Egg Industry News


Cal-Maine Foods Reports on Q4 and FY 2019

07/22/2019

In a press release dated July 22nd Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) announced results for the 4th Quarter and Fiscal 2019 ending June 1st.

Results for CALM, a bellwether for U.S. shell-egg production and sales, reflect low unit revenue experienced by the entire industry resulting in unfavorable comparisons with Q4 of 2019.

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 $ x 1,000 except EPS)

Quarter Ending

June 1st 2019

June 2nd 2018

Difference (%)

Sales:

$280,573

$443,095

-36.6

Gross profit:

$12,755

$141,216

-91.0

Operating income:

$(30,420)

$90,768

neg

Net Income

$(19,761)

$71,767

neg

Diluted earnings per share:

$(0.41)

$1.48

neg

Gross Margin (%)

4.5

31.8

-85.9

Operating Margin (%)

-10.8

20.5

-53.2

Profit Margin (%)

-7.0

16.2

-43.2

Long-term Debt:

$641

$2,544

-74.9

12 Months Trailing:

     

Return on Assets (%)

9.0

   

Return on Equity (%)

15.4

   

Operating Margin (%)

11.1

   

Profit Margin (%)

9.6

   

Total Assets

$1,156,278

$1,150,447

+0.5

Market Capitalization

$1,840,000

   

52-Week Range in Share Price: $36.65 to $51.55

Market Close July 19th $39.37 Post release July 22nd 10H00 $37.90

Forward P/E 63.1 Beta 0.5

For FY 2019 CALM earned $54.2 million on revenue of $1.36 billion generating an EPS of $1.12

Comparable values for FY 2018 were net profit, $125.9 million, revenue $1.50 billion and EPS $2.60.

In reviewing the CALM quarterly report the following calculated values* represent key data for the most recent Quarter. (Q4 Fiscal 2018 and difference in parentheses):-

  • Dozen shell eggs sold: 254,772,000 (251,955,000 +1.1)

  • Average selling price of all shell eggs: $1.08 per dozen; ($1.72 per dozen; -37.2%).

  • Average selling price of specialty eggs calculated from data released: $1.94 cents per dozen; ($1.95 per dozen; -0.5%).

  • Average selling price of generic eggs calculated from data released: $0.80 cents per dozen; ($1.64 cents per dozen; -50.0%).

  • Differential between generic and specialty eggs: $0.50 cents per dozen; ($0.31 per dozen; -61.3%)

  • Specialty eggs as a proportion of volume sold: 23.3%; (25.5%; -8.6%)

  • Specialty eggs as a proportion of sales value: 41.9%; (29.0%; +44.5%)

  • Proportion of eggs sold actually produced by Cal-Maine flocks: 87.3%; (85.6%; -2.0%).

  • Feed cost per dozen 41.1cents (41.6 cents)

*Assumes that 98 percent of sales value derived from shell eggs.

In commenting on results Dolph Baker, chairman and CEO of Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., stated, "our disappointing results for the fourth quarter reflect more challenging market conditions. The average market price in the Southeast for conventional eggs dropped 52.0 percent for the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and was down 17.1 percent for the year.

He added "the unfavorable supply and demand balance and anticipated future egg supply growth trends have continued to affect market prices and our business. Over the past five quarters, we have noted our concern about the growing hatch rate pointing to a potential significant increase in laying hens and an oversupply of eggs. The USDA reported a near record high of 341.5 million hens as of April 1, 2019. While the hen numbers as of the June 2019 USDA report were down seasonally to 331.5 million, that level still represents approximately 2.9 million more hens than a year ago. The supply issue has
 


Crop Progress

07/22/2019

Status of 2019 Corn and Soybean Crops

The USDA Crop Progress Report released July 22nd documented progress in both corn and soybeans after a slow start to planting that is expected to negatively impact yields as documented in the July WASDE Report posted under the Statistics Tab. Current crop condition for both soybeans are corn inferior to the 2018 harvest as tabulated below and in the accompanying images. High topsoil moisture levels are evident in comparison with the corresponding week in 2018.

CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of the 2019 harvest in October.

WEEK ENDING

Crop

July 14th

July 21st

5-Year Average

Corn Silking %

Corn Dough %

17

-

35

5

66

10

       

Soybeans Emerged %

Soybeans Blooming%

Soybeans Setting pods %

100

22

-

100

40

7

100

66

28

       

Crop Condition

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn 2019

Corn 2018

3

3

10

6

30

19

47

50

10

22

Soybeans 2019

Soybeans 2018

3

2

9

6

34

22

46

52

8

18

 

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

5

19

64

12

Past Year

13

25

57

5

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

3

15

70

12

Past Year

12

25

58

5


 

Salmonella Braenderup Associated with Minnesota Restaurant

07/19/2019

Following an intensive investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health, Salmonella Braenderup responsible for seven laboratory confirmed cases was traced to infected banquet staff at a large restaurant in Bloomington, MN.  The specific Salmonella Braenderup associated with the infection conformed to PFGE pattern BR134 and all isolates were identical applying whole genome sequencing. 

 

Outbreaks of Salmonella Braenderup were attributed to consuming meals at the restaurant from late March through early April. The final report on the outbreak implicated romaine lettuce and tomatoes as possible vehicles of infection.

 

Taken at face value this limited outbreak could be regarded as just another restaurant-associated outbreak of salmonellosis.  What is important is that the serotype involved was S. Braenderup, apparently responsible for a major recall of eggs in 2017.  This incident required depopulation of a complex holding two million hens.  Until the specific outbreak investigated by the FDA involving a limited number of patients in northeast states, Salmonella Braenderup was not associated with egg-borne salmonellosis and there have been no reports of cases attributed to eggs from any farm operating under the FDA Final Rule on Prevention of  Salmonella or under a state EQAP.


 

Amos Miller Case Drags On

07/19/2019

Amos Miller operating Miller’s Organic Farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA. is the subject of continuing litigation following raw milk recalls due to listeriosis in 2015.

Miller is by all accounts a scofflaw. He has ignored USDA and FDA regulations and has failed to present a viable defense in Federal court.  Miller has now raised financial support using GoFundMe to retain legal representation.

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern Pennsylvania has stated in court that is the intent of the USDA and FDA to require Miller and his farm to comply with federal food safety laws.

The U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case William M. McSwain observed that “flagrant failure to meet regulations will not be tolerated”.

 

To allow Miller to continue evading his legal responsibilities would create an unacceptable precedent. It is unclear how Miller intends to respond to a detailed and comprehensive civil complaint alleging processing and sale of meat and poultry product without USDA inspection.  Given that his public funding campaign has only raised a quarter of the required amount of $23,000 for his defense, his legal representatives will either terminate their involvement, as occurred two years ago, or will serve pro bono.

 

Miller must accept that there is no “God given right” to distribute unwholesome meat and milk or to potentially infect consumers with pathogens including Listeria, Salmonella, STEC and Campylobacter.

 


 

Advice on Activists from the American Dairy Association

07/19/2019

The American Dairy Association recently circulated advice on improving farm image relating to welfare as a proactive measure against activists. Suggestions were included in the July 10th edition of Dairy Herd Management. Recommendations  included:

  • Using social media to promote positive depiction of farms and livestock with an emphasis on concern and welfare
  • Emphasizing staff training and supervision in welfare confirming a culture committed to promoting the needs of livestock
  • Ensure that employees are aware of the “See something? Say something!” approach to welfare

The Dairy Association also listed a series of don’ts. These include disparaging other producers online and expressing frustration with fair and reasonable questions from consumers.

On the subject of “See something? Say something!”, producers are strongly advised to post a telephone number to anonymously report flock abuse. Notices should be prominently displayed in break rooms notice boards and where work routines posted.


 

Insect Farming Could Produce Novel Ingredients

07/19/2019

An article in The Economist on July 6th considered the potential of commercial insect culture to produce ingredients. The article clearly stated that insect protein would not be incorporated into human food, but has potential as an ingredient for livestock production. Currently three companies are in pilot stage or limited commercial production. These include Agri-Protein of South Africa, Ynsect of France and Beta Hatch in the U.S.

The two species most likely to provide commercial product are the larva of flour beetles (“meal worms”) and the larva of black soldier-flies.

Culture on large scale requires capital investment in facilities and larva must be fed using vegetable-based ingredients. The possibility of using waste as a substrate offers potential to reduce cost and at the same time, may contribute to sustainability.

Before insect-derived protein can be regarded as a commercial reality, regulatory hurdles must be addressed. Although the E.U. has approved insect-derived protein to be used in aqua feed, regulations have yet to be framed in the U.S. The possibility of using human waste in feed for larva is fraught with complications including vertical transmission of potential pathogens to both livestock and then to consumers. It is evident that considerable research will be required to refine both selection of insect species, formulation of diets for larva and production system which optimize return on investment. At the end of the day insect-derived ingredients will have to compete with soybean meal and animal by-products for inclusion in poultry diets. This will be a function of cost per unit of energy and essential amino acids.


 

Iowa Poultry Association Fall Festival

07/19/2019

The 2019 Iowa Poultry Association Fall Festival will take place September 17th to 19th  The event provides an opportunity for networking in addition to an extensive list of social and industry events.


 

Alltech Appoints Poultry Manager for Mineral Nutrition

07/18/2019

Alltech has announced that Laura Shadwick has been appointed as the North America Poultry Manager for Mineral Nutrition.  Steve Elliott, Global Director of the Alltech Mineral Management Program stated “With Laura’s experience in the North American poultry industry, she will be an excellent addition to the team”.

Laura spent over a decade with a major micro-ingredient supplier in addition to positions of responsibility in egg marketing. 

Laura earned a baccalaureate degree in business administration from Pittsburgh State University and a Master’s degree in business administration from DeVry University. She can be contacted at laura.shadwick@alltech.com.


 

Value of Fair Trade Certification Questioned

07/18/2019

Coffee, chocolate and other food products frequently carry a “Fair Trade” label. The extra cost involved is intended to assist small-scale farmers in Latin America and Africa by providing a reasonable price for their commodities.

Dr. Eva Meemken, an agricultural economist at Cornell University has recently published research on fair trade practices*. Based on interviews conducted in the nation of Cote d’Ivore, it was shown that benefits were received by farmers but not necessarily passed on to workers, despite Fair Trade claims for higher wages and gender equity.

The authors concluded “Fair trade hardly affects traditional employment modalities at the farm level even when farmers themselves benefit from certification. Ensuring that labor standards are met at all levels may require innovative and more efficient monitoring approaches”.

*Meemken, E-M et. al. “Effects of Fair Trade on the Livelihoods of Poor Rural Workers. Nature Sustainability 2:635-642 (2019)


 

Enjoyment of San Diego County Fair Marred by STEC Cases

07/18/2019

In common with recent county fairs, San Diego reported a cluster of ten cases of E.coli infection with a strain producing a Shigella-like toxin (STEC). Based on previous outbreaks associated with county fairs, it is presumed that infection was acquired at the petting zoo. The San Diego County Fair ran from early June through July 4th and attracted 1.5 million attendees.

Investigations are in progress to ascertain the source of STEC and to define the epidemiologic factors contributing to infection of children. Most county fairs take place in the fall and appropriate preventive measures including hand washing or the use of alcohol wipes and possibly avoiding direct contact between children and ruminant livestock are under consideration. The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians and the CDC have posted recommendations on their respective websites. It would indeed be unfortunate if petting zoos, a feature of county fairs, were to be eliminated. Intensified preventive measures are obviously indicated if petting zoos are included in programs.


 

FMI and FI Urging Exemption for Youth Training Wage

07/18/2019

The Food Marketing Institute representing the Nation’s grocery stores and the Food Institute advocating for the food industry, have jointly urged the House of Representatives to consider the consequences of eliminating the youth training wage.

 

Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the FMI and Brian Todd, president of the Food Institute reminded legislators that the proposal would reduce opportunities for teenagers to gain employment in their first jobs, traditionally at QSRs and supermarkets. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics approximately 1.7 million workers or two percent of the hourly-paid workforce are paid at or below the federal minimum wage

 

It is estimated that a third of teenagers of both genders currently work compared to approximately 40 percent in 2005.  According to representations made by the FMI and the FI, youth training is an important means of acquiring interpersonal skills, reliability and commitment required in later life.  The hours worked and the duties performed are rigorously constrained by federal and state regulations contributing to a valuable learning experience in a safe setting.

 

On Thursday June 18th, the House passed a Bill to raise the Federal minimum wage by a vote of 231 to 199, mainly along party lines. The Raise the Wage Act would progressively raise the Federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.00 per hour by 2025.  In reality there is little chance that the measure will be taken up in the Senate.


 

USDA Under Secretary Questions Restraint on Gene Editing for Organic Certification

07/18/2019

According to a USDA release, Greg Ibach USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs has questioned whether gene-editing, applying new technology including CRISPR-cas9 should be considered for products marketed under the USDA Certified Organic Seal. As a previous Director of Agriculture for the State of Nebraska, Ibach is an advocate for technological innovation to increase productivity. This proposal was advanced during the 95th Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in February in the Innovation in Agriculture session.

 

Gene deletion can rapidly produce cultivars resistant to drought, pests and virus infections. Gene deletion does not introduce DNA from other species. Regrettably rules relating to organic products are determined by the Organic Standards Board.  Many of the members of this statutory body developing regulations, adhere to a concept of “returning to nature,” eschewing modern technology.  The Organic Standards Board has even attempted to ban vaccines derived by gene deletion but approved by USDA.  These products protect flocks and herds from foodborne diseases including Salmonella infection which is a significant component of consumer acceptability.

 

EGG-NEWS is an advocate of proven, beneficial but safe technology in order to enhance productivity to feed burgeoning populations.  Under Secretary Ibach is to be complemented on his forward thinking and leadership.


 

Domino’s Pizza Posts Q2 Results

07/18/2019

Domino’s Pizza Inc. (DPZ) posted resulted for the second quarter of FY 2019 on July 16th.  For the quarter, the company generated a net profit of $92.4 million on total revenue of $811.6 million.  EPS was $2.19.  Comparative figures for second quarter of FY 2018 were net income of $77.4 million on total revenue of $779.4 million with an EPS of $1.78.  It is noted that the company has a disparity between long-term debt at $3.42 billion and total assets of $1.18 billion.  In the U.S. the company operates 333 stores with an additional 5,612 franchise units.  There are approximately 10,400 international stores.

 

Following release of the results, share price fell from $270.58 at close of trading on Monday, July 15th to open at $259.23 post-release on the morning of July 16th rising to $246.28 at close of trading.  Domino’s Pizza has a market cap of $10.5 billion and traded over a 52-week range of from $231.28 to $305.34.  The company generated a 12-month trailing operating margin of 16.9 percent and a profit margin of 10.8 percent.


 

Business Interests Press for Bilateral Japan-U.S. Trade Deal

07/18/2019

It is anticipated that negotiations in progress will lead to a trade deal between Japan and the U.S. when President Trump and Prime Minister Abe meet in New York during September.  At issue is a tariff on auto parts from Japan imposed by the U.S. and restrictions placed by Japan on U.S. agricultural imports. No appreciable progress in resolving issues will be made until after the July 21st elections for the upper house of the Diet. 

 

It is unfortunate that the U.S. finds itself in the position of competing with members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership from which the U.S. unilaterally withdrew within days of the new Administration in 2017. 

 

There appears to be conflict within officialdom in Japan with some elements of the Government considering that a mini-trade deal would be “interesting and reasonable” according to Reuters.  In contrast other officials maintain that any agreement must cover a wide range of items and should not be confined to auto parts and agricultural products. Although discussions took place between the leaders of the U.S. and Japan during the G-20 Summit in June, the U.S. has threatened to impose a 25 percent tariff on Japanese automobiles and parts which currently carry an approximately 5 percent rate. The White House is concerned over the annual $50 billion to $70 billion negative trade surplus with Japan. 

 

From January through May 2019, Japan was the first-ranked importer of egg products representing 27 percent of all U.S. exports, attaining 3,362 metric tons valued at $13.7 million.  Comparing the first five months of 2019 with the previous period in 2018, volume of egg products exported to Japan declined by 36 percent and value by 41 percent.

 


 

WEEKLY COMMODITY REPORT

07/18/2019

Price of corn sharply down, soybeans static with neither orders from China nor progress in trade talks.

The following quotations for the third quarter were posted by the CME at

close of trading on Friday July 19th compared with values for Friday July 12th (in parentheses).

The market responded with a downward turn for corn this past week accompanied by stasis in the soybean market. The latest WASDE released on July 11th documented the anticipated harvests with greater certainty compared with previous months. Corn planted in 2019 is up 3 percent over 2018 to 91.7 million acres and although late, due to saturated fields, will produce a crop of 13.9 billion bushels. Planted soybean acreage is down 10 percent compared to 2018 to 80.0 million acres, anticipated to produce 3.8 billion bushels.

The absence of any substantial news regarding resolution of the trade dispute with China and a continuous stream of conflicting statements by White House spokespersons over the months since the dispute began is disconcerting to the commodities market and has contributed to price fluctuation.

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

Sept. 432 (455)

Dec. 437 (455 Sept.)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Aug. 901 (902 July)

Sept. 906 (905)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

Aug. 311 (313 July)

Sept. 313 (314)

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

COMMODITY CHANGE FROM PAST WEEK

Corn: Sept. quotation down 23 cents per Bu       (-5.1 percent)

Soybeans: Aug. quotation down 1 cent per Bu    (-0.3 percent)

Soybean Meal: Aug. quotation down $2 per ton. (-0.6 percent)

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

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

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

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

COMMENTS

Subscribers are invited to the review of the weekly USDA Crop Progress Report posted in this edition for the rate of crop emergence and condition.

Some concessions have been promised by China on reducing coercive trade practices and clarifying dispute resolution although U.S. negotiators claim that China has backtracked on structural issues hence the threat of more stringent tariffs and embargos on trade with tech companies in China. From an agricultural perspective the question of delays by China in approving new GM cultivars has yet to be settled.

Prices will be influenced by the trend in stock levels, area planted in 2019 and crop progress through the remainder of the season.

For comparison commodity prices posted by the Dalian Mercantile Exchange in $US per short ton* during mid- July 2019 with comparable CME values in parentheses were:

Corn $255 ($157)

Soybeans $453 ($300)

Soybean meal $377 ($311)

*(conversion Rmb6.8=$US1)

The July 11th 2018 WASDE Report #590, projected that 91.7 million acres of corn would be planted in 2019 to produce 13.88 Billion bushels. The WASDE projected 80.0 million acres to be planted to soybeans. The 2019 soybean crop is projected to attain 3.85 Billion bushels according to the July WASDE. The levels of production and ending stocks for the two commodities are based on completion of planting, projections of harvest area and yield. The WASDE to be published in mid-August will confirm the projected yields and ending stocks of corn and soybeans respectively.

See the WASDE posting summarizing the July 11th USDA-WASDE Report #590 in this edition documenting price projections and quantities of commodities to be harvested, processed and exported from the 2019 harvest. The Quarterly USDA Grain Stocks Report was posted on the July 5 th edition of EGG-NEWS.

Unless shipments of corn and especially soybeans to China resume in volume, which is unlikely, the financial future for row-crop farmers appears bleak despite the release of two tranches of support funding in 2018 amounting to $8 billion as "short-term" compensation for disruption in trade. A further allocation of $14.5 billion to producers under the Market Facilitation Program was announced on May 23rd for the 2019 crop. Promises of imports by China can't buy seed, fertilizer and fuel


 

Cyclospora Outbreak in Upper New York State

07/18/2019

The New York State Department of Health has diagnosed eleven laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection acquired from various restaurants, a college and a senior-living community center.

 

No specific deficiencies in food handling or preparation were observed at any of the implicated kitchens and as with previous outbreaks contaminated fresh produce is considered to be the vehicle of infection.

Cyclospora cayetanensis is an emerging pathogen responsible for diarrhea and other symptoms expected with an intestinal infection of a week in duration. For subscribers unfamiliar with the condition it is roughly analogous to mild coccidiosis in chickens—now you know! 


 

Supermarket Chains Installing Mechanization in new Distribution Centers

07/18/2019

The Kroger Company has announced that the second of a series of up to 20 proposed mechanized distribution centers will be located in Forest Park, GA near Atlanta.  The facility will be designed and erected by Ocado of the UK.  This center will be followed by installations in Monroe, OH and Groveland, FL. 

 

Ahold Delhaize, based in Holland, owners of Food Lion, Stop and Go and other U.S. banners is cooperating with Alert Innovations to mechanize DCs.  Albertsons and Walmart have similar programs to install robotic fulfillment centers.

 

Common Sense Robotics is responsible for a project located in an underground parking garage in downtown Tel Aviv, Israel.  The installation extending over 18,000 square feet represents a micro-fulfillment concept to provide customers with groceries.

 

Mechanized distribution and collection centers reduce labor, enhance service and are now practical through advances in robotics and machine learning.  It remains to seen whether capital invested provides an acceptable quantifiable return commensurate with alternative initiatives.  Given the relative over-supply of supermarkets, and alternatives including deep discount stores, convenience stores and urban cashless and no-checkout locations, automation represents the potential to enhance profitability through labor saving and enhanced customer service.


 

Salmonellosis Attributed to Produce

07/18/2019

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Infantis in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  At the present time five illnesses have been confirmed by laboratory examination since mid-May.  Epidemiologic studies implicated a specific Del Monte packing plant in Kankakee, IL., as the most probable source of infection. The reported outbreak confirms the sensitivity of the FoodNet database to identify limited multistate outbreaks of foodborne infection.


 

IFIF to Offer Feed Safety Training Program

07/18/2019

According to a July 12th announcement, the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) has released a remote-learning program “Good Production Practices in the Feed Industry”. This will be available for government officials administering feed production, feed millers in emerging markets and other stakeholders.  The program will comprise an online module and candidates will have to complete an examination to receive a certificate.

 

Alexandra de Athayde, executive director of the IFIF noted “providing the training program on Good Production Practices is part of the IFIF’s mission to support feed safety and capacity development.”  She added, “IFIF members represent over 80% of animal feed production worldwide, and the capacity to develop feed safety is one of the key priorities for IFIF.”  Further information on the program can be obtained by accessing info@ifif.org


 

Egg Week

07/17/2019

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, July 17th 2019.

  • Hen Numbers in Production stable at 325.3 million.
  • Shell Inventory Up a Concerning 5.6 percent from the Past Week.
  • USDA Midwest Benchmark Generic Prices for Extra Large and Large Down 13.7 and 14.2 Percent Respectively from Past Week. Mediums Unchanged.
  • Price of Breaking Stock Down 21.7 Percent to 18 cents per dozen and Checks Down 13.3 percent to 7 cents per dozen. Both Categories Substantially Below Cost of Production

OVERVIEW

Prices

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on July 15 th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large, and Large were down 13.7 and 14.2 percent respectively to averages of 50.5 and 48.5 cents per dozen. Mediums were unchanged at 32.5 cents per dozen, all below the USDA average 5-Region nest-run benchmark of 63 cents per dozen in June. The progression of prices during 2019 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.


 


July Egg Projection

07/17/2019

Updated USDA Projections for 2018 and 2019 U.S. Egg Production

 

The USDA Economic Research Service issued an updated forecast of egg production on July 17th, following the previous June 17 th report. The volume of eggs produced and per capita consumption in 2019 were increased by 2.9 and 2.5 percent respectively compared to 2018 data. Consistent with this disparity, the benchmark New York price was reduced by 38.4 percent in unit value. Production data reflecting 2016 and 2017 should be compared to 2015, impacted by the Spring outbreak of HPAI in the upper-Midwest. The price elasticity of eggs is denoted by the disparity in the decline in the New York price benchmark relative to forecast volume of production. The latest data is reflected in the table below:-

 

 

Parameter

2015

(actual)

2016

(actual)

2017

(actual)

2018 2019 Difference % 2020

(actual) (forecast) 2018 to 2019 (projection)

 

 

EGGS

       
 

Production (m. dozen)

6,938*

7,437

7,755

7,952 8,183 +2.9% 8,230

 

Consumption (eggs per capita)

255.8*

272.0

279.9

284.0 291.1 +2.5% 291.7

New York price (c/doz.)

182*

86

101

138 85 -38.4% 100

                   

Source: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook -July 17th 2019

*Impacted by Spring 2015 HPAI outbreaks. Consumption in 2014, 267 eggs per capita

Subscribers to EGG-NEWS are referred to the postings depicting weekly prices, volumes and trends and the monthly review of prices and related industry statistics.


 

QSRs Facing Opposition Over Plastic Toys in Kids Meals

07/17/2019

McDonald’s Corporation is faced with a petition which has gathered over 325,000 signatures opposing inclusion of plastic toys in kid’s meals. Burger King has experienced similar complaints and censure from Government agencies in the U.K. including from Environment Minister Therese Coffey.

There is no question that toys in Happy Meals™ have improved sales. The play-value of the toys and figurines, usually following a current movie are however short-lived. In addition to the environmental issue there is a danger of choking and the younger siblings of recipients may ingest small plastic toys that are rapidly discarded after a restaurant visit.

The evident problem relates to recycling. If plastic toys were made of a single material, recycling might be practical as demonstrated in Japan where receptacles placed in stores facilitated collection and recycling of 1.3 million used plastic toys in 2,900 restaurants over a 10-week trial, according to an article in the July 9th edition of The Wall Street Journal.

In 2011, Jack in the Box and Taco Bell in 2013 eliminated toys from kid’s meals although it is evident that a “give-away” is beneficial to sales in a highly-competitive market. Substitution of plastic toys for a more environmentally acceptable alternative such as a coloring-in booklet should be considered.


 

Status of 2019 Corn and Soybean Crops

07/15/2019

The USDA Crop Progress Report released July 15th documented progress in both corn and soybeans after a slow start to planting that is expected to negatively impact yields as denoted by current crop condition. High topsoil moisture levels are evident in comparison with the corresponding week in 2018. CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of the 2019 harvest in October.

WEEK ENDING

Crop

July 7th

July 14th

5-Year Average

Corn Emerged %

Corn Silking %

100

8

100

17

100

42

       

Soybeans Planted %

Soybeans emerged %

Soybeans Blooming %

96

90

10

100

95

22

100

99

49

       

 

Crop Condition

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn 2019

Corn 2018

3

3

9

6

30

19

48

51

10

21

Soybeans 2019

Soybeans 2018

3

2

9

6

34

23

46

53

8

16

 

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

4

17

67

12

Past Year

13

25

57

5

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

3

13

72

12

Past Year

11

26

58

5


 

WEEKLY COMMODITY REPORT

07/12/2019

Prices are Volatile, Trending Up Following China Negotiations, Release of July USDA-WASDE Projections and Acreage Report

The following quotations for July and September 2019, were posted by the CME at close of trading on Friday July 12th compared with values for Friday July 5th (in parentheses) shortly after release of the acreage report.

The market responded with an upward turn following release of the USDA Acreage report on June 28th followed by the July WASDE on July 11th reversing the move down for soybeans the previous week. Corn planted in 2019 is up 3 percent over 2018 to 91.7 million acres, albeit late, due to saturated fields that will reduce yield. Planted soybean acreage is down 10 percent compared to 2018 to 80.0 million acres, the lowest since 2013.

Soybean and soybean meal prices advanced this past week despite any definitive outcome from the bilateral discussions between the Presidents of China and the U.S. on June 29th during the G-20 Meeting in Japan. A token order of 0.5 million metric tons of soybeans was placed by government-affiliated traders in China on June 28th. This quantity should be compared with 21.4 million metric tons delivered to China in 2017 before the advent of the trade dispute.

The commodities market recorded a sharp increase in the futures prices of corn soybeans and soybean meal after the release of the July WASDE on Tuesday 11th. The mid-May run-up in prices was due to slow progress in planting and consequential projection of reduced yields.

The absence of any substantial news regarding resolution of the trade dispute with China and previous conflicting statements by White House spokespersons over the months since the dispute began is disconcerting to the commodities market and

has contributed to price fluctuation.


 


FDA and CDC Investigating Salmonellosis Attributed to Papayas

07/12/2019

The CDC has documented 71 cases of Salmonella Uganda from papayas resulting in 27 hospitalizations.  Cases occurred in eight states including Massachusetts and Texas.  Epidemiologic traceback implicated the Cavi brand distributed to supermarkets and restaurants.  The outbreak is restricted to the Cavi brand and accordingly FDA has advised consumers to destroy any of these papayas but it is no longer necessary to avoid other fresh papayas.

 

This outbreak demonstrates that multi-state cases of a food-borne disease can be rapidly recognized applying FoodNet followed by epidemiologic studies to ascertain the vehicle of infection and the chain of distribution. This reduces the probability of additional incident cases and prevents collateral damage to unaffected products and brands. The use of whole genome sequencing can characterize a pathogen and is of value in developing preventive strategies in addition to having legal implications.


 

UK Technology Facilitates Elimination of Checkout Lines

07/12/2019

Tesco a leading supermarket chain in the UK is testing in-store tracking technology developed by Trigo Vision of Israel.  Consumers scan a store-issued card at the entrance and select their purchases from shelves and displays.  These are tracked by ceiling-mounted cameras and are charged to the customer.  On leaving the store with purchases, the account is automatically debited completing the transaction without interacting with a cashier or employee.

 

Variation on the UK system is under test by Carrefour applying Qopius Technology equipment requiring installation of store cameras and scanners.  Other EU initiatives include Sensei Technology developed in Portugal to be tested by various chains in the EU through 2020.

 

U.S. technology has been introduced for the Amazon Go stores and Walmart is testing product recognition cameras and software.  Kroger is experimenting with scanning barcodes to eliminate checkout lines.


 

ROTA Technologies Introduces Debris Detection Module

07/12/2019

ROTA Technologies of Birmingham, MI has introduced a machine vision module to detect and respond to the presence of debris on the in-feed conveyor to the grader.  Multiple digital camera images are captured and are processed using patented software.  If debris or foreign material is detected on the egg belt, a signal is sent to the operator to manually remove debris and cancel the hold.  If an operator does not react to the audible and visual alarms, the conveyor belt is stopped to prevent debris entering the grader. 

 

For further information access the company website www.rotatechnologies.com or Roberto Taormina at Roberto@rotatechnologies.com


 

Brazil Corn Crop Quantified

07/12/2019

According to USDA GAIN Report BR1920 released June 25th, corn production in Brazil during market year 2018/2019 will exceed 2017/2018 by 25 percent.  This is due to more favorable growing conditions compared with the previous season impacted by drought especially affecting the safrinha (second) crop. 

 

Corn will be harvested from 45 million acres with a yield of 82 bushels per acre (166 in the U.S.).  Production during the 2019/2020 year will be 3.7 billion bushels.  With carryover stocks, total supply will be 3.99 billion bushels.  Of this quantity 31 percent will be exported, 52 percent retained for feed and residual and 12 percent diverted to ethanol production.  In the southern regions of Brazil, some corn production has been displaced by soybeans that generate a higher return than corn, given the trade conflict between the U.S. and China.


 

OVO-Vision Cloud Now Available

07/11/2019

OVO-Vision of Holland has released an OVO-Vision Cloud version of their software to improve collection and interpretation of data. The system is based on Microsoft® dynamics and has been adapted specifically for the egg industry.

OVO-Vision Cloud is capable of recording different sizes and configurations of consignments, including graded and ungraded eggs. The system is capable of differentiating among a range of prices taking into account contracts, agreements and market arrangements. OVO-Vision Cloud interfaces with both Moba and Staalkat graders.

OVO-Vision is available in three packages to be selected in accordance with the needs of the packing plant. These comprise OVO-Vision Basics, Essentials and Premium. For further information, contact r.hendrikx@ovo-vision.com r click on to the OVO-Vision logo on the right side of the Welcome page.


 

Giordano Reorganization

07/11/2019

Following a restructuring the newly formed company controlling various subsidiaries will be Giordano Holdings s.r.l. www.u.giordanoholding.com.

The subsidiaries will be:

  • Giordano Poultry Plast S.p.A., manufacturing plastic equipment and components for the poultry industry.
  • Valery Technologies, producing equipment to administer vaccines and therapeutic compounds in drinking water.
  • Gi-Ovo BV., manufacturing egg transport equipment that can be decontaminated to maintain biosecurity.
  • Plastimark SPA and Plastimark France S.A., manufacturing a range of trolleys and baskets, that can be cleaned and re-used, contributing to sustainability.

The most recent organizational structure contributes to the company philosophy embracing ethical and social values while pursuing the entrepreneurial endeavors of the Giordano family.


 

Walmart to Move Upmarket with Specialty Brands

07/11/2019

Recognizing the need to provide a broader range of products to attract a higher-income demographic, Walmart will now stock more specialty food brands. This decision follows the Summer Fancy Food Show held in New York in late June. Walmart has indicated that it may stock selected products and brands in a limited range of stores.

Kevin Head, VP and Division Manager of Breakfast and Bread stated “If you think about the overall breadth and scope of Walmart, over 90 percent of all Americans live within ten miles of a Walmart store. We have customers who are rich, poor and everything in between. It’s the customer that’s the driving force behind our overall strategy and that’s where you will see a lot of change being sparked.”

Walmart is also extending technical assistance to start-ups and small companies to create products that can be sold in specific geographic regions. This strategy was initially adopted by Whole Foods Market in the 1990s and resulted in disaffection and financial hardship when Amazon acquired the company 1n 2017 and effectively cancelled the program.

Laura Rush, VP and Division Manager of Frozen Brands stated “We believe the customer deserves access to everything. Not just cheap food, but good food, great food and we are trying to figure out the right recipe to make sure we do it the right way.”  


 

Cargill Reports on FY 2019

07/11/2019

In a press release dated July 11th closely held Cargill Inc. reported results for FY 2019 ending May 31st. For the period net earnings were $2.56 billion on revenue of $113.5 billion representing a net margin of 2.3 percent. Comparative values for FY 2018 were net earnings of $3.10 billion on sales of $114.6 billion.

The Animal Nutrition and Protein segment was a major contributor to operating profit although impacted in North America by spring flooding. Value-added egg products demonstrated strong demand. Although global poultry results lagged Cargill invested in a cooked chicken products plant in China. Feed demand was lowered in China as a result of African swine fever.

The Origination and Processing segment was adversely impacted by disruption in commodity markets resulting from the trade dispute with China.

The Industrial and Financial Services segment benefitted from improved risk management and trade finance.

Commenting on results, Dave MacLennan,  CEO and Chairman stated "Throughout the year, we faced a very challenging global business environment that slowed earnings. Still, we improved performance in several food and financial businesses and significantly reduced costs companywide. In particular, the North American protein business, which led earnings by combining strong demand for beef and eggs with consumer insights that helped customers win in local markets”. He concluded “The company is focused on what it can best control: moving faster, raising efficiency, and creating innovative solutions for customers. We want to accelerate growth in market segments where our expertise will help us create more value with our customers”.


 

AEB Promotes "REAL" Eggs

07/10/2019

The American Egg Board has announced a promotion for the REAL Eggs™ seal to be applied to packaging by manufacturers indicating that prepared foods contain real eggs.  The seal will also be available for restaurants to use on menus or in advertising.  In order to apply the REAL Eggs seal users must comply with certifications standards:

 

  • Egg products must be prepared using U.S.-produced eggs processed in a U.S. facility conforming to quality and identity standards specified by USDA.
     
  • The REAL Eggs™ seal cannot be used on products that use vegetable or legume proteins or their combinations to replace an egg component.
     

There is no cost associated with using the seal but products must be registered annually following submission of an ingredient list.
 

The REAL Eggs™ certification seal was introduced in response to the fact that more than 70 percent of consumers want to know what ingredients are in their food purchases and a significant proportion are influenced positively by a “Real” designation of ingredients.


 

Put an Egg on It

07/10/2019

The AEB suggests topping salads with hard-boiled, sunny-side up, or scrambled eggs.  The AEB recommends eggs for breakfast and brunch but also as a late night snack.


 

Walmart Invests in Logistics in China

07/10/2019

According to a Walmart press release on July 5th, the company intends investing an additional $1.2 billion in upgrading distribution centers and transport over the next ten years.  The South China Fresh Food Distribution Center opened in March at a cost of $100 million is 350,000 square feet in extent and services more than 100 stores in Guangdong and Guangxi.  The distribution center received global standard certification through compliance in warehousing and distribution.

 

Walmart has operated in China since 1996 with the first store opened in Shenzhen.  Walmart operates stores in shopping malls, free standing Sam’s Club stores and Huisafe supermarkets.


 

Hy-Line Inaugurates New Research Farm

07/10/2019

Hy-Line International, specializing in egg-production genetics, celebrated the completion of its newest research farm on June 27th with federal, state and local dignitaries in attendanceat a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Named for the visionary and company founder, Dr. Henry A. Wallace, this state-of-the-art investment located in central Iowa, is required to maintain genetic progress in Hy-Line layers sent to more than 120 nations.

 

In a Company press release Jonathan Cade, President of Hy-Line International stated “We have a substantial responsibility in the effort to feed a growing global population with an inexpensive and nutritious source of protein – the egg,” He added “The addition of the Dr. Henry A. Wallace Farm allows us continued innovation and genetic progress in Hy-Line layer genetics to accomplish this.”

 

Dr. Danny Lubritz, Director of Research and Development for Hy-Line International commented “We are making significant strategic changes in the Hy-Line breeding program to accelerate the rate of genetic progress,” He opined “Egg production and eggshell quality show higher genetic variation at older ages. The pedigree birds housed on the Dr. Henry A. Wallace Farm will be evaluated for these traits, among others, to help ensure continued genetic progress in persistency and shell strength.”

 

The addition of the Dr. Henry A. Wallace Farm increases the population of research birds from which to identify the top performing individuals to populate the next generation. As a result of improved selection intensity, Hy-Line varieties are gaining increased egg numbers, persistency, shell strength, egg weight and feed efficiency.

 


 

California Nut Growers Impacted by Tariffs

07/09/2019

In 2018, farmers producing almonds and walnuts were impacted by the high tariffs imposed by China, resulting in diminished sales to that market. At the beginning of 2017, 25 percent of the California walnut crop was exported to China. California produces 80 percent of the world’s almonds and 70 percent of the harvest is exported.

The situation was exacerbated on June 15th when India imposed a 20 percent tariff on U.S. nuts along with 26 other products including apples and lentils. Fortunately, India has delayed implementing the retaliatory tariffs pending successful resolution of bilateral negotiations. The tariffs add 20 cents to a pound of shelled almonds and 4 cents per pound for unshelled product.

Growers face a 5 percent tariff in Europe representing a highly competitive market. Prices for walnuts and almonds are at the lowest level in 25 years. There are a number of egg producers in California who operate almond orchards and the present downturn coincides with low prices for eggs representing double jeopardy.


 

USPOULTRY to Present Women’s Leadership Conference

07/09/2019

The annual USPOULTRY Women’s Leadership Conference will be held August 15th to 16th at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa in Destin, FL.

Patricia Hawkins, Hatchery Manager for Tyson Foods, Mississippi commented “To be an effective leader, you have to constantly pursue personal and professional development which is one reason why this annual conference exists – to give women the resources to become the leaders our industry needs”.

The program this year offers topics on communication, interpersonal strength, an industry overview, critical legal issues facing working women and leadership.

Registration information is available on www.uspoultry.org.


 

Conagra Brands to Intensify Vegetable Protein Offerings

07/09/2019

In an investor call, Sean Connolly, Chairman and CEO of Conagra Brands indicated that the Company will extend their footprint in vegetable-based alternatives to meat through their Gardein brand. Acquired with the Pinnacle Foods acquisition, sales for Gardein will exceed  $150 million in 2019 with a four-fold growth over the past five years. Conagra Foods will follow a strategy of including vegetable protein in meat products following the “hybrid approach” to be used by competitors including Tyson Foods.

Conagra Brands manufactures Gardein products in Richmond, B.C. Canada and Hagerstown, MD, but additional capacity will be added in the fall of 2019. Connolly noted that although vegetable-based burgers have received considerable publicity, there are other products including hot dogs and sausages that will be marketed as hybrids. Conagra will also be able to leverage Gardein technology to other items in the Conagra range including Marie Callender’s, Healthy Choice, Bird’s Eye and also for private brands.


 

Upper Mississippi River now Open for Traffic

07/08/2019

Alan Barrett writing in the Farm Journal on June 29th, noted that the Upper Mississippi River is now navigable following excessively high water levels which extended from March 16th through June 19th at Lock and Dam #15.  March 22nd is normally when the Mississippi River opens for the season.  On this date in 2018 water level was at 6 foot compared to 16 foot in 2019.  The peak occurred during the first week of May with a 22 foot receding to 10 foot by the end of June.  Now that the waterway is reopened barges can move along the inland Mississippi Waterway, the first time since early December.


 

Whole Foods Reconsidering Policy on Local Suppliers

07/08/2019

Whole Foods arranged for up to 250 food suppliers across the Northeast to meet with the company in Boston to restore their relationship with local farmers and small-scale specialty food manufacturers that was interrupted after the acquisition by Amazon.

 

Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association quoted in a Boston Globe article on June 30th stated, “It’s been a stressful, uncertain time for small food suppliers many of whom relied heavily on their Whole Foods relationship.”

 

Obviously Amazon incorrectly assessed customer needs and ended supply relationships based on margins and expediency.  Competitors both large and small introduced specialty products to their shelves and in addition stocked heavily in organics, siphoning off customers from existing Whole Foods locations.


 

Performance Food Group Acquires Reinhart Food Service

07/08/2019

Performance Food Group (PFGC) has announced an all-cash $2 billion purchase of privately- held Reinhart Food Service.

 

The combined company will have projected sales of $24 to $26 billion and will operate 106 distribution centers employing 24,000.

For the nine months ending March 30th, Performance Food Group generated $103.6 million net earnings on sales of $13.84 billion.  Comparative figures for FY 2018 were $134.3 million net earnings on sales of $13.02 billion.  The decline in profit was associated with increased costs for vehicle operation including drivers.

 

On a 12-month trailing basis, Performance Food Group has posted a return on assets of 4.2 percent and 14.6 percent on equity.  Market capitalization is $4.2 billion, corresponding to asset value.  Prior to the acquisition the company carried $1.04 billion in long-term debt.

 

The CEO of Performance Food Group, George Holm commented that there was minimal customer overlap between performance and Reinhart.  The acquisition will strengthen the ability of Performance Foods to service convenience stores, vending machines and movie theaters.

 

The acquisition should result in up to $50 million annually in cost savings in 2021 although there is no intention to either close existing distribution centers or to lay off Reinhart workers.


 

China Makes Token Purchase of Soybeans

07/08/2019

The USDA announced that China placed orders for 20 million bushels of soybeans on June 28th apparently as a gesture before the meeting between President Trump and Premier Xi.

The purchase should be placed in prospective by reviewing past shipments.  In 2017 China imported 759 million bushels of soybeans. The order would represent one percent of the projected export of 1,950 million bushels optimistically forecast by USDA for 2019.  Following the imposition of a 25 percent duty by China in retaliation for U.S. tariffs, China imported 21 million bushels for the entire 2018.  Although approximately 80 million bushels were ordered in mid- and late –December 2018 actual shipments were below the intended quantity.

The prospect of additional shipments of soybeans from the U.S. to China will be conditional on progress in bilateral trade talks including resolution of structural problems beyond tariffs.


 

Grubhub Accused of Overcharging and Unethical Practices

07/08/2019

At a recent New York City Council hearing, allegation were leveled against Grubhub by restaurants claiming price gouging and unethical practices involving charges for orders irrespective of whether they are fulfilled.  Numerous restaurant owner in the northeast complained of similar practices by Grubhub which generated $30 million annually on phone orders.  Grubhub imposes a charge for every phone call in excess of 45 seconds which places restaurant owners in a difficult position as many of the calls do not result in orders and many relate to delivery instructions enquiries or complaints.


 

Routine Assays Result in Recall of Frozen Berries

07/03/2019

Frozen berries packed under the Walmart Great Value™ brand have been recalled as a result of contamination with norovirus. The product was packed and distributed by Alma Pak located in Alma, GA. and was distributed to Walmart and Save-A-Lot under their respective house brands.

No reports of illness have been received, but consumers purchasing the products with designated UPC codes were advised to destroy or return affected packages.


 

AEB Promotes Healthy Meals

07/03/2019

AEB participated in the Culinary Institute of America Healthy Menus Collaborative Summit in Hudson Valley, NY during mid-June. Academics, representatives of major food service chains and chefs attended the three-day meeting.

Egg dishes were highlighted as breakfast meals and in combination with plant-based menu items. Recipes featured included maikizo egg crepes, sweet potato chorizo hash and cauliflower pizza crust with scrambled eggs.


 

McDonalds Canada Testing Sustainable Items

07/03/2019

McDonald’s Canada has selected two stores located in London, ONT. and Vancouver, BC. for a trial to evaluate sustainability. Re-pulpable cold beverage cups will be used and wooden cutlery, stir sticks and paper straws will be offered to customers, replacing plastic. McDonalds is committed to recycling guest packaging in all their restaurants by 2025 and will use renewable, recycled supplies from certified manufacturers. At the present time, McDonalds is using napkins with totally recycled fiber content and is using paper for McWraps transitioning from cartons.

Rob Deck, Supply Chain Officer for McDonalds Canada commented “We know that when we innovate in our supply chain, we can move the market as we’ve done with beef from certified sustainable sources, chicken raised without antibiotics important to human health and cage-free eggs”. This statement encapsulates the triad of welfare, sustainability and food safety. These principles are driving both consumer demand and corporate policy following the foundation laid by Bob Langert.


 

Dolco Packaging Featured as USPOULTRY IPE Exhibitor

07/03/2019

Dulco Packaging, manufacturers of polystyrene foam egg packs and a subsidiary of TekniPlex was featured in the June 21st edition of USPOULTRY Wire. TekniPlex is a globally-integrated company focused on innovative packaging, medical compounds and tubing for pharmaceutical household and industrial markets. Subsidiaries include Dunn Industries, Tri-Seal, Dolco Packaging and Natvar.


 

North Carolina Farm Nuisance Legislation Challenged

07/03/2019

Recently enacted legislation limits the amount of compensation for nuisance to be awarded to homeowners in the vicinity of intensive livestock operations. Action by the North Carolina Legislature was prompted by numerous lawsuits claiming odor and reduction in property values by homeowners in the vicinity of contract farms raising hogs and using lagoons to dispose of waste.

Three lawsuits were decided in favor of plaintiffs against Smithfield Foods, the integrator receiving hogs from contract farms cited in the lawsuits. Compensation was however limited by the North Carolina law enacted hastily in anticipation of the lawsuits. House Bill 467 and Senate Bill 711 that both passed after an override of vetoes by Governor Roy Cooper (D) are now the subject of a challenge by the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help and the Waterkeepers Alliance. The plaintiffs noted “These laws not only violate the State Constitution, but also have disparate impacts on low-wealth and non-white North Carolinians who disproportionately live where North Carolina has permitted industrial hog facilities to develop and operate”. The plaintiffs claim that “current legislation violates the North Carolina Constitution’s prohibition of special laws to create unreasonable classifications relating to the abatement of nuisance, the guarantee of due process and the protection of fundamental right to property”. The Republican leaders of the North Carolina House and Senate, named as defendants emphasized their support for the laws.

The lawsuits that decided against Smithfield Foods are now subject to appeal in the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A spokesperson for Smithfield Foods stated “These lawsuits are an abuse of our legal system, one that bypasses decisions made by lawmakers and regulators”. The spokesperson added “Rulings by the court skewed the evidence presented in favor of plaintiffs and prejudiced our ability to defend the case, our company and family farmers”. Juries that considered cases in Raleigh were drawn from predominantly urban areas and were not allowed to visit the sites to personally evaluate odor and alleged nuisance.


 

Darden Restaurants Reports on 2019 Financial Results

07/03/2019

On June 21st, Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) reported on financial results for FY 2019 ending May 26th. The company reported sales of $8.51 billion, a 5.3 percent increase over FY 2018. This  was due to 39 new restaurants and an increase in same-store sales of 2.5 percent. Diluted net earnings per share increased 19.6 percent to $5.73.

In providing guidance for 2020, management projected increase in sales of 5.3 to 6.3 percent and same-restaurant sales growth of between 1 and 2 percent. The company will spend up to $500 million in capital expenditure for 50 new stores. Diluted net earnings per share will be in the range of $6.30 to $6.45.

Darden Restaurants operates the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and the Capital Grill among other brands. The company employs 185,000 in 1,700 restaurants serving 390 million guests annually.

On release of results, Darden Restaurants advanced 2.2 percent to close at $121.23. The 52-week range in share price is $95.83 to $125.33. The company has a market cap of $14.91 billion with a trailing P/E of 21.3. The trailing 12-month return on assets is 9.4 percent and 31.3 percent on             equity. Darden attained an operating margin of 10.0 percent and a profit margin of 8.4 percent in FY 2019.


 

Ovotrack Opens New Office in U.S.

07/03/2019

Ovotrack has opened a new office in Kalona, IA. to service the rapidly growing customer base in the USA and Canada,

 

According to Brandon Helmuth who operates the service department for North America, the new location will serve as a repair and distribution center for Ovotrack hardware and spare parts. For further information click on to the Ovotrack logo on the right side of the Welcome Page.

 


 

Ovotrack Presents Application Workshop in the U.S.

07/03/2019

The first Ovotrack Academy for the U.S. was held at S & R Egg Farms Processing Center in Cold Springs, WI.  The emphasis was on application of Ovotrack technology to Moba graders.  Topics reviewed included:

 

  • Basics of operation,
  • Synchronization,
  • Scanning and integration of Ovotrack systems into plant operation

 
The program included classroom sessions, breakout discussions, a tour of the new processing and packing facility and individual counseling provided by Ovotrack support personnel.
 
Job Beekhuis founder and CEO of the Company commented, “It’s great to see customers learning from each other while also giving us the opportunity to improve our solutions to serve the egg industry even better.”


 

Egg Week

07/03/2019

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, July 3rd 2019.

  • Hen Numbers in Production up 0.1 million to 325.2 million.
  • Shell Inventory Up 3.0 percent from the Past Week.
  • USDA Midwest Benchmark Generic Prices for Extra Large and Large Down 3.0 from Past Week. Mediums Down 5.3 Percent Compared to the Past Week.
  • Price of Breaking Stock (23 cents per dozen) and Checks (7 cents per dozen) Unchanged. Both Categories Substantially Below Cost of Production

OVERVIEW

Prices

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on July 1 st the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large, and Large were down 3.0 and 3.1 percent respectively to averages of 66.5 and 64.5 cents per dozen. Mediums were down 5.3 percent to 37.5 cents per dozen, below the USDA average 5-Region nest-run benchmark of 59.7 cents per dozen. The progression of prices during 2019 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.


 


7-Eleven Commences Delivery Service

07/02/2019

The Associated Press reports that 2,000 locations including New York Central Park and Venice Beach in Los Angeles will be eligible for delivery from 7-Eleven stores.  Over 2,000 “hotspots” will be serviced expanding eventually to ten times that figure.  Customers will make use of a 7NOW app. to identify a hotspot.

The initiative follows a service introduced by Domino’s Pizza that claims to deliver to more than 150,000 public locations. 

 

The 7-Eleven delivery service was developed from a 2018 app-based delivery service in 28 metropolitan markets.

 


 

Director-General of FAO Elected

07/01/2019

Qu Dongyu currently Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China has been elected the 9th Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO)

Qu will succeed Jose Graziano da Silva on August 1st 2019 and his term of office will extend to July 2023.

Qu was not the favored candidate of the U.S. but he received 108 votes out of 191 cast at the 41st session of the most recent FAO conference.

China has been aggressive in placing their nationals in high visibility positions in international agencies. Meng Hongwei served as Director of Interpol from 2016 until 2018 when he was recalled to face charges of bribery committed during his tenure as Vice Minister of Public Security.


 

Status of 2019 Corn and Soybean Crops

07/01/2019

The USDA Crop Progress Report released July 1st documented complete planting of corn and progress in soybeans after a slow start that is expected to negatively impact yields as denoted by current crop condition. High topsoil moisture levels are evident in comparison with the corresponding week in 2018. CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of the 2019 harvest in October.

WEEK ENDING

Crop

June 23rd

June 30th

5-Year Average

Corn Planted %

Corn emerged %

96

89

100

94

100

100

       

Soybeans Planted %

Soybeans emerged %

85

71

92

83

99

95

       

 

Crop Condition

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn 2019

Corn 2018

3

2

9

4

32

18

47

55

9

21

Soybeans 2019

Soybeans 2018

2

1

9

5

35

23

47

55

7

16

 

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

2

10

69

19

Past Year

9

18

62

11

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

2

9

69

20

Past Year

9

20

62

9


 

USDA DATA ON CAGE-FREE PRODUCTION

07/01/2019

Based on the importance of expanding cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issues a monthly report on volumes and prices for the information of Industry stakeholders. There is some doubt as to the accuracy of the individual monthly flock numbers especially with reports that show a significant increase in the cage-free flock for a specific month. It is questioned is whether it would not be more desirable to post accurate quarterly data in place of unconvincing sequential monthly figures.

EGG-NEWS summarizes and comments on data and trends in the monthly USDA Cage-Free Report, supplementing the information posted weekly in the EGG-NEWS Egg Weekly Price and Inventory Report.

The USDA Cage Free Report for the month of June 2019 released on June 28 th 2019 documented a static flock size for hens producing under the Certified Organic seal. The National cage-free flock increased by 0.4 million or 0.8 percent as compared to the value for May. The respective numbers of hens in organic and cage-free flocks should reflect the realities of supply and demand in the market over successive quarters. Average flock production was raised for June to 76.0 percent percent for both categories of non-caged hens reflecting a younger national flock (accepting USDA data).

Flock size 2019 (million hens)

June

2019

May

2019

April

2019

March

2019

Sept. 2018 through Feb. 2019

August

2018

Certified Organic

15.8

15.8

15.7

15.0

15.7

15.7

Cage-free hens

51.3

50.9

50.7

46.9

41.5

39.1

Total non-caged

67.1

66.7

66.4

61.9

57.2

54.7

 

Average weekly production cases, June 2019

Certified Organic

233,164 (231,630 May.)

Cage-free

758,647 (747,196 May)

Total non-caged

991,811 (978,826 May)

 

Average Wholesale Contract Price Cage-Free Brown

$1.56/doz. Unchanged since Nov. '18

Range unchanged at:

$1.15 to $2.10/doz.

FOB Negotiated price, grade quality nest-run, loose

Price range $0.27 to $0.67 per dozen

Average Value of $0.51/doz.

 

Average Advertised National Retail Price C-F, L, Brown

$2.48/doz. (was $2.49 May 2019)

USDA 6-Region

High: NE

$3.21/doz. $2.63 (SE.)

 

Low: SC

$2.15/doz. $2.45 (SW.)

Subscribers are referred to weekly USDA wholesale and retail prices posted in the EGG-NEWS Egg Price and Inventory Report E-mailed each Friday. The previous Monthly Cage-Free Report is available under the STATISTICS Tab.


 

House Demanding Changes to USMCA

07/01/2019

Following the ratification of the USMCA by Mexico in June and impending action by the Parliament of Canada, it is now up to Congress to approve the USMCA.

According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democratic members of the House are requesting greater protection for workers and provisions to reduce environmental impact. In addition, demands include stricter enforcement provisions and a reduction in the duration of the 10-year exclusivity for biologic drugs.

The USMCA as negotiated requires that 45 percent of automotive content be manufactured by workers earning at least $16 per hour. Without appropriate enforcement, cheap labor could be used in Mexico to the disadvantage of U.S. union workers. Representative Jan Schakowski (D-IL) noted “as long as the wages and rights of Mexican workers are suppressed, we are going to continue to see jobs in the U.S. outsourced to Mexico and other countries”.

The Speaker noted that “Changes could be made with surgical precision to facilitate passage of a resolution ratifying USMCA”. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has opined that it is now too late to reopen negotiations with both Mexico and Canada. Originally a mid-year deadline was set for ratification. Even if Canada takes positive action during the present month, it is doubtful whether USMCA will be approved by Congress before the August recess. Some legislators have suggested side agreements, but these are disfavored by Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Chair of the Trade Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee.

During the past week, Blumenauer addressing the Washington International Trade Association noted that the issues of protection for U.S. workers, enforcement and environmental issues would be required in order to receive support from the Democratic members of the House.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO noted “The new NAFTA is not good enough yet and the Union will not support it until it is “worthy of the American people”.

As with the negotiations with China, Japan and the E.U., concessions will be required to conclude negotiations and adopt proposed trade pacts. The importance of trade agreements is denoted by the volume of agricultural commodities exported to NAFTA nations as documented in the monthly updates of export volume and value as posted in EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS.


 

Senator Claims USDA Suppressing Results of Climate Change Research

07/01/2019

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry has addressed a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Sonny Perdue requesting an explanation of the decision to not publicize results of the impact of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on yields of rice and other studies on the impact of climate change on productivity.

Senator Stabenow urged the USDA “to issue a public press release and prominently post on its website all agency research relating to climate change that has been completed since January 20th 2017”.

The letter and request follow a bipartisan hearing in “Climate Change in the Agriculture Sector” where testimony was provided of the impact on farmers and ranchers as a result of climate change.


 

Traceability Emphasized at 2019 Conbrasul Meeting in Brazil

06/29/2019

Conbrasul, a bi-annual conference for the Brazilian egg industry, took place from June 16th to 19th 2019 in Gramado, Brazil.

Job Beekhuis, CEO of Ovotrack reviewed the growing importance of traceability for the egg industry describing technology, solutions and global trends.


 

Paul Sauder Elected to USAPEEC Executive Board

06/28/2019

AEB Alternate Board Member and Consumer Marketing Committee Chairman Paul Sauder (front, left) of Sauder’s Eggs was re-elected to a three-year term and elected to second vice chairman of the USAPEEC Executive Committee at the Annual Meeting in Panama.


 

Direct Action Everywhere To Mount Protests

06/28/2019

The militant San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Direct Action Everywhere will march from San Francisco City Hall to the State Capitol in Sacramento over the period July 3 until July 9 to support their "right to rescue." Their route will include San Rafael, Petaluma, Napa, Fairfield, Vacaville, and Davis.

A vigil will be held on July 4th at Reichardt Duck Farm, the site of the "open rescue" activity organized during the June Animal Liberation Conference. 


 

WEEKLY COMMODITY REPORT

06/28/2019

Prices are Volatile Following China Negotiations, Release of June USDA-WASDE Projections and Acreage Report

The following quotations for July and September 2019, were posted by the CME at

15H00 on Friday June 28th compared with values for Friday June 21st (in parentheses) shortly after release of the acreage report.

The market responded with a downward turn following release of the USDA Acreage report on June 28th. Corn planted in 2019 is up 3 percent over 2018 to 91.7 million acres, albeit late due to saturated fields that will reduce yield. Soybean acreage planted is down 10 percent compared to 2018 to 80.0 million acres, the lowest since 2013.

The commodities market recorded a sharp increase in the futures prices of corn, soybeans and soybean meal after the release of the June WASDE on Tuesday 11th. The mid-May run-up in prices was due to slow progress in planting and consequential projections of reduced yields. The possibility of lower yields compared to 2018 is now more certain. Based on the revised acreage for corn futures for July retreated by 4.5 percent. The market anticipated a decline in acreage planted to soybeans. Accordingly a relatively mild decline in the soybean quotation of 0.3 percent was posted this past week. A second factor supporting the soybean price is continued but subdued optimism that some accommodation on trade will emerge from the bilateral discussions between the Presidents of China and the U.S. on June 29th during the G-20 Meeting

The absence of any definitive news regarding resolution of the trade dispute with China and previous conflicting statements by White House spokespersons over the months since the dispute began is disconcerting to the commodities market and

has contributed to price fluctuation.

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

July 423 (443)

Sept. 426 (449)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

July 900 (903)

Sept. 911 (916)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

July 313 (316)

Sept. 317 (319)

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

COMMODITY CHANGE FROM PAST WEEK

Corn: July quotation down 20 cents per Bu        (-4.5 percent)

Soybeans: July quotation down 3 cents per Bu (-0.3 percent)

Soybean Meal: July quotation down $3 per ton. (-1.0 percent)

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

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

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

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

COMMENTS

Subscribers are directed to the review of the weekly USDA Crop Progress Report posted in this edition for the rate of planting, crop emergence and condition.

Some concessions have been promised by China on reducing coercive trade practices and clarifying dispute resolution although U.S. negotiators claim that China has backtracked on structural issues hence the threat of more stringent tariffs and embargos on trade with tech companies in China. From an agricultural perspective the question of delays by China in approving new GM cultivars has yet to be settled.

Prices will be influenced by the trend in stock levels, area planted in 2019 and early crop progress in the face of flooding.

According to the June 11th 2018 WASDE Report #589, it was projected that 89.7 million acres of corn would be planted in 2019 to produce 13.68 Billion bushels. The June 28th Acreage report increased the area to 91.7 million acres. By proportion this will increase the 2019 crop to 13.83 million bushels. The WASDE projected 84.6 million acres to be planted to soybeans. The USDA Acreage report reduced this to 80.0 million acres. The 2019 soybean crop projected to attain 4.15 Billion bushels in the June WASDE must by proportion be reduced to 3.92 Billion bushels. The levels of production and ending stocks for the two commodities are based on current planting data, projections of harvest area and yield. The WASDE to be published in mid-July will confirm the projected yields and ending stocks of corn and soybeans respectively.

See the WASDE posting summarizing the June 11th USDA-WASDE Report #589 under the STATISTICS tab documenting price projections and quantities of commodities to be harvested, processed and exported from the 2019 harvest.

Unless shipments of corn and especially soybeans to China resume in volume, the financial future for row-crop farmers appears bleak despite the release of two tranches in 2018 amounting to $8 billion as "short-term" compensation for producers of commodities. A further allocation of $14.5 billion to producers under the Market Facilitation Program was announced on May 23rd for the 2019 crop.


 

Lactalis Implicated in Recalls

06/27/2019

Multinational dairy company Lactalis previously the subject of a long-running Salmonella outbreak associated with baby formula is once again involved in recalls.  Cheese contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes produced by a subsidiary Lactalis McLelland has been recalled by the UK Food Standards Agency.

 

A second incident involves recall of milk and derived products in Australia produced by Lactalis Australia Ltd.  In this case contamination with a disinfectant and concurrently E. coli is responsible for action by the Food Standards Australian New Zealand Agency.

 

Subscribers can review previous posts relating to the French holding company by entering “Lactalis” in the SEARCH block.

 


 

Moba Featured on USPOULTRY Wire

06/27/2019

The June 24th edition of the USPOULTRY Wire highlighted Moba as a supplier of egg packing equipment.  Subscribers are referred to the Moba website info.usa@moba.net for available Omnia graders with capacities ranging from 16 to 700 cases per hour and Moba farm packers with capacities from 4 to 150 cases per hour.


 

FDA Issues Draft Guidance for Salad Sprouts

06/27/2019

In recent years, salad sprouts have been identified as a vehicle for foodborne infection.  Accordingly the Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN) has issued “Draft Guidance for Reducing Microbial Food Safety Hazards in the Production of Seeds For Sprouting.”  After extensive evaluation, FDA-CFSAN has incorporated common-sense directions but of questionable efficacy to be adopted by the industry.  These include training of personnel in food safety, providing clean and well maintained toilet and hand washing facilities, storing seed for sprouting separately from seed for other uses and insuring that food contact surfaces are impervious and can be clean.  An important directive is that seed should be transported in a manner that minimizes contamination with pathogens.

 

Although the recommendations contained in the draft guidance are well-meaning, they do not rise to the level of a critical control point in an HACCP program.  The final product as distributed to food manufacturers and the food service industry must be treated by a process that significantly reduces or eliminates foodborne bacteria including Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria.  Some form of fumigation or alternatively electron beam treatment is obviously required.


 

Recalls over Contaminated Flour Increasing

06/27/2019

Most recently Brand Castle LLC of Bedford Heights, OH recalled their range of brownie mixes because flour supplied by ADM Milling was contaminated with E. coli O26.  The source of the contaminant in flour has yet to be defined but it is evident that a single flour mill producing a large quantity of ingredient can be responsible for extensive contamination in the downstream commercial chain.  A similar effect has occurred with contaminated spices and coating mixes used to produce IQF chicken products.


 

USDA Grain Stocks Report

06/26/2019

The USDA quarterly Grain Stocks Report released on June 28th documents storage of commodities produced in the U.S. classified according to on-site and remote facilities including elevators and commercial installations. Quantities of corn and soybeans, the two crops relevant to poultry production were:-

Corn stocks in all positions on June 1st, 2019 totaled 5.20 billion bushels, down two percent from June 1, 2018. Of the total stocks, 2.95 billion bushels (56.7 percent) are stored on farms, up seven percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 2.25 billion bushels, (43.3 percent) are down 12 percent from a year ago. The March–through May 2019 indicated disappearance was 3.41 billion bushels, compared with 3.59 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on June 1st, 2019 totaled 1.79 billion bushels, up 47 percent from June 1, 2018. On-farm stocks totaled 730 million bushels (40.7 percent), up 94 percent from a year ago. This indicates that farmers were holding 2018 soybeans in anticipation of a resolution of the trade dispute with China and resumption of exports. Off-farm stocks, at 1.06 billion bushels (59.3 percent), are up 26 percent from a year ago. Indicated disappearance for the March through May 2019 quarter totaled 937 million bushels, up five percent from the same period a year earlier.


 

Micronutrients Announce IntelliBond®-M Now Approved for Organic Flocks

06/26/2019

Micronutrients USA LLC, a subsidiary of Nutreco, has announced that IntelliBond®-M is being listed by OMRI and conforms to both the USDA National Organic Program and the Canada Organic Regime.

Dan Baker, VP of Marketing and Innovation stated “We are very excited to be able to increase access to our unique and proven trace mineral solutions to producers in the organic production space”.


 

Hendrix-Genetics to Present Webinar

06/26/2019

Teun van de Braak, Product Manager for Laying Hens will present a global webinar, Genetics 101. This overview of key concepts in animal breeding and genetics is designed for non-scientists in agriculture.

The webinar will cover aspects of animal breeding including a review of genomic selection and future trends. The webinar will be presented on July 16th at 09h00 EDT and will be an hour in duration.

For further information, access www.hendrix-genetics.com.


 

ADM to Downsize Staff at Neovia Business in France

06/26/2019

Following the acquisition of Neovia for $1.75 billion in February, Archer Daniels Midland company plans to reduce staff complement by 127. A company spokesperson justified the layoffs to avoid job duplication at both the headquarters in Saint-Nolff, Brittany and a second facility in Chateau-Thierry near Paris.

Neovia has an extensive business in Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America. The company employs 8,360 worldwide with 1,070 in France.


 

InterContinental Hotels Group Introduces AI Technology to Reduce Food Waste

06/26/2019

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has installed Winnow Vision Analysis software systems in kitchens. This technology scans and analyzes plates of returned food and adjusts portion sizes. The system uses intelligent cameras, smart scales and real-time meter technology. Winnow Vision influences buying decisions, menus and the rate of food preparation.

IHG is the first hotel company to use Winnow Vision AI technology currently in seven hotels in the E.U. Based on initial success in the application of the system that has reduced food wastage by half in six months, the program will be extended to thirty additional locations.


 

SE Impacts NSW, Australian Farms

06/26/2019

A wholesale distributor, the Egg Basket, has recalled a range of eggs potentially contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis (SE). According to the Weekly Times June 16th edition, this is the seventh recall attributed to SE. Authorities have identified eleven farms in New South Wales infected with SE and the State Food Authority has “increased surveillance and monitoring” in addition the Authority has provided appropriate advice to consumers to thoroughly cook eggs.

It is noted that over the past decade, Australia has undergone a transition from conventional cage housing to free-range systems. This will complicate decontamination and possibly prevent eradication of infection on the farms concerned.


 

USSEC Continues to Promote Soybeans in China

06/25/2019

The U.S. Soybean Export Council recently sponsored the China International Exhibition for Soy Food Processing Technology from April 2nd to 4th in Hunan Province in China.

Despite the existing trade conflict between China and the U.S. the USSEC is justified in maintaining contacts and promoting the image of U.S. product.

The quality and reliability of U.S. food-grade soybeans and sustainability in U.S. production were reviewed by Ms. Jinrong Qian.

The Conference provided an opportunity for networking and promotion of U.S. product through transfer of technical information on soybean processing.


 

Doubt Over Resolution of Trade Conflict with China

06/25/2019

Steve Schwarzman, founder of Blackstone is pessimistic over a resolution of the ongoing trade conflict with China. In an interview on CNBC, Schwarzman noted “I think that it is extremely improbable for a deal because there has been almost nothing happening since May when the discussions ended”.

During the past year, Beijing has lowered duties on imported goods from nations other than the U.S. A CNBC commentator affiliated to the Peterson Institute for International Economics opined “Americans are likely suffering more than President Trump thinks as a result of the trade war”.

President Trump and Premier Xi are due to meet at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan this week.


 

Escalation in Corn Price in Brazil to Impact Livestock Producers

06/25/2019

According to the USDA GAIN Report BR19076 of April 8th Brazil will harvest 100 million metric tons of corn in the current season and will export 30 million tons. Escalation in the World price of corn, in part due to the lower projections for the 2019 harvest in the U.S., will deprive chicken, hog and egg producers in Brazil of traditionally low-priced corn. The situation is reminiscent of the situation in 2016 following a severe drought that impacted yields.

Most exports of corn from Brazil are derived from the Safrinha (second) crop harvested in June in the center-west region of the nation. Production in 2019 was limited by drought Accordingly exports will be drawn from the first crop of 78 million metric tons. 

 Transport to export ports is limited by deficiencies in the road system. Transport over BR-163 extending for 600 miles is required to ship corn from major growing areas to ports. Major customers for Brazilian corn include Iran (27 percent of exports), Vietnam (12 percent), Spain (10 percent) and Egypt (8 percent).


 

USDA Releases Statistics on Organic Operations

06/24/2019

USDA announced that there are now 27,494 certified organic farms and other operations in the U.S. as of the end of 2018 an increase of 3.9 percent over the previous year.  In addition to domestic certification there are 15,500 international operations.  It is questioned how all these farms, packing plants and food manufacturers, especially overseas, can be audited to ensure compliance with the National Organic Program which administers the USDA organic seal.


 

Albertsons to Revisit Self-Checkout

06/24/2019

Albertsons intends to install Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions check-out equipment in up to 2,300 stores through mid 2020.  The initiative follows an earlier attempt at introducing self-checkout stations which were unsatisfactory.  Albertsons had to contend with consumer rejection and incompatibility with systems in use at acquired stores.  To date Toshiba systems have been installed at Jewel, Acme, Shaw’s, Safeway and Vons among others. 

 

Rucha Nanavati, Group Vice President of Information Technology for Albertsons stated, “The newer self-checkout kiosks are quite user-friendly, especially the System 7.  He added, “The underlying theme is a better customer experience and service.”

 

The restraint with all electronic scanning systems is the need for all items including produce to be bar-coded or be equipped with effective machine vision. Otherwise delays are experienced and store personnel are required to assist customers.  It is hoped that the more advanced checkout kiosks are an improvement on previous versions.

 


 

Kroger Breaks Ground on Ocado Mechanised Warehouse

06/24/2019

The Kroger Company and partner Ocado of the UK have commenced construction of the first of a projected twenty mechanized warehouses scheduled for construction over the next three years.  The first unit in Monroe, OH will extend over 335,000 square feet and will cost $55 million.

 

Rodney McMullen stated, “Kroger is incredibly excited to reach this meaningful milestone in our Restock Kroger vision to serve America.” He added, “Our partnership with Ocado will introduce transformative E-commerce, fulfillment and logistics technology in the U.S.”

 

The next two Ocado fulfillment centers will be erected in Central Florida and in a Mid-Atlantic region to be announced.


 

Epigenetic Studies Demonstrate Benefits of Linpro® in Pullet Rearing

06/24/2019

Studies sponsored by O&T Farms conducted at the University of Guelph by Dr. Elijah Kiarie demonstrated that increasing the omega-3 fatty acid content of diets fed to parent hens increased the bone strength of progeny pullets. Both increased breaking strength and ash content of the tibia at 12 weeks of age were demonstrated.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids were contributed by inclusion of Linpro® in diets. Dr. Kiarie stated, “Omega-3 fatty acids play critical roles in the regulation of a variety of biological processes including development of vital organs such as skeleton, brain, gastrointestinal systems and may engender transgenerational effects on development and behavior.”

 

Studies on epigenetics continue to determine possible effects on a range of systems that may translate to enhanced production and margins.

 


 

AEB At Institute of Food Technologist’s Convention and Expo

06/24/2019

Visitors sampled egg-centric, craveable snacks, including Spinach Pesto Puffs. A twist on familiar sweet meringues, pesto puffs are savory meringues made with spinach and an almond pesto. Light, airy and uniquely satisfying, pesto puffs fit today's consumer desire for nutrient-filled snacks.

Functionality front & center

Eggs are not only a high-quality source of protein, they provide food manufacturers with unique, clean label functionality from binding and structure to adhesion and emulsification. Get a comprehensive look at eggs in snacking by downloading our new white paper, Snacks-pectations .

 


 
















































































































































































View More
Top