Poultry Industry News

Ghana Restricts Poultry Imports

11/27/2022

In USDA-FAS GAIN report GH2022-0019, dated November 23rd, announced that the Bank of Ghana will restrict foreign exchange required to import products considered “nonessential”.  On October 31st, the president of Ghana announced a six-month restriction on imported items in an attempt to stabilize the Cedi (national currency), that has lost half its value this year.  Currently, inflation is running at over 37 percent in Ghana.

 

Imports subjected to currency restriction include rice, poultry, vegetable oils, bottled water and a number of consumer items.

 

Over the first nine months of 2022, Ghana imported 39,974 metric tons of broiler products, presumably leg quarters, valued at $50.1 million.  These values were respectively 33 percent and 31 percent lower than the first nine months of 2021.  According to the FAS, the U.S. held 20 percent of the market share of poultry imports.

 

It is probable that either Togo or Benin may emerge as “importers” with illegal trans-shipment to Ghana to satisfy demand.

 


 

Passing of John Y. Brown, Jr.

11/27/2022

One-time owner and developer of the KFC brand, John Y. Brown, Jr., an attorney by profession, died on November 22nd in his hometown of Lexington, KY at the age of 88.  In 1964, Brown purchased the technology and rights for Kentucky Fried Chicken from founder, Colonel Harland Sanders for $2 million, representing $20 million in current value.  Over a seven-year period, Brown promoted and franchised KFC, establishing 600 restaurants in the U.S and expanding internationally by 1971.  He sold the enterprise to Heublein, Inc., a liquor company, intending to diversify into food.  The sale that netted $30 million, (equivalent to $225 million in 2022 value) allowed Brown to enter politics. 

 

Following his marriage in 1979 to Phyllis George, a sportscaster and former Miss America. He won a single term as Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1979. He operated the state as a business, reducing expenditure by shrinking the bloated workforce of government employees and actively promoting Kentucky as a favorable business environment.  He withdrew from the 1984 Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat due to incapacitation following bypass surgery during the last year of his tenure as Governor.

 

His later career included investment in a number of enterprises, including a KFC clone, none of which achieved the stellar the success of the original brand under his ownership.


 

Presidential Pardon for Thanksgiving Turkeys

11/25/2022

In the 75th year of a tradition established in 1947 by President Harry Truman, President Biden granted a Presidential Pardon to two turkeys raised by Ronnie Parker, Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, on his farm in Monroe, NC.  The Toms named Chocolate and Chip, weighing in at 47 pounds, were transported to Washington for the White House event.

 

In his address, President Biden urged Americans to remember to feel and express gratitude during the holiday and to remember the reason for Thanksgiving.

 

The reprieved Toms will be housed at the North Carolina State University, Prestage Department of Poultry Science Farm where they will live out their remaining lifespan.

 

The annual turkey pardon reminds Americans of the importance of agriculture and the contribution of poultry to the Nation’s food supply.


 

Broiler Month, November 2022

11/24/2022

Monthly Broiler Production and Prices, November 24th 2022.

 

Chick Placements.

According to the November 23rd USDA Broiler Hatchery Reports 941.7 million eggs were set over four weeks extending from October 22nd through November 12th 2022, down four percent from the corresponding 4-week period in 2021.

 

Total placements for the U.S. over the four-week period amounted to 744.7 million chicks. Claimed average hatchability for the period averaged 80.2 percent (80.5 percent past four-week period) for eggs set three weeks earlier. Each 1.0 percent change in hatchability represents 1.9 million chicks placed per week with the current range of weekly settings. Placements were up 3.8 percent compared to the corresponding weeks in 2021.  

 

Cumulative chick placements for the period January 8th 2022 through November 19th amounted to 8.66 billion chicks, approximately two percent higher than the corresponding period in 2021.

 

Low chick placement during 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 was attributed to setting a proportion of hatching eggs with depressed fertility that were derived from high-yield breed combinations selected by some integrators. Additional breeder flocks were placed to compensate for reduced fertility and their contribution is reflected in broilers harvested during the second quarter of 2022 onwards.

 

According to the November 21st edition of USDA Chickens and Eggs pullet breeder chicks placed during October amounted to 8.78 million up 5.0 percent from October 2021 and up 0.6 million chicks or 6.7 percent higher than the previous month of September 2022. Broiler breeder hen complement attained 62.6 million in October 2022.

 

Broiler Production

 

According to the new format November 18th USDA Broiler Market News Report for the processing week ending November 12th 2022, 176.4 million broilers were processed at 6.49 lbs. live. This was 1.2 percent more than the 174.4 million broilers processed during the corresponding week in the previous month of October 2022 and 6.6 percent more than the 165.4 million processed during the corresponding week in November 2021. Broilers processed year-to-date amounted to 7.66 billion, 2.4 percent more than for the corresponding period in 2021.


 

Turkey Month, November 2022

11/24/2022

Monthly Turkey Production and Prices, November 25th 2022

 

Poult Production and Placement:

The November 17th 2022 edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 26.74 million eggs in incubators on November 1st 2022 compared to 26.50 million eggs on November 1st 2021* The November set was up 0.9 percent (240,00 eggs) from November 2021 but 90,000 eggs higher than the previous month of October 2022.

 

A total of 22.46 million poults were hatched during October 2022 up 2.8 percent compared to 21.85 million in October 2021*. The October 2022 hatch was up 0.9 percent (205,000 poults) from the previous month of September 2022.

 

A total of 20.47 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in October 2022, compared to 19.79 million in October 2021*. The October placement was 3.4 percent, (689,000 poults) more than the month of October 2021. This data confirms disposal of 1.98 million poults during the month. Approximately 8.8 percent of the October 2022 hatch was not placed.

 

For the twelve-month period November 2021 through October 2022 inclusive, 271.98 million poults were hatched and 253.17 million were placed. This documents disposal of 18.81 million poults over the 12-month period, corresponding to 6.9 percent of all poults hatched.

* USDA revision from previous monthly report.

 

 

Turkey Production:

The November 18th edition of the new format USDA Turkey Market News Report confirmed the following provisional data for turkeys slaughtered under Federal inspection:-


 

New Jersey Farm to Receive $4.2 Million from USDA

11/22/2022

Goffle Road Poultry Farm located in Wyckoff, NJ. has received $4.2 million from the USDA Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program.  The money will fund renovations and expansion to produce Halal Chicken.

 

This company is provided as an example of the $223 million in grants and loans to encourage meat and poultry processing by small-scale enterprises. Along with Goffle Road Poultry Farm, 30 plants in 20 states have received funding, including Greater Omaha Packing in Nebraska and Pure Prairie Farms in Charles City, IA.

 

The USDA intends allocating an additional $375 million to “restructure the meat industry”. The benefits to U.S. consumers of scattering $600 million among numerous small producers is questioned.  The incoming Congress should review the basis on which grants are made and to determine whether appropriate controls are in place to establish that public funds are justifiably expended and that the recipients are able to repay loans.

 

It is questioned why the recipients of USDA grants and loans were unable in the first instance to be funded by commercial and agricultural banks on the basis of their business plans. It is also questioned whether recipients conform to the traditional banking criteria of character, collateral and capacity that would be required for a business loan. The USDA characterizes these grants as “investments” whereas in the absence of effective evaluation, scrutiny and pay back they should be regarded as giveaways of public funds.


 

South Africa Reviewing of Anti-Dumping Duties

11/22/2022

According to USDA-FAS report SF2022-0041 released on November 16th, the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) has announced a Sunset Review of anti-dumping duties on frozen bone-in portions of chicken imported from the United States.  The ITAC is responding to an application to review anti-dumping duties from the South African Poultry Association.  The producer group in South Africa maintains that absent a dumping duty, frozen bone-in portions would continue to be imported from the U.S.  The South African Poultry Association claims that bone-in leg quarters are sold below cost, based on the U.S. preference for white meat.  The ITAC will consider whether dumping occurred over the period January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 to determine whether the anti-dumping duty imposed on imports above 71,290 tons will be either removed or retained.

 

Currently, ten nations are subject to anti-dumping duties, although in early August 2022 the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Competition suspended anti-dumping duties on product from Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Spain for twelve months justified by the increase in the price of food and specifically, protein.  Anti-dumping duties were retained for the United States.

 

As part of the Sunset Review, ITAC will review data submitted by importers, exporters and industry associations.  Completed questionnaires are required by December 9th, 2022. The subsequent investigation may take six months to conclude.


 

Brazil Increases Value and Volume of Chicken Exports

11/21/2022

For the ten months of 2022, Brazil increased the value of chicken meat exports by 29 percent and volume by 5 percent.  According to the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein the value for the first ten months of 2022 attained $8.195 billion and a volume of 4.060 million tons.  Unit value was therefore $2,018 per ton.  For comparison, for the first nine months of 2022 the U.S. exported 2,815 million tons of chicken comprising 96 percent leg quarters valued at $3,960 million with a unit value of $1,407 million.

 

For the ten-month period, Brazil exported 9.2 percent of product to the UAE, an increase of 23 percent over 2021; 5.2 percent of exports were to the Philippines, a 45 percent increase; 5.0 percent to the European Union, up 24 percent and 3.7 percent of exports to South Korea, an increase of 63 percent.

 

Average monthly shipments of chicken by Brazil attained 400,000 tons.


 

Service Company Injunction

11/21/2022

Judge M Gerrard of the U.S. District Court of Nebraska has issued an injunction against Packers Sanitation Services Inc. at the request of the Department of Justice. The Company provides cleaning services for 700 plants using 17,000 workers.

 

The action relates to allegations that the company is employing minors to provide decontamination and cleaning services for plants operated by JBS USA., Tyson Foods and other processors. The injunction also requires Packers Sanitation Services to cooperate with the Federal investigation and illegal hiring. Evidence was presented of false social security numbers, altered records and other evidence of fraud relating to a preliminary review of 40 plants dating from August.

 

Federal investigators ascertained that approximately 30 minors between the ages of 13 and 18 were cleaning equipment in a Grand Island, NE plant and allegedly one employee suffered injuries from contact with corrosive compounds.


 

Bipartisan Congressional Request for Extension on Proposed P&S Rules

11/20/2022

Senators and representatives from agricultural states have addressed a letter to Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, requesting a six-month extension of the comment period relating to the suite of proposed Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S) regulations.  The letter noted that the “inclusive competition and market integrity under P&S requires responses to more than 40 technical issues that may not be adequately defined”.  Previously, the USDA-AMS published proposed rules relating to transparency in poultry growing and contracting and also fairness in relation to the tournament system.  Given the complexity of the responses to the proposed rule and its implications in terms of food production, the Congressional signatories to the letter are justified in requesting an extension for comments.

 

It is noted that many of the provisions of the intended rule were, in fact, developed during the Obama Administration and approved by Secretary Vilsack in his first term as USDA Secretary.  Many of the requirements were, in fact, set aside by his successor, Dr. Sonny Perdue, under the Trump Administration.


 

Tyson Foods to Expand Walnut Grove, MS Hatchery

11/20/2022

Tyson Foods has announced an expansion of the Walnut Grove, MS. hatchery that supplies their Forest and Carthage complexes.

 

Projected cost of the 16,000 square foot expansion and upgrade will be $18 million and will be completed in stages through the first quarter of 2024.  Last year, Tyson completed a $90 million expansion to the Forest processing plant, creating employment opportunities and adding to the income of the region.


 

U.S. Meat Exports

11/17/2022

U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports in January-September 2022

 

Total exports of bone-in broiler parts and feet for the first three quarters of 2022 attained 2,815,978 metric tons, 5.0 percent more than during the corresponding months in 2021 (2,681,327 metric tons). Total value of exports increased by 20.6 percent to $3,960 million ($2,916 million 2021).

 

Unit price is constrained by the fact that leg quarters comprise over 95 percent of broiler meat exports by volume (excluding feet). From the first quarter of 2021 to date unit value of leg quarters has increased consistent with international demand. Despite the recent welcome increase in unit price, leg quarters represent a relatively low-value commodity lacking in pricing power. Exporters of commodities are subjected to competition from domestic production in importing nations. Generic products such as leg quarters are vulnerable to trade disputes and embargos based on real or contrived disease restrictions.

 

During January-September 2022 the National Chicken Council (NCC), citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 2,840,671 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $4,027 million with a weighted average unit value of $1,418 per metric ton, 14.5 percent higher in unit value than for January-September 2021 ($1,239 per metric ton).

 

The NCC breakdown of chicken exports during January-September 2022 by proportion and unit price for each broiler category compared with the corresponding months in 2021 (with the unit price in parentheses) comprised:-


 

Poultry Meat Projection

11/17/2022

Updated USDA-ERS Poultry Meat Projection for November 2022.

 

On November 17th 2021 the USDA-Economic Research Service released updated production and consumption data with respect to broilers and turkeys, covering 2021 (actual), an update for 2022 and a projection for 2023.

 

Compared to 2021, broiler RTC production in 2022 was increased 2.4 percent in the November report to 45,974 million lbs. RTC (20.897 million metric tons.). Per capita consumption in 2022 will be 1.4 percent higher compared to 2021 at 98.8 lbs. (44.9 kg.). Exports will represent 15.7 percent of RTC production in 2022 attaining 7,212 million lbs. (3.278 million metric tons) comprising RTC leg quarters, other products and feet.

 

The projection for 2023 is for 46,825 million lbs. (21.284 million metric tons) with a per capita consumption of 100.6 lbs. (45.7 kg.) and exports of 7,370 million lbs. (3.350 million metric tons).

 

Turkey production for 2022 compared to 2021 will be 6.7 percent lower at 5,188 million lbs. (2.358 million metric tons) RTC. The November projection of per capita consumption for 2022 was 3.3 percent lower than in 2021 at 14.8 lbs. (6.7 kg.), despite extensive promotions and introduction of further-processed items. Export volume for 2022 was reduced 23.9 percent to 417 million lbs. (0.190 million metric tons) from 2021. Values for production and consumption of RTC turkey in 2022 are considered to be realistic, given the prevailing economy, variable weekly poult placements, production levels, losses from HPAI and inventories.

 

The November USDA forecast for the turkey industry in 2023 comprised annual production of 5,580 million lbs. (2.536 million metric tons) with consumption of 15.7 lbs. (7.1 kg.) per capita.

 

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

Parameter

2021

(actual)

2022

(update)

Difference % 2021

to 2022

2023

(projection)

Broilers

       

Production (million lbs.)

44,898

45,974

+2.4

46,825

Consumption (lbs. per capita)

96.6

98.8

+1.9

100.6

Exports (million lbs.)

7,355

7,212

-4.3

7,370

Proportion of production (%)

16.4

15.7

-4.3

15.7

         

Turkeys

       

Production (million lbs.)

5,558

5,188

-6.7

5,580

Consumption (lbs. per capita)

15.3

14.6

-4.6

15.7

Exports (million lbs.)

548

 417

-23.9

425

Proportion of production (%)

 9.9

8.0

-19.2

7.6

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook released November 17th 2022

 

The export projections do not allow for a breakdown in trade relations with existing partners including Mexico and China nor the impact of catastrophic diseases including HPAI and vvND in either the U.S. or importing nations.

 

The projection takes into account declining exports to China, ranked second by volume in 2021 with imports of 460,159 metric tons valued at $864 million with a unit price of $1,875 per ton. Average unit price for U.S. broiler exports including parts and feet but excluding imports by China, attained $1,139 per metric ton during 2021. For the first nine months of 2022 China imported 480,927 tons of broiler products valued at $855 million including feet at an average unit price of $1,778 per ton.

 

Subscribers are referred to the monthly update of production and cold storage inventories of broilers and turkeys and exports posted in each edition of CHICK-NEWS with the previous monthly data under the STATISTICS tab.


 

Meeting of the Tyson Foods Contract Poultry Farmer Advisory Council

11/15/2022

On November 8th, members of the Tyson Foods’ Contract Poultry Farmer Advisory Council met to review issues relating to contract production.  The event held at the Company Headquarters in Springdale, AR brought together contractors from four states to discuss welfare and interaction, including information on the current business environment.

 

Tyson contracts with 3,600 independent poultry farmers in 18 states.  According to the company release, the average farmer has contracted with Tyson Foods for 17 years and a quarter of growers represent second or third generation farmers affiliated with the company.  Tyson operates in accordance with the Contract Poultry Farmers Bill of Rights and has worked in collaboration with contractors since the late 1940s.

 

Deena Morrison, a contractor who attended the Advisory Council meeting, noted, “We are proud to be contract growers for Tyson because they actively listen to their growers and support them in solving concerns.” David Bray, Group President of Poultry at Tyson Foods, commented, “The success of Tyson Foods depends on the hard work and dedication of our contract growers.  We appreciate that animal husbandry isn’t simply a job – it’s a way of life.”  He added, “The birds our farmers raise benefit consumers by providing a quality, affordable product from a brand they trust.”

 

The collaboration and extensive and mutually beneficial relationship between contractors and integrators, including Tyson Foods, is at variance with the claims of exploitation advanced by the USDA. This misperception has motivated the Agricultural Marketing Service to attempt to impose three new rules to resolve nonexistent problems by modifying the Packers and Stockyards Act.


 

Succession Program for Hubbard Managers Announced

11/14/2022

David Fyfe, Global Sales Director of Hubbard, will retire at the end of December 2022.  His tenure with the industry extended over 41 years.

 

Bruno Briand will assume responsibilities for global commercial activities, assisted by Mark Barnes in the Americas and Thomas Verrey in the AMEA Region.  Bruno joined Hubbard in June 2004 and in 2016 was promoted to Commercial Director of the EMEA Region.

 

Mark Barnes is responsible for Hubbard, LLC operations in the Americas, based in Walpole, NH. Thomas Verrey has worked in the Middle East since 2008 and will now extend his activities to Africa and Asia.

 

In commenting on these personnel changes, Olivier Rochard, Managing Director of Hubbard commented, “David Fyfe has dedicated a large part of his life with passion to our company, our customers and our teams.  He has always been able to share his experience and knowledge with professionalism, kindness and humor.” 

 

The Hubbard breeding enterprise was established in Walpole NH. in 1921 by brothers Ira and Oliver Hubbard.  The company was acquired by Merck in 1974 but was divested in 1997 to the ISA-Group of France.  Groupe Grimaud acquired Hubbard in 2005.  In 2018, Hubbard was integrated into the Aviagen Group but continues to operate as an independent company.  Hubbard has a presence in 100 nations, supported by R&D, production sales and marketing.


 

American Proteins, Inc. to Continue Litigation with Tyson Foods

11/14/2022

American Proteins, Inc., previously a major renderer in the southeastern states, has sued Tyson Foods alleging violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.  At issue is the alleged monopoly created by Tyson Foods by contracting with Wayne Farms and Koch Foods to acquire raw material to the detriment of API.  Pressure was apparently exerted by Tyson Foods to purchase the four plants owned and operated by API at a discounted value.

 

Tyson moved to dismiss the complaint by API, but Federal Judge Richard W. Story ruled that there was sufficient substance to the claims by API, allowing the lawsuit to continue.


 

Sioux Falls, SD. Ballot Opposing Wholestone Plant Fails

11/14/2022

A ballot initiative that would have prevented Wholestone Farms from erecting a hog plant in Sioux Falls, SD was rejected by a margin of 52 to 48 percent with 72,000 ballots cast.

 

Luke Minion, Chair of Wholestone Farms Board, expressed gratitude to the voters in Sioux Falls for support, noting that the proposed plant would employ 1,100 workers and process 6 million hogs annually.  Wholestone Farms is owned by 200 family-farms producing hogs.

 

The ballot was initiated by a citizens’ group, Smart Growth Sioux Falls, that received over $1 million from POET, a biofuels company. It is difficult to understand why the Company vigorously opposed the project given that POET is a producer of DDGS fed to hogs. Obviously this was not simply a business decision and was motivated by extrinsic factors. 

 

Approval for the plant has progressed over the past four years, culminating in the ballot initiative.


 

Ban on U.S. Exports from Mississippi Following HPAI Diagnosis

11/14/2022

Following confirmation of a diagnosis of HPAI in a broiler breeder flock in Lawrence County, MS, Mexico has agreed to limit restrictions on exports to the County. China and Taiwan have imposed statewide bans on poultry products from the entire state of Mississippi.

 

As of November 10th, HPAI has been diagnosed in 262 commercial flocks and 352 backyard flocks.  Close to 45,000,000 birds have been depopulated in 46 states.


 

Maple Leaf Foods Reports on Q3 of FY 2022

11/12/2022

In a press release dated November 8th Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI-TO) announced results for the third quarter of FY 2022 ended September 30th.

 

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as US$ x 1,000 except EPS (conversion: CAN$1=US$0.79)

 

3rd Quarter Ending September 30th.

2022

2021

Difference (%)

Sales:

$973,165

$939,028

+3.6

Gross profit:

$65,144

$149,198

-56.3

Operating income:

$(16,068)

$53,637

-130.3

Pre-tax Income

Net Income1

$(183,129)

$(181,286)

$49,246

$35,138

-289.5

-415.9

Diluted earnings per share:

$(1.47)

$0.28

-625.0

Gross Margin (%)

6.7

15.8

-57.6

Operating Margin (%)

-1.7

5.7

-129.8

Profit Margin (%)

-18.6

3.7

-602.7

Long-term Debt and lease obligations:

$1,404,593

$1,311,593

+7.1

12 Months Trailing:

Return on Assets (%)

-0.1

Return on Equity (%)

-14.4

Operating Margin (%)

-0.1

Profit Margin (%)

-5.8

Total Assets

 Intangibles and goodwill as % of assets

$3,509,770

19.0

$3,410,099

23.8

+2.9

Market Capitalization November 11th

$2,315,000

  1. Restructuring charge of $2.3 million. Charge for impairment of goodwill (Plant Protein Segment) of $150.8 million in Q3

 

Q3 2022 Meat Protein Segment:

Sales, $943 million, up 3.8% from Q3 2021.

Adjusted operating earnings $42.3 million down 50.2% from Q3 2021.

 

Q3 2022 Plant Protein Segment:

Sales, $34.4 million, down 9.2% from Q3 2021.

Adjusted operating loss $(29.5) million 2% improvement from Q3 2021.

 

52-Week Range in Share Price: $14.89 to $25.75 50-day Moving average $16.80

Forward P/E 15.6 Beta 0.5

Market Close pre-release November 7th $15.46

Market Open close post-release November 8th $17.39

Insider shareholding 39.6%. Institutional shareholding 27.7%

 

In commenting on Q3 results Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods stated, “We are at an important inflection point in our business, grounded in exceptional underlying strength and opportunity even though this is not immediately obvious in current performance or reflected in our share price.” He added “The post pandemic economy has been challenging, but the headwinds it has created are transitional and short term. Quite simply, if global pork markets and labor constraints normalized, we would be delivering above our 14% Adjusted EBITDA margin target in the third quarter of 2022 and expecting that to continue. The good news is we are seeing strong signs of improvement on these fronts, plus we are on track with our London Poultry and Bacon Centre of Excellence projects which will deliver $130 million annually in Adjusted EBITDA once we get through the normal start-up work and are ramped up to full commercial production."

 

Addressing the loss-making Plant Protein Segment McCain noted "In our plant protein business we are firmly on track to meet our Adjusted EBITDA neutral target in the latter half of 2023. Our plans are clearly working. We expect to cut our Adjusted EBITDA losses in the fourth quarter this year by half year-over-year, and we are now examining initiatives which have the potential to take us beyond our target on this path to profitability.

 

McCain concluded, “We do not believe the underlying strength and value of our business, including the significant returns that our major capital investment will soon be delivering, are currently reflected in our share price, yet are optimistic it will in time."

 

The Company provided the following comments on strategy and guidance:-

  • Meat Protein: Expect mid-to-high single digit sales growth in 2022, and Adjusted EBITDA Margin expansion to achieve a target range of 14% - 16% when market conditions normalize.
  • Plant Protein: Targeting to deliver neutral or better Adjusted EBITDA in the latter half of 2023.

 

In late 2021, the Company announced that it was re-evaluating its outlook for the Plant Protein Group and launching a comprehensive review of the overall plant protein category. This decision was driven by a pronounced slowdown in growth rates in the category, particularly in the second half of the year, which fueled the Company’s imperative to identify and thoroughly assess the causes, near and long-term trends, and overall implications. The Company’s analysis confirmed that the very high category growth rates previously predicted by many industry experts are unlikely to be achieved given current customer feedback, experience, buying rates and household penetration. Based on this evaluation, the Company believes that the category will continue to grow at more modest, but still attractive rates. Notwithstanding optimistic predictions in 2021 Maple Leaf Foods took a charge of $150 million on the Plant Protein Segment in Q3

 

The Company announced in May 2022 that it is moving forward with a planned leadership transition plan for the Board and Management. Michael McCain will serve as the Executive Chair of the Board and will continue as CEO for the next year as part of the management transition plan. Curtis Frank, currently the President and COO, will assume the role of CEO during Q2 of 2023.


 

Beyond Meat Reports on Q3 2022

11/10/2022

In a press release dated November 9th Beyond Meat Inc. (BYND) announced results for the 3rd Quarter of FY 2022 ending October 1st. The Company disappointed on the top line with revenue of $82.5 million against a consensus of $93.6 million. The bottom line miss was a negative EPS of $1.60 against an expectation of a negative $1.15

 

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as US$ x 1,000 except EPS)

 

2nd Quarter Ending

October 1st 2022

October 2nd 2021

Difference (%)

Sales:

$82,500

$106,432

-22.5

Gross profit:

$(14,840)

$22,976

-164.6

Operating income:

$(89,741)

$(53,998)

-66.2

Pre-tax Income

Net Income / (loss)

$(92,932)

$(101,678)

$(54,244)

$(54,816)

-71.5

-85.5

Diluted earnings per share:

$(1.60)

$(0.87)

-83.9

Gross Margin (%)

(17.9)

21.5

-183.3

Operating Margin (%)

(108.8)

(50.7)

-114.6

Profit Margin (%)

(123.2)

(51.5)

-139.2

Long-term Debt and lease obligations:

$1,192,655

$1,152,715

+3.5

12 Months Trailing:

Return on Assets (%)

-16

Return on Equity (%)

-1,167

Operating Margin (%)

-76

Profit Margin (%)

-86

Total Assets July 2nd.

$1,141,287

$1,379,399

-17.3

Market Capitalization November 10th/August 5th

$828,950

$2,160,000

-61.6

 

Notes for the 3rd Quarter derived from data presented:

SGA ’22 $55 million comprising 64% of sales compared to ’21 $56 million or 53% of sales

R&D ’22 $13 million comprising 16% of sales compared to ’21 at $15 million or 14% of sales

 

Inventory: In Q3’22 represented 299% of sales compared to 227% in Q3 2021

In Q3 ’22 17.4 million lbs. sold compared to 19.9 million lbs. in Q3 ‘21

In Q3 ’22 Unit revenue attained $4.74/lb. compared to $5.35/lb. in Q3 2021

In Q3 ’22 each of claimed 188,000 outlets received an average of 92.5 lbs. product compared to 128,000 outlets receiving 155lbs. in Q3 ‘21

In Q3 2022 U.S sales represented 75 percent of revenue of which 74 percent was retail, the remainder, food service.

In Q3 2022 International sales represented 25 percent of revenue of which 55 percent was retail, the remainder, food service.

52-Week Range in Share Price: $85.44 down to $11.56. 50-day Moving average $16.24

Forward P/E 666

 

In commenting on Q2 2022 results, Ethan Brown Founder and CEO stated, “As we shared last month, Beyond Meat is executing a full force pivot to a sustainable growth model, emphasizing the achievement of cash flow positive operations within the second half of 2023. This transition is designed to fortify our business in the near-term as record inflation continues to pose a challenge for our brand and category, positioning Beyond Meat to endure and advance toward our long-term objective of being a major protein provider within the $1.4 trillion meat industry.”

 

Brown continued, “Though this quarter’s results are disappointing, with a sharp decline in revenues and associated knock-on effects across the income statement including gross margin driven by a challenging macro environment, we are implementing aggressive measures with urgency to positively impact our near-term operations. Our path forward comprises three key actions: significant reduction of our operating expenses; intensified focus on cash flow accretive inventory management activities; and sales and marketing programs that are tightly focused on opportunities and segments that strike the right balance between near-term growth and our most valuable long-term opportunities. We are focusing on the key drivers of our business and are committed to sharing our progress toward delivering them over the coming quarters.”

The report incorporated commentary on the third quarter that included:-

 

“The decrease in net revenue per pound was primarily attributable to strategic but limited price reductions in the U.S. and broader list price reductions in the EU implemented in the first quarter of 2022, increased trade discounts and unfavorable changes in foreign exchange rates. U.S. retail channel net revenues decreased 11.8% compared to the year-ago period primarily driven by an 11.8% decrease in pounds sold with net revenue per pound staying flat. U.S. foodservice channel net revenues increased 5.6% compared to the year-ago period primarily driven by a 32.2% increase in pounds sold, partially offset by lower net revenue per pound. The decrease in net revenue per pound was primarily due to changes in sales mix and, to a lesser extent, higher trade discounts. International retail channel net revenues decreased 52.3% compared to the year-ago period primarily driven by a 37.0% decrease in pounds sold and a 24.4% decrease in net revenue per pound. The decrease in net revenue per pound was primarily due to list price reductions in the EU implemented in the first quarter of 2022, unfavorable foreign exchange rate impact, changes in sales mix and increased trade discounts. International foodservice channel net revenues decreased 42.2%”

 

Guidance for 2022 included revenue of $400 to $425 Million

 

The reality is that the Company record includes:-

  • An accumulated deficit of $676.4 million.
  • Effective October 30th6 percent of float was short
  • News reports of mismanagement, departures from the C-Suite, failure to execute and deliver on products offered to food service prospects
  • Announced reduction of 19 percent in workforce.
  • Share price off 83.1 percent year-to-date compared to a decline of 21 percent for the S&P Index

 

BYND closed November 9th post release at $11.63 and closed inexplicably up 18% at $38.26. After Q2 results were released on August 4th David Trainer speaking on CNBC correctly pointed to flagging sales and losses recorded among the diverse manufacturers of vegetable protein with extreme competition in the market. (see Report on Maple Leaf Foods Q3 in this edition). Analysts see Beyond Meat running out of cash with a share price below $5. This will create an opportunity for a Grey or even a Black knight (the White knights have passed it over) to acquire and dismember the Company. Tyson Foods correctly assessed the prospects for Beyond Meat when they disposed of their equity before the IPO.


 

Impossible Foods Appoints CMO

11/10/2022

Peter McGuinness, CEO of Impossible Foods has announced the appointment of Leslie Sims as Chief Marketing and Creative Officer, effective January 1, 2023.  She is currently Chief Creative Officer at Deloitte Digital. 

McGuinness noted, "The plant-based meat category is in its infancy and despite our growth, most of the country still hasn’t heard of us.  We have a real opportunity to create and build not just our own brand but the entire category through greater awareness, approachability and accessibility”.

 

Ms. Sims has worked with restaurants and food manufacturers and has received awards for creativity and public service.


 

Progress in USDA $223 Million Giveaway

11/10/2022

The USDA has dispersed the first round of $73 million across 21 projects in 19 states, using the vehicle of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program.  The second phase will comprise $75 million for eight projects through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program.  A third component will comprise $75 million for four meat and poultry-related projects through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program.

 

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union representing workers in meat packing plants and retail locations, welcomed the USDA attempt to restructure intensive livestock production.  Marc Perrone, President of UFCW International, stated, “As America’s meatpacking and food processing union, UFCW applauds the Biden Administration and the Department of Agriculture for working to improve capacity and create a fairer, more diverse meat and poultry industry.” 

 

Predictably, the Union called for programs that promote training and advance worker welfare. Perrone noted, “Any attempt to expand or improve this industry moving forward must include specific provisions for fair labor standards that protect workers and safeguard the protections already won at unionized processing facilities around the Nation.”

 

If the USDA funds small plants the UFCW will not in fact benefit as these facilities will not be unionized.


 

House of Raeford Completes Feed Mill in Louisiana

11/10/2022

House of Raeford, based in North Carolina has completed construction of a feed mill to supply their Arcadia, LA. complex.  Built at a cost of $40 million, the facility has a grain storage capacity of 650,000 bushels and finished feed of 5,500 tons.  The new mill replaces a 1950's vintage plant operating seven days per week.  The 12,500-weekly tonnage from the new mill will supply the complex over 5 working days each week and will have sufficient spare capacity for expansion or unexpected events.


 

IPPE to Incorporate AFIA Biosecurity Program

11/10/2022

USPOULTRY announced on November 8th that a special educational program focusing on biosecurity in feed production will be presented at the IPPE.  The event is hosted by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and will take place 09h30 to noon on Wednesday, January 25th.  Registration fee is $65 before January 6th.

 

The program entitled "Biosecurity: Preparedness Must Be Perpetual" will include presentations by experts stressing the need for continued biosecurity with reference to African swine fever and highly pathogenic avian influenza.

 

Dr. Paul Davis, Director of Quality Animal Food Safety and Education for the AFIA stated, "this program will be very valuable to feed manufacturers because we will walk through what steps should be taken in the event of animal disease outbreaks". He added, "the feed industry can play a big role in animal disease prevention and with highly pathogenic avian influenza spreading and African swine fever at our back door, it is important we come together to make biosecurity a priority".


 

Hormel Foods Chairman Earns 2022 Award

11/10/2022

Jim Snee, Chairman, President and CEO of Hormel Foods Corporation is the 2022 recipient of the Responsible CEO of the Year, award created by 3BL Media.  The award recognizes CEOs with proven records of bold leadership on environmental social and governance (ESG) commitments.

 

In presenting the award, David Armon the CEO of 3BL Media, noted, "We congratulate the  Responsible CEO Award honorees for leading with purpose and values alongside financial objectives and running their businesses”.

 

In accepting the award, Jim Snee stated, "We are incredibly proud of the role we play in creating equity and education, building food-secure communities and developing food systems to be more sustainable".

 

Hormel Foods has received a number of awards for ESG innovations having been named to the Newsweek 2022 list of Americans Most Trusted Companies. Forbes has recognized Hormel Foods as a world's top female-friendly company and the Company has received Impact Awards from Progressive Grocer.


 

Maple Leaf Foods Victim of Cyber Intrusion

11/09/2022

Maple Foods Inc. was a victim of a cyber intrusion on November 6th. In-company IT personnel and third-party experts are working to maintain business continuity and restore service.  Maple Leaf has developed “manual workarounds” to continue operations. In a press conference CEO Michael McCain did not indicate the extent of damage or disruption or when the problem will be resolved but assured customers and stakeholders that the companywill take all possible steps to maintain production and to deliver product to customers.


 

Wing Stop Posts Q3 Results

11/04/2022

On October 26th Wing Stop (WING) released financial results for the 3rd Quarter of FY 2022 ending September 24th. The company generated a net income of $13.4 million on a sales volume of $92.7 million. Twenty one percent of revenue ($20.2 million) was derived from company-owned restaurants.  Net income during Q3 2021 attained $11.3 million on sales of $65.8 million. Diluted earnings per share increased from $0.38 in Q3 of FY2021 to $0.45 for the most recent quarter.

 

Gross margin for company stores was 22.0 percent for Q3 2022 compared to 12.5 percent in Q3 2021. Operating margin declined from 31.7 percent in Q3 2021 to 26.0 percent for the most recent quarter. Domestic same store sales growth attained 6.9 percent compared to 3.9 Percent in Q3 2021. Company owned stores attained 4.3 percent in same store sales growth in Q3 2022 compared to a loss of 0.2 percent in Q3 2021. Digital sales during the most recent quarter represented 62 percent of sales.

 

In commenting on Q3 results, Michael Skipworth, president and CEO stated “We delivered 6.9% domestic same store sales growth, with the majority of this growth driven by an increase in transactions, a demonstration of the momentum and underlying health of our business. This translates to 36.2% domestic same store sales growth on a three-year basis. "He added  "We've opened 167 net new restaurants through the third quarter and are on track to have a record year for restaurant development, enabled by significant bone-in wing deflation strengthening our brand partners' unit economics. This gives us confidence in our ability to deliver another record setting year for Wingstop."

 

Guidance for 2022 includes a low single digit increase in same store sales and 225 new store openings. The Wing Stop model involves franchising compared to Buffalo Wild Wings with a high proportion of Company-owned stores. All but 42 of the 1,898 System wide Wing Stop restaurants are franchised.

 

Wing Stop posted $411.0 million in total assets, of which $100.6 million was represented by intangibles and goodwill. Long-term debt increased 50.8 percent from December 2021 to $708.2 million. There is an accumulated stockholders deficit of $406.6 million. WING has a market capitalization of $4,450 million. WING posted a 52-week range in share price of $67.67 to $178.68 with a 50-day moving average of $132.52. The share trades with a forward P/E of 78.1 percent. Trailing 12-month operating margin is 2.1 percent and profit margin 13.0 percent. The company generated a return on assets of 14.6 percent. WING closed at $134.77 on October 25th pre-release and closed at $155.38 on October 26th.


 

Koch Foods Settles in Alleged Price-Fixing Lawsuit

11/03/2022

Koch Foods has agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed against eleven major chicken integrators.  Koch Foods denied any wrongdoing and agreed to the settlement as the "best practicable under the circumstances".  The action by Koch Foods follows a $21 million settlement by Tyson Foods Inc. and a $14.8 million payment by Perdue Farms.  The first two defendants agreed to cooperate against other class action defendants including Pilgrim's Pride and other top-ten companies.


 

Seaboard Q3 Report Includes Butterball Profit

11/03/2022

On November 1st Seaboard Corporation (SEB) filed SEC Form 10-Q reporting results for Q3 of FY 2022 ending October 1st.  The company is a conglomerate with segments dedicated to pork production, grain milling, commodity trading, marine transport and power generation. Seaboard owned 50 percent of the equity of Butterball LLC at the end of the first quarter with warrants to purchase an additional five percent of the shares, expiring in 2025.  On April 19th Seaboard exercised rights to purchase the additional equity thereby acquiring a controlling interest with 55 percent of the equity of the turkey producer.

 

For Q3 FY 2022 SEB earned $134 million on revenue of $2,895 million with an EPS of $125.78. Comparable values for Q3 of FY 2021 ending October 2nd were net income of $103 million on revenue of $2,276 million with an EPS of $81.50

 

On October 1st Seaboard posted total assets of $7,744 million with long-term debt and lease obligations of $1,375 million.  Seaboard had a market capitalization of $4,405 million on November 3rd with 79 percent of equity held internally. The 12-month trailing operating margin was 5.1 percent with a profit margin of 4.8 percent. Return on assets and equity were 4.8 and 10.6 percent respectively. During the past 52 weeks share price has ranged from $3,295 to $3,885 with a 50-day moving average of $3,669.

 

Effective April 19th Seaboard was the majority shareholder of Butterball LLC., ranked as the second largest turkey producer in the U.S. The performance of this now-incorporated subsidiary, producing 850 million tons of RTC product in 2021 from four complexes, is reflected in the Seaboard Corp. SEC Q-10 submission. For Q3 FY 2022 Butterball posted sales of $552 million compared to $464 million in Q3 FY 2021. Net income attained $63 million generating a profit margin of 11.4 percent compared to a loss of $(18) million for the corresponding 3rd Quarter of 2021. As of October 1st 2022 Butterball LLC posted assets of $1,200 million.

 

The SEC 10-K report includes the following statement:- “The Turkey Segment, accounted for using the equity method, represents Seaboard’s investment in Butterball, LLC. The Turkey segment, accounted for using the equity method, represents Seaboard’s investment in Butterball, LLC. The increase in income from affiliates for the three month period of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 was primarily the result of higher selling prices due to product mix and grain-related mark-to-market derivative contract gains, partially offset by lower volumes of turkey products sold and higher feed costs.

Management is unable to predict market prices for turkey products or the cost of feed for future periods; however, management anticipates this segment will be profitable for the remainder of 2022”


 

Pure Prairie to Receive Federal Grant

11/03/2022

As part of a $223 million allocation of funds to a wide range of meat and poultry processors, Pure Prairie Farms located in Charles City, Iowa will refurbish a chicken processing facility.  The Simply Essentials plant closed in August 2019 and was purchased by Pure Prairie Farms following approval by a state bankruptcy court.  The company intends to process chickens produced under either the certified organic program or from flocks fed all-vegetable diets.

 

The company includes management from GNP company that was acquired by Pilgrim's Pride in 2016.  The operation was planned to be functional during mid-2022.  It remains to be seen whether the infusion of capital by USDA will resuscitate this plant that has had a checked history as a hen plant with a number of financial failures.


 

ADM Posts Q3 FY 2022 Financial Results

11/03/2022

In an October 25th release, Archer-Daniels-Midland Corp. (ADM) posted financial results for the 3rd quarter of fiscal 2022. This Company can be regarded as a bellwether for ‘Mega-Ag’ and the commodities sector. Along with competitors Bunge, Cargill, Cofco and Dreyfus, all are subject to the risks of currency fluctuation, geopolitical events, climatic extremes, and increased cost of ingredients, labor and transport in a competitive world environment still restrained by COVID.

 

For the 3rd Quarter of FY 2022 ending September 30th, net income was $1,031 million on total revenue of $24,683 million.  Comparable figures for the 3rd quarter of fiscal 2021 ending September 30th 2021 were net income of $526 million on total revenue of $20,340 million. Diluted EPS rose from $0.93 for the 3rd quarter of fiscal 2021 to $1.83 for the most recent quarter.

 

The report noted  “Animal Nutrition results were down versus the prior-year quarter. Pet results were lower in Latin America on lower volumes, partially offset by strong volumes and margins in North America. Softer animal protein demand affected feed volumes” For the 3rd Quarter the Animal Nutrition segment generated $31 million in operating profit out of a combined total of $1,559 million for all segments.

 

In commenting on results, Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano stated “I’m proud of our team for delivering yet another quarter of strong results by supporting the global food system and providing needed nutrition to billions,” said Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano. “Global demand remains robust, and our adjusted EPS of $1.86 is a reflection of our team’s expertise in managing dynamic market conditions, as well as the unique benefits of our integrated global value chain and our product portfolio”.

 

Luciano added “Today’s ADM is a resilient company, with a broad global footprint and an array of innovative capabilities that are driving performance for customers, consumers and shareholders. And with strong cash flows, we’re advancing productivity initiatives to enhance cost efficiencies and returns; driving innovation efforts to build new capabilities and growth engines across all of our businesses; and continuing to return capital to our shareholders. We’re well positioned to end 2022 strong, and carry that momentum into 2023.”

 

On September 30th 2022, ADM posted assets of $36,437 million of which $6,364 million comprised goodwill and intangibles, against long-term debt of $8,559 million. The Company had an intraday market capitalization of $52,630 million on November 3rd. ADM trades with a forward P/E of 14.8 and has ranged over a 52-week period from $61.80 to $98.88 with a 50-day moving average of $87.77.  Twelve-month trailing operating margin was 4.3 percent and profit margin 4.2 percent.  Return on assets over the past twelve months was 4.8 percent and the return on equity 17.8 percent.


 

Alltech Establishes Organic Mineral Production Plant in Viet Nam

11/02/2022

Alltech recently opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Dong Nai, Viet Nam. This is the eighth Bioplex® production facility worldwide and has a capacity of 7,000 metric tons, annually.

 

In commenting on the new plant, Dr. Mark Lyons, President and CEO of Alltech, stated, “Our organic mineral program reflects a focus on sustainability in all aspects, from the health of animals, the nutrition of meat, milk and eggs produced, the economic well-being of the producer and the impact we have on our planet’s land and water.”  He added, “Our investment in enhancing our mineral production in Asia reflects our confidence in the market’s continued growth and our alignment with our customers’ commitment to better nutrition from farm to market.”

 

Features incorporated into the design of the plant are consistent with the Alltech principle of working together for a “planet of plenty” ™.  Environmental considerations include:-

 

  • The use of natural gas as a fuel to reduce carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions compared to using fuel oil.
  • Installation of high-pressure clean-in-place pumps to reduce water use.
  • Incorporation of a highly efficient dust collection system.
  • Specifying invertor electric motors to reduce consumption.
  • Application of fluid bed drying to reduce thermal consumption in comparison to spray dryers.

 

The facility is certified by ISO to a 22000:2018, establishing food safety management standards.  In addition, the Alltech Q+ program will be applied to offer a global quality guarantee consistent with all Alltech production facilities that regulates analyses on raw materials and product.

 

Viet Nam produces 18.5 million metric tons of feed with a sharp increase in swine diets attaining 7.8 million metric tons in 2021.  Production of aquatic feeds increased by 40 percent in 2021 to 6 million metric tons.  Broiler feed advanced to 2.1 million metric tons and feed for egg producing flocks increased 11 percent to 2 million metric tons.


 

Foster Farms Recalls Chicken Breast Patties

11/01/2022

A recall of 70 tons of cooked frozen chicken breast patties was implemented by Foster Farms.  Product was prepared in the Farmerville, LA., plant operated by the company.  The recall was due to the potential presence of plastic fragments as reported by consumers.  Product was processed on August 11th and shipped to Costco distribution centers in five western states.

 

During the past three years, there have been extensive recalls of chicken and red meat products contaminated with plastic, presumably from damaged or deteriorated components of processing machinery.  Enhanced inspection and regular maintenance are obviously required to avert recalls and degradation of brand and company image.


 

Pilgrims Pride Reports on Q3 2022

11/01/2022

In a press release dated October 26th Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (PPC) announced results for the 3rd Quarter of FY 2022 ending September 25th. The report includes operations in the U.S., Mexico, the E.U. and the U.K.

 

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as US$ x 1,000 except EPS)

 

3rd Quarter Ending

September 25th 2022

September 26th 2021

Difference (%)

Sales:

$4,468,969

$3,827,566

+16.8

Gross profit:

$497,270

$371,843

+33.7

Operating income:             

$339,202

$120,777

+180.8

Pre-tax Income

Net Income / (loss)

            $324,748

            $258,999

$91,220

$60,835

+256.0

+325.7

Diluted earnings per share:

$1.08

$0.25

+332.0

Gross Margin (%)

11.1

9.7

+14.4

Operating Margin (%)

7.6

3.2

+137.5

Profit Margin (%)

5.8

1.6

+262.5

Long-term Debt and lease obligations:

$3,452,805

        $3,564,263

         -3.1

12 Months Trailing:

 

 

 

           Return on Assets    (%)

13.9

 

 

           Return on Equity    (%)

35.0

 

 

           Operating Margin   (%)

                    11.4

 

 

           Profit Margin          (%)

5.4

 

 

Total Assets ’22 22.7% / ’21 25.8% intangibles

$9,079,012

        $8,913,205

          +1.9

Market Capitalization  November 1st

$5,600,000

        $7,610,000

         -26.4

 

Notes for the 2nd Quarter:

SGA ’22 $158 million comprising 3.5% of sales compared to ’21 $251 million at  6.5% of sales

Foreign Currency loss $54 thousand ’22; $2.4 million ‘21

Tax payment $65.7 million ’22; $30.3 million’21.

Miscellaneous income ’22 19.8 million; $1.4 million ’21.

 

52-Week Range in Share Price:  $20.23 to $34.66     50-day Moving average  $24.79

Market Close Oct. 26th pre-release  $22.57;  Market Close Oct. 27th $23.27

Forward P/E 8.4             5-year Beta 1.0

 

 

 

In reviewing the relative revenue and contribution to operating profit, the following proportions of Company totals were derived from data presented:-

 

Geographic Segment     Proportion of Revenue    Contribution to Operating Profit

             U.S.                               63.5%                                      99.9%

             U.K. and  E.U.              26.9%                                        4.1%

             Mexico                           9.6%                                       (4.0)%

            

 

In commenting on Q3 results Fabio Sandri, CEO of Pilgrim's Pride Corp. stated, “During the third quarter, we experienced significant changes in market fundamentals. To navigate these challenges, our team members maintained their determination and focus on our operations.  Throughout the quarter, commodity cutout values in the U.S. declined from five-year highs while inflationary pressures continued to mount”.  

 

Sandri continued “Our strong performance in the U.S. highlights the strength and effectiveness of our strategy.   Our diversified portfolio offerings across multiple bird sizes helps mitigate volatility, whereas our Key Customer relationships cultivated profitable growth for all involved.   When these factors are combined with our relentless focus on operational excellence, we demonstrated our ability to drive strong performance throughout a challenging environment,”

 

In commenting on non-U.S. businesses Sandri opined “Despite continued inflationary headwinds and a challenging consumer environment, our U.K. and Europe business improved its adjusted EBITDA from the previous quarter and previous year.   Our Mexico business experienced a decline in sales and profitability relative to prior year and the prior quarter given seasonal changes in demand and continued issues with bird mortality due to disease. The Mexico business has historically experienced significant quarter-over-quarter earnings volatility. Nonetheless, we remain confident in the business and its long-term prospects,”

 

With respect to ESG Sandri stated “I am proud of our progress to date in sustainability and look forward to continuing our journey towards Net Zero, especially as it simultaneously strengthens our business and creates a better future for all of our team members and their communities.   I am very confident that these efforts, when combined with our team’s ability to consistently execute our strategy, will help drive our vision of becoming the best and most respected company in our industry, even under the most difficult circumstances,”


 

Economic Impact of the U.S. Poultry Industry

11/01/2022

In an October 31st release, USPOULTRY, the National Chicken Council United Egg Producers and the National Turkey Federation presented the results of economic studies on the contribution of the major segments of the U.S. poultry industry.

 

It is calculated that the chicken, turkey and egg industries are an important sector within U.S. agriculture.  Collectively, the poultry industry provides 2.01 million jobs, generates $125.6 billion in wages, $556 billion in economic activity and $33.7 billion in government revenue.

 

The chicken industry provides 1.52 million jobs, $94.9 billion in wages, $417 billion in economic activity and $25.5 billion in government revenues.  The turkey industry provides 362,437 jobs, $22.7 billion in wages, $99.5 billion in economic activity and $6.1 billion in government revenue.

 

The Economic Impact Study was funded by USPOULTRY and conducted by John Dunham and Associates.  The Study was updated using data from 2022 and applied the most current methodology available.

 

In commenting on the report, John Starkey, President of USPOULTRY, stated, “We are pleased to continue providing this valuable tool across the industry that shows the positive economic impact the poultry industry has in our Nation and communities.”


 

Authorities Arrest Gang Believed to be Responsible for Theft of Meat

10/31/2022

During recent months, CHICK-NEWS has reported on the theft of trailers containing beef and pork from a number of plants in the Midwest including a major heist at a Grand Island, NE. plant.

 

Following an extended investigation, the Florida Highway Patrol arrested three suspects in the Miami area acting on information supplied by the Sheriff in Lancaster County, NE.  The raid led to the recovery of three tractor trailers with stolen merchandise.  Total losses to date amount to $9 million. 

 

The extent of the robberies and the volume of product stolen suggested an organized crime ring.  It is hoped that the arrest will bring to an end the episode of thefts involving packing plants in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas.

 


 

COVID Lawsuit by Tyson Workers Returns to Federal Court

10/31/2022

The U.S. Court Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has returned to a federal court a lawsuit alleging that Tyson Foods was negligent in providing COVID protection for workers.  The three-judge panel reversed the ruling of a district court dismissing workers’ claims.

 

At issue are the complaints by 41 employees of the Tyson Foods Inc. Amarillo, TX plant claiming that the Company continued slaughter operations despite an ascending incidence of COVID and was negligent in not supplying adequate personal protective equipment.

 

Tyson Foods claimed that it was acting under the direction of the federal government, a decision rejected by the Appeals Court. In their ruling the judges stated, “We concluded that Tyson was not acting under the direction of the federal government and that the federal officer removal jurisdiction thus did not exist over claims materially identical to those at issue here.”  The Appeals court added, “We reason that although the food industry is designated as critical infrastructure, the federal government’s guidance to critical infrastructure industries was nonbinding.”

 

As a matter of record, Tyson Foods was proactive in providing protection for workers at a time when there was minimal guidance from the CDC or the USDA concerning in-plant       transmission of COVID.  The Company was a pioneer in establishing employee testing through third-party providers and granted liberal benefits and support for those contracting the infection. Tyson Foods promptly arranged for mass immunization of employees when COVID vaccine was approved and released, subsequently mandating vaccination as a condition of employment. Through September 2020 Tyson Foods incurred $700 million in costs associated with protection and remuneration of workers following the emergence of COVID.


 

Tyson Foods Settles Washington State Price-Fixing Lawsuit

10/29/2022

Tyson Foods is the third broiler integrator to settle with the state of Washington over allegations of conspiracy to raise the price of chicken.

 

Washington Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, filed lawsuits against 19 processors in October 2021.  Tyson has agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle the case without acknowledgement of wrongdoing.  The company was preceded in the settlement by Mar-Jac Poultry and Fieldale Farms, each for under $1 million.  The remaining 16 companies will either have to negotiate a settlement with the State of Washington or face trial.

 

The outcome of the case could be expensive for the broiler industry, given that other Attorneys General may decide to file similar suits. This would make alleged collusion a valuable contribution to state coffers and the advancement of political careers.

 

Central to the allegation is the fact that all of the implicated companies subscribed to AgriStats®, a benchmark costing system that, in the opinion of plaintiffs in civil cases, represented a form of collusion derived from the information on cost and production values.


 

Gary Hall Receives Canadian Poultry Service Industry Award

10/29/2022

Gary Hall, Sales and Technical Service Representative for Hybrid Turkeys, was honored with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Poultry Service Industry at their first post-COVID Workshop held in Banff, Alberta.

 

Gary is a three-decade veteran of Hybrid Turkeys, having managed company farms and operating as an area supervisor.  He subsequently transitioned to full-time technical service, interacting with customers in Canada, the U.S., Latin America and Europe.

 

In commenting on the Award, Gary stated, “One of my greatest accomplishments while with  Hybrid Turkeys was working with a great team of employees and achieving Salmonella negative status on all our operations.

 

Poultry Service Industry Awards are presented annually at the Workshop and recognize outstanding service, dedication and contributions to the poultry industry.


 

Boneless Chicken Lawsuit Against Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. to Proceed

10/27/2022

A federal judge in Washington State ruled that a case alleging mislabeling of chicken burgers could proceed.  At issue is the lawsuit filed by Innovative Solutions International alleging that chicken burgers sold to Trader Joe’s contained bones and cartilage.

 

Pilgrim’s Pride had petitioned the U.S. District Court to dismiss the lawsuit alleging breach of contract, negligence, misrepresentation and violation of the Consumer Protection Act of Washington State.

 

Following confirmation of bone fragments in a sample of raw product, Innovative recalled a batch of chili lime chicken burgers during November 2021. In addition purchase of the product by Trader Joe’s ceased resulting in losses to the processor.


 

Broiler Month

10/24/2022

Monthly Broiler Production and Prices, October 24th 2022.

 

Chick Placements.

According to weekly USDA Broiler Hatchery Reports 0.957 million eggs were set over four weeks extending from September 24th through October 15th 2022, 3.5 percent from the corresponding 4-week period in 2021.

 

Total placements for the U.S. over the four-week period amounted to 0.755 million chicks. Claimed average hatchability for the period averaged 80.5 percent (80.6 percent past four-week period) for eggs set three weeks earlier. Each 1.0 percent change in hatchability represents 1.9 million chicks placed per week with the current range of weekly settings. Placements were up 0.8 percent compared to the corresponding weeks in 2021.

 

For the period September 24th through October 15th USDA reported that average placements were 5.0 percent higher than the equivalent weeks in 2021. Cumulative chick placements for the period January 8th 2022 through October 15th amounted to 7.73 billion chicks, approximately one percent higher than the corresponding period in 2021.

 

Low chick placement during 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 was attributed to setting a proportion of hatching eggs with depressed fertility that were derived from high-yield breed combinations selected by some integrators. Additional breeder flocks were placed to compensate for reduced fertility and their contribution is reflected in broilers harvested during the second quarter of 2022 onwards. According to the October 21st edition of USDA Chickens and Eggs pullet breeder chicks placed during September amounted to 8.24 million down 14.0 percent from September 2021 but up 0.6 million chicks or 7.8 percent higher than the previous month of August 2022. Broiler breeder hen complement attained 63.0 million in September.

 

 

Broiler Production

According to the new format October 21st USDA Broiler Market News Report for the processing week ending October 15th 2022, 174.4 million broilers were processed at 6.55 lbs. live. This was 0.6 percent more than the 173.3 million broilers processed during the corresponding week in the previous month of September 2022 and 3.8 percent more than the 168.1 million processed during the corresponding week in October 2021. Broilers processed year-to-date amounted to 6.97 billion, 2.2 percent more than for the corresponding period in 2021.

 

Ready to cook (RTC) weight for the most recent week was 868.3 million lbs. (394,663 metric tons). This was 0.2 percent more than the 854.7 million lbs. processed during the corresponding week in September 2022 and 5.5 percent more than the 822.8 million lbs. during the corresponding week in October 2021. Dressing percentage was a nominal 76.0 percent. For 2022 to date RTC broiler production attained 33,749 million lbs. (15.34 million metric tons). This quantity is 2.2 percent more than the corresponding period in 2021.


 

Turkey Month

10/24/2022

Monthly Turkey Production and Prices, October 24th 2022

 

Poult Production and Placement:

The October 14th 2022 edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 27.01 million eggs in incubators on October 1st 2022 compared to 26.10 million eggs on October 1st 2021* The October set was up 3.5 percent (0.91 million eggs) from October 2021 but unchanged from the previous month of September 2022.

 

A total of 22.36 million poults were hatched during September 2022 up 4.4 percent compared to 21.40 million in September 2021*. The September 2022 hatch was down 7.1 percent (951,000 poults) from the previous month of August 2022.

 

A total of 19.81 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in September 2022, compared to 22.94 million in September 2021*. The September placement was 4.0 percent, (764,000 poults) more than the month of September 2021. This data confirms disposal of 2.54 million poults during the month. Approximately 11.4 percent of the September 2022 hatch was not placed.

 

For the twelve-month period October 2021 through September 2022 inclusive, 271.47 million poults were hatched and 252.54 million were placed. This documents disposal of 18.93 million poults over the 12-month period, corresponding to 7.0 percent of all poults hatched.

* USDA revision from previous monthly report.


 

World Trade in Broiler Meat

10/24/2022

The October 12th USDA Livestock and Poultry Report documented global and U.S. production and trade in broiler meat. Total production for 2023 should attain 102.7* million metric tons with the U.S. at 20.6 percent of the total with 21.2 million metric tons. USDA forecasts a 1.5 percent increase in RTC production by the U.S. from 2022 to 2023.  Domestic consumption in the U.S. will increase by 1.6 percent and exports will increase by 2.7 percent.

 

The next three nations or groups in descending order were Brazil with 14.5 percent of production at 14.9 million metric tons; China with 13.9 percent production at 14.3 million metric tons and the European Union with 10.7 percent at 11.0 million metric tons.

 

 In determining the proportion of chicken consumed in relation to domestic production, China will consume 99 percent of output in 2023, the European Union 92 percent and Brazil 68 percent.  The U.S. will consume 17.9 million metric tons or 84.6 percent of production with the difference in each case representing exports.

 

Top importing nations for 2023 will be Japan with 9.7 percent of world import volume at 1.1 million metric tons, Mexico at 8.1 percent with 930 thousand metric tons and the United Kingdom at 7.6 percent with 875 thousand metric tons imported.

 

Among the exporting nations for 2023, the leader will Brazil with 34.0 percent of all exports totaling 14.1 million metric tons followed by the U.S. with 23.7 percent of volume at 3.4 million metric tons; the European Union, 12.2 percent at 1.7 million metric tons and Thailand, 7.1 percent at 1.0 million metric tons.

* All values reflect ready-to-cook equivalent weight excluding feet rounded to one decimal place.


 

Aviagen Expands Facilities in Brazil

10/24/2022

The Aviagen Group has invested close to $10 million to extend facilities at the Luziania Complex located in Goias State in Brazil.  Expansion will double production of the Hubbard® Efficiency Plus male.

 

In commenting the development, Carlos Antonio Costa, General Manager of Hubbard® do Brazil, noted, “We are committed to our Hubbard® Customers in Brazil and throughout Latin America and the expansion will help further secure the supply of broiler breeding stock.”  He added, “The poultry industry in Latin America has a future of continuous growth and our investment in this region will be ongoing to keep pace.”

 


 

Bernie Adcock to Join Pilgrim’s Pride

10/24/2022

Following a short tenure with Beyond Meat, ,Bernie Adcock, a 31-year veteran of Tyson Foods, has joined Pilgrim’s Pride as Head of Retail and QSR Marketing.


 

Sad Passing of Bill Prestage

10/24/2022

William “Bill” Harold Prestage passed away on October 10th in his hometown of Clinton, NC at the age of 87.

 

Born in Michigan, Bill moved to the Carolinas in the 1960s to join the feed industry.  He entered into a partnership with Otis Carroll to produce hogs and turkeys.  In the early 1990s, he established Prestage Farms as a family-owned and operated enterprise.  The group of companies has five divisions in seven states and employs close to 2,500 in hogs and turkeys.

 

Prestage Foods is noted for its philanthropy with the Prestage Poultry Science Department at North Carolina State University, exemplifying the family commitment to intensive agriculture.

 

CHICK-NEWS extends sympathy to the Prestage family, including his widow, Marsha and sons, Ron, Scott and John.


 

Olymel Eliminates Administrative Positions.

10/24/2022

Following appointment of a new CEO and restructuring, Olymel, a large Canadian cooperative based in Quebec, producing pork and poultry, has announced elimination of 177 management positions.  This is in response to market restraints and costs.  The need to rationalize and optimize margins was highlighted by the advent of COVID and labor action in a number of operations.

 

Olymel operates facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick and employs more than 14,000.


 

USAPEEC Presents Seminar for Border Inspectors

10/23/2022

The Mexico Office of USAPEEC recently presented a seminar to personnel of the Department of Food, Animal Health Inspection of Mexico.  The program entitled “Technical Aspects of Day-Old Chicks, Fertile Egg and Export Protocols from the USA to Mexico” was coordinated by Ms. Tannya Yee.  The speakers included Dr. Alberto Torres of Cobb-Vantress and Dr. Pilar Castaneda of the Mexican Poultry Institute.

 

The focus of the program involved care of day-old chicks and fertile eggs at points of entry.

 

The program included customs inspection protocols, transportation, temperature requirements and best practices including health certificates.


 

National Turkey Federation Assures Consumers of Supply

10/23/2022

Despite the depopulation of approximately 7.5 million turkeys on 173 farms in seven states, a spokesperson for the National Turkey Federation assured consumers of availability of turkeys for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.  Ms. Beth Breeding advised customers to shop early, to plan ahead and check with retailers and to sign onto a waiting list if they require a special bird.

 

Breeding noted correctly that older birds have been disproportionately impacted by the H5N1 virus.  Susceptibility is not related to age.  Older flocks consume feed at a faster rate and accordingly have more feed deliveries than younger flocks increasing the probability of virus being introduced onto farms.

 

Despite the widespread distribution and ongoing incidence rate of HPAI in turkey flocks the USDA-APHIS has not released any epidemiologic information based on molecular assays or field investigations.  It would have been expected that the Agency would be able to identify and evaluate risk factors and to have provided guidance to producers to upgrade specific aspects of either structural or operational biosecurity.

 

The APHIS has yet to release data on surveillance of domestic birds that may have become reservoirs of infection potentially disseminating the pathogen.  Outbreaks on turkey farms in addition to backyard flocks continued during summer months when there was no migration of waterfowl suggesting a more extensive presence of virus including in endemic wild birds unlike in the 2015 epornitic.


 

Cattle Herd Liquidation Continues

10/23/2022

Due to drought on the Southern Plains, producers are continuing to liquidate herds.  According to Dr. Darrell Peel, a livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, the volume of feeder cattle traded through auctions in his state is up about 20 percent since the beginning of July compared to the corresponding third quarter of 2021.  In addition, the proportion of feeder cattle auctioned at a live weight above 600 pounds is below normal.  It is generally accepted that the cow-herd is running at an approximately ten percent liquidation rate above the April-August period in 2021.  Daily cattle slaughter is within the range of 126,000 to 128,000 head per working day.  In the short-term cattle futures will attain high levels.  Packers are also concerned over the cost of beef as a result of inflation that may affect both supply and demand during the fourth quarter.

 

Longer term, reduction in number of breeder cows suggests lower supply in 2024 with resulting higher prices.  This could be to the benefit of both hogs and chicken as consumer shift demand to reduce their expenditure on protein.


 

Beyond Meat in Dire Straits

10/23/2022

In a Friday October 14th announcement, Beyond Meat (BYND) announced a 20 percent workforce retrenchment in an SEC filing. Concurrently CFO Phillip Hardin announced his resignation along with Deanna Jergens, formerly Chief Growth Officer.  Doug Ramsey recently appointed COO who was involved in an altercation in Arkansas was terminated after his suspension.

 

On January 4th BYND traded at $61.62 and closed on Friday October 21st at $13.82. After the IPO, BYND peaked on July 22, 2019, at $234.90 on exuberance over the overrated potential of plant-origin meat substitutes.  Market capitalization at close of trading on 21st October was $804 million.

 

On a 12-month trailing basis the company has recorded an operating margin of -65.2 percent and a profit margin of -71.8 percent.  Return on assets is -14.1 percent and on equity -321 percent.  Approximately nine percent of shares are held by insiders and 57 percent by institutions.  As of September 30th, 48 percent of the float was short.

 

Either this company will collapse or a competitor will acquire the assets putting it out of its misery.

 


 

Low Water Levels on the lower Mississippi River Impacting Traffic

10/20/2022

The U.S. Coast Guard recently reported eight groundings of barges due to low water level on the lower Mississippi River.  Restrictions on traffic have been placed from mile markers 478 to 492 and waterway closure from mile markers 686 to 676.

 

The restrictions on navigations are critical given the beginning of the harvest season and the need to transport fertilizer northbound. Approximately 100 tows with 1600 barges were waiting permission to pass the stack island on Tuesday October 4th.

 

The Marine Transportation System Recovery Unit is coordinating activities on the river to reestablish traffic under the Western River Waterways Coast Guard District 8.     

 

On October 6th, Ingram Barge Company provided formal notice of force majeure with respect to their network down-river from Baton Rouge, LA.  With delays in shipment, reduced loading of barges to reduce draft, it is inevitable that freight rates will increase contributing to the cost of production especially in the Southeast.


 

DOJ Drops Charges Against Pilgrim’s Pride Managers

10/18/2022

Following a decision to exclude evidence allegedly implicating Jason McGuire, former Executive Vice-president for Sales for Prepared Foods and Timothy Stiller, former General Manager, Fresh Food Services at Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.  U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Domenico granted the Department of Justice (DOJ) motion to dismiss charges.

 

The prosecution by the DOJ of numerous executives for alleged collusion and anticompetitive action covering the period from 2012 through 2019, was decidedly unsuccessful.

 

In March, a federal jury failed to reach a verdict and the case was re-tried by the DOJ. Charges were dismissing against five of the accused when a second criminal trial resulted in an acquittal in July.  In August, charges were dropped against Wesley Tucker and Justin Gay.

 

Notwithstanding the failure of the DOJ to prove collusion and price fixing, as alleged, Pilgrim’s Pride entered a plea agreement with the DOJ in October 2020 paying a $110 million penalty.

 

Hopefully the ultimate outcome of this case, that arose from a series of civil class-action lawsuits, will convince the DOJ that they need to have solid evidence of any wrongdoing before destroying careers and subjecting managers to untold personal stress and financial hardship.


 

CPI Confirms Higher Chicken Prices

10/18/2022

Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed a nine percent increase in the category "Meat, Fish, Poultry and Eggs" during September 2022 compared to the corresponding month in 2021.  The protein category was lower than the 11.2 percent recorded for all food and the 8.2 percent increase for all categories. 

 

Within the poultry segment, the overall increase was 17.2 percent with whole fresh birds at 15.0 percent offset by higher prices for parts at 18.4 percent. Escalation in price is attributed to increased demand due to a downshift in selection of protein on a unit cost per pound from beef to pork and then to chicken. Supply was limited by approximately two percent from mid-2021 onwards by a reduction in the volume of broiler chicks placed, attributed to lower hatchability.

 

Chicken outpaced cold cuts that increased by17 percent, pork by 6.7 percent. Based on an increase in supply due to drought-induced herd depletion, all beef was down one percent although ground beef, a household staple was higher by 3.9 percent.


 

Battle Lines Forming Over Proposed Wholestone Farms Hog Plant in Sioux Falls, SD.

10/13/2022

The proposed pork plant to be established by Wholestone Farms met with initial support, given the prospect of 1,100 new jobs for Sioux Falls.  When the scope of the enterprise became known, opposition crystallized, and the permitting of the facility become subject to a voter referendum on November 8th.  This proposition if adopted, would ban construction and operation of any new slaughterhouse within city limits. On Wednesday Second Circuit Judge Sandra Hansen imposed a moratorium on development setting aside permits issued for a “butcher shop,” a contrivance to facilitate indirect approval of the plant.

 

Proponents of the project include the recently formed Sioux Falls Development Foundation that has mounted a campaign to convince voters to accept the plant.  The State Soybean Association has provided $125,000 along with businesses in the city to persuade voters to reject the anti-plant proposition.  Establishing the facility is supported by the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Special Olympics of South Dakota and Governor Kristi Noem along with state legislators and agricultural associations.


 

Industry Associations Request Extended Comment Period for Proposed P&SA Rule

10/10/2022

The National Chicken Council, the National Turkey Federation and the North American Meat Institute have requested a 180-day extension for  comments for the proposed Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Rule under the Packers and Stockyards Act.  The industry associations claim that Agricultural Marketing Service is exceeding its authority and a number of legal questions need to be addressed in comments.  The letter submitted by the four industry associations addressed to Bruce Summers, Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, suggested that the Agency withdraw the proposal along with the June 8th rule relating to broiler contractors and establish a single proposal with an appropriate comment period.

 

Subscribers are referred to the editorial in EGG-NEWS posted on October 7th relating to motivation by the current Administration to attempt to address nonexistent problems.


 

Sustainable Beef, LLC., Plant Breaks Ground in Nebraska

10/10/2022

Sustainable Beef, LLC. has commenced construction of a $325 million packing plant located in North Platte, NE. scheduled to commence operation in 2024.  The project that evidently will process 1,500 head per day involves a partnership with Walmart as a major customer for product.

 

David Briggs, CEO stated, "we set out on a journey two years ago to create a new beef processing plant to add some capacity to the industry and provide an opportunity for producers to integrate their business of raising quality cattle with the beef processing portion of the industry and do it in a sustainable manner". 

 

Shareholders in the enterprise include Nebraska ranchers who wish to become independent of the "Big Four".  The state of Nebraska has contributed $20 million to the project using American Rescue Act funding.


 

Plainville Farms Employees Charged with Cruelty

10/09/2022

An undercover video released by The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) depicting mistreatment of turkeys during harvest has led to criminal charges.  Plainville Farms acknowledged the authenticity of the video and fired the workers involved.  The company has since introduced cameras to confirm acceptable handling procedures and is conducting audits of catching and transport.

 

On Friday, October 7th, charges were filed against the eleven former workers alleging inhumane treatment including six felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, 76 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and 57 summary offenses.

 

According to Michael Spada of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the case required a review of evidence at multiple locations, commencing in August 2021.

 

Plainville Farms cooperated with the investigation, commenting, “While we have had stringent animal welfare protocols in place, we will never hesitate to implement new approaches to ensure that we live up to our reputation for excellence and the ethical treatment of animals.”  As a result of the video, Plainville Farms lost their certification under the Global Animal Partnership.


 

Cody Easterday Receives 11-Year Prison Sentence for Ghost Cattle Scam

10/09/2022

Cody Allen Easterday was sentenced to 11 years in prison for fraud that cost Tyson Foods over $117 million after partial repayment.  According to court testimony, Easterday speculated unsuccessfully in cattle futures, losing vast sums of money that resulted in a scheme to over- invoice Tyson for approximately $233 million over a four-year period.  According to his arrangement he purchased cattle with an advance from Tyson and rear and supply mature cattle.  He padded invoices to reflect 260,000 “ghost” animals.  Eventually, Tyson questioned the volume and cost involved and the scheme unraveled. 

 

Easterday pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in 2021 and was forced to dispose of assets to partly reimburse Tyson Foods and another company that lost $11 million through the his fraud.  Through greed and a gambling compulsion, Cody Easterday destroyed a multigenerational farming enterprise, with more than 22,000 acres under crops and with revenue of over $250 million, annually.

 

The outstanding question is why the audit procedures of Tyson Foods failed to detect a discrepancy of 260,000 cattle over a four-year period.  Hopefully, controls have been strengthened to prevent a reoccurrence.


 

KFC Releasing Chicken Wraps

10/09/2022

Kentucky Fried Chicken will release three chicken wraps as an addition to its menu offerings.  Initially, the products will be available at participating KFC locations in the Atlanta region.  The wrap range includes a classic chicken, a mac-n-cheese and a spicy slaw version starting at $3 each or as various combos.


 

Tyson Foods to Consolidate Corporate Office

10/06/2022

In an October 5th release, Tyson Foods announced that corporate management, currently located in Illinois and South Dakota, would be relocated to the Corporate World Headquarters in Springdale, AR.  The consolidation is intended to enhance collaboration among team members and facilitate decision-making.

 

Donnie King, President and CEO, stated, “Bringing out talented corporate team members and businesses together under one roof unlocks greater opportunities to share perspectives and ideas while also enabling us to act quickly to solve problems and provide the innovative product solutions that our customers deserve and value.”

 

Management will begin the phased relocation in early 2023.  To accommodate the expansion, the World Headquarters will be enlarged with both indoor and outdoor spaces, including remodeling of existing facilities.


 

USAPEEC Promotional Campaign for Duck and Turkey Meat in Mexico

10/05/2022

USAPEEC has established an account to promote duck and turkey meat consumption in Mexico using a Tik-Tok platform.  The campaign is sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and comprises fifty videos with recipes and advice on preparation. Indiana has a large duck industry and export promotion is beneficial to state producers.

 

During 2021 the U.S. exported 2,606 tons of duck meat valued at $9.2 million with a unit price of $3,538 per ton. Mexico represented 29.2 percent of volume and 40.0 percent of value. The benefits of promotion are indicated by the volume of 2,119 tons exported over the first seven months of 2022 valued at $8.0 million up 43 percent and 63 percent respectively from the corresponding months in 2021. Exports to Mexico were up 174 percent in volume to 915 tons and 122 percent in value to $3.5 million over the period but with a 67 percent decline in unit price to $1,522 per ton.


 

USPOULTRY Requesting Pre-proposals on Broiler Hatchability

10/04/2022

The USPOULTRY Foundation is accepting research pre-proposals to address the issue of depressed hatchability in broiler breeder flocks.  A noteworthy decline occurred in the industry from mid-2021 onwards reducing the availability of day-old chicks until additional parent flocks were placed to compensate for an evident deficiency reducing the national weekly average to under 80 percent.  It is estimated that for each one percent decline in hatchability, 190,000 day-old chicks are lost each week.

 

Research areas will include nutritional strategies to improve sperm concentration and quality and management practices to enhance mating frequency.  Concurrently, research proposals are solicited on hen-related factors contributing to fertility, including feathering and nutrition.  Extrinsic factors, including egg collection, egg-storage, transport and incubation should also be considered.

 

At issue, is the reason for the sharp decline in hatchability with specific reference to strain and strain combinations.  Appropriate, corrective strategies including genetics, nutrition, management or their combination should be developed.  The initial research should comprise an impartial epidemiologic approach to ascertain what changes, including genetics, or management occurred at the time of onset of the depression in hatchability, since this would direct the prioritization of research.  Since the problem emerged over a narrow time frame, evaluation of temporal factors and selection of male and female strains by specific integrators would be informative.  Given the restricted range of both male and female lines in use in the U.S. and their relative market penetration, an analytical epidemiologic approach should reveal correlations that in the context of the problem could suggest causality.


 

Projected Broiler Production in China Unchanged in 2023

10/02/2022

According to USDA-FAS report CH2022-0100 released on September 16th, broiler meat production in China will remain constant in 2023 compared to 2022 at 40.3 million metric tons.  Total imports will attain 750,000 metric tons, representing 5.0 percent of availability.  Given exports of 575,000 metric tons, net imports represent 1.2 percent of availability.  Per capita consumption will remain at 22.4 lbs., divided between traditional yellow birds purchased in wet markets and an increasing proportion of white-feathered conventional broiler purchased in supermarkets and stores with a cold chain or in QSRs.

 

The report did not provide a breakdown among yellow birds, conventional white-feathered broilers and hybrids.  Increases in production of white-feathered broilers will be favored based on growing demand for QSR meals and prepared products.  Production costs, in the face of high feed prices, represent an advantage over traditional yellow birds. Consumption of broiler meat will be influenced by the economy and by the price of pork reviewed in a companion article in this edition. 

 

For the first seven months of 2022, China imported 369,623 metric tons of broiler products from the U.S, valued at $662.4 million, respectively, 47 percent and 44 percent higher than the corresponding months in 2021.  Average unit price for all U.S. exports to China for the seven-month period was $1,792 per ton compared with $1,385 per ton for all exports, demonstrating the weighting of feet that accounted for 75 percent of volume with a unit price of $2,038 per metric ton.  For the first half of 2022, the U.S. supplied 40.4 percent of the 384,000 metric tons of chicken paws imported, followed by Brazil at 25.0 percent and Russia with 13.0 percent of volume.


 

Tyson Foods Announces Executive Changes

10/01/2022

In a September 27th release, Tyson Foods announced changes to the Enterprise Leadership Team.

 

 

  • Stewart Glendenning will assume the position of Group President, Prepared Foods.  He was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Tyson Foods.  He joined the company in 2017 from Molson Coors Brewing Company
  • John R. Tyson will serve as Chief Financial Officer for Tyson Foods and will continue to lead enterprise strategy and sustainability activities
  • Amy Tu was promoted to President International and Chief Administrative Officer in addition to roles as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, Global Governance and Corporate Affairs.  Ms. Tu joined Tyson Foods in 2017 as General Counsel after leadership roles at Walmart and the Boeing Company.

 

 

In commenting on the appointments, President and CEO of Tyson Foods, Donnie King stated, "the appointments draw the individual strengths of these leaders and the broad expertise that exists within the company management team".  Changes took effect on October 2nd 2022.


 

Cheyenne, WY. Location Unsuitable for Proposed Beef Plant

10/01/2022

Mayor Patrick Collins has advised citizens that the proposed beef packing plant to be located in a designated business park was infeasible due to space limitations.

 

According to the promoters of the project, the plant would have cost $1.1 billion and employed 2,500.

 

During the past year a number of plants have been either proposed or are in an advanced stage of design including:

 

  • Sustainable Beef, in cooperation with Walmart in North Platte, NE.
  • Wholestone Pork plant for Sioux Falls, SD.
  • Tyson expansion in Amarillo, TX.
  • Western Legacy Development Corp., location to be determined
  • Producer Owned Beef, Amarillo, TX.

 

It is questioned whether all of the proposed projects will reach completion.  If ground is broken on any plant during the fourth quarter of 2022, the facility should come on line during 2024 at a time when availability of slaughter stock will be limited due to current drought-related herd depletion.

 

Apart from the Walmart-Sustainable Beef project, any new plant will have to compete for available customers against the established “Big Four” packers.


 

Jamaica Broilers to Expand SC Operation

09/28/2022

Jamaica Broilers Group has invested $20 million to expand the Ward, SC operation acquired from Gentry Poultry Company.

 

Currently, in addition to home-Nation production, Jamaica Broilers Group operates hatchery operations in Pennsylvania, with parent farms in Georgia and Arkansas to support broiler production in Jamaica and other areas of the Caribbean where the company operates.


 

Sites for New Beef Facility Considered Unsuitable

09/28/2022

Western Legacy Development Corporation has announced that neither the Rapid City, SD. nor the Cheyenne, WY. locations, were suitable for a proposed large beef packing plant.

 

Restraints included inadequate area for the plant in Rapid City and available water in Cheyenne.  Megan R. Kingsbury, CEO of Western Development, stated that discussions are in progress with authorities in alternative locations with the objective of breaking ground in 2023.

 

Western Legacy Development will raise $1.1 billion for the plant that, when complete, will compete with the “Big Four” for both available cattle and access to markets.


 

USDA-AMS Purchases

09/25/2022

On September 23rd the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service announced two purchases amounting to 12.2 tons of chicken products valued $31.7 million for child nutrition and related food assistance programs. Deliveries will be made during November 2022 through January 2023.

 

Purchases comprised:-

  • 2,291 tons of chicken leg quarters at an average price of $0.72/lb.
  • 2,099 tons of whole bagged frozen chicken at an average price of $1.53/lb.
  • 7,344 tons of whole bulk chilled chicken at an average price of $1.44/lb.
  •    522 tons of bulk chilled legs at an average price of $0.59/lb.

 

Doug Ramsey COO Of Beyond Meat Suspended

09/23/2022

Doug Ramsey recently appointed COO Of Beyond Meat was suspended by the Company following charges of felony battery and terroristic threats. According to local media, Ramsey was involved in a road (actually garage) rage incident on Saturday, September 17th.  He allegedly attacked the driver of a vehicle that apparently cut in on him smashing a rear window, punching the driver and biting his nose.  Witnesses reported that Ramsey threatened to kill the person before being restrained.

 

Ramsey was previously employed by Tyson Foods, where he was responsible for the McDonald’s account.

Either Ramsey has an uncontrolled temper and extreme sensitivity to driving infractions reflecting an unbalanced temperament or his association with Beyond Meat, promoting a vegetable product, has stimulated a blood lust.

 

Beyond Meat really needs a good COO, given the Q2 results released on August 4th.  The Company lost $97,000 on sales of $147 million. Beyond Meat has posted a 12-month trailing operating margin of -65 percent and a profit margin of -72 percent.  At peak after the IPO BYND traded at $160 but is now in the low $20s range with 41 percent of the float short in mid-July.


 

JBS USA Reaches Settlement On Alleged Price-Fixing Of Pork

09/21/2022

Judge John R. Tunheim of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota has approved a $20 million settlement in a civil suit alleging price-fixing that affected consumers.

 

Previously, JBS USA settled with wholesalers for $25 million and with a class of indirect purchasers for $13 million.

 

Lawsuits filed in 2018 accused a range of meatpackers of collectively raising pork prices and exchanging cost data and other information disseminated by Agristats Inc.

 

Remaining plaintiffs include Clemens Food Group, Hormel Foods Corp., Indiana Packers Corp. Seaboard Foods, LLC., Triumph Foods, LLC., Tyson Foods, and Agristats, Inc.


 

Hamlet Protein Serves as a Partner in Technology with Customers

09/21/2022

Recently, a delegation of pork producers from Japan visited the Horsens headquarters of Hamlet Protein in Denmark.  The objective was to provide information on the Danish pig industry and the response to current and future challenges.  Topics reviewed included herd welfare, biosecurity, management and genetics.

 

Anders Hagemann, Sales Manager for Hamlet Protein stated, "we aim to be a knowledge partner for our customers.  Mutual learning deepens existing relationships and drives innovative ideas for both Hamlet Protein and our industry contacts".

 

Hamlet Protein supplies soybean-based ingredients for immature hogs, poultry and ruminants.  Hamlet Protein is processed in the E.U in addition to a U.S. facility in Ohio and is distributed directly to producers.
 


 

FAS Reports On Broiler Production In Mexico

09/21/2022

The USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Annual Report on the broiler industry in Mexico was released as MX 2022-0045 on September 6th.  It is anticipated that production in 2023 will increase by 2.6 percent from 3.9 million metric tons to 4.0 million metric tons.  Imports will increase by 20,000 metric tons to 950,000 metric tons, representing 19.2 percent of availability.  Exports are negligible at 8,000 metric tons.  Assuming a population of 132 million, per capita consumption will be 77.4 lbs.

 

The U.S. supplied 88 percent of 2021 imports followed by Brazil at 9 percent and Chile at 3 percent.  In contrast, in 2020 the U.S. supplied 95.0 percent of imports with Brazil at 1 percent and Chile at 4 percent.  Imports from the U.S. in 2021 comprised 44 percent leg quarters, 29 percent MDM, 17 percent added-value and 10 percent breasts.  In contrast, Brazil supplied 45 percent of their exports to Mexico as breasts, 38 percent MDM and 17 percent wings.

 

Of the projected 2022 exports amounting to 7,000 metric tons, 57 percent is destined for the U.S. with 30 percent to Central America.  The bulk (69 percent) of exporters will be as sausages and cold cuts with 6 percent added value.  At this time, the states of Sonora, Yucatan, Campeche and   Quintana are recognized as free of HPAI.

E

 

U.S. DOJ Dismisses Price-Fixing Charge

09/21/2022

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed charges filed in May 2021 against Claxton Poultry Farms and Koch Foods Inc.  The DOJ noted that the case was dismissed "in an effort to conserve the resources of the Court, the parties and the public".  The filing to dismiss the two companies "will permit the United States to promote the Fair Administration of Criminal Justice and allow for the conservation of this Court’s time and resources.

 

This action by the DOJ follows dismissal of price-fixing charges against some executives previously with Pilgrim's Pride, although two defendants still face charges.

 

Failure of the DOJ to prove collusion among managers of two companies in three trials suggests the weakness of the DOJ case that was based on discovered memos and the testimony of an employee of one of the companies involved.  Notwithstanding the outcome of the trial an unfortunate perception exists that some form of either direct communication occurred or that indirect collusion through subscription to AgriStats provided unfair benefits to integrators. The cost of defending criminal charges and the uncertainty of the outcome of a jury trial motivated a number of companies to settle with the DOJ and to reach agreements in concurrent civil cases. It will be some time before reputations are restored and mutual trust is reestablished


 

China Releases Pork from Strategic Reserve

09/19/2022

Sharp escalation in the price of pork in China has occurred during the past three months.  An increase of 25.6 percent was recorded in July followed by 14.8 percent in June and 22.5 percent in August.  Food inflation more than doubled from 2.9 percent during the month of June to 6.1 percent in August. Concurrently the nationwide consumer price index remains at a moderate 2.5 percent.

 

Pork consumption has increased progressively since 1990 with an annual per capita value of 33 lb. to a maximum of 72 lb. in 2014. The emergence of African swine fever in 2019 reduced the availability of pork and consumption fell to 54 lb. per capita in 2019 remaining at about 52 lb. through 2021 despite recovery of the breeding and growing herds.  Total consumption of pork in China attained 40.3 million metric tons in 2020 according to USDA data.  There is now adequate production capacity with 2.1 million hogs slaughtered during the first six months of 2022 according to an official government agency. Greater availability of pork will reduce imports and impact demand and margins for domestic and imported chicken

 

In advance of the 20th National Meeting of the Chinese Communist Party beginning October 16th, authorities have released pork from the national reserve in an attempt to reduce retail prices and avert criticism of the central government.  Increased availability of pork was especially necessary during the mid-autumn festival and for events leading to the Meeting. It is anticipated that the 2,300 delegates attending will reappoint President Xi to an unprecedented third term.

 


 

Canada Restricts Imports of Fresh, Raw Poultry Products and Eggs

09/19/2022

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a ban on private importation of raw, unprocessed poultry products or byproducts from any U.S. state that has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.  This requirement presumably relates to both commercial and backyard outbreaks within 28 days of the date of importation, if the nation is following WOAH rules.

 

Specified products include raw turkey and chicken meat, table eggs, cooked leftovers from restaurants, raw pet food and feathers.  Fully cooked poultry products can be imported irrespective of outbreaks reported in the state origin.  Acceptable products include rotisserie chicken, hotdogs, deli meats, hard-boiled eggs and cooked kibble or canned pet food.

Restrictions on commercial poultry products are subject to a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Canada in accordance with World Organization of Animal Health (WHOA) guidance including regionalization, compartmentalization, quarantine, depopulation and surveillance.

 


 

Tyson Foods Donates PPE to the Marshall Islands

09/19/2022

Tyson Foods has donated masks and other items of PPE to the Marshall Islands following a severe outbreak of COVID that affected 15,000 islanders during August.

 

Hector Gonzalez, Head of Labor and Team Member Relations at Tyson stated, "Northwest Arkansas is home to one of the largest Marshallese populations in the continental U.S. and they are a vital member of the Tyson team and our community".  The donation followed a declaration of a health disaster by David Kabua, President of the Marshall Islands.

 

Eldon Alik, Consul General to the Republic of the Marshall Islands stated, "Tyson Foods has always been a great friend and supporter of the Marshallese people not only in Arkansas but also on the Islands".

 

Tyson Foods has previously collaborated with the Republic of the Marshall Islands on required COVID safety precautions and has contributed to the Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese, a non-profit organization involved in education, health and cultural activities.


 

Tyson Foods Donates $2.5 Million to Feeding America™

09/19/2022

Tyson Foods announced on September 7th that it would donate $2.5 million to Feeding America food banks and in addition donate 2.5 million pounds of protein representing 10 million meals.

 

The Company confirmed the long-standing support of Feeding America, and the donations will assist rural communities that are under stress due to food inflation.  Tyson Foods will use $1 million to support Equitable Food Access Grants that concentrate on people with a high risk of food insecurity.

 

Erika Thiem Chief Supply Chain Officer of Feed America stated, “One in eight people including one in six children in America are food insecure.  As food banks continue to face increasing demand, we are thankful for partners like Tyson Foods whose ongoing food and fund donations are supporting our network’s efforts to increase access to protein.”

 

Since 2006 Tyson has donated $3.5 million to Feeding America and supplied protein products valued at $223 million to local member food banks.

 

It is questioned whether organizations and individuals that oppose intensive livestock production have made either equivalent or proportional donations to charities to support the nutrition and well-being of our less fortunate fellow citizens.

 


 

National Pork Producers’ Council Claim Financial Impact of California Proposition#12

09/19/2022

In advance of the oral hearing by the Supreme Court of the United States on the constitutionality of Proposition#12, the National Pork Producers Council has submitted a financial projection purporting to represent the cost of the regulation to pork producers.  The Council has estimated a cost of $3,500 per sow to transition from gestation crates to group housing.  The Council maintained that Proposition#12 will add millions of dollars in costs to producers who will be required to construct enclosures that allow for 24 square feet per sow.

 

In July, EGG-NEWS reported on the amici brief, submitted by Dr. Richard Sexton and Dr. Daniel Sumner in which they pointed to the inherent flaw in the pork producers’ claim of an immense investment required to comply with Proposition#12.  As distinguished agricultural economists at the University of California, Davis, Drs. Sexton and Sumner calculated that the cost of conversion would amount to $5 per weanling pig produced for the market in California. This represented a retail value of three cents per pound to consumers of pork in the state, equivalent to 7.7 percent of their pork purchases at retail and amounting collectively to $320 million annually.

 

The amici brief noted that the analysis submitted by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation "rests on the unsupported and plainly incorrect assumption that all pork producers nationwide will be forced to comply with Proposition#12 and that the cost of complying will be passed on to all pork consumers nationwide.  The level of conversion to group housing to date more than satisfies the requirement for California. Sumner and Sexton also emphasized that there is no imperative on any hog producer to comply with Proposition#12.

 

The question before SCOTUS relates to the constitutionality of Proposition#12 in relation to interstate commerce.  The Justices will be disinclined to consider economic factors, welfare issues or other peripheral considerations other than the dormant commerce clause.

 

Irrespective of the outcome of the case, pork producers will have to transition from gestation crates for sows based on the intermediate term commitments of customers in the food service, restaurant and retail sectors all of whom will require group housing for sows in their sourcing of pork. The train has left the station for this segment of the intensive livestock industry.


 

Tournament System Opposed by FTC

09/18/2022

Lina M. Kahn, the Director of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has provided a written comment to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service with regard to the proposed rule entitled  “Poultry Growing Tournament Systems: Fairness and Related Concerns Supporting the Prohibition of the System”.  In her submission, Ms. Kahn noted that the Packers and Stockyards Act was modeled on the Federal Trade Commission Act.  The FTC is concerned over possible unfair practices that can result from market concentration. 

Kahn supports mandatory disclosure that is incorporated into the proposed AMS rule, but she asserts that this does not address the alleged lack of competition. She urged USDA to undertake additional policy development to address any existing contract terms and business practices that might be prejudicial to contract growers.

 


 

Argentine Broiler Production To Increase in 2023

09/18/2022

According to USDA-FAS report AR 2022-0014 released on September 2nd, broiler production will increase by 1.9 percent in 2023 to 2.380 million metric tons compared to calendar 2022.  Net exports will attain 7.8 percent of supply, an increase of 4 percent over the previous year.  Assuming a population of 47.3 million in 2022, per capita consumption will attain 50 kg. (111 lbs.) despite inflation, unemployment and the high price of protein.


 

Tournament System Under Pressure

09/15/2022

Despite the defense of the current grower compensation model by the National Chicken Council, both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Justice appear to be intent on eliminating the tournament system for broiler growers.  Based on requests the USDA has extended the public comment period through December 26th. 

 

Submissions responding to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be used to frame regulations and to set policies.  The NCC opposes rulemaking by the AMS that conflicts with the current contract system.  The Council considered that elimination of the tournament system would have “devastating financial impacts on the U.S. chicken industry by raising costs, contributing to increasing food prices for consumers and ultimately destabilizing a successful compensation system.”

 

On September 14th, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division organized a meeting in conjunction with the National Farmers Union to consider competition in agricultural markets and enhancing antitrust enforcement.

 

Assistant Attorney General, Jonathan Kanter of the DOJ Antitrust Division, stated, “Competition in agriculture is critical.  Too often, farmers and livestock producers have too few suppliers to buy from and too few buyers to sell to.”  He added, “Protecting competition and the rule of law in agricultural markets is core to the work of the Antitrust Division and we will vigorously enforce the antitrust laws in this area.”

 

The DOJ is working closely with the USDA to prevent monopolies, illegal mergers, collusion or other anticompetitive activities in agriculture.

 

Given recent statements by USDA and DOJ, it would appear that the current Administration is intent on eliminating the tournament system but has not indicated any alternative that would be more functional or more fair than the current system that works to the benefit of both contractors and integrators and indirectly reduces the cost of chicken to consumers.


 

Seaboard-Triumph Foods Hires HR Executive

09/14/2022

It appears that Tyson Foods is emerging as a training ground for meat industry executives as denoted by appointments at Foster Farms. 

 

Recently, Seaboard-Triumph Foods announced the appointment of Deanna Weidner as Vice -president of human resources.  In her new position she will lead recruiting, employee relations, orientation and will attempt to change the culture of the Company with respect to personnel.  Ms. Weidner is a 30-year veteran of Tyson Foods having worked in the Waterloo, IA pork complex.


 

Thanksgiving Turkey Prices to be Higher than 2021

09/14/2022

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, wholesale RTC prices for turkeys have increased from 2021 with hens at 180 cents per lb. compared to 145 cents per lb. in August 2021.  Skinless and boneless turkey breast meat is now close to $6 per lb.  Depletion of close to six million turkeys on 140 farms over seven months due to HPAI with sporadic outbreaks still occurring has reduced stock levels and intensified demand.  Hormel Foods, parent company of Jennie-O, a major producer has predicted that their production will be reduced by 25 percent during the 4th quarter due to reduction in supply.

 

Subscribers are referred to the monthly turkey report in this edition, incorporating cold storage and production data for August and prices reflecting the third week of September.

 


 

Wayne-Sanderson Farms Develops New Logo

09/13/2022

Following the recent merger of Wayne Farms with Sanderson Farms, the company has unveiled a new logo reflecting the values of the new company.

 

Clint Rivers, president and CEO of Wayne-Sanderson Farms stated, "poultry is in everything we do. While this rebranding is a big change, our core values and mission have not changed, this new logo portrays who we are as a team and what we bring to the market".

 

 According to the company release, prior to the merger when Wayne Farms was a major supplier to restaurants and food service Sanderson concentrated on the retail market.  This was a major consideration in justifying the transaction since complementary market concentration has established synergy for the combined company.

 


 

Moy Park Closes Plant in England

09/13/2022

Moy Park, a subsidiary of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation has announced that the Ashbourne plant in Derbyshire, England, will be closed, and that production will be transferred to Anwick, in Lincolnshire and to Ballymena in Northern Ireland.  The Ashbourne facility employees close to 900 but closure will also impact local industries and suppliers.

 

According to financial reports, Moy Park contributed $35 million to the income of the parent company on sales of $2 billion in 2021.  During the previous year contribution was $85 million on sales of close to $2 billion.

 

Moy Park operates eleven plants producing poultry and hog products in the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.


 

Wholestone Farms Encountering Resistance To Proposed Pork Plant

09/13/2022

Approximately 10,000 residents of Sioux Falls, SD have signed a petition protesting the erection of a proposed hog processing plant with a projected throughput of six million hogs, annually.  Residents have raised close to $1,000 to oppose the plant that will be established within the city limits of Sioux Falls on 170 acres.  An entity, Smart Growth Sioux Falls, has filed a civil complaint requesting a denial for any permits prior to the November 2022 election.  Corporations including Poet and JDS Industries together with businesses in the city, have each donated from $5,000 to $25,000 to the organization that has already spent close to $85,000 for advertising, consulting and legal services to oppose the plant.

 

The Chairman of Wholestone Farms previously announced that hogs would be derived from farmers within 75 miles of Sioux Falls.  The plant would incorporate a $45 million wastewater treatment installation and installations to limit odor.

 

The concerted opposition to the farmer-owned plant indicates the degree of concern over issues including odor, property values and traffic common to all large slaughter installations in peri-urban areas of cities, even those traditionally committed to agriculture.  A similar situation occurred when Sanderson Farms proposed a broiler processing plant in Nash County, NC. in 2012. Opposition resulted in relocation of the facility to Saint Pauls, NC., where the townsfolk, city and Robeson County officials were more welcoming.


 

QC Supply Issues 2022 Fall Catalog

09/13/2022

QC Supply with thirty U.S. locations has issued their 2022 Fall catalog detailing available equipment, installations, consumables, disinfectants and items required to maintain and optimize the operation of live bird facilities.

 

For additional information on lighting, ventilation, welfare, pest control and biosecurity, access the company website by clicking <here> or onto the QC Supply logo on the right side of the Welcome page.


 

Kalmbach Feeds Establishes Veritas Agrilabs™

09/13/2022

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for Veritas Agrilabs™ during the past week on the campus of Kalmbach Nutritional Services in Carey, OH.  The facility will provide analyses of animal feed ingredients, and forages.  Veritas Agrilabs™ will be an independent accredited laboratory dedicated to providing accurate and timely results for the feed and livestock industries of the U.S. Technology offered will include NIR spectroscopy, mycotoxin assay and proximate analysis.

 

Veritas Agrilabs™ will be managed by Joy Fetter with extensive experience operating pharmaceutical and feed laboratories.  In commenting on her appointment Joy noted that the laboratory will provide accurate and consistent results, outstanding customer service and rapid turnaround time.

 

Paul Kalmbach Jr. president of Kalmbach Feeds stated, “This laboratory, in addition to the multiple research and innovation sites that Kalmbach has added over the last two years is a continuation of our desire to create value for our customers and be able to better serve them for years to come.

 

The facility will be completed in December 2022 with full laboratory services extended to the industry during the first quarter of 2023.

 


 

Unintended Consequences From Suspending Agricultural Quotas for Ukraine

09/11/2022

In June as a concession to farmers in the Ukraine, the EU suspended quotas for agricultural products including a 70,000 metric ton limit on processed chicken.  Following the suspension of the quota, exports from the Ukraine to the EU increased by 54 percent in the second quarter compared to the corresponding period in 2021.  Chicken cooperative Anvol in France predicts that the total volume supplied by Ukraine to the EU will increase to a range of 130,000 to 180,000 metric tons.  French integrators are now faced with a 181 percent increase in imports from Ukraine.

 

Quoted by Reuters, Gilles Huttepain, Deputy Chairman of Anvol, stated, “We were tricked, we are willing to help Ukrainian farmers, but we don’t want to help just one company.”  He was referring to MHP, the largest producer in Ukraine committed to export sales.  Shipment westward to the EU is also necessitated by the ongoing war in the east of the country and a blockade of exports from Black Sea ports imposed by the Russian Federation and only recently lifted.

 

Producers in France would be in an even more difficult position were it not for the depopulation of over 19 million birds of various species due to HPAI that affected all-poultry production from November 2021 through June 2022.  Producers in France are also facing competition from low-priced Brazilian product that continues to gain in market share. Some relief was offered to domestic producers by the Government of France that imposed a ban on import of chicken derived from flocks receiving antibiotics in feed.


 

Foster Farms Increases Starting Wage Rate At Farmerville, LA Complex

09/08/2022

Foster Farms announced a raise in the entry-level wage from $12.70 per hour to $17.30 per hour at its Farmerville, LA plant.

 

David Alverson, Complex Manager, stated, “We want to hire and retain the best people in Union Parish and the surrounding region.”  He added, “That means ensuring that wages and benefits are competitive in our industry and our community, especially at a time when we are being impacted by inflation.”  Workers will also receive benefits, including vacation and health benefits.  The Complex employs 1,000 workers and will be hiring an additional 600 for extended shifts.  Workers in the Plant are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 455.

 

Foster Farms transitioned from family ownership to Atlas Holdings in June. Donnie Smith, previously with Tyson Foods, was appointed as Chairman and CEO.

 


 

Bellinger Foundation to Celebrate Career of Dr. Gary Smith

09/08/2022

Over the October 14th and 15th weekend, the Bellinger Foundation will honor Dr. Gary Smith, an eminent scientist at Texas A&M University and an innovator in the meat industry.

 

The program commencing Friday, October 14th will begin with an appreciation to Dr. Smith at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio.  On Saturday, a seminar will take place in his honor reviewing pathogens, sustainability and regulatory issues.

 

John Bellinger stated, "whether they know it or not, Dr. Smith's work has benefited the lives of nearly every consumer from keeping people safe to standardizing the way the industry grades carcasses to mentoring today's preeminent meat scientists. The effect Dr. Smith has had on the industry cannot be overstated”. 

The program will raise money for the Gary'68 and Kay Smith Meat Judging Team Excellence Endowment.


 

NCC Celebrates National Chicken Month

09/08/2022

In observance of National Chicken Month, the NCC has updated the Chicken Check In website to enhance the image of the industry among consumers.

 

Insights will include data on the volume of chicken consumed and the contribution of the industry to sustainability and nutrition.

 

The Chicken Check In website will also feature interviews with Georgie Cartanza a University of Delaware poultry extension agent and contractor producing 800,000 broilers annually.  Ms. Cartanza has received many awards including the Nuffeld International Farming Scholarship.

 

The website will also include information on outdoor cooking and food safety.

 


 

Pork Products Stolen from JBS Plant

09/08/2022

On August 29th, thieves stole a semi-truck and three trailers loaded with pork products from the Ottumwa, IA. plant operated by JBS.  The empty vehicles were subsequently recovered, the thieves having transferred the loads. This presumes bringing tractors into the plant to haul away unhitched trailers. This denotes either a profound lack of security or an ‘inside job’ with collusion between employees and thieves. The purloined product was valued in excess of $100,000.

 

Previously CHICK-NEWS reported on a similar heist involving beef from a plant in Nebraska during July involving three tractor-trailers.  The report noted that theft of large loads presumes involvement of organized crime on a regional scale.  Theft of product resulting in illegal distribution of raw meat represents a potential food safety hazard.


 

USDA-AMS Purchases

09/03/2022

On September 2nd, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service announced purchase of 29 tons of boned chicken in pouches for child nutrition and related food assistance programs.  Product was purchased at $74 to $89 per 22.55 lb. box containing 36 ten-ounce pouches corresponding to $3.28 to $3.96 per lb.

 

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service also announced purchase of 1,198 tons of boned chicken in 12.5 oz. cans. Product was purchased for $3.31 to $3.53 per lb.

The two purchases amounted to $12.9 million with deliveries to be made from mid-September  through December 2022.

 


 

Tennessee Poultry Association Recognizes Aviagen Award Winners

09/01/2022

TPA honors “Workhorse of the Year” and “NextGen Young Leader Under 30” at annual meeting

Aug. 30, 2022 HUNTSVILLE, Ala. This year the Tennessee Poultry Association (TPA) hosted its Annual Meeting and Summer Getaway on Aug. 19 and 20 in Nashville. Aviagen® shares with the association a commitment to the success and sustainability of the poultry industry. Aviagen was a sponsor of the meeting, and the company’s President of North America Dr. Marc de Beer was there to present the keynote address. During the meeting, the TPA recognized two Aviagen employees for their dedication and contribution to North American poultry.


Workhorse of the Year
At the event, Aviagen’s Regional Business Manager for North America Jeremy Martin received two separate accolades. Based on his tireless service to the Association and to the industry, he was honored with the TPA 2022 Workhorse of the Year award. And, serving as second vice president in 2021, Martin was appointed as first VP during this year’s annual meeting. Jeremy has served Aviagen North America for nearly a quarter century, and has been on the TPA Board since 2019. He also chairs the TPA Scholarship Committee and has been active on the Live Production and Auction committees. He also supports the service meetings, the scholarship reviewing and selection process, the annual meeting and events and various fundraisers. Additionally, he works closely with Tennessee universities to help develop their poultry programs and get more students excited about the
industry.


“Jeremy has been extremely active with TPA, and makes himself available to us whenever his skills and advice are needed. He is energetic, enthusiastic and supportive and knows how to get things done,” said Dale Barnett, Executive Director of the TPA. “More importantly, he was chosen for his passion for poultry and going above and beyond to contribute to the sustainability of the industry in Tennessee and beyond.

 

NextGen Young Leader Under 30

Rachel Breeding, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Manager at the Aviagen pedigree operation in Crossville, Tenn., was presented with a TPA 2022 NextGen Young Leader Under 30 Award. The intention of the award program is to encourage up-and-coming professionals who work for TPA-member poultry companies directly involved in poultry production or processing. Breeding was nominated for the award by her manager Clara Goldman for her leadership qualities, dedication and enthusiasm for the industry. “To breed the best, we need the best, and Rachel is certainly among our best talent,” explained Goldman. “She excelled in her roles with the QA and Regulatory Team from her first day on the job, with a careful attention to detail and quality, and an unmatched ability to work with people. Rachel is an excellent example of Aviagen’s core values of integrity, positive attitude, customer focused and more!


“I am proud of both Rachel and Jeremy and appreciate the TPA for honoring our employees. We value our close and longstanding relationship with the TPA and share with them a vision to equip farmers with everything they need to put healthy chicken meat on the tables of families in Tennessee and throughout North America,” added Marc de Beer, President of North America.

 

Aviagen supports future of Tennessee poultry
Aviagen sponsors a scholarship for students at Tennessee universities who are pursuing a career in the poultry industry. Bethany Priest, an Animal Science student at Tennessee Tech University, was awarded the 2022 Aviagen scholarship and was presented with a check at the meeting.


“We congratulate Bethany and wish her all the best for a fulfilling career in poultry,” commented de Beer. “The sustainability of our industry in Tennessee and around the world depends on our ability to attract bright, innovative people like Bethany, who have a passion to make a difference in feeding the world with a sustainable, affordable and readily available source of protein.”
 

About Aviagen
Since 1923, Aviagen® has been a preferred global poultry breeding company with a mission to help its customers -- the world’s chicken meat producers -- supply sustainable, affordable and nutritious protein to their growing communities. Putting into practice its corporate value of “Breeding Sustainability,” Aviagen implements efficiencies that make commercial chicken production environmentally and socially responsible and economically beneficial to producers, while at the same time promoting bird performance, health and welfare.


To meet varied market demands, Aviagen offers a full portfolio of breeding stock under the Arbor Acres®, Indian River® and Ross® brand names. The Rowan Range® and Specialty Males® target slower-growing and other niche market needs. Aviagen is based in Huntsville, Alabama, US., with operations across the UK, Europe, Turkey, Latin America, India, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the US, and joint ventures in Asia. The company employs close to 8,000 people, and serves customers in 100 countries.
 

For more information, please visit Aviagen.com, or follow Aviagen on LinkedIn.


 

Hormel Posts Results for the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2022: Jennie-O Profitable

09/01/2022

In a release dated September 1st Hormel Foods (HRL) reported on the third quarter of fiscal 2022 ending July 31st 2022.  For the quarter the company earned $218.8 million on revenue of $3,034 million with a diluted EPS of $0.40.  Comparable values for third quarter of fiscal 2021 ending July 25th were net income of $176.9 million on revenue of $2,804 million with a diluted EPS of $0.32. Gross margin increased to 16.6 percent for the most recent quarter compared to 14.8 percent for the third quarter of 2021. Profit margin rose from 6.2 percent in the third quarter of  2021 to 7.2 percent for the most recent quarter.

 

For the third quarter of 2022 the Jennie-O Turkey Store Segment generated sales of $323.8 million with an operating profit of $37.4 million reflecting an operating margin of 11.5 percent.  For the third quarter of 2021, revenue and operating profit were $350.9 million and $5.8 million respectively yielding an operating margin of 1.6 percent.  Compared to the third quarter of 2021 volume for the Jennie-O segment was down 19.9 percent to 149.93 million lbs. as a result of losses due to HPAI Sales value was down 7.7 percent. Unit revenue increased from $1.87 per lb. to $2.15 per lb. for the most recent quarter. Segment contribution was however up 537 percent. Growth was derived from a return in food service, demand for whole birds and branded products. As in the second quarter of 2022 increases in feed and logistic costs detracted from earnings.

 

In commenting on Corporate results Jim Snee, Chairman and CEO stated "We delivered another quarter of record sales and double-digit operating income growth. In the current environment, delivering seven straight quarters of record sales and four consecutive quarters of earnings growth is a notable achievement and speaks to the effectiveness of our strategy and the importance of our brands in uncertain times. Our team's execution played a pivotal role in our growth this quarter, as together, we overcame significant challenges, including continued broad-based inflationary pressures, persistent upstream and downstream supply chain disruptions, limited turkey supply, and impacts in China from COVID-related restrictions and temporary plant shutdowns."

 

Snee continued "We continued to benefit from our balanced business model during the quarter, led by outstanding contributions from Jennie-O Turkey Store and Refrigerated Foods. The Jennie-O Turkey Store segment significantly outperformed our profit expectations for the quarter as the team managed limited turkey supply effectively and maximized operational performance. Refrigerated Foods delivered double-digit, value-added earnings growth on retail and foodservice items, more than offsetting lower commodity profitability. Similar to last quarter, impressive performance from these businesses helped mitigate higher input and supply chain costs across all segments”.

 

Snee concluded, "Consumers and operators continued to engage with our brands due to their value, convenience and versatility. Our strategy of building a portfolio with both premium and value offerings continued to serve us well as macroeconomic conditions pressure some of our customers, consumers and operators. Our teams remain keenly focused on the long-term needs of the business, our strategic priorities and protecting the equity of our leading brands." 

 

In relation to the Jennie-O Segment, Snee observed “As anticipated, volume and sales declined as a result of the supply impacts on the company's vertically integrated supply chain from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Foodservice and whole-bird sales increased due to favorable pricing, partially offsetting lower commodity and retail sales. Higher commodity prices and foodservice sales drove the substantial improvement in contribution”

 

Hormel Foods posted total assets of $13,140 million on July 31st of which $6,738 comprised goodwill and intangibles. Long-term debt was $3,448 against an intraday market capitalization of $27,660 million. HRL has traded over the past 52 weeks in a range of $40.48 to $55.11 with a 50-day moving average of $48.92.  HRL trades with a forward P/E of 24.2 and a beta of 0.1.  For the trailing 12-month period, operating margin attained 10.0 percent and profit margin 7.7 percent.  The company has generated returns on assets of 6.8 percent and on equity 13.7 percent. HRL closed at $50.38 on August 31st but fell sharply at the open following the release to $47.25 on September 1st.

 

Subscribers can review the financial performance of competitor Butterball by entering “Seaboard” into the SEARCH tab.


 

Aviagen Internal Training Program

08/31/2022

According to an August 29th release, Aviagen presented the "Train the Trainer" program to internal teams on July 27th and 28th at the Albertville, AL. Research and Testing Center.

 

Topics included:

  • The Aviagen balanced approach to breeding with reference to welfare
  • A review of flock welfare incorporating interactive breakout sessions and panels
  • Leadership training
  • Welfare in relation to marketing, export and production planning
  • Welfare and international transport of chicks

 

The training was presented by the Aviagen Welfare Team comprising Dr. Kasey Guthrie, Veterinary Services Compliance Manager;  Dr. Sara Reichelt, Director of Animal Welfare and Sustainability and auditors Katie Kirby and Jason Vrazel.

 

In commenting on the program, Dr. Reichelt stated, "The goal for the training is twofold, we want to instill in participants an in-depth welfare skill and knowledge and teach them how to train others".  She added, "Participants at the ‘Train the Trainer’ program can strengthen the welfare culture at their Aviagen facilities throughout North America.  Our ultimate and ongoing goal is to provide the best possible care for our birds".


 

KFC Introduces Low-Price Combo Meals

08/31/2022

KFC will offer a two-piece dark meat (drum and thigh) combo meal for a limited time at $6.00.  The meal will also include mashed potatoes, a biscuit and a small beverage.  The special offer will be available as either Original Recipe® or Extra Crispy™. Availability will include in-restaurant, drive-thru, on-line order or delivered via the KFC mobile app.

 

Nick Chavez, the CMO of KFC noted, "we know consumers are feeling the pinch in their pocketbooks and these affordable meal deals make it easy for them to enjoy the KFC favorites they love". 

 

In addition to the two-piece meal, KFC is offering a free half gallon beverage bucket for each twelve piece or larger meal purchased.


 

Aviagen Recognized at Tennessee Poultry Association Meeting

08/31/2022

During the 2022 Tennessee Poultry Association (TPA) Meeting in Nashville on August 19th two Aviagen employees were recognized for contributions to the North American broiler industry.

 

Jeremy Martin was honored by the Association as the Workhorse of the Year and was appointed as the first Vice-president.  Martin has participated in the Tennessee Poultry Association for close to 25 years and has served on the Board since 2019.  He also chairs the Scholarship Committee and has been active in the Live Production Committee.

 

Rachel Breeding, the Quality Assurance and Regulatory Manager for the Aviagen Pedigree Operation in Crossville, TN. received the Tennessee Poultry Association Next Gen Young Leader Under Thirty Award.  This recognizes a young professional involved in poultry production or processing with the potential to advance the industry through dedication and enthusiasm.  Clara Goldman who nominated Ms. Breeding noted, "She excels in her roles with the QA and Regulatory Team showing careful attention to detail and an unmatched ability to work with people.

 

Dr. Marc de Beer, President of Aviagen North America who was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting noted, "Aviagen is proud of both Rachel and Jeremy and we appreciate the TPA honoring our employees.  We value our close and longstanding relationship with the TPA and share with them a vision to equip farmers with everything they need to put healthy chicken meat on the tables of families in Tennessee and North America”.


 

Canadian Producer Recalls Frozen Chicken Entrees

08/31/2022

Connoisseur’s Kitchen, located in Surrey, BC, Canada has recalled almost one ton of frozen ready-to-eat entrees.  The recall follows isolation of Listeria monocytogenes.  Product was prepared on August 3rd and exported to Alaska and Washington states on August 8th.

 

Contamination was detected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on routine sampling.  There have been no confirmed reports of illness, although product may still be in domestic refrigerators.


 

Impact of HPAI on Exports

08/30/2022

The USAPEEC calculates that the total loss due to trade embargos on U.S. broiler and turkey exports through June 2022 amounted to $1.16 Billion.  This is lower than the $4.2 Billion accruing in 2015.  The difference is attributed to agreements limiting bans to counties or states and the lifting of restrictions 28 days after completion of decontamination. 

 

The outbreak of HPAI in a 34,000 broiler breeder flock in Fresno County, California confirmed on August 22nd resulted in Mexico banning imports from the entire state.  The ban was soon modified to include only the affected county consistent with bilateral agreements between Mexico and the U.S.  The initial report of the outbreak resulted in closure of cross-border transfer from California points of entry to Mexico for a limited period.

 

Subsequent to the earlier case in Fresno County three additional outbreaks have been diagnosed. To date these comprise a turkey flock of 166,000 growing birds in Tuolumne County on August 26th, a flock of 35,000 broiler breeders in Fresno County on August 26th and growing turkeys in Sacramento County on August 30th. These incident cases will potentially create additional disruption in trade. 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has recorded isolation of H5N1 virus from wild birds in 14 counties and from backyard flocks in three counties. It is hoped that the authorities will make a clear distinction between bone fide backyard flocks kept by homeowners for household eggs or as hobby birds and the alternative non-commercial “backyard” flocks comprising game fowl (fighting cocks). The epidemiologic implications relating to true backyard chickens and other species and fighting cocks became evident in the outbreaks of Newcastle disease in 2018-2019.

 


 

Whole Foods Market Sued Over Antibiotic-Free Beef Claim

08/30/2022

Activist organization, Farm Forward has filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, CA., alleging deceptive advertising by Whole Foods Market, a subsidiary of Amazon Inc.  The plaintiffs including three bellwether consumers and Farm Forward allege that antibiotic and drug residues were detected in beef purchased from Whole Foods in San Francisco, Chicago, and Salt Lake City over a two-year period.

 

Whether the detected residues were at or below FDA limits is probably irrelevant to the claim since Whole Foods explicitly advertises specific beef products as “no antibiotics ever”.  Whole Foods Market charges a premium in excess of 25 percent for claimed antibiotic-free beef compared to other categories.

 

The complaint included, “Whole Foods markets beef with the slogan ‘no antibiotics ever’ and reinforces this promotional message that it beef is antibiotic-free with other similar representations at retail stores, through online marketing and on product packaging.” 

 

The plaintiffs require Whole Foods to amend marketing claims if supply chains include animals receiving antibiotics. As expected, both compensatory and punitive damages covering a large class of consumers is demanded.

 


 

Vaccine Administration Questioned After ASF 'Break" in Viet Nam

08/30/2022

The National Veterinary Laboratory of the Republic of Vietnam produced an African swine fever (ASF) vaccine that was intended to protect domestic flocks and to create an export market.  According to Reuters, administration of the vaccine has been suspended as 600 hogs in the central Province of Phu Yen died following immunization presumably from ASF.

 

The Agriculture Ministry has subsequently disclosed that the "break" was due to inappropriate administration of vaccine  leading to inadequate immunity. Corrective measures have been implemented. ASF has been endemic in Vietnam since 2019 and is present in 47 provinces.

 

The USDA has developed an effective ASF vaccine  under test in Vietnam and the Philippines where the disease is  regionally endemic.

 

Control of ASF will not be possible without a safe and effective vaccine that provides immunity to recipients with transfer of maternal antibodies to farrowed piglets.

 


 

Compassion in World Farming Enrolls Nine New Customers

08/30/2022

Compassion in World Farming organized the U.S. Working Group for Broiler Welfare in 2021 with seven founder businesses.  This group supports enterprises to develop programs to enhance welfare in intensive livestock production. Following recruitment of nine new members the Working Group comprises sixteen companies. These include manufacturers such as Nestle USA, retailers, (Target, Sprouts and the Whole Foods Market subsidiary of Amazon ) and food service companies, (Aramark and the Compass Group).  Collectively the sixteen members purchased 540 million pounds of chicken in 2021.

 

The U.S. Working Group for Broiler Welfare collaborates with Perdue Farms to establish and implement welfare initiatives with a program of improvement since 2016.  Many Perdue animal and flock-care practices are consistent with the Better Chicken Commitment including controlled atmosphere stunning, natural daylight in houses and enrichments.  According to Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, Senior Vice president for Technical Services and Innovation “Perdue will continue to collaborate with Compassion in World Farming and the Working Group to ensure that existing and future new customers can offer products from animals raised according to the Better Chicken Commitment standards.”

 

 “The expansion of the Working Group reflects a demand for meaningful change and how animals are farmed” according to Tessa Hale, U.S. Head of Food Business, at Compassion in World Farming.  For additional information on the Better Chicken Commitment access www.chickentrack.com

 


 

USAPEEC Presents Promotional Seminars in Columbia on Duck Meat

08/30/2022

With sponsorship from the Indiana Soybean Association, USAPEEC presented two seminars for chefs in the major cities of Bogota and Cartagena, Columbia during August.

 

Approximately 130 chefs attended with most affiliated to the hotel and restaurant sector.  Demonstrations on preparation of duck meat were led by Chef Danielle Riveros. Angelica Rangel, Sales Manager for Maple Leaf Farms in Latin America provided information on commercial availability.

 

For the first half of 2022 exports of duck meat attained 1,925 metric tons up 46 percent compared to the first six months of 2021. Value in 2022 was $6.9 million, 61.0 percent higher than for the first six months of 2021. Unit price in 2022 was $3,605 per metric ton up 10.1 percent from the first half of 2021. Major importers were Mexico with 44.8 percent of export volume followed by Canada at 19.4 percent during the first half of 2022.

 

 The concentration of the duck industry in a few counties in Indiana imposes risks for future exports by this sector of the poultry industry given exposure to HPAI during the 2022 epornitic. Applying the WAHO principle of regionalization duck exports were up 88.2 percent in July 2022 compared to the corresponding month in 2021. This attests to the promotional activities of USAPEEC and its influence on phytosanitary trade rules.   


 

Impossible Foods Changes Formula For Beef Substitute

08/30/2022

According to a company release, Impossible Foods has reduced saturated fat by 25 percent from 8g to 6g per serving.  Protein as a proportion of daily value has increased to 38 percent from 31 percent, although the company has not provided any information on amino acid profile. 

 

The ingredient list for their faux beef is far from “clean” as required by their affluent consumer base concerned over heath, sustainability and welfare. Ingredients listed include soy protein concentrate, sunflower oil, coconut oil, natural flavors, methyl cellulose, cultured dextrose, food starch, yeast extract, soy leghemoglobin (a GMO), salt, tocopherols, L-tryptophan, and soy protein isolate in addition to vitamins and minerals.

 

The company has also changed the name from Impossible Burger™ to Impossible Beef ™ as burger patties and containers of the beef substitute are now sold in separate packages.

 

Peter McGuinness the newly appointed CEO claims a repeat purchase rate of 45 percent by consumers.  Optimistic pronouncements are at variance with successive quarterly reports issued by competitors all of whom document either static or declining sales volume and shrinking or outright negative gross, operational and net margins.

 

The state of vegetable-based meat substitutes can be appreciated by reviewing quarterly reports of Maple Leaf Foods and Beyond Meat by entering the names of these companies in the SEARCH block to retrieve financial data.


 

McDonald’s To Test Big Mac Chicken Sandwich

08/28/2022

Following a successful trial in the U.K., McDonald’s Corp. will trial a “Chicken Big Mac”® in Miami, FL.

 

McDonald’s is late to the market with a premium chicken sandwich and will have to compete with Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s and Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen.

 

In commenting on chicken as a filling for sandwiches, Chris Kempczinski the CEO, noted, “Chicken continues to be a significant opportunity for McDonald’s.”  He added, “We’ve got some great global equities already in our McNuggets® and with McChicken® and we think we’ve got an opportunity to do more with chicken globally.”


 

Transpacific Shipping Rates Fall

08/24/2022

The Shanghai-Los Angeles rate for a 40-foot equivalent container fell five percent in the past week to $6,521, down 41 percent year-over-year.  The cost from Shanghai to New York was $9,710, down 28 percent from mid-August 2021.  In contrast, transatlantic rates remain high with the Rotterdam to New York route at $6,936 per container, up eight percent year-on-year.

 

It is understood that despite falling rates, shipping lines benefit from contracts that cover at least half their volume, although annual contract rates closely correspond to current spot rates.  The FBX Europe to East Coast and FBX Asia-West Coast indexes were 4.9 times higher than three years ago, indicating the added cost for freight, post COVID.

 


 


 

Judge Grants Class Certification Following Tennessee Plant Raid

08/23/2022

In 2018, agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) raided Southeastern Provision Inc. beef plant in Morristown, TN.

 

The National Immigration Law Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed for class-action status on behalf of 100 workers. U.S. District Judge Travis McDonough granted the motion allowing the case to proceed against the two federal agencies.

 

It is alleged that agents used excessive force and violated workers equal protection rights by targeting those with an evident Hispanic identity.

 

During the previous Administration a number of raids were conducted on meat-processing plants in Georgia accompanied by expensive publicity.  There have been no public reports of raids over the past two years suggesting a change in ICE policy and a higher level of compliance with immigration regulations by processors and packers.

 

Notwithstanding the approach by ICE, it is evident that Congress should resolve problems of availability and issue of H-2A visas and improve security on our southern porous border.


 

DOJ Required to Provide Additional Evidence in Collusion Trial

08/21/2022

U.S. District Judge, Daniel Domenico, has granted a defense motion for a bill of particulars requiring the Department of Justice to specify alleged events relating to collusion.  Jason McGuire and Timothy Stiller will face trial on an alleged conspiracy to fix prices and unlawful restraint of interstate trade and commerce with Stiller having to answer to obstruction of an official proceeding.

 

The Department of Justice has been singularly unsuccessful in proving that collusion occurred over three trials with two ending in hung juries and the third in an acquittal of five defendants.  In early August, charges were dismissed against Wesley Scott Tucker and Justin Gay formerlly of of Pilgrim’s Pride.


 

Alltech Meta-Analysis on the Deleterious Effects of Mycotoxins

08/21/2022

Drs. Alexandria C. Weaver, Daniel Weaver, Alexandros Yiannikouris and Niccholas Adams collaborated to prepare a comprehensive meta-analysis of the effects of mycotoxins and the benefits of yeast cell wall extract supplements*. Data was extracted from 25 research papers in peer-reviewed journals evaluating the ameliorative effect of a commercial yeast cell wall extract (Mycosorb™ ) on performance parameters including weight gain, feed conversion and livability all incorporated in the European Production Efficiency Factor (EEF).

 

Mycotoxins in feed depressed body weight by approximately 217 grams over a 35-day grow-out.  Concurrently mycotoxins reduced feed conversion efficiency by 0.12 points.  Mortality was increased by two percent by inclusion of various levels of mycotoxin in feed.

 

The deleterious effects of mycotoxins were partly reversed by adding Mycosorb™ to diets, and increasing body weight by 65g compared to non-supplemented controls.  Feed conversion was improved by 5 points and the EEF was raised by 17 points.

 

Applying data to a simulated life cycle assessment with a hypothetical 100,000 bird per week operation, supplementing diets with Mycosorb™ in the presence of diverse mycotoxins in feed could result in an additional 1,740 birds sold each week representing an incremental 11.1 metric tons of product while eliminating emission of 25 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.


 

National Meeting on Poultry Health, Processing and Live Production

08/21/2022

The Delmarva Chicken Association will host the 57th National Meeting in Ocean City, MD. October 3rd to 5th 2022.  A total of 35 speakers on relevant topics have confirmed their participation. The following key issues will be addressed by leading scientists:

 

 

  • Dr. Mary Pantin-Jackwood, High Path Avian Influenza Overview
  • Dr. Kenneth Anderson, Comparing Methods of Mass Depopulation
  • Dr. Mike Kogut, Dr. Greg Mathis, Dr. Cori Robinson and Dr. Tyler Gamble, Additives and Broiler Health Challenges with NAE Production
  • Dr. Juan De Villena, Labor Shortages and Automation Solutions
  • Dr. Stewart Ritchie, Brooding.

 


 

USDA-AMS Purchases

08/20/2022
On August 15th, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service announced purchase of 11,898 tons of large chilled chicken in bulk and 594 tons of chilled chicken legs for child nutrition and related food assistance programs.  Product was purchased for an average of $1.44 per pound for whole birds and $0.74 for legs with deliveries to be made during October 2022.

The two purchases amounted to $36.3 million.

 


 

Inflation In the Price of Chicken Sandwiches

08/18/2022

Market Research group, Edison Mail, reported that between January and July 2022 the average price for a chicken sandwich rose 14 percent to $4.58.  Price was up 18 percent from July 2021, when the average was $3.88.  The survey that excluded combo meals was based on 240,000 online, direct orders from ten QSRs, including the “big five”. 

 

Popeye’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich and the McDonald’s equivalent rose 13 percent.  The  McChicken sandwich was up 12 percent and Chick-fil-A rose 8 percent.

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index recorded a 10.9 percent increase in the cost of food compared to July 2021, but the chicken component of the food Index was up by 17.6 percent.  The Consumer Price Index was higher by 8.5 percent compared to July 2021 but was lower than the June 9.1 percent increase.

 

There is concern that price-sensitive consumers may pass over more expensive chicken sandwiches thereby reducing the demand for fillets.


 

Attorneys General To Support Elimination Of Broiler Tournament System

08/18/2022

A bipartisan coalition of state Attorneys General led by Keith Ellison of Minnesota will support the USDA proposal to amend rules issued under the Packers and Stockyards Act, effectively eliminating the tournament system.

 

Elllison noted, “One of the many reasons it is tough for small poultry farmers and small farmers of all kinds to afford their lives, is because of imbalances of power, money and information between farmers and processors.”  He added, “These imbalances lead to unfair competition and bad outcomes not only for these farmers but for their communities and way of life.”

 


 

Perdue Farms Receives Workplace Safety Awards

08/18/2022

The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council has assigned the Award of Distinction to nine Perdue facilities recognizing implementation of effective workplace safety and health programs.  In addition, 24 Perdue facilities in 14 states received Workplace Safety Awards.

 

Randy Day, CEO of Perdue Farms, stated, “Workplace safety is an absolute at Perdue, including an unwavering commitment from Management and an ongoing safety culture that engages all associates in maintaining a safe workplace environment.”  He added, “We believe there is nothing more important than creating a safe, supportive and healthy work environment where our associates can be successful and return safely to their families at the end of the workday.”

 

Awards were distributed at the 2022 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry in Destin, FL.


 

Bill to Allow Livestock Auction Markets to Invest in Meat Packing Operations

08/18/2022

The Packers and Stockyard Act prevents owners of livestock auction markets from owning or managing packing plants to avoid conflicts of interest.  A bill sponsored by Senators Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) proposes an amendment to the Packers and Stockyards Act to allow integration.  Senator Ernst stated, “Allowing livestock auction owners to invest in local and regional meat packers will expedite the safe processing of meat, increase competition within the industry, and ultimately lower meat costs for consumers.”

 

The legislation is supported by a number of livestock groups including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association.

 

Bob Noble, President of the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, stated “Daily slaughter capacity in Iowa falls short of our fed-cattle production.  We recognize the value of livestock auction markets in our supply chain, representing the interests of both sellers and buyers.”

 

The USDA is extremely conscious of the disruption caused by COVID that affected a large number of workers in plants with capacities in excess of 2,000 head per day.  In April and May of 2020, hog and beef slaughter was almost halved by a shortage of workers highlighting the vulnerability of the red meat industry to a highly transmissable disease.  For various reasons, the poultry industry was affected to a lesser degree compared to red meat plants with product supplied to stores albeit with sharp increases in price for chicken products.

 

It is questioned whether fragmentation of the packing sector is advisable or will, in any way, contribute to a temporary problem which has now been resolved.  Including the concept of “safe processing of meat”, to support the legislation may be an unrealized objective.  Although the proposal may appear politically expedient, it would be advisable to consider unintended consequences and to revisit why the restriction was considered necessary in the first instance.


 

South Africa Discriminates Against U.S. with Anti-Dumping Duties

08/18/2022

According to USDA-FAS Gain Report SF 2002-0022, released on August 5th, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Competition of the Republic of South Africa announced that anti-dumping duties would be rescinded on products from Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, and Spain for 12 months.  In contrast, anti-dumping duties on product from the U.S., Germany, Netherlands and the U.K would remain in force.

 

The imposition of anti-dumping duties was intended to protect the domestic broiler industry since approximately twenty percent of poultry consumed in the RSA is imported.  Recession of anti-dumping duties was based on the escalation in the price of protein to consumers and especially the lower income demographic that relies on chicken for animal protein.

 

The Republic of South Africa has inappropriately used HPAI as a means to protect the domestic industry although the infection is now endemic in the Nation disallowing this justification for a ban as established by WHOA (OIE) rules.


 

DOJ Dismisses Charges Against Two Defendants in Alleged Price Fixing Conspiracy

08/16/2022

Wesley Scott Tucker former National Account Sales Executive for Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation and Justin Gay former Director of Fresh Food Service Sales were advised by the Department of Justice that charges have been dropped in their alleged participation in a conspiracy to fix prices for broiler products.

 

The legal representative for Scott Tucker noted, “We are gratified that the Government has moved to dismiss these charges and that now he can begin to rebuild his personal life and professional career.”

 

This action follows two mistrial verdicts against senior management affiliated with Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation and Claxton Chicken Inc.


 

Anpario Appoints Broiler & Turkey Territory Sales Representative in the US

08/16/2022

Anpario, an independent manufacturer and international distributor of natural, sustainable feed additives for animal health and nutrition, has announced the appointment of Chaz Ramsey as a Broiler & Turkey Territory Sales Representative.

 

Chaz earned a degree in agricultural science from Virginia Tech in 2016. He gained field experience with Cargill Turkey Production as a Flock Supervisor and Hatchery Supervisor.

 

In accepting the appointment Ramsey stated “I truly feel that Anpario’s portfolio of product provide great solutions for the problems facing the poultry industry. I wanted to move into a sales role to help provide those solutions to producers”

 

The expanding US Anpario Team, includes nutritionists, veterinarians and experienced agricultural technicians.  Chaz will apply his experience to lead sales and service initiatives for both Turkeys and Broilers.


 

Relating Campylobacteriosis to Contamination in Broiler Flocks

08/16/2022

A recent study* conducted in Sweden demonstrated a temporal association between Campylobacter prevalence in batches of broilers at slaughter and subsequent development of campylobacteriosis in consumers. 

 

A retrospective study conducted on data extending from 2009 to 2019 demonstrated a two-week time lag between a high level of recovery of Campylobacter from broiler flocks and an increase in incident cases among consumers.  The study was possible in Sweden based on the small number of broiler processing plants and an ongoing national monitoring system for campylobacteriosis among consumers. The foodborne infection is seasonal in Sweden allowing analysis of annual or long-term trends. 

 

The model developed confirmed a positive association between human cases and broiler prevalence with an optimal lag of two weeks consistent with the time between slaughter and consumption taking into account the incubation period among patients.  The authors expressed the view that the relationship between broiler prevalence and human cases is complicated and involves factors other than simple prevalence rates among broiler flocks.

 

*Lindqvist, R. et al. The temporal pattern and relationship of Campylobacter prevalence in broiler slaughter batches and human campylobacteriosis cases in Sweden 2009-2019. International Journal of Food Microbiology doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfood micro (2022)


 

Aviagen Summer Interns

08/16/2022

Fifteen summer interns spent from May 23rd to July 29th with Aviagen, North America.  They gained hands-on experience in the areas of production, veterinary diagnostics, quality assurance, hatchery management and R&D.  The interns, including two students from Harper Adams College in the U.K., worked alongside their peers from U.S. poultry science departments. Two students from Auburn University visited Aviagen installations the U.K.

Amanda Williams, Aviagen Human Resources Business Partner stated, “At Aviagen our philosophy is “to breed the best we need the best”.  We are committed to the sustainability of the global poultry industry that depends on our ability to attract bright, young minds.”  Williams added, “We were impressed with their intelligence and ability to quickly catch on to poultry-breeding skills and concepts.  We look forward to seeing their contributions to the global poultry industry in the future.”

 

 


 

Popeye’s Faced With Lawsuit Over Tenderloin Claim

08/13/2022

An example of a contrived “shakedown” lawsuit was filed in a Federal New York Court on July 29th, alleging that a chicken tender sandwich offered by Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen contained less-desirable breast meat.  The complaint alleges that the plaintiff expected chicken tenderloins as the only meat component of the sandwich, as advertised, based on superior organoleptic properties. 

 

The lawsuit claims, “The perception that the product’s actual chicken was made from chicken tenderloins is material to consumers.”  The suit argued that customers of Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken paid a premium price for chicken tenders and that they would have paid significantly less if they had been aware that breast meat was included in the filling.  The complaint continued, “By the use of misleading representations, Popeye’s created increased market demand for the product and increased its market share relative to what its demand and share would have been had it marketed the product truthfully.”  The attorneys representing the plaintiff based in Los Angeles, CA. requested a jury trial with statutory and punitive damages.


 

Cargill, Inc. Reports 2022 Revenue

08/13/2022

Privately held Cargill, Inc. released their 2022 Annual Report on August 9th.  Since 2022, the company has declined to disclose earnings or results of operating segments.  For Fiscal 2022, Cargill posted revenue of $165 billion, up 23 percent from 2021. 

 

The report provided limited disclosure on operations and acquisitions.  The most significant was the joint venture with Continental Grain to purchase Sanderson Farms in a $4.5 billion transaction to create a new company, Wayne-Sanderson.

 

Cargill claims 150,000 employees worldwide, operating in 17 nations and marketing products in 125 countries.

 

During the past year, Cargill philanthropy extended to direct donations totaling $163 million with $14 million earmarked for Ukraine and a similar amount for disaster relief.

 

Cargill, Inc. has a significant involvement in sourcing, trading and adding value to agricultural commodities, with subsidiaries producing chicken and turkeys, operating in the area of animal nutrition and health and providing financial services.


 

Hormel Foods Announces New Structure

08/12/2022

Hormel Foods Corporation announced on August 8th that it will restructure with three operational  segments:

 

  • The Retail segment will include consumer brands including Jennie-O and will be supported by the “Brand Fuel” service group within the Company. Retail will be led by Deanna Brady who was previously responsible for the Refrigerated Foods segment.

 

  • The Foodservice operating segment will interface with restaurants, hotels, healthcare and educational institutions and will be led by Mark Ourada.

 

  • The International segment will expand Hormel activities outside the United States with an existing presence in China, Brazil and Indonesia and will extend partnerships in the Philippines, South Korea and in the EU.  This segment will be led by Swen Neufelt.

 

The reorganization will be effective on October 31st and was developed to modernize the Hormel business and to improve the supply chain and E-commerce capability.


 

Producers and Restaurants Granted a Moratorium on Massachusetts Law on Sow Housing

08/09/2022

The National Pork Producers Council and a consortium of restaurants had their motion  granted for a preliminary injunction enjoining the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from enforcing housing requirements as specified in a law paralleling California Proposition #12.  The suit named Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and John Lebeaux, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources as respondents.  The petitioners maintained that the few relatively small pork producers in Massachusetts and in New England states are not compliant with the requirements for group housing of sows. The filing with the U.S. District Court request a stay in the implementation of the law until the Supreme Court has ruled on the California Proposition 12 appeal.  The filing implied that the Supreme Court will in all probability reverse the decision of the Ninth Circuit regarding the constitutionality of Proposition #12 based on interference with interstate commerce.

 


 

USDA Evaluating COVID Response

08/09/2022

Following a directive by Congress, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the UDSA undertook an evaluation of the response of the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the Agency to COVID. The OIG report has now been released.  The focus of the investigation was the response of the Agency following the Presidential Executive Order in April 2020 mandating that meat-packing and chicken plants should remain in operation.  It was determined that FSIS spent $22 million on funding under the CARES Act to pay for personal protective equipment for inspectors and staff.  It is noted that during the early period of the COVID outbreak, inspectors, along with the plant workers were infected with COVID and fatalities occurred among the FSIS workforce.  The report also determined that FSIS provided guidance to plants and tracked cases among workers.

 

The evaluation resulted in recommendations for tracking and reporting health outcomes in any future pandemic. The FSIS agreed to comply with suggestions including responsive action initiated by the Office of the USDA Chief Financial Officer.


 

USPOULTRY Live Production Program

08/08/2022

Biosecurity will be front and center at the 2022 Live Production, Welfare and Biosecurity Seminar to take place September 21st and 22nd at the DoubleTree Hilton Downtown in Nashville, TN.  The event organized by USPOULTRY is co-sponsored by the National Chicken Council, the National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers.

 

Program topics include a Farm Bill update, biosecurity best practices, animal welfare, a cage free industry update, lighting intensity, animal activists’ update and food safety.

The full agenda and details on registration can be accessed at <www.uspoultry.org>.


 

Tyson Foods Inc. Reports on Q3 FY 2022

08/08/2022

In a press release dated August 8th Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) announced results for Q3 of FY 2022 ending July 2nd 2022.

 

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as US$ x 1,000 except EPS)

 

Third Quarter Ending

July 2nd 2022

July 3rd 2021

Difference (%)

Sales:

$13,495,000

$12,478,000

+8.7

Gross profit:

$1,611,000

$1,620,000

-0.6

Operating income:

$1,033,000

$1,062,000

-2.7

Pre-tax Income

Net Income

$986,000

$753,000

$966,000

$753,000

+2.1

0

Diluted earnings per share:

$2.07

$2.05

+1.0

Gross Margin (%)

11.9

14.3

-16.8

Operating Margin (%)

7.7

9.4

-18.1

Profit Margin (%)

5.6

6.7

-16.4

Long-term Debt and other liabilities:

$12,943,000

$14,606,000

-11.4

12 Months Trailing:

Return on Assets (%)

10.7

Return on Equity (%)

23.1

Operating Margin (%)

11.7

Profit Margin (%)

7.9

Total Assets

$36,245,000

$36,309,000

-0.2

Intraday Market Capitalization August 8th

$31,666,000

52-Week Range in Share Price of TSN: $69.83 to $100.72. 50-day Moving average, $91.39

 

Market Close: Friday May 6th $90.85. Open Monday May 9th post-release $94.37.

TSN beat on revenue against an estimate of $13,300 million but adjusted EPS of $1.94 was below expected $1.98.

Forward P/E 11.5 Beta 0.8

 

The Chicken Segment attained sales of $4,959 million ($4,954 million in Q3 FY 2021) representing 36.7 percent of Company revenue. Operating income was $277 million or 26.8 percent of the Company total (adjusted to $269 million). In Q3 of 2021 operating loss was $(279) million adjusted to $27 million.

 

For comparison among Tyson Foods’ business segments the adjusted operating incomes were respectively:- Pork, $25 million; Beef, $506 million; Prepared Foods $186 million.

 

In commenting on results Donnie King, president and CEO stated “We delivered solid results during the third quarter, focusing on operational excellence and aggressive cost management." He added, "The turnaround of our chicken business continues, and we continue to be the market share leader in many of our retail business lines, which include our Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Ball Park iconic brands. We maintained double-digit sales and earnings growth year to date as well as progressing toward our goal of delivering more than $1 billion in recurring productivity savings by the end of fiscal 2024.

 

"King concluded "I'm optimistic about our ability to win with our team members, win with our customers and consumers and win with excellence in execution."

 

With regard to the Chicken Segment the company release included:- “Sales volume decreased in the third quarter of fiscal 2022 primarily due to a reduction in volumes related to a fire at a production facility in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and a reduction in outside meat purchases. Average sales price increased in the third quarter of fiscal 2022 due to the effects of pricing initiatives in an inflationary cost environment. Operating income increased in the third quarter of fiscal 2022 primarily due to higher average sales prices, partially offset by the impacts of inflationary market conditions including increased supply chain and labor costs. In the third quarter of fiscal 2022, we experienced $145 million of higher feed ingredient costs and $23 million of net derivative losses as compared to $56 million of net derivative gains in the third quarter of fiscal 2021”.

 

Guidance for FY 2022 included Revenue between $52 and $54 billion; Operating margin of 5 to 7 percent unchanged from the Q2 report, Savings in cost of production of $400 million in FY 2022 relative to 2021and capital expenditure of $1.9 billion. The Company warned that supply chain issues would impact international operations.


 

Consumer Perceptions Concerning“Plant-Based”

08/08/2022

In a report produced by the Food Industry Association entitled The Power of Plant-Based Foods and Beverages, it is clear that consumers demonstrate diverse reactions to the term “plant-based”.  Those who are environmentally conscious associate the term with “nature” and “healthy”.  Other respondents considered the term analogous to “fake”, “tasteless” and are aware of a price differential between plant-based meat and the real product.

 

The Report was prepared with the assistance of Nielsen IQ and MotiveBase. Reaction to the term “plant-based” were gathered from consumers, retailers, and food professionals over a 52-week period ending June 11th.

 

The significant takeaway from the report is the lack of understanding of the term suggesting clarification and the need for standards.  Consumer education is required concerning the nutritional value of plant-based meat alternatives.  Most consumers are unaware of the inclusion of approved additives that detract from the “clean label” ethos but more importantly the high level of salt and the inferiority in amino acid content, despite claims for equivalence in crude protein content as supplied by animal-derived products.

 


 

Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms Donate for Flood Victims and the Needy

08/08/2022

Tyson Foods will partner with Walmart to distribute 500,000 pounds of protein to feed needy families in and around Hazard, KY.  John R. Tyson, Executive Vice-president and Chief Sustainability Officer for Tyson Foods, stated “We are deeply saddened by the damage and loss of life caused by the catastrophic flooding and we want to do our part to help.”  He added, “We are working with our local community partners to amplify their support and do our best to provide food and supplies to those who need it.” Tyson will deploy the Meals That Matter ® disaster-relief trailer in the Hazard, KY., Walmart parking lot.  Teams from Tyson Food facilities in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Indiana will provide aid to victims of the disaster.

 

Perdue Farms has donated $30,000 in direct contributions and an additional 5 tons of chicken to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee in Nashville. This will support a Back-Pack program and a mobile pantry in rural Putnam County. Perdue associates in the Monterey, TN., complex organized the donation and delivered the products.


 

Cargill Philanthropy

08/08/2022

Cargill Inc. recently announced donations totaling $4.9 million to the Feeding American Network of food banks.  Funding of $1.9 million will comprise protein products for local food banks specifically for vulnerable communities.  The bulk of the allocation will be to improve refrigeration infrastructure and equipment to repackage donated bulk proteins.

 

Over the past 35 years, Cargill has donated $28 million to Feeding America and member food banks.  Worldwide in 2020, Cargill contributed more than $30 million to reduce global hunger through support of CARE, Heifer International, the World Food Program and Save the Children.

 

Cargill supports Means Database, an online platform to gather excess food inventory from supermarkets and restaurants for those in need.


 

Tyson to Expand Prepared Foods Plant in Caseyville, IL.

08/08/2022

The Caseyville, IL., plant producing Hillshire Farm® and Jimmy Dean® products will undergo expansion at a capital cost of $180 million.  According to an August 4th news release, expansion will be conducted through 2023.  The current project follows a previous decision to add production lines to increase annual output to16 million lbs.  The announced expansion will extend over 170,000 square feet and provide employment for an additional 250 workers.

 


 

Wayne-Sanderson NC. Hatchery To Be Upgraded

08/06/2022

Following the acquisition of Sanderson Farms the combined company, Wayne-Sanderson Farms, is undertaking a program of rationalization and consolidation to achieve efficiencies and synergy from the transaction. 

 

On August 4th, the company announced that the Dobson, NC. hatchery will undergo a $1.3 million expansion and reorganization to accommodate gender-sorting of chicks.  Pullet chicks will be delivered to an Alabama small-bird operation with the local complex placing males.  The current output of the Dobson hatchery is 650,000 chicks per week.  The project includes the erection of new offices, a breakroom and staff facilities with expansion of chick handling into existing space not used for incubation.


 

Tyson Foods Settles Non-Compete Claim

08/06/2022

Tyson Foods has settled litigation with Brian Baker, who left the company as Vice-president of Poultry Optimization to join Foster Farms.

 

Tyson was concerned over disclosure of confidential information relating to live bird production. Accordingly the company attempted to enforce a restraining order that was dismissed by a Washington County, AR. Circuit Court.

 

The case was settled with the issues resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties. Judge John Threet dismissed the case with prejudice with each party will be responsible for their own costs.

 

Previously, broiler integrators have sued senior managers who have resigned to obtain employment with competitors.  It is obviously common practice to require employees with specific technical or business knowledge to sign non-compete agreements, although their enforceability may be limited.


 

Beyond Meat Reports on Q2 2022

08/05/2022

In a press release dated August 4th Beyond Meat Inc. (BYND) announced results for the 2nd Quarter of FY 2022 ending July 2nd. The Company disappointed on the top line with sales of $147 million against a consensus of $149 million. The bottom line miss was a negative EPS of $1.53 against an expectation of a negative $1.18

 

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as US$ x 1,000 except EPS)

 

2nd Quarter Ending

July 2nd 2022

July 3rd 2021

Difference (%)

Sales:

$147,040

$149,426

-1.6

Gross profit:

$(6,162)

$47,352

-113

Operating income:

$(89,681)

$(18,601)

-382

Pre-tax Income

Net Income / (loss)

$(95,691)

$(97,134)

$(19,443)

$(19,652)

-392

-394

Diluted earnings per share:

$(1.53)

$(0.31)

-394

Gross Margin (%)

(4.2)

31.6

-113

Operating Margin (%)

(60.9)

(12.2)

-399

Profit Margin (%)

(66.1)

(13.2)

-400

Long-term Debt and lease obligations:

$1,156,523

$1,152,715

+0.3

12 Months Trailing:

Return on Assets (%)

-14

Return on Equity (%)

-321

Operating Margin (%)

-65

Profit Margin (%)

-72

Total Assets July 2nd.

$1,218109

$1,379,399

-11.6

Market Capitalization August 5th

$2,160,000

 

Notes for the 2nd Quarter derived from data presented:

SGA ’22 $63 million comprising 42.8% of sales compared to ’21 $48.3 million or 32.3% of sales

R&D ’22 $16.2 million comprising 11.0% of sales compared to ’21 at $13.8 million or 9.2% of sales

Inventory: In Q2’22 represented 20.9% of sales compared to 17.5% in Q2 2021

In Q2 ’22 30.1 million lbs. sold compared to 26.3 million lbs. in Q2 ‘21

In Q2 ’22 Unit revenue attained $4.88/lb. compared to $5.69/lb. in Q2 2021

In Q2 ’22 each of claimed 183,000 outlets received an average of 165 lbs. product compared to 118,000 outlets receiving 222lbs. in Q2 ‘21

In Q2 2022 U.S sales represented 70 percent of revenue of which 77 percent was retail, the remainder, food service.

In Q2 2022 International sales represented 30 percent of revenue of which 53 percent was retail, the remainder, food service.

52-Week Range in Share Price: $20.50 to $134.99 50-day Moving average $28.42

Forward P/E 666

 

In commenting on Q2 2022 results , Ethan Brown Founder and CEO stated, “We recorded our second largest quarter ever in terms of net revenues even as consumers traded down among proteins in the context of inflationary pressures, and we made solid sequential progress on reducing operating and manufacturing conversion costs. Across the balance of the year, we are tightly focused on intensifying OpEx and manufacturing cost reductions, executing against a series of planned market activities for our global strategic partners, and strengthening our retail business through core support and the introduction of one of our best innovations to date. Through these and other measures, we are confident we will emerge from the current economic climate leaner and stronger, and well positioned for our next chapter of growth.”

 

The report included commentary on the second quarter that included:-

“The decrease in net revenue per pound was primarily attributable to changes in price, including the impact of sales to liquidation channels and list price reductions in the EU implemented in the first quarter of 2022, changes in foreign exchange rates, and increased trade discounts”.

 

The reality is that the Company record includes:-

  • An accumulated deficit of $574.6 million.
  • Trailing 12-month operating cash flow of -$416 million
  • Effective July 15th 41 percent of float was short
  • News reports of mismanagement and failure to execute and deliver on products offered to food service prospects
  • Share price off 43 percent year-to-date

 

Notwithstanding the Q2 report BYND opened August 15th post release at $31.33 and closed inexplicably up 18% at $38.26. Management may attribute this market affirmation to promises to cut expenses by laying off four percent of staff and other economies to reduce cash burn. A more sinister explanation is that some investors see the inevitability of an acquisition with a premium or alternatively a short squeeze in the near future. David Trainer speaking on CNBC correctly points to flagging sales and losses among the manufacturers of vegetable protein with extreme competition in the market. (see Report on Maple Leaf Foods Q2 in this edition). Analysts see Beyond Meat running out of cash with a share price below $5. This will create an opportunity for a Grey or even a Black knight (the White knights have passed it over) to acquire and dismember the Company. Tyson Foods correctly assessed the prospects for Beyond Meat when they disposed of their equity before the IPO.


 

Zoetis Posts Q2 Financial Results

08/05/2022

In an August 4th release, Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) posted financial results for the 2nd quarter of FY 2022. The Company can be regarded as an indicator of the status of enterprises manufacturing pharmaceuticals, biologics and nutritional additives for companion animals and livestock industries in the Americas, Asia and Europe. Along with competitors Elanco, Phibro, Merck, and Boehringer-Ingelheim, all are subject to the risks of currency fluctuation, disruption of supply-chains and increased costs for products, labor and transport in a competitive environment with livestock producers and consumers impacted by inflation.

 

For the 2nd Quarter of FY 2022 ending June 30th 2022, net income attained $529 million on revenue of $2,052 million representing a net margin of 25.8 percent.  Comparable figures for the 2nd quarter of fiscal 2021 ending June 30th were net income of $512 million on total revenue of $1,948 million. Diluted EPS attained $1.12 for the most recent quarter of fiscal 2022 compared to $1.07 for the 2nd Quarter of 2021.

 

In reviewing the components of revenue for the 2nd quarter of FY 2022 the Companion Animal Segment represented 66.6 percent of Company revenue with Livestock accounting for 32.5 percent. Within this segment, cattle comprised 49 percent; poultry, 18 percent; swine, 22 percent with aquaculture and other species contributing to the difference. Sales to the International segment of livestock amounted to 68 percent with the remainder derived from the U.S.

 

Zoetis expanded its poultry vaccine portfolio in the U.S. with the approval of Poulvac® Procerta® HVT-IBD-ND, a trivalent vector vaccine that protects against Marek’s disease, infectious bursal disease and Newcastle disease. This is the third recombinant vector vaccine from Zoetis, following the introduction of Poulvac® Procerta® HVT-ND in 2020 and Poulvac® Procerta® HVT-IBD in 2021.

 

In reviewing Q2 results Kristin Peck, CEO stated, “Zoetis delivered another strong quarter, with 8 percent operational revenue growth and 9 percent operational growth in adjusted net income, driven once again by the strength of our companion animal portfolio.” She added “Our diversity and strength across parasiticides, dermatology products, vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for pain continue to demonstrate people’s desire for innovative and effective care for their pets."

 

Ms. Peck concluded “Our business remains strong thanks to the durability of our global portfolio and a steady pipeline of new products. Even as we face uncertain macroeconomic conditions, continued supply constraints, generic competition and the war in Ukraine, we remain confident in the resilience of our business and colleagues. As we look at the rest of the year, we are updating and narrowing our guidance to reflect our positive outlook for the remainder of the year, as well as recent changes to foreign exchange rates."

 

Guidance for FY 2022 includes revenue in a range of  $8,225 to $8.325 million; net income of $2,350 to $2,390 million and a reported diluted EPS ranging from $4.05 to $4.75.

 

On June 30th 2021 Zoetis posted assets of $13,770 million of which $4,257 million comprised intangibles and goodwill against long-term debt of $5,221 million. The Company had an intraday market capitalization of $84,790 million on August 5th 2022. ZTS traded with a forward P/E of 35.7 and has ranged over the past 52-weeks from $154.18 to $249.27 with a 50-day moving average of $171.49. Q2 operating margin was 37.1 percent.  Return on assets was 3.8 percent. At close of trading on August 3rd pre-release ZTS was priced at $180.06 opening on August 4th post-release at $177.75.


 

Seaboard Q2 Reports Butterball Profit

08/04/2022

On August 2nd Seaboard Corporation (SEB) filed SEC Form 10-Q reporting results for Q2 of FY 2022 ending July 2nd.  The company is a conglomerate with segments dedicated to pork production, grain milling, commodity trading, marine transport and power generation. Seaboard owned 50 percent of the equity of Butterball LLC at the end of the first quarter with warrants to purchase an additional five percent of the shares, expiring in 2025.  On April 19th Seaboard exercised rights to purchase the additional equity thereby acquiring a controlling interest with 55 percent of the equity of Butterball LLC.

 

For Q2 FY 2022 SEB earned $108 million on revenue of $2,973 million with an EPS of $92.53. Comparable values for Q2 of FY 2021 ending July 3rd were net income of $176 million on revenue of $2,430 million with an EPS of $151.56

 

On July 2nd Seaboard posted total assets of $7,810 million with long-term debt and lease obligations of $1,399 million.  Seaboard has a market capitalization of $4,620 million with 79 percent of equity held internally. The 12-month trailing operating margin was 5.1 percent with a profit margin of 5.0 percent. Return on assets and equity were 4.3 and 11.6 percent respectively. During the past 52 weeks share price has ranged from $3,535 to $4,400 with a 50-day moving average of $3.930.

 

Effective April 2nd Seaboard owned half of Butterball LLC ranked as the second largest turkey producer in the U.S. The performance of this now-incorporated subsidiary, producing 850 million tons of RTC product in 2021, is reflected in the Seaboard Corp. SEC Q-10 submission. For Q2 FY 2022 Butterball posted sales of $417 million compared to $371 million in Q2 FY 2021. Net income attained $21 million generating a profit margin of 5.0 percent compared to a loss of $(7) million for the corresponding 2nd Quarter of 2021. As of July 2nd 2022 Butterball LLC posted assets of $1,100 million.

 

The SEC 10-K report includes the following statement:- “The Turkey Segment, accounted for using the equity method, represents Seaboard’s investment in Butterball, LLC. The increase in income from affiliates for the three and six month periods of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 was primarily the result of higher selling prices, partially offset by lower volumes of turkey products sold and higher feed, plant production and transportation costs. Also, the income from affiliates for the first quarter of 2022 includes Seaboard’s portion of a gain on the sale of a business. Management is unable to predict market prices for turkey products or the cost of feed for future periods; however, management anticipates this segment will be profitable for the remainder of 2022”.


 

Maple Leaf Foods Reports on Q2 of FY 2022

08/04/2022

In a press release dated August 4th Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI-TO) announced results for the second quarter of FY 2022 ended June 30th.

 

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as US$ x 1,000 except EPS (conversion of CAN$1=US$0.78)

 

2nd Quarter Ending June 30th.

2022

2021

Difference (%)

Sales:

$933,203

$903,444

+3.3

Gross profit:

$68,046

$105,812

-35.07

Operating income:

$(20,567)

$19,291

-207

Pre-tax Income

Net Income1

$(45,743)

$(42,597)

$11,087

$6,844

-512

-722

Diluted earnings per share:

$(0.44)

$0.07

-729

Gross Margin (%)

7.3

11.7

-37.6

Operating Margin (%)

-2.2

2.1

-205

Profit Margin (%)

-4.6

0.8

-475

Long-term Debt and lease obligations2:

$1,293,098

$1,000,228

+29.3

12 Months Trailing:

Return on Assets (%)

2.0

Return on Equity (%)

3.3

Operating Margin (%)

3.0

Profit Margin (%)

1.5

Total Assets*

 Intangibles and goodwill as % of assets

$3,584,177

22.3

$3,280,430

24.4

+9.3

Market Capitalization

$2,558,000

  1. Restructuring charge of $14.9 million in Q2
  2. June 30th 2022/2021

 

Q2 2022 Meat Protein Segment:

Sales, $905 million, up 3.8% from Q2 2021.

Adjusted operating earnings $45.0 million down 33.8% from Q2 2021.

 

Q2 2022 Plant Protein Segment:

Sales, $31.8 million, down 15.2% from Q2 2021.

Adjusted operating loss $(26.5) million 16.7% deterioration from Q2 2021.

52-Week Range in Share Price: $17.17 to $25.43 50-day Moving average $20.58

Forward P/E 23.9 Beta 0.4

Market Close pre-release August 3rd $21.01

Market Open post-release August 4th $17.46

Insider shareholding 39.2%. Institutional shareholding 26.0%

 

In commenting on Q2 results Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods stated, “This chaotic and unpredictable operating environment is unprecedented in my 40-year career in the food industry," He continued “Driven by a post-pandemic economy and the tragic conflict in Eastern Europe, we have been unable to hire adequate people resources to operate our supply chains, experienced unnatural agricultural and trading markets, and realized hyper-inflation that has been challenging to keep up with pricing. While our Q2 results fell short of expectations with an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 9 percent in the Meat Protein Group, we see signs of these conditions abating. Our commitment to achieve 14-16 percent. Adjusted EBITDA was grounded in the assumption of normal, five-year average market conditions and we are confident we will deliver that once the environment stabilizes, although predicting this timeline at the moment is challenging. Our focus on executing our Blueprint to be the most sustainable protein company on earth is absolute.”

 

Addressing the Plant Protein segment McCain said "We are in full motion executing our transition to a different business model,” He added “At the end of Q2, we took steps to materially reduce the size of the organization. We expect to achieve our SG&A targets by the end of this year, and a right sizing of the manufacturing footprint in the first half of 2023, giving us the back half of 2023 as time to make final adjustments. Revenue management adjustments will also occur over the course of the next 12 months. This is a business model in transition back to one of profitable growth."

 

The Company provided the following comments on strategy and guidance:-

  • Meat Protein:Expect mid-to-high single digit sales growth with Adjusted EBITDA Margin expansion near the lower end of the 14% - 16% target by the end of 2022, once markets normalize, driven by mix-shift benefits in prepared meats resulting from growth in sustainable meats and brand renovation, as well as operational efficiencies”.
  • Plant Protein: “The Company is pivoting its strategy and investment thesis for the Plant Protein Group and has set a new goal to deliver neutral or better Adjusted EBITDA in the latter half of 2023. Work is ongoing to implement this pivot. Given the current size of the Plant Protein Group of approximately US$150 million of annual revenue in 2021, the expected resultant business model from this strategy would deliver a 30% gross margin, with less than US$50 million in SG&A, to achieve the stated Adjusted EBITDA target.

 

In late 2021, the Company announced that it was re-evaluating its outlook for the Plant Protein Group and launching a comprehensive review of the overall plant protein category. This decision was driven by a pronounced slowdown in growth rates in the category, particularly in the second half of the year, which fueled the Company’s imperative to identify and thoroughly assess the causes, near and long-term trends, and overall implications. While the Company’s analysis is ongoing, the results to date confirm that the very high category growth rates previously predicted by many industry experts are unlikely to be achieved given current customer feedback, experience, buy rates and household penetration. Based on this new information, the Company believes that the category will continue to grow at more modest, but still attractive rates. Current estimates suggest that the category will grow at an average annual rate of 10% to 15%, making it a $6 billion to $10 billion market by 2030.

 

The Company announced in May 2022 that it is moving forward with a planned leadership transition plan for the Board and Management. Michael McCain will serve as the Executive Chair of the Board and will continue as CEO for the next year as part of the management transition plan. Curtis Frank, currently the President and COO, will assume the role of CEO during Q2 of 2023.


 

 
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