four million pounds with a goal to provide 20 million pounds by 2025.  Over the past 20-years, Perdue has donated more than 76 million pounds of protein to food banks operated by Feeding America. 


Blake Thompson, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Feeding America stated “people who struggle with hunger do not have regular access to enough food for a healthy, active life.  Feeding America is grateful to Perdue for its generous support of member food banks and for helping people in need in communities across the country.”


Randy Day, CEO of Perdue Farms stated “with one in nine Americans struggling with food insecurity, hunger knows no boundaries.  As a food company we are committed to fighting hunger in the communities we call home and beyond.”


Shane Commentary

Relationship of Live Weight and Value of Jumbo Boneless Breasts

Dylan Hughes of Urner Barry recently published a review of the interrelationship of average live weight and jumbo boneless breast values from 2010 to 2020. Over the period 2010 to late 2016, live weight increased from 5.6 to 6.1 pounds. During these five years jumbo boneless breast values ranged from an initial $1.01 per pound to $1.25 per pound with brief peaks in mid-2013 and 2014 but tracked live weight.


In 2017, a deviation became apparent. As live weight increased from 6.1 pounds to 6.3 pounds, boneless breast values declined from $1.60 to $0.75. The difference in value is attributed to increased supply, but with a disproportionate reduction in demand based on the size of jumbo boneless breasts for food service, QSRs and domestic consumption.



Aviagen Stresses Sustainability in Breeding Programs at 2020 IPPE

To mark the 67th consecutive year of exhibiting at the IPPE, Aviagen will promote “breeding for sustainability” as the theme of their presentations.  As a major international primary broiler breeder Aviagen follows a balanced breeding approach integrating selected genetic traits to optimize health, performance, welfare and sustainability.


Aviagen has prepared three sustainability-related advisories to guide producers. These comprise sustainability in broiler production; balanced breeding to promote welfare and performance and sustainable development goals for broiler producers.


During the IPPE, Dr. Bill Stanley, Director of Global Health Monitoring will address the American Feed Association on biosecurity and the effect on sustainability by enhancing food safety and securing a food supply.  The presentation will be made in room A402 of the GWCC on Wednesday, January 29th 09h35 to 10h05.

Jan Henricksen CEO of Aviagen


Dr. Anne-Marie Neeteson, Global Vice President of Welfare and Compliance will participate in a panel discussion on Thursday, January 30th from 0730 to 09hoo in room A412 of the GWCC.


Commenting on the 2020 IPPE, the CEO of Aviagen, Jan Henriksen stated “as our theme of Breeding Sustainability implies, investments in the breeding program are directly linked to sustainability and productivity, as well as poultry health and welfare.  We look forward to discussing the important measures we have taken to promote the sustainability of our industry in the interest of people around the world and of generations to come.”


Aviagen is a global primary breeder marketing commercial broiler chickens under the Arbor Acres®, Indian River® and Ross® brands.  In addition, Aviagen markets Rowan Ranger® and Specialty Males® that offer flexibility for customers to meet specific market requirements. 


Aviagen employs 4,600 and has a distribution network serving 100 nations.  Aviagen is based in Huntsville, AL. and operates company facilities in the U.K., Turkey, Latin America, India, Australia, New Zealand and joint franchises in Asia.


Kemin Introduces Vannix™ C4 Feed Additive

Vannix™ C4 comprises a formulation of tannins, phytogenic compounds, probiotics and beta-glucans.  The product is intended to replace antibiotics in broiler growout operations where clostridial enterotoxemia and coccidiosis are problems.


Rachel Tonda, Associate Product Manager, Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health-North America commented “as a novel phytogenic feed additive, Vannix™ C4 offers producers a new approach to support and to rotate into gut heath management programs, helping to promote performance and preserve the efficacy of current products.”


Vannix™ C4 can be used in combination with other Kemin gut health preparations including Clostat®, Clostat ® WS. and KEM SAN®.

Additional information is available at https://www.kemin.com/na/en-us/products/vannix-c4


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