Editorial

Initial Demand for Meatless Burgers Now Evident: But is it a Long Term Trend?

06/06/2019

The June 5th edition of The Wall Street Journal reviews the trend towards burgers prepared from vegetable-based beef substitutes.  According to a Technomic Inc. study of 6,000 QSRs fifteen percent serves “meatless” burgers, three percent higher than in 2017.  This trend is reflected in current demand and is fueled by media hype.  The two leading suppliers, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are at present unable to supply existing demand. In analyzing the current situation the following realities are apparent:-

 

  • Meatless burgers are more expensive than conventional beef but provide QSRs with lower margins.
     
  • The Impossible Burger® includes genetically engineered leghemoglobin in their product in an attempt to reproduce flavor and appearance of beef. This may not appeal to vegetarians and other food adherents who are opposed to GMO.
     
  • Operators report a sharp increase in demand for burgers prepared with vegetable alternatives to meat.  It is questioned whether this is due to curiosity.  The proportion of vegetarians and those willing to pay more for either welfare or sustainability is relatively limited and the demand for alternatives to conventional meat may wane.
     
  • A number of large QSR chains are offering products from Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods so as to appear relevant.  McDonald’s Corp is trialing meatless burgers in Finland and Sweden but the Company has no plans for the U.S.
     
  • Meatless alternatives to beef toppings for pizzas are undergoing tests but operators will only convert to meat substitutes if prices are competitive with conventional meat products.
     
  • Gourmet burgers selling for upwards of $12 appear to represent a niche for meat substitutes since these items served in upscale restaurants appeal to an affluent demographic.  The $1 to $3 price differential is less evident with expensive menu items compared to conventional burgers served in a combo meal at $6 to $8.
     
    Rob Lynch, president of Arby’s Restaurant Group, committed to “real meats” commented, “People aren’t willing to pay more for something that tastes worst.”
     
    It remains to be seen whether the speculations in the shares of Beyond Meat that has almost tripled since the May IPO is justified.  Their rival Impossible Foods has raised a total of $750 million from Venture Capital investors.  To be viable in the long term these companies and their clones will have to ramp up production, achieve economies of scale to reduce cost and develop loyal consumer and food service markets contributing to profitability.
     
    (Review the Q1 results posted for Beyond Meat by inserting the Company name in the SEARCH block)
 



 

Poultry Industry News

STOP PRESS

06/18/2019

Dialogue Between President Trump and Premier Xi
 

In a tweet on Tuesday June 18th President Trump announced that he would meet Premier Xi of China for an extended discussion at the G-20 Conference in Osaka Japan held on June 28th and 29th.The announcement was subsequently confirmed by official Media in China.

 

In their telephone conversation the leaders discussed “the importance of leveling the playing field for U.S. farmers, workers and businesses through fair and reciprocal economic relationships”

 

The announcement of a thaw in relations between the World’s leading economic powers sent stock markets up by over one percent but July corn  was down 6 cents per bushel to 448.6 cents per bushel at the close of trading  but soybeans were down by less than one cent per bushel to 912 cents.


 

WEEKLY COMMODITY REPORT

06/14/2019

Prices Surge on June WASDE Projections of Acreage and Yield

The following quotations for July and September 2019, were posted by the CME at close of trading on Friday June 14th compared with values for Monday June 10th before release of the WASDE in parentheses. The commodities market recorded a sharp increase in the futures prices of corn, soybeans and soybean meal since the Tuesday release of the WASDE on Tuesday 11th. The mid-May run-up in prices was due to slow progress in planting and consequential reduced yields. The possibility of reduced acreage and the prospect of diminished yields is now more certain.

The absence of any definitive news regarding finalization 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 fluctuation in prices.

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

July 453 (416)

Sept. 458 (424)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

July 897 (860)

Sept. 911 (873)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

July 323 (314)

Sept. 326 (317)

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

COMMODITY CHANGE FROM PAST WEEK

Corn: July quotation up 37 cents per Bu        (+8.8 percent)

Soybeans: July quotation up 37 cents per Bu (+11.8 percent)

Soybean Meal: July quotation up $9 per ton.  (+2.9 percent)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Negotiations with China are apparently at a standstill following shuttles between Beijing and Washington in late April. Some concessions were promised by China on reducing coercive trade practices and clarifying dispute resolution although U.S. negotiators claim that China attempted to backtrack on structural issues. From an agricultural perspective the question of delays by China in approving new GM cultivars has yet to be settled. No date has been set for a summit to sign a trade deal which is as elusive as ever. Prices will be influenced by the trend in stock levels, area actually planted in 2019 and early crop progress in the face of flooding.

According to the June 11th 2018 WASDE Report #589, 82.4 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2019 to produce 13.68 Billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.15 Billion bushels from 83.8 million acres harvested. The levels of production for the two commodities are based on current planting, projections of yield and acreage. The WASDE to be published in mid-July will confirm the acreage actually sown to 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 produced, used and exported from the 2019 harvest.

Unless shipments of corn and soybeans to China resume in volume, now a distant hope, 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.


 

Weekly Turkey Production and Prices

06/14/2019

Poult Production and Placement:

The June 14th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 27.9 million eggs in incubators on June 1st 2018 (28.2 million eggs on May 1st 2019) down 2.3 percent (0.7 million eggs) from May 1 st 2018.

A total of 21.7 million poults were hatched during May 2019 (24.0 million in April 2019) an increase of 0.3 percent from May 2018.

A total of 22.0 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in May 2019, (22.2 million in March 2019), 1.9 percent less than in May 2018. This suggests disposal of 1.8 million poults during the month. Assuming all tom poults were placed, 15.5 percent of hen poults or 7.8 percent of all April 2019-hatched poults were not placed.

For the twelve-month period June 2018 through May 2019 inclusive, 289.2 million poults were hatched and 262.5 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 26.7 million poults. Assuming all tom poults were placed 18.5 percent of hen poults or 9.2 percent of all poults hatched during the period were not placed.

Turkey Production:

The June 14th 2019 edition of the USDA Turkey Market News Report (Vol. 66: No. 24) confirmed the following provisional data for turkeys slaughtered under Federal inspection:-


 

Weekly Broiler Production and Prices

06/14/2019

Chick Placements.

The Broiler Hatchery Report released on June 12th confirmed that a total of 233.3 million eggs were set during the week ending June 8th, one percent more than the corresponding week in 2018. A total of 182.6 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending June 8th. This was one percent higher than the corresponding week in 2018. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 190.1 million. Claimed average hatchability was 82.9 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Broiler chick placements for 2019 through June 8th amounted to 4.27 billion, two percent more than YTD 2018.

Broiler Production

According to the June 14th USDA Broiler Market News Report (Vol. 66: No.24) for the processing week ending June 8th 2019, 169.0 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 6.16 lbs. (6.09 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 3.1 percent more than the corresponding processing week in 2018. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week was 791.0 million lbs. (359,537 metric tons), 4.9 percent more than the corresponding week in 2018. Production YTD of RTC in 2019 is 17.36 million lbs. (7,892,447 metric tons), 1.0 percent more than in 2018 YTD.


 

Status of 2019 Corn and Soybean Crops

06/17/2019

The USDA Crop Progress Report released June 17th documented progress in the rate of planting both corn and soybeans after a slow start expected to impact yields. 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 harvest in October.

WEEK ENDING

Crop

June 9th.

June 16th

5-Year Average

Corn Planted %

Corn emerged %

83

62

92

79

100

97

       

Soybeans Planted %

Soybeans emerged %

60

34

77

55

93

84

       

 

Crop Condition

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn 2019

Corn 2018

2

1

8

3

31

18

52

59

7

19

Soybeans 2019

Soybeans 2017

       

 

 

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

2

10

67

21

Past Year

10

24

58

8

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

2

8

68

22

Past Year

10

23

60

7


 

Updated USDA-ERS Poultry Meat Projection for 2019.

06/17/2019

The USDA-Economic Research Service released production and consumption data on June 17th for broilers and turkeys covering 2018 (revised) and 2019 (forecast) together with a projection for 2020.

Broiler data for 2019 was essentially unchanged from the May 2019 report. Production in 2019 will increase by 1.0 percent compared to 2018 to 19.56 million metric tons (43,034 million lbs.) RTC. Per capita consumption was increased for 2019 from the May report to 42.2 kg. (92.9 lbs.) Exports will represent 16.5 percent of RTC production in 2019 attaining 3.221 million metric tons (7,087 million lbs.) This is based on the presumption that the USMCA concluded in September 2018 will be approved by Congress and by the legislatures of Canada and Mexico this year.

Turkey production will remain almost unchanged in 2019 compared to 2018 at 2.670 million metric tons (5,876 million lbs.) RTC. Per capita consumption will remain at 7.3 kg. (16.1 lb.) during 2019, a 1.4 percent downward projection despite promotions and introduction of further-processed items. Export volume will be the same as 2018 at 0.278 million metric tons (612 million lbs).

Forecast values for production and consumption of RTC turkey in 2019 are considered to be optimistic given 2019 prices, egg settings, poult placements, disposal of hen poults, weekly production levels, live weights and inventory. The USDA projection presumably takes into account that the recently concluded USMCA, if ratified by the legislatures of all three nations, will avert tariffs. This will maintain market share in Mexico despite growing competition from Chile and other nations in Latin America.

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

 

 

Parameter

2018 (actual)

2019 (forecast)

% Difference 2020 2018 to 2019 (projection)

Broilers

     

Production (m. metric tons)

19.364

19.561

+1.0 19.705

Consumption (kg per capita)

42.0

42.2

+0.7 42.1

Exports (m. metric tons)

3.212

3.221

+0.3 3.295

Proportion of production (%)

16.6

16.5

-0.6 16.7

       

Turkeys

     

Production (m. metric tons)

2.671

2.671

0 2.682

Consumption (kg per capita)

7.4

7.3

-1.4 7.2

Exports (m. metric tons)

0.277

0.278

+0.4 0.286

Proportion of production (%)

10.3

10.4

+1.0 10.7

Subscribers are referred to the weekly updates of production and inventories of broilers and turkeys posted weekly on CHICK-NEWS

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


 

Tyson Foods Partners with Auburn University to Evaluate Solar Powered Broiler House

06/11/2019

According to a June 5th release by Tyson Foods, the company will partner with the National Poultry Technology Center of Auburn University to evaluate the feasibility of operating a broiler farm off-the-grid. A 500 x 54 foot house to hold 36,000 broilers to a market weight of 5.5 pounds has been erected. The energy use of the unit powered by solar panels with a battery set and a generator will provide electrical energy. The house will be compared with a conventional unit located adjacent to the solar-powered house.

Paul Patterson, Dean of the Auburn College of Agriculture commented “The National Poultry Technology Center will work closely with Tyson Foods and Southern Solar Systems to provide leadership in the application of solar-powered technology to broiler production houses”. Chip Miller, Vice President of Poultry Live Operations for Tyson Foods  stated “Ultimately, this project will allow us to identify how solar houses might improve farmer profitability and bring increased efficiencies to the industry”. He added “Through our partnership with Auburn University, we are creating a model for the future of the industry – one that is more sustainable and brings critical value and insights previously unavailable to poultry farmers”. Miller added “Looking ahead, we are eager to evaluate the efficacy of the solar house and its impact on farmer profitability. We expect this pilot to be the first of many as we continue to leverage the power of collaboration to drive progress in the poultry industry”.


 

Debut of Corteva Completes Agribusiness Consolidation

06/06/2019

Corteva experienced a less than stellar IPO on June 3rd falling 8 percent to close at $24.81.The Company is a spinoff from the DuPont-Dow conglomerate and will represent the seed and agricultural- chemical component of the combined parent company created through merger.

 

Corteva joins Bayer AG that acquired the Monsanto Company for $63 billion in 2018 and China National Chemical Corp.that purchased Syngenta AG for $43 billion in 2017.  The three Mega-ag companies represent $50 billion in annual seed and pesticide sales. Collectively the three companies supply a currently depressed market in the U.S. and farmers experiencing low commodity prices worldwide. 

 

Corteva sales volume approaching $12 billion is evenly divided between pesticides and seeds.   Bayer AG is relatively larger than Corteva with $17 billion in sales in 2018, deriving $10 billion from pesticides and herbicides including glyphosate, the subject of more than 1,000 lawsuits alleging carcinogenicity. Syngenta with $12 billion annual sales is heavily biased to pesticides and herbicides representing 80 percent of revenue.

 

Although the Dow-DuPont merger passed regulatory scrutiny on the basis of a subsequent three-way split, left-leaning politicians have called for dismemberment of the companies contending that they are too large and powerful.  Proponents of Mega-ag maintain that consolidation contributes to more effective research and development and consider that there is sufficient competition to restrain prices.  The National Farmers Union has called for a moratorium on further concentration in the industry although it is evident that the horse is out of the gate. Any additional mergers or acquisitions involving BASF, FMC or other relatively small companies will have no appreciable effect on the market.


 

Meat Hybrids and Analogs Will Compete with Vegetable-Derived Protein

06/11/2019

The role of meat hybrids and analogs was the subject of a session at the 2019 International Food Technologists Conference in New Orleans. According to Paulson Joseph of Kalsec, U.S. consumers can buy Applegate Organic Blend Burgers and in the U.K., Lovemeat and Veg6 Chicken Sausages from major supermarket chain Sainsbury’s .

The $850 billion global meat market is the target for producers of vegetable-derived meat substitutes and hybrids comprising mixtures of meat and vegetable ingredients. Currently meat substitutes have attained annual sales of $40 billion but growing at six percent compounded annual growth compared to three percent for traditional meat and products. There is considerable research on hybrids in both the U.S. and the E.U. The University of Hohenheim in Germany is developing hybrid sausages containing pea protein. Vegan sausage incorporates gluten as a binder which would apparently conflict with the “gluten-free” fad central to dietary preferences among easily-influenced affluent consumers.

In the U.S. the Mushroom Council is cooperating with the Culinary Institute of America to produce burgers comprising 70 percent beef and 30 percent diced mushrooms. Blended burgers have been tried by Sonic Drive In and are served by the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Chiefs. Food service companies supplying corporate dining rooms and universities are promoting hybrid burgers based on health claims and sustainability.

Hybrid meat products containing a high proportion of vegetable-based ingredients represent a serious challenge to promoters of all-vegetable meat substitutes including the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat.


 

Brazil Impacted by Sporadic BSE Case

06/11/2019

Exports of beef from Brazil to China have been suspended following the diagnosis of a single case of atypical sporadic Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE = “mad cow disease”). The single case was diagnosed in a 17-year-old cow at the end of May. The carcass was incinerated and no product entered the supply chain.

Spontaneous BSE occurs infrequently with 26 cases diagnosed in North America in 35 years. Six were diagnosed in the U.S. which has since been classified by the World Organization for Animal Health as a “negligible risk” nation. Sporadic BSE should be differentiated from classic BSE which is acquired from consuming animal byproducts containing infective prions. This condition first occurred in the U.K. in 1986 extending to January 1993. Over this time, 1,000 incident cases in cattle were reported each week as a result of consuming recycled ruminant-origin byproduct meal in their diets. Inaction on the part of the U.K. Government resulted in needless extension of the condition and led to the collapse of the beef industry and the downfall of the Conservative administration at the time.

Creuzfeldt-Jacob Syndrome of humans acquired from consuming beef products contaminated with infective prions was responsible for the deaths of 177 people in Europe with 156 occurring during the 1990s.

Since the recognition of BSE and understanding its causation the condition has been eradicated from most beef producing-nations. Routine procedures include removal of potentially contaminated organs from the food supply, preventing ruminant-origin byproduct meal from being fed to cattle and sheep and rigorous antimortem inspection and routine surveillance using immunologic assays and histologic examination of brain tissue from suspect cases for confirmation of the diagnosis.


 

China Intensifies “Inspection” of Meat Exports from Canada as a Punitive Measure

06/11/2019

In an attempt to force Canada to terminate legal action against Ms. Meng Wanzhou CFO of multinational Huawai, authorities in China are deliberately impeding imports of pork and beef. This action follows interdiction of imports of Canadian canola seed. For the first quarter of 2019, China was the third-largest export market for Canadian pork producers with shipments valued at $160 million.

Apparently inspectors in China are opening all containers of Canadian meat and meat products. The justification cited by officials includes risk of introduction of African swine fever endemic in China but has never been diagnosed in North America. Authorities in China are also scrutinizing documentation and rejecting shipments based on minor technicalities.

The Ambassador of China to Canada recently stated in a national TV interview that “increased meat inspections were not a form of retaliation”. He added “competent authorities take measures always according to law on the basis of scientific approach”. Considerable diplomatic training is necessary to be able to make these cynical statements in a host nation.

Apart from pressuring for the release of Ms. Meng, the Government of China is attempting to punish the Liberal Party and the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau since the action by China with regard to canola and pork has created considerable opposition to the benefit of the Conservative Party prior to the October election.


 

Tyson Foods Acquires Asian and E.U. Production Facilities from BRF S.A.

06/11/2019

On June 3rd, Tyson Foods Inc. announced the acquisition of four production facilities in Thailand and one each in the Netherlands and the U.K. The six complexes were part of the purchase of assets relinquished by BRF S.A. of Brazil.

Noel White, president and CEO of Tyson Foods stated “the addition of this experienced and talented team combined with these businesses strengthens our capabilities and increases our reach to new markets. I am glad to welcome them to the Tyson Foods family”. He added “we are now strategically aligned to better serve customers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia building on our global strategy”.

According to the press release, the four plants in Thailand produced fresh and frozen value-added raw uncooked poultry products. The E.U. complexes market branded chicken and further-processed items for both retail and food service customers.

Donnie King, Group President of International for Tyson Foods comented “we are working to make the integration of these operations as seamless as possible while maintaining high levels of service to our customers”.


 

Insight into Composition of Beyond Burger Patty.

06/17/2019

Dr. Dariush Ajami, Chief Innovations Officer with Beyond Burger discussed the composition of the product at the recent Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting in New Orleans.  According to Ajami, pea protein is the main source of amino acids in the vegetable-burger which incorporates 22 ingredients.  Beyond Burger contains methylcellulose as a binder and also includes expeller-pressed canola oil, coconut oil, potato starch, yeast extract, salt, sunflower oil, vegetable glycerin, dried yeast, citrus extract, ascorbic acid, beet juice extract, acetic acid, succinic acid and various flavoring agents.

 

Beyond Meat is extending its range of products from the basic burger patty to sausages and vegetable-based crumbles to be used as pizza toppings.

 

Beyond Meat is currently facing competition from Impossible Burger with a soy-based product.  Entrants to the field include Nestle, JBS S.A. and Tyson Foods.

 


 

U.S. Continues to Export to South Africa

06/17/2019

According to the USDA-FAS GAIN Report dated May 29th, South Africa continues to import approximately one-third of poultry meat consumed in the nation and filling the 65,000 ton tariff-rate quota extended to the U.S. In 2018 South Africa imported 521,000 tons of chicken meat including 150,000 tons of mechanically deboned product Shipments to South Africa were suspended in 2012 following imposition of an anti-dumping duty but recommenced in March 2016.  South Africa reluctantly agreed to a tariff-rate quota of 65,000 tons of U.S. bone-in broiler meat from the U.S. free of anti-dumping duty but still subject to an import duty of 37 percent on value.

 

A shortfall in availability will soon occur as domestic production will only increase by 17 percent compared with demand expected to grow by 27 percent in the near term. Shipments to South Africa as detailed in the monthly review of exports have continued despite the legal and political opposition by the South African Poultry Association.  The reality is that the domestic industry is non-competitive with imports from the U.S., Brazil and EU despite freight and import duties.  The cost of feed in South Africa is high and depending on climatic conditions can soar to nose-bleed levels.  Labor is relatively unproductive and profound deficiencies in infrastructure. Local producers are confronted with brownouts and a generally unreliable supply of power from the government-owned Electricity Supply Commission that is burdened by mismanagement, corruption and deficiencies in planning.

 

The South African Poultry Association has applied for an increase in customs duties on frozen chicken meat imports.  Their request is an escalation for boneless chicken and bone-in chicken meat from 12 percent and 37 percent respectively to 82 percent.  The Government is currently reviewing the application although there is no timeline for a decision. 

 

At the end of the day, the ruling African National Congress party would rather ensure low prices for the financially disadvantaged portion of the population that rely on chicken as protein source than support a relatively non-cost competitive domestic industry since a “chicken in every pot” policy is politically more beneficial.


 

GMO Wheat Discovered in Washington State

06/17/2019

APHIS confirmed that a field in Washington State yielded a GMO strain of wheat resistant to glyphosate.

 

GM wheat has not been approved for cultivation in the U.S. and the source of the cultivar is unknown. It is presumed to have as its origin, field trials conducted before 2016.  In this year, genetically modified wheat was detected in the Northwest and accordingly USDA-APHIS strengthened oversight requirements and regulation of importation and testing of GM wheat cultivars. 

 


 

Avalar Amino Acid Chelated Minerals Offered by Tracer Minerals

06/17/2019

CHICK-NEWS welcomes Tracer Minerals as a co-sponsor of CHICK-NEWS. Based in Kansas, the Company specializes in the production of amino acid-chelated micro-minerals applying technology developed and refined over decades.

It is generally accepted that inorganic micro-mineral components of the diet in the form of sulfates and oxides are absorbed in the duodenum. In contrast, minerals chelated to individual amino acids have a higher rate and efficiency of absorption occurring in the proximal jejunum. Bioavailability of amino acid chelated minerals may be up to fourfold that of the equivalent inorganic chemical compounds on a molar basis. The beneficial differential is reflected in increased growth rate, enhanced immune response, and meat quality. Critical mineral micro-nutrients include, but are not limited to, selenium, zinc, copper, and manganese all of which have multiple metabolic functions.

Tracer Minerals has formulated Avalar as either a feed additive dry product or a liquid supplement to be added to drinking water. Avalar is a blend of eight different amino acid-chelated minerals. The liquid application is added to drinking water in a 1:256 dilution and the dry inclusion rate is 0.45 kg (1lb) per ton.

Studies conducted in the U.S. and Europe demonstrate improved growth rate with a proportional improved return over feed costs compared to diets containing inorganic minerals. Preliminary industrial studies have shown an eightfold return with water application and U.S. university studies have yielded the result of decreased pectoral myodystrophy (woody breast syndrome).

For further information contact Chris Schuetze (620) 255-4345 or visit www.tracerminerals.com


 

Brazil Faces Second Transport Workers Strike

06/17/2019

Transport workers in Sao Paulo have threatened to strike following a June 10th meeting. It is highly probably that these workers will be supported by transport employees in other states. Independent truckers and port workers may also be drawn into the campaign.

It will be remembered that in April 2017, urban transport strikes were directed against the government of Michel Temer that attempted to reform the pension program. This resulted in mass walkouts involving 150 cities. The 2018 independent truckers’ strike paralyzed the intensive livestock industry and reduced exports of poultry, beef and commodities.


 

Perdue Foods Introduces Chicken Plus™ Nuggets, Tenders and Patties

06/17/2019

Perdue Foods has introduced a range of further-processed items by blending poultry meat with vegetable ingredients including cauliflower, chick peas and other plant proteins.

Eric Christianson, Chief Marketing Officer for Perdue stated “By blending plants and vegetable with Perdue chicken that families love, not only are we helping to meet demands from millions of parents, but we are appealing to the growing number of flexitarian families who have an increased commitment to including more plants and vegetables into their family’s diets”.

Alison Rabschnuk, Director of Corporate Engagement at The Good Food Institute stated “Perdue is listening to consumers and responding to the meteoric rise in interest in plant-based foods”.

Perdue® Chicken Plus™ will be marketed in 22 ounce bags and will be available in September 2019.


 

Tyson Foods to Market Raised and Rooted® Brand

06/17/2019

Following the appointment of Justin Whitmore to lead the alternative protein businesses for Tyson Foods, the company has created Raised and Rooted® brand products with nuggets as the first presentation. These will comprise a blend of pea protein and other plant ingredients providing fiber and Omeg-3 fatty acids and will incorporate Angus beef to produce a product with lower caloric content and a higher proportion of polyunsaturated fat than plant-based burgers recently introduced to the market. The Tyson Foods Aidells® Whole Blends™ range of fully-cooked sausages and meatballs containing chicken will also be available.

In commenting on the development of Raised and Rooted®, Whitmore stated “The creation of Raised and Rooted® brand is an example of Tyson’s ability to think big and move fast capitalizing on our existing infrastructure”.

Noelle O’Mara, newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer for Tyson Foods stated “These products appeal to a broad cross section of consumers who enjoy food from a variety of protein sources and we expect interest to continue to grow across protein types. The Raised and Rooted® launch and our pipeline of innovations will reflect our consumers’ expectations for 100% plant based, blended and traditional protein offerings”. It is noted that Tyson Foods withdrew from Beyond Meats before the IPO. Tyson Ventures will continue to seek out and support start-up companies involved in developing alternatives protein to livestock and poultry protein.


 

Target Plans Extensive Store Upgrades

06/06/2019

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, Target plans 300 store upgrades in 2019 at a cost of between $4 and $10 million per location.

 

Target has updated more than 500 stores including 53 units in 2019. 

 

Brian Cornell, CEO noted, “Guests continue to respond to these projects by shopping the remodeled stores more often, driving incremental traffic and sales.” 

 

Although in-store shopping represents the bulk of Target sales, the company is installing drive-up services to fulfill orders and home-delivery using Shipt.  Target COO, John Mulligan noted that their three services represented a quarter of total of the 4.8 percent company sales growth. He commented “Importantly our analysis indicates that the new services including Drive-Up and Shipt are driving incremental trips for Target rather than simply replacing other forms of shopping.”


 

Shane Commentary

Cargill Invest in Cultured Meat Company

05/21/2019

According to a company press release, Cargill has invested in Aleph Farms, a company based in Israel working on cell-cultured meat.  The recipient of funding is a leader in cell-cultured meat technology and anticipates releasing a commercial product within 3 to 5 years.  Cargill has also invested in Memphis Meats of the U.S. and has purchased equity in a number of plant-based protein companies.

 

Sonya Roberts, Managing Director of Growth Ventures and Strategic Pricing for Cargill Protein North America stated, “Cargill is committed to innovation and we are delighted to be a part of Aleph’s accelerated growth.”  She added, “This partnership connects new frontiers in cell-based technology with insights into the global food system and supply chains to meet future customer and consumer needs”.

 

As noted previously in commentaries, CHICK-NEWS is of the opinion that cell-cultured meat substitutes will have to undergo profound advances in technology before they are remotely competitive with either conventional meat derived from cattle of plant-based substitutes.  Apart from the expense involved in production, the regulatory hurdles have yet to be addressed with the USDA and the FDA respectively sharing jurisdiction over aspects of production, safety and labeling.

 

The investment by Cargill should not be regarded as an endorsement of the technology but rather as an expensive learning experience to determine the obstacles in production, viability and long-term commercial prospects for cell-cultured meat.

 

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