Editorial


Trade Tensions are Not Easing

05/22/2019

CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS previously commented that with regard to trade agreements the White House has too many balls in the air at the same time. After unilateral withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership and consequential exclusion from the restructured Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and also renegotiation of NAFTA to establish USMCA, the U.S. has progressed to a state of malignant uncertainty with most trading partners including the E.U. Delaying imposition of tariffs on automobile parts from Japan and the E.U. will hopefully expedite unilateral agreements with Japan and the E.U. As with most White House initiatives, a six-month deadline has been imposed, kicking the can down the road while negotiations continue.

Given that businesses have investment periods measured in years and crops have an annual cycle, a six-month moratorium on trade disruption is hardly cause for complacency. It is however encouraging that the counsel of moderates within the Administration and the patience of our allies have resulted in concessions which have brought us back from the brink of absolute trade disruption. Certainly rescinding the tariff on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada has increased the prospect of ratifying the USAMCA to replace NAFTA. The unfortunate decision by the Administration on May 30th to impose a progressive tax on Mexico to coerce that nation to restrict migration blindsided negotiators and Congress. This action of dubious legality represents a serious impediment to ratification of the USMCA and threatens U.S. agriculture as a result of inevitable retaliation by Mexico.

Neil Bradley, Chief Policy Officer at the US Chamber of Commerce stated “The continued threat of tariffs on cars and auto parts only creates more uncertainty and is weakening our economy”. Cecilia Malstrom, the E.U. Trade Commissioner stated “We completely reject the notion that our car exports are a national security threat”.

In coming months, Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative will be extremely busy negotiating concurrently with Tokyo, Brussels and Beijing to achieve equitable trade agreements that comply with both economic reality and narrow political imperatives. He certainly does not need complications as a result of impulsive decisions that invoke the Law of Unintended Consequences.


 

Egg Industry News


Export of Shell Eggs and Products January-April 2019.

06/07/2019

USDA-FAS data collated by USAPEEC, reflecting export volume and values for shell eggs and egg products are shown in the table below comparing the first four months of 2019 with the corresponding period in 2018:-

PRODUCT

Jan.-April 2018

Jan.-April 2019

Difference

Shell Eggs

     

Volume (m. dozen)

35.6

38.7

+3.1 (+8.7%)

Value ($ million)

48.0

34.1

-13.9 (-28.9%)

Unit Value ($/dozen)

1.34

0.88

-0.46 (-34.3%)

Egg Products

 

 

 

Volume (metric tons)

12,151

9,599

-2,552 (-21.0%)

Value ($ million)

44.6

29.9

-14.7 (-33.0%)

Unit Value ($/metric ton)

3,670

3.114

-556 (-15.1%)

U.S. SHELL EGG AND EGG PRODUCT EXPORTS DURING

JANUARY-APRIL 2019 COMPARED WITH 2018

Source USDA-FAS/USAPEEC

SHELL EGGS

Shell egg exports from the U.S. during the first four months of 2019 increased by 8.7 percent in volume but declined 28.9 percent in total value compared to Jan.-April 2018. Unit value was lower by 34.3 percent or 46 cents per dozen for the four-month comparison between 2018 and 2019. The top two importing nations represented 77.5 percent of volume and 72.1 percent of total value.

Canada was the leading importer during Jan.-April 2019 with 18.9 million dozen representing 39.4 percent of volume and 33.7 percent of total value at $11.5 million with a unit value of $0.72 per dozen. Shell eggs shipped to Canada represent the difference between domestic demand and production, limited by their national controlled marketing system

Hong Kong was the 2nd ranked importer of shell eggs in Jan.-April 2019, with 14.2 million dozen representing 36.7 percent of volume and 38.4 percent of the total value of U.S. shipments of shell eggs with an average unit value of $0.92 cents per dozen.

Mexico was a distant third in rank during Jan.-April 2019 with 7.8 percent of volume and 7.3 percent of total value, with a unit value of $0.83 per dozen.

The Caribbean Region represented 6.7 percent of export volume for the first four months of 2019. This region was down 23.5 percent in volume and 56.6 percent in total value compared with 2018. The unit value of shell eggs exports to the Caribbean averaged $1.38 per dozen for Jan.-April 2019 ($1.93 over entire 2018) which appears inordinately high compared with the average export realization, warranting validation of USDA data or an investigation of the price discrepancy.

The Middle East Region imported 1.8 million dozen during the first four months of 2019 valued at $1.7 million with a unit price of $0.94 per dozen. Volume and value were respectively lower by 37.9 percent and 37.0 percent compared with the corresponding period in 2018. Israel emerged as an importer at the end of 2018 attributed to depletion of domestic flocks due to SE.

EGG PRODUCTS

The total volume of exported egg products during Jan.-April 2019 decreased by 21.0 percent and total value was lower by 33.0 percent compared to the same period in 2018. Unit value decreased by 15.1 percent to $3,114 per ton from $3,670 obtained during Jan.-April 2018. This decline reflected the relationship between World supply and demand.

During Jan.-April 2019, 1st-ranked Japan represented 25.8 percent of the total U.S. export volume with 2,474 m. tons, a decrease of 42.1 percent compared with the first four months of 2018.

Mexico was the second ranked importer during Jan.-April 2019 receiving 2,158 metric tons comprising 22.5 percent of volume and 17.4 percent of value exported with a unit price of $2,410 per metric ton

Canada was displaced to the 3rd rank among importers purchasing 1,897 m. tons representing 19.8 percent of volume and 13.0 percent of value ($3.9 million) exported with a unit price of $2,056 per m. ton. During the four-month period in 2019 Canada increased volume by 24.7 percent and value by 18.2 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

During the first four months of 2019, 4th-ranked E.U-28 imported 332 m. tons of egg products, representing 3.4 percent of volume and 8.6 percent of value shipped during Jan.-April 2019

COMMENTS

Successful conclusion of NAFTA negotiations led to the trilateral USMCA, announced on September 30th 2018 will be ratified by the legislatures of all three signatories. Exports of shell eggs and egg products to our neighbors were valued at $74.7 million for 2017 and $89.7 million for 2018 and $23.1 million over the first four months of 2019.

Prospects for long-term exports of shell eggs will be limited by the willingness of importers to accept the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) principle of regionalization in the event of exotic Newcastle disease or isolation of H5 or H7 avian influenza, irrespective of pathogenicity. Most importing nations, with the noted exception of China, are now applying regionalization and permitting imports on a county or state-exclusion basis following H5 or H7 AI infection.

The fourteen-month ongoing series of incident cases of END in approximately 450 backyard flocks, predominantly fighting cocks. Extension of the infection to four commercial farms in Southern California should not impact exports since importers are complying with the OIE principle of regionalization.

Generally pasteurized egg products should not be subject to any embargo imposed following reports of AI or Newcastle disease.


 

Egg Monthly

06/12/2019

Review of May 2019 Production Costs and Statistics.

May 2019 USDA Ex-Farm Benchmark Price Down 41.8 Percent from April 2019 to 23.1 cents per dozen Consistent with Seasonal Purchase Trends and Oversupply.

  • May 2019 USDA Average Nest-run Production Cost 0.2 Percent Higher than April 2019 at 59.57 cents per dozen.

  • May 2019 USDA Benchmark Nest-run Loss Increased from April 2019 to 36.5 cents per dozen.

  • May National Flock ( over 30,000 hens/farm) Down 0.4 million or 0.2 percent to 324.7 million.

 

INTRODUCTION.

Summary tables for the latest USDA May 2019 prices and flock statistics made available by the EIC on June 12th 2019 are arranged, summarized, tabulated and reviewed in comparison with values from the previous May 12th 2019 posting reflecting April 2019 cost and production data.

COSTS & REVENUE

 

Note:

From January 2019 onwards EIC has used USDA-AMS data for regional corn, soybean and standard feed prices. The basis for corn will be cash payment except for California (10-day delivery) and Louisiana and Oregon (30-day delivery). For soybean meal a similar approach is applied with 20-days for Minnesota. It is noted that January 2019 prices are not directly comparable with December 2018. Month-to-month comparisons in 2019 will be valid.


 

Egg Week

06/12/2019

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, June 13th 2019.

  • Hen Numbers in Production Down 0.1 million to 329.5 million.
  • Decrease in Shell Inventory of 7.9 Percent following a 1.4 Percent Increase for the Previous Week.
  • USDA Midwest Benchmark Generic Prices for Extra Large up on Average 16 Percent but Mediums Unchanged Compared to the Past Week.
  • Price of Breaking Stock and Checks Up 12 Percent and 28 Percent Respectively. Both Categories Substantially Below Cost of Production

OVERVIEW

Prices

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on June 10 th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large, and Large were higher by 15.8 and 17.2 percent respectively. Mediums were unchanged compared to the past week but all sizes continued below production cost. The progression of prices during 2019 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

The June 10th USDA Egg Market News Report (Vol. 66: No. 23) documented a USDA Combined Region value rounded to the nearest cent, of $0.46 per dozen delivered to warehouses for the week ending June 3 rd and reflects the sharply lower early summer prices during that week despite lower stock levels for two out of three consecutive weeks. This average price lags current Midwest weekly values by one week. The USDA Combined range for Large in the Midwest was $0.41 per dozen, below the cost of production. At the high end of the range, price in the Northeast Region attained $0.49 per dozen. The USDA Combined Price last week was $0.89 per dozen below the three-year average and $0.37 per dozen below the corresponding week in 2018.

Flock Size

The number of producing hens this week was down 0.1 million to 329.5 million. The hen population is more than adequate to meet seasonal consumer and industrial demand in early summer but any number above 330 million in production over the short term portends lower prices and increased inventory unless matched by proportional demand. The total U.S. egg-flock comprised 337.6 million hens including 2nd Cycle birds and those in molt on all farms. The high number of 8.1 million hens is the difference between hens in production and total hens representing 2.4 percent of the national flock unchanged from last week. This suggests molting flocks are soon to come back into production with implications for price given current supply, stock level and seasonally moderate to depressed demand.


 

Status of 2019 Corn and Soybean Crops

06/10/2019

The USDA Crop Progress Report released June 10th documented progress in the rate of planting both corn and soybeans after a slow start. This will 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 2nd.

June 9th

5-Year Average

Corn Planted %

Corn emerged %

67

46

83

62

99

93

       

Soybeans Planted %

Soybeans emerged %

39

19

60

34

88

73

       

 

 

Crop Condition

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn 2019

Corn 2018

2

1

7

3

32

19

52

59

7

18

Soybeans 2019

Soybeans 2017

       

 

 

 

 

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

1

8

66

25

Past Year

9

23

60

8

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

1

7

66

26

Past Year

9

22

63

6

 


 

WEEKLY COMMODITY REPORT; PRICES RECEDE ON INCREASED PLANTING AMID YIELD CONCERNS

06/10/2019

The following quotations for July and September 2019, as indicated were posted by the CME at close of trading on Monday June 10th compared with values for Thursday June 6th in parentheses. The commodities market recorded a decline in the futures prices of corn, soybeans and soybean meal over the past two weeks. The mid-May run-up in prices was due to slow progress in planting, the possibility of reduced acreage and the prospect of diminished yields.

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 416 (421)

Sept. 424 (430)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

July 860 (868)

Sept. 873 (882)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

July 314 (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 5 cents per Bu (+1.1 percent)
Soybeans: July quotation down 8 cents per Bu (+0.9 percent)
Soybean Meal: July 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:-

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 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 May 10th 2018 WASDE Report #588, 85.4 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2019 to produce 15.0 Billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.2 Billion bushels from 87.8 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-June will confirm the acreage actually sown to corn and soybeans respectively.

See the WASDE posting summarizing the May 9th USDA-WASDE Report #588 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.


 

USDA-WASDE FORECAST #589 June 11th 2019

06/11/2019

OVERVIEW

The June 11th 2019 USDA WASDE projections for the 2019 corn and soybean harvests are based on historical yield and harvest data. The corn acreage to be harvested was determined from planting completed and stated intentions at 82.4 million acres (81.8 million in 2018) and down 3.5 percent from the May WASDE. In 2019 soybeans will be harvested from 87.8 million acres (88.3 million acres in 2018). There was apparently no material change due to recent Midwest flooding or the forecast for wet conditions from snowmelt delaying planting.

The USDA projected corn yield to attain 166.0 bushels per acre, (178.9 bushels in 2018) and down 5.7 percent from the May WASDE. Soybean yield was projected at 49.5 bushels per acre (52.1 bushels in 2018). These values presume suitable planting and growing conditions, time of sowing and standard rates of germination.

The May USDA projection of ending stock for corn was reduced by 32.6 percent from the May WASDE to 1,675 million bushels. Ending stock for soybeans will be 8.5 percent higher at 970 million bushels. Ending stocks for both corn and soybeans have influenced recent CME price quotations. It is emphasized that projections are based on the presumption of at least a partial settlement of the trade dispute with China followed by restoration of exports to that Nation, a prospect that appears in question given lower demand from China and the latest round of tariffs imposed by both nations.


 

Innovative Approach to Packaging Waste

05/31/2019

Kroger and Walgreens have established trial programs with Loop Inc. in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington DC. According to a review in CNN Business participants initially sign up for the pilot program to purchase goods in reusable containers. After use containers are placed in tubs and are collected, cleaned, refilled and shipped back to the consumers. Participants can also collect their products and drop off empty packages at participating retailers. This would be an ideal approach to reusing clean polystyrene and PET egg-packs.

 

Lauren Brindley, Group Vice-president of Beauty and Personal Care for Walgreens stated, “Innovative collaborations with partners like Loop are critical to solving the complex issue of reducing single-use plastics.”  She added, “Our customers look to us to innovate so that together we can reduce waste and increase re-use.

 

The Loop service was introduced at the World Economic Forum in Dallas during January and is also operating in Paris.


 

Disposal of Plastic Waste by “Dumping” More Difficult

06/04/2019

Environmental Leader reported that Malaysia would return 450 metric tons of plastic and non-recyclable waste to countries of origin including the U.S., the UK, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and Singapore following a policy decision to refuse consignments of plastic waste for disposal, Malaysia has reacted  to internal opposition by returning waste through over ten concerted campaigns.  Malaysia received an upsurge in plastic waste following the decision earlier in 2019 by China to embargo imports.

 

Malaysia developed numerous unlicensed and unregulated waste disposal facilities many of which engaged in indiscriminate dumping or burning.

 

In a statement, Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment And Climate Change for the Government of Malaysia urged industrialized nations to “review their management of plastic waste and stop shipping garbage to developing countries.”


 

UEP Briefing Meetings

06/06/2019

The schedule for the Summer 2019 briefing meetings for the industry presented by the UEP is provided for the benefit of subscribers. Information on current and future challenges is beneficial to an understanding of the dynamics of the U.S. industry and critical to independent company decisions on a broad range of issues impacting production, regulatory compliance and operations.

 

 

 


 

AEB to Continue Circulating Nielsen Data

06/06/2019

The AEB monthly Egg Trends Report will continue to post Nielsen egg category data purchased by the Board.  The data set is posted on the last Friday of every month in the AEB Egg Trends as a service to egg producers and the allied industry.


 

AEB Egg Nutrition Center Participated in Spring Symposium for Dieticians

06/06/2019

The Spring Symposium provided an opportunity for the Egg Nutrition Center, funded by the American Egg Board, to publicize research and guidelines relating to eggs.  Data was provided on the following topics:-

 

 

 

 

  • Pregnancy, infant nutrition and weaning featuring Diana K. Rice, RD
     
  • A new Egg Cookbook featuring egg dishes was available at the Egg Nutrition Center booth featuring Dana Angelo, RD

 
 
During the event, the Egg Nutrition Center hosted an Egg Enthusiasts dinner featuring Roger Deffner of the National Foods Corp as the featured speaker.


 

National Egg Month Breakfast Series

06/06/2019

Hickman Family Farms of Arizona conducted a series of National Egg Month Teacher Appreciation Breakfasts during the last week of May.  The project publicized eggs to 190 teachers, administrators and school superintendents.  The program featured an omelet bar, yogurt parfaits and a beverage station.


 

USDA Updates Nutrition.gov Website

06/06/2019

USDA has revised the www.nutrition.gov website.  For 15 years, the site has provided factual and science-based postings on food safety, nutritional value of foods, healthy eating and physical activity.

 

The new website features enhanced functionality, ease of browsing and access to content.


 

NAMI Requesting a Postponement of California Proposition #12 Requirements

06/06/2019

In contrast to the egg industry in California and producers supplying the State the meat industry represented by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) is requesting delays in implementing provisions as determined by voters who approved California Proposition #12 in November 2018.  In their comment, Mark Dopp, Senior Vice-president of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs and the General Counsel of the trade association stated, “NAMI wishes to repeat its request that CDFA postpone implementing Proposition #12 for at least two years or longer, as necessary, to ensure conversion and a common understanding among the Agency, the industry and consumers about the laws, economic impact in the alleged rationales underlying Proposition #12.”

 

The people have spoken.  It is now up to the producers of pork and veal to conform to the housing requirements to adapt to the law.  Veal crates and tethered sows are unacceptable and should be replaced by alternative systems as installed by producers in many states in compliance with customer specifications.

 

 

Providing one or other intensive animal sector a variance on the basis of “a less efficient supply chain” is unacceptable given the considerable investment by egg producers to convert from conventional cages and colony modules to barn and aviary systems.


 

E.U. Flock Statistics

06/07/2019

According to data collated by Professor Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst, in the August 27th 2017 Report of the Committee for the Common Organization of Agricultural Markets, the 28 nations of the E.U. collectively held 384 million hens in 2016. The top-ten nations represented 86.1 percent of the total with 330.7 million.

Housing systems included enriched cages (55.6 percent); barns (25.7 percent) and free-range and organic (18.7 percent). Hen numbers increased by 6.1 percent between 2012 when conventional cages were phased out, to 384 million in 2016. In the year following the banning of cages, hen numbers decreased by 3.6 percent. Many producing nations delayed conversion despite a 10-year lead time in anticipation of an extension which was not forthcoming. Between 2015 and 2016, hen numbers stabilized with moderate growth in flock sizes. The leading egg producing nations in 2016 posted the following hen populations:-

 

 

  • Germany 52.6 million
  • France 48.6 million
  • Spain 43.6 million
  • Poland 43.5 million
  • United Kingdom 42.2 million

Lithuania had the highest proportion of flocks in enriched cages (96 percent). The United Kingdom housed 53 percent of the national flock under free-range management. Austria held 66 percent of hens in barns.

Egg production in the E.U. increased from 7.05 million tons (331.2 million cases) in 2012 to 7.48 million tons (351.6 million cases) in 2016. During this year there was a 5 percent differential between production and consumption requiring trade among nations in the E.U. and exports beyond the E.U. to achieve balance.


 

Dr. Denise Heard to Direct USPOULTRY Research

06/07/2019

Effective October 1st, Dr. Denise Heard will succeed Dr. John Glisson as Director of Research. She will administer the USPOULTRY Foundation comprehensive research program and the Board Research Initiative program. Since inception, more than $32 million has been reinvested in research benefiting 50 universities and federal and state institutions.

Previously, Dr. Heard was the Senior Coordinator of the USDA National Poultry Improvement Plan. She received  BS, DVM and MAM degrees from the University of Georgia and earned a Certificate in Public Leadership from Washington University.

John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY paid tribute to the outstanding service provided to the Association and Foundation by Dr. John Glisson over an eight-year period.

In commenting on her appointment Dr. Heard noted “The research programs operated by USPOULTRY and the Foundation are an important component for innovation in the U.S. poultry industry. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to be involved in the future achievements of these research programs and particularly appreciate their strong foundation and legacy”.


 

Alltech Donates Extruder to Illinois Feed Technology Center

06/07/2019

The University of Illinois Feed Technology Center to be dedicated in August 2020 is the recipient of an extruder donated by Alltech Inc.

Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech stated “The world of abundance depends on inspiring researchers to apply their innovative spirit to the agricultural industry”. He added “We consider it a privilege to support the University of Illinois in its continuous advancement of animal nutrition”.

Dr. Rodney Johnson, head of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois stated “The ability to prepare extruded diets in the new Feed Technology Center will significantly expand our capabilities, especially as it relates to companion animal nutrition. The generous gift from Alltech will allow us to manufacture unique pet foods as we search for ways to improve the health and wellbeing of animals”.


 

U.S. Poised to Negotiate with Britain in the Event of a Hard Brexit “No Deal”

06/07/2019

As hard-line Brexit members of the ruling Conservative party gain ascendency over moderates, the U.S. has seized an opportunity to establish a bilateral trade deal with Britain. In the event of a negotiated separation, the U.K. would be constrained from entering into an agreement with the U.S. A hard exit would allow the U.S. and the U.K. to establish a trading relationship to include agriculture and healthcare.

In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, U.S. Ambassador to Britain, Woody Johnson stated “In a trade deal, all things will be on the table”. There is considerable opposition to a broad trade agreement with the U.S. that would in many instances conflict with U.S. standards including chlorine immersion of chicken. Raising the topic of health care in relation to the revered U.K. National Health Service during the recent Presidential visit certainly aroused opposition to an extensive and comprehensive trade deal.


 

Eggs In Schools Tradeshow Toolkit Now Available

06/07/2019

The AEB Eggs In Schools Tradeshow Toolkit presented as a webinar for state directors is now available as a recording. The easy-to-use toolkit contains everything state directors need to plan for their local school nutrition events. To obtain a copy access www.aeb.org


 

Walmart Initiates Direct to Refrigerator Home Delivery

06/12/2019

Following successful trials, Walmart In-Home has commenced in Kansas City, MO., Pittsburg, PA. and Vero Beach, FL.  Selected Walmart delivery personnel wearing body cameras will activate smartlocks to remotely gain entrance to homes and will place perishables in a refrigerator and other items in a designated storage area.  According to Bart Stein the service was tested in New Jersey for six months with acceptance by customers.

 

The In-Home service is additional to on-line ordering with store pickup or direct delivery by Door Dash and Instacart that deliver to verandas and doorsteps.

 

As noted on CNBC Walmart has been proactive in developing and testing service initiatives confirming a commitment to technology and customer satisfaction.


 

AEB Presence at the IFT Meeting

06/12/2019

The American Egg Board was represented at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans during the first week of June.  Real egg dishes were displayed to 15,000 food industry professionals attending the program.  The AIB focus in 2019 was on egg ingredients and their contribution to consumer acceptability of snacks.

 

During the program the AEB hosted a Natural and Organic breakfast event which demonstrated innovative products both at the invitation-only event and on the AEB booth.

 


 

House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2020 USDA and FDA Funding

06/12/2019

Approval by the House Appropriations Committee of the FY 2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration appropriations will be sent to the House floor for a vote during late June.  Within the approvals are $255 million for Agricultural Trade Promotion and Facilitation as authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill.  The Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program will receive $200 million and $35 million respectively during FY 2020.


 

Fund Managers Concerned over Plastic Waste

06/12/2019

Fund Managers have begun to question the use and disposal of plastic in companies in which they invest.  BMO Global is actively reviewing disposal of plastic waste with 27 companies with specific emphasis on recycling and elimination of single-use packaging.

 

It must be remembered that fund managers played an important role in initiating awareness over welfare and sustainability among restaurants and the food-service industry resulting in  direct implications for producers.

 

Alice Evans, co-head of the responsible investment team at BMO stated, “Plastic waste is a business risk that companies know they will have to address rapidly.  We want to see commitments were they don’t exist already but implementation is key.”

 

Schroeder’s with over $500 million under management has addressed questionnaires to 100 companies requesting information on food and beverage packaging waste disposal and recycling.  Seema Suchak a sustainable investment analysis at Schroeder’s quote in the Financial Times noted, “There was a real dearth of information on the variety of plastics used, the volume of plastics in packaging and the extent of recycled materials.”  She added “This make comparisons between companies the same sector problematic.”

 

The need to reduce the use of plastic and to introduce recycling was intensified by the 2018 decision by China to cease importing plastic waste.

 

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Program has established an initiative to reduce plastic waste by 2025.  Sixteen governments, twenty-six financial institutions and 150 companies producing or using plastic packaging have signed on to the program to eliminate plastic and recycle or safely reuse material that cannot eliminated from the commercial chain.  Six investment companies have collectively committed $270 million to reduce plastic waste.


 

Commentary


FDA as a Separate Agency from DHHS?

05/30/2019

A recent article in New Food Economy authored by Jessica Fu and Glenn Cohen of the Harvard Law School suggested that the FDA should be established as a separate agency such as the EPA. At issue is the potential politicization of the FDA that falls under the Department of Health and Human Services.

Cohen noted that the “FDA regulates a huge percentage of our economy and makes a huge difference to people’s lives”. There are instances of the DHHS obstructing or interfering in FDA decisions, especially in areas relating to drug approval, tobacco use and food safety. The authors suggest that if the FDA were an independent agency with its own budget, it would have the independence to conduct operations and develop policy appropriate to its mission. The authors noted “When science and politics collide, the optimal path is to delineate as transparently as possible the contribution of each”. It was the contention of the authors that in any situation when values are in conflict, an independent FDA would react with the best interest of all citizenry.

The suggestion has merit especially given blatant political interference with the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both of which are subsidiary agencies of DHHS.

CHICK-NEWS has frequently advocated for an independent food safety agency that would combine the current functions of the FDA, USDA-FSIS and other agencies with peripheral jurisdiction. This would enable the FDA either as an independent agency or a component of the DHHS to concentrate on approval, oversight of manufacture, distribution and regulation of drugs and medical devices. An independent food safety agency would parallel similar approaches in the E.U. leading to more efficient allocation of resources to research, surveillance and enforcement.


 

Sponsored Announcements


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06/07/2019

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  • October 8 | Columbus, OH
  • October 22 | Springdale, AR
  • November 12 | Allentown, PA

INFO & REGISTRATION

Preventive Maintenance

  • July 30 | Greeley, CO

INFO & REGISTRATION

Sanitation

  • October 16-17 | San Antonio, TX

INFO & REGISTRATION

 

SQF and Internal Auditing Training Course

  • September 18-20 | Grand Prairie, TX

INFO & REGISTRATION 


 

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http://www.chick-news.com/


Dr. Simon M. Shane
Simon M. Shane
Contact     C. V.