Egg Industry News

 

CME Prices

Aug 16, 2017

    

According to the August 10th WASDE release, 83.5 million acres of corn will be harvested to yield 14.15 billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.38 billion bushels from 88.7 million acres harvested.

 

On Friday August 11th at close of trading on the CME, the following rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal were recorded, together with the bracketed value for the previous week.

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

Sept. ’17   361     (367)     

Dec. ’17     375      (381)  

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Aug.  ’17   935     (949)    

Nov. ’17    945      (957)  

Soybean meal ($per ton)

Aug.  ‘17   299     (304)

Dec.  ’17    305      (310) 

 

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

  • Corn:                     Sept. quotation down by 6 cents.                    (-1.6 percent)
  • Soybeans:            Aug. quotation down by 48 cents                    (-1.5 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:    Aug. quotation down by $5/ton                    (-1.6 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

See posting on the August 11th edition of CHICK-CITE (enter WASD in SEARCH block) summarizing the August 10th USDA-WASDE Report #568, for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced during the 2017-18 season.

   
 

Status of 2017 Corn and Soybean Crops

Aug 16, 2017

    

The USDA Crop Progress Report released Monday August 14th  recorded progress in corn and soybean development relatively consistent with 2016 indicated in the tables below:-

 

                                                                            WEEK ENDING

Crop

August 6th

August 13th

5-Year Average

Corn Silking

Corn Dough

           93

           42

           97

           61

            98

            62

Corn Dent

             7

           16

            20

Soybeans Blooming

           90

           94

            93

Soybeans Setting Pods

           65                         

           79

            75

                  

Crop

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn Condition

     3         

   9

 26

  49

     13

Soybean Condition

     3

   9

 29

  49

     10

 

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture:  Past Week

    15

   25

53

 7

                              Past Year

    10

22

59

 9

Subsoil moisture:  Past Week

    14

   26

55

 5

                              Past Year

8

23

63

 6

 

   
 

How will Amazon Improve Whole Foods Profitability?

Aug 16, 2017

    

Analysts are evaluating possible changes in the structure and operations of Whole Foods Market following the acquisition by Amazon.  At the outset it is this Commentator’s opinion that nothing much will be done unless the current Board and top level of management is replaced. 

Some attempts were made by John Mackey to reduce operating costs and to introduce more efficiency but these efforts did not move the needle and made an acquisition inevitable given shareholder disaffection.

  

As reported by Mark Hamstra in the August 8th edition of Supermarket News, Amazon will have to concentrate on the supply chain.  Since Whole Foods Market created the image of “healthful, fresh and local”, the supply chain to support the company image was expensive, especially with regard to small-farm organic produce.  It is essential for Amazon to reduce the “whole paycheck” image of WFM. This will require restrictions on sourcing of products. 

This is especially important given that Walmart, Aldi, emerging Lidl and even mainstream supermarkets have managed to improve freshness and quality of their produce but have restrained price.  These companies have sharpened their pencils when dealing with suppliers and have introduced private labels where possible to reduce prices into the basket

The obvious challenge facing Amazon will be to improve the profitability of Whole Foods Market but at the same time preserve the image and prevent disaffection by loyal customers – a trend which was evident before the announcement of the acquisition.

   
 

AEB to Partner with Laurie Hernandez for Back-to-School Promotion

Aug 16, 2017

    

The American Egg Board has announced that it will engage the promotional services of Laurie Hernandez a gymnastic gold medalist to launch a national search for “incredible kids”.  The campaign will highlight high-quality protein including eggs to allow students to achieve their optimal potential.

Parents will be able to submit a photo or video of their child together with a caption explaining the exceptionality.

  

During the contest a winner will be selected each week for a monetary grant and back-to-school themed prize. Laurie Hernandez will visit the school of the grand prize winner.

Hernandez noted, “I am very excited to partner with the American Egg Board to search for incredible kids across the country who are doing amazing things for the lives of others.”  She added “I know first-hand how important it is to recognize children for their accomplishments and look forward to seeing the inspiring stories about remarkable kids submitted to the You’re Incredible BecauseContest.

 

   
 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, August 9th 2017.

Aug 11, 2017

    

Hen Numbers Increase by 0.4 Million; Prices Stable Following a Modest Upward Trajectory.

OVERVIEW

Acording to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on August 9th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large sizes were unchanged from the previous week. The market will be influenced mainly by hen inventory on the supply side of the equation. The progression of prices during 2017 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

  

The August 4th USDA Egg Market News Report documented a USDA Combined Region value of $0.91 per dozen delivered to warehouses. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week, and can be compared to a trailing peak price of $2.20 per dozen in late November 2015.  The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $0.85 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the Southeast and South Central Regions, attained $0.94 per dozen.

The current USDA Combined Price was approximately 65 cents per dozen below the corresponding three-year average. During the second Quarter of 2016 the average was inflated by the rise in prices attributed to the post-HPAI shortage of shell eggs and breaking stock.

The number of producing hens this week was 0.4 million higher at 305.0 million consistent with retention of flocks into the second cycle and by pullets placed 6 months ago attaining production. The hen population is high level relative to current demand. The total egg-flock comprises 312.0 million including hens in molt and small flocks, approximately 0.4 million more than last week.

Generic shell-egg stock rose by 0.2 percent compared to an increase of 2.9 percent for the previous week suggesting a balance between supply and demand albeit at a low price. Dried-egg inventory amounted to 27.6 million pounds (12,545 metric tons) as of June 30th 2017. This is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products reported on July 24th confirming a stock of 41.7 million pounds (18,960 metric tons) on June 30th

INVENTORY

 Cold storage stocks in selected regions on August 1st 2017 amounted to 3.320 million pounds (1,509 metric tons), 4.5 percent above the stock of 3.176 million pounds during the week of July 1st. 2017.

The latest monthly USDA Cold Storage Report released on July 24th documented a total stock of 41,712 million pounds (18,960 metric tons) of frozen egg products on June 30th 2017. This value was up 9.9 percent from June 30th 2016. Approximately 85 percent of inventory comprised the categories of “Whole and Mixed” (33.6 percent) and “Unclassified” (51.6 percent).

The national stock of generic shell eggs on August 7th was up by 0.2 percent, compared to a 2.9 percent increase in inventory during the previous week. Three regions showed increases in stock levels. The Midwest Region was up 2.0 percent compared to the previous week to 368,600 cases. This region was followed in decreasing order of stock level by the South Central Region with no change at 261,700 cases; the Southeast Region down by 0.4 percent to 246,900 cases; the Southwest Region down by 7.6 percent to 182,500 cases, the Northeast Region up by 0.7 percent to 126,300 and the Northwest Region up by 12.8 percent to 96,500 cases representing a 22.9 percent swing in a week.

The total USDA Six-Area stock of commodity eggs comprised 1,595,500 cases, of which 80.4 percent were shell eggs. The inventory of breaking stock was up 1.1 percent to 312,600 cases. The price of breaking stock this week reflects the availability of eggs from both mature and young flocks in relation to the demand for generic eggs.

Specialty egg inventory was up by 2.5 percent compared to a fall of 1.4 percent for the previous week to 179,300 cases with organic stock comprising 38.7 (was 43.8) percent of inventory. Recent data suggests a fluctuating build in the stock of USDA Certified Organic product. This is attributed to an apparent trend by consumers to purchase less-expensive brown cage-free product over organic eggs when there is a differential in price over $1.00 per dozen During the past week the USDA benchmark retail price of cage-free brown fell by 6.6 percent, or 18 cents per dozen to $2.56 per dozen while USDA Certified Organic rose by 14.1 percent or 51 cents per dozen to $4.11 per dozen, widening the price differential to $1.35 per dozen ($0.86 per dozen last week) suggesting larger purchases of the cage-free category in the coming week at the expense of  certified organic eggs.  Large week-to-week percentage fluctuations can be expected in the stock of specialty and organic eggs based on the small base of these categories.

   
 

JULY 2017 USDA EX-FARM BENCHMARK PRICE RISES: NEGATIVE MARGINS PERSIST.

Aug 11, 2017

    

 Introduction.

Summary tables for the latest USDA 2017 July statistics and prices made available by the EIC on August 10th 2017, are presented together with comparison values from the previous July 10th 2017 posting reflecting June 2017 data.

  

COSTS & REVENUE                                                                                         

Parameter

JULY 2017

JUNE 2017

5-Region Cost of Production ex farm (1st Cycle)

60.82 c/doz

59.89 c/doz

Low

56.00 c/doz (MW)

55.02 c/doz (MW)

High

76.21 c/doz (CA)

74.78 c/doz (CA)


Components of 6-Region 1stCycle Cost of Production:-

 

JULY 2017

JUNE 2017

Feed

32.81 c/doz

32.00 c/doz

Pullet depreciation

10.85 c/doz

10.75 c/doz

Labor

4.00 c/doz

 4.00 c/doz

Housing

5.30 c/doz

 5.30 c/doz

Miscellaneous and other

7.86 c/doz

 7.84 c/doz

Ex Farm Margin according to USDA values reflecting JULY 2017:-
51.0 cents per dozen1- 60.8 cents per dozen = -9.8 cents per dozen
(June comparison 39.5 1 cents per dozen – 59.9 cents per dozen = -20.4 cents per dozen.)
Note 1:  USDA Blended egg price

   
 

USDA- WASDE FORECAST #568, August 10th 2017

Aug 11, 2017

    

Overview

The August 10th 2017 USDA WASDE projections for the 2017 corn and soybean crops reflected planting data and estimates of yield based on crop progress. Harvest areas for corn and soybeans were unchanged from the July Report at 83.5 million acres (86.7 million in 2016) and 88.7 million acres (82.7 million in 2016) respectively.

The USDA lowered projected corn yield to169.5 bushels per acre from 170.7 bushels per acre (174.6 bushels in 2016). Soybean yield was raised to 49.4 bushels per acre from 48.0 bushels per acre (52.1 bushels in 2016). Ending stock for corn was lowered 2.2 percent from July and projected to be 2,273 million bushels (2,325 million in July WASDE Report). Ending stock for soybeans was adjusted up 3.3 percent to 475 million bushels (460 million in July 2017 WASDE Report).

  

Corn

The projection of the corn harvest was lowered from July attaining 14,153 million bushels, down 6.0 percent from 2016. None of the major categories of use were appreciably changed. The projected USDA range in farm price incorporated an 80 cents per bushel spread as is normal for a mid-year report with many uncertainties relating to weather until harvest. Price was unchanged from the July WASDE Report at 290 to 370 cents per bushel. At close on August 10th CME quotations for September and December 2017 corn were 360 cents and 373 cents per bushel respectively. September corn fell four percent after release of the August WASDE Report.

Soybeans

USDA projects a soybean harvest of 4,381 million bushels (was 4,260 million bushels in the July WASDE Report) due to an anticipated increase in yield to 49.4 bushels per acre. Use parameters were essentially unchanged from the July WASDE Report except that beginning stocks were decreased again by 40 million bushels to 370 million bushels and ending stocks were increased to 475 million bushels from 460 million bushels. USDA accordingly increased the August ex-farm price for soybeans for the 2017 harvest by 5 cents per bushel on the low end and decreased the projected price by 25 cents per bushel on the high end to a range of 845 cents to 1,015 cents per bushel. At close of trading on August 10th CME quotations for soybeans for July and September 2017 delivery were 1,023 cents and 1,031 cents per bushel respectively. September 2017 and January 2018 delivery were 938 cents per bushel and 954 cents per bushel respectively. Soybeans fell three percent after release of the August WASDE Report.

Projected output of soybean meal was adjusted downward to 46.1 million tons (was 46.3 million tons in the July WASDE Report). Estimated soybean meal prices were adjusted downwards by $5 per ton to $295 to $335 per ton. At close of trading on August 10th CME quotations for September and December 2017 soybean meal were $298 and $302 respectively.

   
 

Wendy’s Reports on Q2 of FY 2017

Aug 11, 2017

    

In a press release dated August 9th Wendy’s Corp (WEN) announced results for the 2nd Quarter of Fiscal 2017 ending July 2nd 2017.

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)

  

   
 

Passing of John Pedersen

Aug 11, 2017

John Pedersen

    

John Raymond Pedersen passed away on July 11th at the age of 83. He was born in Gibbon, NE. and attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln graduating in 1956 with a BS in Agricultural Economics.  He subsequently earned a Master’s in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland while working for the USDA. 

He retired from the Department of Agriculture in 1969 and joined Ralston Purina and subsequently was associated with United Egg Producers from 1973 to 1976.  Since 1976 he operated Poultry and Egg Fax providing services in the area of economics to the U.S. poultry industry.

 

   
 

CME Prices

Aug 9, 2017

    

On Friday August 4th at close of trading on the CME, the following rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal were recorded, together with the bracketed value for the previous week.

According to the July WASDE release, 90.9 million acres were planted to corn, three percent lower than the previous season with a predicted harvest of 14.3 billion bushels.

Farmers planted 88.7 acres to soybeans, up seven percent above 2016, with a crop of 4.3 billion bushels anticipated.

  

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

Sept. ’17   367     (375)    

Dec. ’17     381      (387)  

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Aug.  ’17   949     (997)    

Nov. ’17    957    (1,012)  

Soybean meal ($per ton)

Aug.  ‘17   304     (321)

Dec.  ’17    310      (336) 

 

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

  • Corn:                     Sept. quotation down by 8 cents.                    (-2.1 percent)
  • Soybeans:            Aug. quotation down by 48 cents                    (-4.8 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:    Aug. quotation down by $17/ton                    (-5.3 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

See posting on the July 14th edition of CHICK-CITE (enter WASD in SEARCH block) summarizing the July 12th USDA-WASDE Report #567, for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities produced during the 2016-17 season.

   
 

Egg Breaking in 2017

Aug 9, 2017

    

According to the USDA Egg Products Report released on July 28, 2017, a total of 1.16 billion dozen were broken in Federally-inspected plants. This was five percent higher than during the comparable period in 2016. 

For the period January through June inclusive, 1.50 billion pounds of edible product was produced, six percent higher than in the first half of 2016.  The relative portions of edible products comprise whole eggs, 61 percent; white, 26 percent and yolk,13 percent.

  

   
 

China Reports Avian Influenza in Inner Mongolia  

Aug 9, 2017

    

Authorities in the Inner Mongolia region of China have reported outbreaks of H5N1 strain avian influenza, resulting in the depopulation of as many as 100,000 chickens. 

According to the Minister of Agriculture, “the outbreak is under control”.  The affected farms are located near Tongliao a city of 3 million.

  

   
 

CNBC Highlights Relative Under- Consumption of Cage-Free Eggs

Aug 9, 2017

    

In a five minute segment on CNBC at 14H00 on August 1st, Reporter Jane Wells commented on the reluctance of consumers to pay the differential between prevailing low prices for eggs from caged and cage-free flocks.  Visiting Chino Valley Farms in California, suitably attired Wells in Tyvek noted relative over-production of cage-free eggs.

  

This situation follows the rapid expansion in aviary and slatted floor housing during late 2016 and early 2017 in response to the commitments by QSRs, supermarkets and food service companies to transition from conventional to cage-free.  Unfortunately, consumers were not involved in decisions made on their behalf by the HSUS and if they were, they were unaware of the cost differential. 

The over-supply results from members of the FMI, the NRA and the NCCR having been “snowed” or coerced by the HSUS and kindred organizations in the absence of meaningful and structured consumer research relating the principal product attribute with willingness to pay.

The clip may be viewed at https://www.agdaily.com/video/cage-free-egg-trend-creates-pricing-problem-ends/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=general

   
 

Status of 2017 Corn and Soybean Crops

Aug 9, 2017

    

The USDA Crop Progress Report released Monday August 7th  recorded progress in corn and soybean development relatively consistent with 2016 but showing a slight trend in deterioration in quality as expressed in the tables below:-

 

                                                                            WEEK ENDING

Crop

July 30th

August 6th

5-Year Average

Corn Dent

Corn Dough

             -

           23

            7

           42

            11

            44

Corn Silking

           85

           93

            94

Soybeans Blooming

           82

           90

            88

Soybeans Setting Pods

           48           

           65

            62

 

                    

 

Crop

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn Condition

     4         

   9

 27

  47

     13

Soybean Condition

     3

   9

 28

  50

     10

 

 

 

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture:  Past Week

    16

   28

52

 4

                              Past Year

    10

23

60

 7

Subsoil moisture:  Past Week

    13

   28

55

 4

                              Past Year

8

23

64

 5

 
   
 

Hampton Creek Sued Over Label

Aug 9, 2017

    

Just Goods Inc. is suing* Hampton Creek over a trademark dispute according to a Bloomberg posting on August 2nd.  Jaden Smith, the principal of Just Goods Inc. claims that Hampton Creek agreed in 2014 to a specific depiction of the word “Just.” used on their “Just Mayo” label.

 

In May, Hampton Creek changed labeling emphasizing the word “Just” conflicting with the previous agreement which stipulated that Hampton Creek should adhere to a specific design with cursive letters and a small font. Just Goods uses an uppercase “JUST” in its logo.

The Bloomberg posting reiterated the numerous legal and financial problems experienced by Hampton Creek relating to apparent unethical repurchasing of product from store shelves to create the deception of consumer demand, uncomplimentary postings by disaffected employees on the Glassdoor website, and numerous defections among senior technical and management personnel.

*Just Goods Inc., v. Hampton Creek Inc. CGC-17-559876, California Superior Court, San Francisco.

   
 

Cargill Acquires Feed Mills From Southern States Cooperative

Aug 9, 2017

    

According to an August 4th release by Cargill, the company will acquire the animal feed business of Southern States Cooperative Inc. headquartered in Richmond, VA. Cargill has indicated that following completion of the transaction, it will integrate capabilities, and expand access to internal innovation including trading and risk management.

  

The transaction involves seven feed mills and a wide portfolio of products and brands in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S.

Mark Lueking, Managing Director of Cargill Feed and Nutrition U.S. stated “We are committed to working together to continue to meet the needs of the local businesses and communities served by Southern States Cooperative. He added “We will honor the legacy of Southern States Cooperative and further build on reputation in the market, commit to quality and relationships with longstanding retail and customer networks.”

The retail farm supply, energy and agronomic components of Southern States Cooperative were not included in the purchase.

   
 

USDA DATA ON CAGE-FREE PRODUCTION

Aug 9, 2017

    

Based on the growing importance of cage-free production, the USDA-AMS issues a monthly report on volumes and prices for the information of Industry stakeholders.

EGG-CITE will summarize and comment on data and trends in this monthly Cage-Free Report, supplementing the information posted weekly in the Price and Inventory Report.

  

The report for the month of July 2017 released on August 8th 2017 noted that there was no increase in organic flocks and a 0.7 percent increase for cage-free flocks in July reflecting realities in the market.

Average flock production remained at a nominal 75.5 percent :-

   
 

Epidemiology of Human Infection with H7N9 Virus in China

Aug 9, 2017

    

Studies conducted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, have identified aspects of the epidemiology of H7N9 infection among poultry and consumers in China*.

Five consecutive outbreaks of H7N9 virus were recorded in China since 2013. Approximately 1,300 cases of laboratory-confirmed H7N9 virus have been documented through March 2017.

  

Until the fifth wave which commenced in September 2016, strains of H7N9 were of low pathogenicity in poultry and remained essentially undetected without specific surveillance.

In February 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China reported on genetic sequences of viruses isolated from two patients with severe H7N9 infections. These viruses were characterized as highly pathogenic based on insertion of basic amino acids at the hemagglutinin cleavage site.

The obvious risk factor associated with H7N9 infection is contact with diseased poultry. This can occur either with backyard flocks or from small commercial operations or wet markets. The authors noted that H7N9 virus is circulating widely among poultry in China.

A previous report in EGG-CITE noted that authorities have decided to initiate a vaccination program against H7N9 to suppress clinical infection although this will not reduce the dissemination of a now highly pathogenic virus from infected flocks. Appropriate surveillance has been initiated.

The problem of infection in consumers will only be reduced with transition from a live-bird marketing system to processing in plants with certification of freedom from AI prior to shipment, ante-mortem inspection and sale of products in stores and supermarkets with a cold-chain.

*Zhou, L., Preliminary epidemiology of human infections with highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H7N9) virus, China, 2017 Emerging Infectious Disease 23:1355-1358 (2017)

   
 

Happy Egg Company Appoints President

Aug 9, 2017

    

Dan Arnsberger has been appointed President of the Happy Egg Company. Previously he served as a consultant to the U.K-owned company and formerly CEO of the Arena Group.

Arnsberger commented “I have been passionate about the Happy Egg Company since I began working with the brand a number of years ago.”  He added “The Happy Egg Company and free-range egg markets have experienced growth in recent years and I’m thrilled to take on this new role to participate in our future achievements.”

  

The Happy Egg Company claims to operate 600,000 laying hens on free-range with wide distribution of product in the U.S. The hens producing for Happy Egg Company under contract represent 1.7 percent of non-caged hens in the U.S.

   
 

USDA Weekly Egg Price and Inventory Report, August 2nd 2017.

Aug 4, 2017

    

Hen Numbers Increase by 0.4 Million; Prices Continue a Modest Upward Trajectory.

OVERVIEW

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on July 31st the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large sizes increased by 4 percent from the previous week. The market will be influenced mainly by hen inventory on the supply side of the equation. The progression of prices during 2017 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

  

The July 31st USDA Egg Market News Report documented a USDA Combined Region value of $0.86 per dozen delivered to warehouses. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week, and can be compared to a trailing peak price of $2.20 per dozen in late November 2015.  The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $0.82 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the Southeast and South Central Regions, attained $0.91 per dozen.

The current USDA Combined Price was approximately 71 cents per dozen below the corresponding three-year average. During the first Quarter of 2016 the average was inflated by the rise in prices attributed to the post-HPAI shortage of shell eggs and breaking stock.

The number of producing hens this week was 0.4 million higher at 304.6 million consistent with retention of flocks into the second cycle and by pullets placed 6 months ago attaining production. The hen population is high level relative to current demand. The total egg-flock comprises 311.8 million including hens in molt and small flocks, approximately 0.4 million more than last week.

Generic shell-egg stock rose by 2.9 percent compared to an increase of 1.2 percent for the previous week confirming over-production relative to demand. Dried-egg inventory amounted to 27.6 million pounds (12,545 metric tons) as of June 30th 2017. This is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products reported on July 24th confirming a stock of 41.7 million pounds (18,960 metric tons) on June 30th

INVENTORY

Cold storage stocks in selected regions on July 24th 2017 amounted to 3.321 million pounds (1,510 metric tons), 4.6 percent above the stock of 3.176 million pounds during the week of July 1st. 2017.

The latest monthly USDA Cold Storage Report released on July 24th documented a total stock of 41,712 million pounds (18,960 metric tons) of frozen egg products on June 30th 2017. This value was up 9.9 percent from June 30th 2016. Approximately 85 percent of inventory comprised the categories of “Whole and Mixed” (33.6 percent) and “Unclassified” (51.6 percent).

The national stock of generic shell eggs on July 31st was up by 2.9 percent, compared to a 1.2 percent increase in inventory during the previous week. Four regions showed increases in stock levels. The Midwest Region was up3.9 percent compared to the previous week to 361,400 cases.

This region was followed in decreasing order of stock level by the South Central Region up by 5.7 percent to 261,800 cases; the Southeast Region down by 5.8 percent to 248,800 cases; the Southwest Region up by 13.8 percent to 197,500 cases, the Northeast Region up by 8.4 percent to 125,400 and the Northwest Region down by 10.1 percent to 85,000 cases.

The total USDA Six-Area stock of commodity eggs comprised 1,588,800 cases, of which 80.5 percent were shell eggs. The inventory of breaking stock was up 0.1 percent to 309,300 cases. The price of breaking stock this week reflects the availability of eggs from both mature and young flocks in relation to the demand for generic eggs.

Specialty egg inventory was down by 1.4 percent compared to a fall of 372 percent for the previous week to 174,900 cases with organic stock comprising 43.8 (was 51.3) percent of inventory. Recent data suggests a fluctuating build in the stock of USDA Certified Organic product. This is attributed to an apparent trend by consumers to purchase less-expensive brown cage-free product over organic eggs when there is a differential in price over $1.00 per dozen.

During the past week the USDA benchmark retail price of cage-free brown rose by 7.9 percent, or 20 cents per dozen to $2.73 per dozen while USDA Certified Organic rose by 0.3 percent or   1 cent per dozen to $3.60 per dozen, narrowing the price differential to $0.86 per dozen ($1.06 per dozen last week) suggesting larger purchases of the organic category in the coming week at the expense of cage-free eggs.  Large week-to-week percentage fluctuations can be expected in the stock of specialty and organic eggs based on the small base of these categories.

   
 

House Budget Committee Spending Proposal

Aug 4, 2017

    

The House Budget Committee has passed budget parameters for Fiscal Year 2018. The proposal includes a $10 billion cut over ten years to Farm Bill food and agriculture programs essentially reducing funding for SNAP and similar assistance to the underprivileged.

The proposed budget was voted out of Committee along partisan lines with 22 Republicans voting in favor and 14 Democrats against.

  

   
 

Eggland’s Best Participates in Pupstar Promotion

Aug 4, 2017

    

Eggland’s Best has partnered with AirBud Entertainment to support PupStar: Better 2Gether. According to Charlie Lanktree, president and CEO of Eggland’s Best, “AirBud Entertainment has provided high-quality, family-friendly entertainment for years, and at Eggland’s Best we also pride ourselves on offering a high-quality product.”

  

PupStar: Better 2Gether debuts on Digital and VOD on August 29th. Director and CEO Robert Vince of the original PupStar film noted: “We are ecstatic by the overwhelming response we received to the original film and excited to partner once again with family-friendly and highly respected partners such as Eggland’s Best.”

   
 

Mexico to Enforce Refrigeration of Imported Eggs

Aug 4, 2017

    

According to a news report in the July 24th Monday Line distributed by USAPEEC, the National Commission of Sanitary Risk Protection has collaborated with the Mexican Association of Poultry Producers to respond to publicity on refrigeration of imported eggs. 

Previously EGG-CITE reported on the topic as there was opposition, suggestive of protectionism, against imported table eggs introduced from the U.S. 

  

Authorities in Mexico will enforce regulations relating to the cold chain although the requirements enigmatically will not apply to domestic-produced eggs which apparently “reach distribution centers and points of sale within two to three days of laying”

   
 

Srinivasa Hatcheries SH to Source from Hy-Line

Aug 4, 2017

    

Suresh Chitturi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Srinivasa Group has announced that his Company will end its partnership with Venkateshwara Hatcheries and source breeding stock from Hy-Line International. It is intended to place W80 and W36 strains.

  

   
 

Millennials Selective Over E-Purchases

Aug 4, 2017

    

According to a July 20th posting in Supermarket News, shopping frequency at traditional supermarkets has declined by two percent over a year according to a Food Marketing Institute study. Currently one in four customers shop using digital outlets with online-only purchases increasing by six percent in 2016.

Millennials buy fresh bakery items, meat, seafood, eggs and produce at traditional stores, but purchase household items, snacks, baby food and pet products through the web.

  

Traditional stores can improve sales by offering a wider selection of produce, dairy and deli items and improving the ambiance of their stores. Chains such as Wegman’s have upgraded interiors and have incorporated features in new stores which make shopping a destination event.

Cited in the Supermarket News article, David Fikes, Vice President of Communications for the Food Marketing Institute stated “It is one of those realities we have to deal with and we have to understand. While we have defined food retail in a certain way for 50 years, it is being redefined for us.” He added “We can either be a part of that redefinition, or we can be left out.”

   
 

Recurrence of H5N8 in Zimbabwe Company

Aug 4, 2017

    

The Lanark Farm located south of the Zimbabwe capital of Harare reported a second diagnosis of H5N8 virus. Authorities have destroyed birds on the farm and have re-imposed a quarantine.

An Irvine’s facility was previously affected on June 2nd. It is unclear whether the specific farm involved in the latest diagnosis was the same as that previously infected, since stock was depleted and the farm was placed under quarantine for a 90-day period.

  

In June, Zimbabwe banned poultry products from South Africa following diagnoses of H5N8 in a broiler breeder complex and various egg-producing farms. In all probability, the infection is endemic in the backyard and subsistence poultry population in a number of contiguous nations in southern Africa.

   
 

Survey on Antibiotic Use by the Poultry Industry.

Aug 4, 2017

    

Dr. Randall Singer of the University of Minnesota is conducting a survey supported by the major industry associations.

The project is strongly endorsed by EGG-CITE and subscribers are urged to respond when questionnaires are received. The letter informing the Industry of the survey is reproduced below:-

 

Quantifying Antibiotic Use in Poultry Production

Randall Singer, DVM, MPVM, PhD

Antibiotics play a critical role in animal health, and optimizing strategies for antibiotic use (‘stewardship’) is an essential component of efforts to combat antibiotic resistance. To inform stewardship programs, systems are needed for the systematic collection of on-farm antibiotic use data that reliably reflect the intensity of antibiotic use in food animal industries. These data need to include the principal indications for use and methods of administration (dose, route, duration) of specific antibiotic compounds. The main objective of this project is to develop antibiotic usage estimates for the broiler, turkey and table egg industries of the United States.

This survey effort is being led by Dr. Randall Singer and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) and is supported by the National Turkey Federation, the National Chicken Council and the United Egg Producers. Participation is voluntary and anonymous, and company data are confidential; only aggregated data for the entire industry will be reported publicly, and only after thorough review by all participants. USDA-APHIS is performing an auditing role on the project and will maintain complete confidentiality of specific company data; data will be held by Dr. Singer and will never be transferred in any format to USDA. Collaboration with USDA-APHIS was deemed essential to enhance transparency and confidence in the survey approach. To further aid our ability to maintain data confidentiality and anonymity, the project is being conducted privately through Dr. Singer’s consulting company rather than through the University of Minnesota; data privacy is critical to the success of this effort.

The following page of this letter contains a list of the data that need to be collected from each company.  Data for the layer industry will be collected on a 12-month calendar basis, focusing on the flocks settled during the year.  We would like to collect data from the year 2013 forward so that we can establish trends and observe the reductions in antibiotic use that have already been made. I will work with each company on an individual basis to make this process as easy as possible and will customize data collection tools that are specific to company needs.

Thank you for your willingness to consider this project and for the opportunity to lead this effort for the U.S. poultry industry.

Sincerely,

Randall Singer, DVM, MPVM, PhD
Epidemiologist
Mindwalk Consulting Group, LLC
1853 Moore Street
Falcon Heights, MN 55113
651-233-6542 (cell)
rsinger@MindwalkConsultingGroup.com

 

Baseline Data (For each 12-month calendar period):

  • Number of settled flocks
  • Number of birds placed for these settled flocks
  • Number of birds slaughtered for these settled flocks
  • Egg production for these flocks
  • Hatchery antibiotic use (percentage of birds administered, drug(s) used, route of admin)
  • Ionophore use (drug(s) used, total volumes, percentage of birds administered)
  • Growth promotion (drug(s) used, total volumes, percentage of birds administered)
  • Disease prevention (drug(s) used, indications, total volumes, percentage of birds administered)
  • Disease treatment (drug(s) used, indications, route of administration, total volumes, percentage of birds administered)

Ideal Data:

  • Same information as above, but rather than total volumes of drug administered, data would be recorded on a flock basis, including specific drug records.
   
 

Recall of Dutch Eggs Due to Insecticide Contamination

Aug 4, 2017

    

The Food and Product Safety Board of Holland (NVWA) equivalent to the FDA, has recalled eggs and issued a cease and desist order on at least 100 egg producing farms in the Netherlands.

This action results from demonstrating the presence of Fipronil (phenylpyrazole) insecticide at low levels in eggs. The NVWA regards the level of Fipronil as “an acute danger to public health”

  

The contaminant was apparently identified by authorities in Belgium who conducted a trace-back investigation and informed regulators in Holland of their findings. Recent studies have shown that the compound persists in hens and can be detected in eggs “for months” after administration.

Fipronil is widely used as an insecticide for domestic and pet use.  It is categorized as a WHO Class II insecticide, indicating a “moderately hazardous” status.  The compound is not absorbed through the skin. Fipronil has been implicated previously in environmental contamination. The compound is toxic to bees and may be associated with colony collapse syndrome.  The active ingredient in Fipronil is also marketed to control cockroaches, ants and pests encountered on golf courses and lawns.

According to a press report in de Stentor the problem may have been attributed to unapproved administration of the compound to control red mites (Dermanyssus ssp) and not “lice” as stated. Mites are responsible for lowered production and debility as a result of blood sucking and farmers may have adopted an unapproved treatment for their flocks by individually applying the compound to their hens or in the environment of flocks. The compound was not included in feed so the number of affected farms will be limited to those where illegal application of Fipronil was carried out either by farmers or contractors. According to De Telegraaf a pest control company ChickFriend has been implicated in the current incident.

Authorities have reassured consumers that the recall was initiated due to an abundance of caution since the level of insecticide in eggs was innocuous to consumers. Germany has recalled eggs from the affected distribution chain although the Bundesinstitut fur Risikobewertung considers the residual level in eggs to be innocuous to public health.

   
 

Ziggity Systems has issued a new advisory in their Poultry Watering U series.

Aug 4, 2017


    

This information is reproduced for the benefit of subscribers:-

Drinker corrosion: What causes it and how to monitor.

Corrosion of drinker components can be an expensive problem for poultry operations. It pays to monitor for signs of drinker corrosion, particularly if aggressive sanitation programs have been implemented where above normal amounts of chlorine and/or acidifiers are being used on an ongoing basis

  

Ziggity drinker components — trigger pin, seat, ball and metering pin, are all made of robust stainless steel and durable plastic, designed for longevity and an inert, non-corrosive reaction with water. This is the same kind of high quality steel used in food and beverage manufacturing and processing, such as brewing and dairy, because of its durability, its resistance to corrosion, its non-effect on taste, and its ability to keep the beverage or food free from contamination.

Stainless steel’s non-corrosive properties stem from a passive layer of chromium oxide that prevents the steel it covers from contacting corrosive agents. However, those maintaining stainless steel equipment must be careful about what cleaning and sanitizing agents they use, as some agents can break down the oxide layer, which will lead to corrosion.

These agents include popular and aggressively-used disinfectants like chlorine and bleach. Once the protective chromium oxide layer is broken down, pitting and rust can occur on the drinker’s ball and seat, compromising the seal and creating leaks. This creates wetter litter, which promotes pathogen growth and excessive ammonia release that can harm and stunt the growth of birds.

Drinker balls compared – new and damaged by corrosion.

The goal obviously is to use chlorine, acidifiers etc., but not at levels that will lead to drinker damage and wet litter. And there is a simple program that any producer can use to do so. Simply keep an extra drinker or two that came with initial installation in marked plastic sealed bag and labeled as “Control Drinkers.” Periodically remove several drinkers from your drinker line (preferably closest to the regulators) and compare the shut off ball of the drinker in use with the Control Drinkers. The shut off ball surface of both the used and the control drinker should be identical – shiny and reflective. If that is the case no need to change the existing program. However if the surface of the ball of the used drinker is less shiny or has become dull, then the oxide layer mentioned above has been compromised and drinker will have a slow leak. A very dull surface will mean a fast leak.

Drinker line sanitation is important for removing biofilm and killing harmful bacteria. But the goal is to use these agents (chlorine, acidifiers etc.), but only to the level or concentration to get the killing action, not to a level that the all-important oxide layer that protects stainless steel becomes corroded.

For more information on best practices for safe, corrosion-free biofilm removal visit www.Ziggity.com or poultrywatering.com.

   
 

Status of 2017 Corn and Soybean Crops

Aug 4, 2017

    

The USDA Crop Progress Report released Monday July 31st  recorded progress in corn and soybean development slightly behind 2016 and showing a slight trend in deterioration in quality as expressed in the tables below:-

 

                                                                            WEEK ENDING

Crop

July 23rd

July 30th

5-Year Average

Corn Dough

             8

           23

            25

Corn Silking

           67

           85

            85

Soybeans Blooming

           69

           82

            80

Soybeans Setting Pods

           29                         

           48

            45

                 

Crop

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn Condition

     4         

   8

 26

  49

     13

Soybean Condition

     4

   9

 28

  49

     10

 

Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture:  Past Week

    17

   30

49

 4

                              Past Year

9

22

62

 7

Subsoil moisture:  Past Week

     13

   29

53

 5

                              Past Year

8

22

65

 5

 

   
 

CME Prices

Aug 4, 2017

    

On Friday July 28th at close of trading on the CME, the following rounded quotations for corn, soybeans and soybean meal were recorded, together with the bracketed value for the previous week.

According to the July WASDE release, 90.9 million acres were planted to corn, three percent lower than the previous season with a predicted harvest of 14.3 billion bushels.

  

Farmers planted 88.7 acres to soybeans, up seven percent above 2016, with a crop of 4.3 billion bushels anticipated.

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

Sept. ’17   375     (380)    

Dec. ’17     387      (394)  

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Aug.  ’17   997  (1,008)    

Nov. ’17 1,012   (1,021)  

Soybean meal ($per ton)

Aug.  ‘17   321      (329)

Dec.  ’17    328      (336) 


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

  • Corn:                     Sept. quotation down by 5 cents.                    (-1.3 percent)
  • Soybeans:            Aug. quotation down by 11 cents                    (-1.1 percent)
  • Soybean Meal:    Aug. quotation down by $8/ton                       (-2.4 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

See posting on the June edition of CHICK-CITE (enter WASD in SEARCH block) summarizing the July 12th USDA-WASDE Report #567, for a review of price projections and quantities of commodities produced during the 2016-17 season.

   
 

Hen Numbers Decrease by One Million; Prices Continue Upward Trajectory.

Jul 28, 2017

    

OVERVIEW

According to the USDA Egg Market News Reports posted on July 24th the Midwest wholesale prices for Extra Large and Large sizes increased by 8 percent from the previous week. The market will be influenced by hen inventory on the supply side of the equation. The progression of prices during 2017 is depicted in the USDA chart reflecting three years of data, updated weekly.

  

The July 24th USDA Egg Market News Report documented a USDA Combined Region value of $0.81 per dozen delivered to warehouses. This price lags Midwest Weekly values by one week, and is compared to a trailing peak price of $2.20 per dozen in late November 2015.  The USDA Combined range for Large, in the Midwest was $0.76 per dozen. At the high end of the range, the price in the Southeast Region, attained $0.85 per dozen. The current USDA Combined Price was approximately 70 cents per dozen below the three-year average. During the first Quarter of 2016 the average was inflated by the rise in prices attributed to the post-HPAI shortage of shell eggs and breaking stock.

The number of producing hens this week was 0.7 million lower at 304. million consistent with producers removing flocks held over going into the Independence-day weekend. The population is high level relative to demand. The total egg-flock comprises 31.4 million including hens in molt and small flocks, one million less than last week.

Generic shell-egg stock rose by 1.2 percent compared to a fall of 1.8 percent for the previous week confirming fluctuation in the balance between demand and production. Dried-egg inventory amounted to 27.6 million pounds (12,545 metric tons) as of June 30th 2017. This is extremely high, as is the National stock of frozen egg products reported on July 24th confirming a stock of 41.7 million pounds (18,960 metric tons) on June 30th

INVENTORY

 Cold storage stocks in selected regions on July18th 2017 amounted to 3.222 million pounds (1,465 metric tons), 1.4 percent below the stock of 3.176 million pounds during the week of July 1st. 2017.

The latest monthly USDA Cold Storage Report released on July 24th documented a total stock of 41,712 million pounds (18,960 metric tons) of frozen egg products on June 30th 2017. This value was up 9.9 percent from June 30th 2016. Approximately 85 percent of inventory comprised the categories of “Whole and Mixed” (33.6 percent) and “Unclassified” (51.6 percent).

The national stock of generic shell eggs on July 24th was up by 1.2 percent, compared to a 1.8 percent decrease in inventory during the previous week. Three regions showed decreases in stock levels. The Midwest Region was down 0.7 percent compared to the previous week to 347,700 cases. This region was followed in decreasing order of stock level by the Southeast Region down by 1.4 percent to 263,400 cases; the South Central Region up by 9.3 percent to 247,600 cases; the Southwest Region up by 5.4 percent to 173,600 cases, the Northeast Region down by 12.6 percent to 115,600 and the Northwest Region up by 8.6 percent to 95,100 cases.

The total USDA Six-Area stock of commodity eggs comprised 1,552,000 cases, of which 80.1 percent were shell eggs. The inventory of breaking stock was up 2.8 percent to 309,000 cases after a short-work week. The price of breaking stock this week reflects the availability of eggs from both mature and young flocks in relation to the demand for generic eggs.

Specialty egg inventory was down by 3.7 percent compared to a fall of 3.2 percent for the previous week to 177,400 cases with organic stock comprising 51.3 (was 54.6) percent of inventory. Recent data suggests a fluctuating build in the stock of USDA Certified Organic product. This is attributed to an apparent trend by consumers to purchase less-expensive brown cage-free product over organic eggs when there is a differential in price over $1.00 per dozen During the past week the USDA benchmark retail price of cage-free brown fell markedly by 24.0 percent, or 76 cents per dozen to $2.53 per dozen while USDA Certified Organic fell by 6.0 percent or 23 cents per dozen to $3.59 per dozen, widening the price differential to $1.06 per dozen ($0.53 per dozen last week) suggesting larger purchases of the organic category in the coming week at the expense of cage-free eggs.  Large week-to-week percentage fluctuations can be expected in the stock of specialty and organic eggs based on the small base of these categories.

   
 

Congressman Questioning Whole Foods Acquisition by Amazon

Jul 28, 2017

    

Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) the ranking member of the House Competition Committee has questioned the adverse effects of the proposed acquisition of Whole Foods Market by Amazon.  

Cicilline notes the transaction “raises important questions concerning competition policy such as how the transaction will affect the future of retail grocery stores and if the antitrust laws are working effectively to ensure economic opportunity, choice and low prices for American families.”

   

In effect, the combination of Whole Foods Market and Amazon will represent less than three percent of the total retail food segment.  The House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction of over M&A, has not scheduled any hearing.

In contrast, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has defended the merger as being beneficial to his constituents.

   
 

MOBA USA Offers Twin Pack Eggs Cargo System

Jul 28, 2017

    

A strategic relationship between MOBA USA and Twin Pack Special Products has created the opportunity to offer the Eggs Cargo® System flats, divider boards and skids designed to transport 30 cases of eggs.  Customers can now order quantities less than a full container from stock held in Farmington Hills, MI. 

Stock inventory is generic without custom imprints.  A full container comprises 60 or more skids can be supplied in a custom color with an imprint.

  

   
 

China Purchases U.S. Soybean

Jul 28, 2017

    

A trade delegation from China recent concluded negotiations to purchase 460 million bushels of soybeans from the U.S. valued at $5 billion. The transaction was announced at a signing ceremony hosted jointly by the American Soybean Association and the United Soybean Board.

The leader of the trade delegation, Bian Zhenhu, President of the China Chamber of Commerce for he Import and Export of Foodstuffs noted that China purchases more than 60 percent of all soybeans exported worldwide.  Jeffrey Xu a member of the delegation noted, “We buy U.S. soybeans because they are sustainable and backed by reliable support.”

  

As noted in a recent posing on EGG-CITE China has rescinded floor prices on agricultural commodities resulting in lowered domestic production.  Concurrently demand for soybeans has increased proportionally to the domestic production of pork.

   
 

BBC Undercover Investigation Reveals Contaminated Ice

Jul 28, 2017

    

An investigation in the U.K. sponsored by the British Broadcasting Corporation allegedly disclosed coliform contamination of ice dispensed by QSRs KFC, Burger King and McDonalds in addition to Starbucks at high levels ranging from three to seven out of ten samples examined.

 

Since it is presumed that municipal water supplies are chlorinated and potable contamination is occurring in stores.

Introduction of coliforms into dispensers can occur if personal hygiene is defective and if workers are not adequately trained in dispensing ice and in decontamination of ice machines at the end of each shift.

   
 

Shoppers Patronizing Multiple Stores

Jul 28, 2017

    

A recent survey has shown that consumers are visiting at least three stores each week to obtain their grocery and produce purchases.  Phil Lempert an industry observer noted that customers are using wholesale club stores, deep discounters (Aldi and soon Lidl) and specialty stores (Whole Foods Market, Fresh Market and Sprouts) to obtain their needs.

Lempert categorizes the 40,000 square foot supermarkets as “dinosaurs”.  He said, “People don’t want to go to one store and walk up and down the aisles and look at 50,000 products.”

  

This has obvious implications for eggs given that Costco has eliminated caged product with a resulting increase in price of their offerings.  Industry buzz suggest that they may be reviewing their decision and that eggs from caged flocks may reappear, especially for the business and catering customers who previously purchased 15 dozen containers.

   
 

Food Waste in the U.S.

Jul 28, 2017

    

Research on the magnitude of feed wastage will be presented at the annual meeting of the Agriculture and Applied Economic Association. 

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates waste of food to have attained 38 billion tons in 2014.  This figure is supported by the USDA which estimates that food wastage ranges from 30 to 40 percent of the Nation’s supply.

  

Dr. Scott Colby of Pennsylvania State University will lead a session on quantifying and managing food wastage and to establish whether technology can be applied to reduce the problem.  Dr. Travis Smith of the University of Georgia has investigated food waste over the past 25 years; he noted “there is uncertainty when it comes to what drives food waste.” 

He added “whether people are stocking up on groceries or when consumers are unclear about what the date on food packaging really means, how data on food waste is collected is crucial”.

   
 

Hampton Creek Board Resigns En Masse

Jul 28, 2017

    

Bloomberg has announced that five members of the Board of Hampton Creek have resigned, assuming “advisory positions” leaving founder Josh Tetrick as the sole director.

The five include former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Fidele Bauccio, former CEO of Bon Appetit Management, Mustafa Suleyman, cofounder of Google Deep Mind, Simir Kaul representing Khosla Ventures and Bart Swanson representing Horizons Ventures.

  

Josh Tetrick

Hampton Creek under the direction of its founder has experienced frequent episodes of negative publicity and an eyebrow-raising turnover of top management and executives. The fatuous claims to replace chickens in the production of eggs and now the now unsubstantiated focus of producing synthetic meat by 2018 are generally discredited. The meat venture is especially curious given the strong vegan bias of Tetrick and his HSUS affiliates. The principle product of the Company to date has been a “me-too” ersatz egg-free mayonnaise with questionable shelf stability.

Postings on the Glassdoor website criticize Tetrick for his management style, accusing him of favoritism, nepotism and creating a hostile environment for managers who disagree with his views.

Despite a generally favorable July 17th posting with positive spin favoring Tetrick and his company, other financial and business commentators have been less than charitable.    

Since the two major venture capital companies have withdrawn their representatives from the Board, it can be assumed that no further funding will be advanced. It is understood that the company is in a negative cash-flow situation, spending money on research and development and facing reduced sales. Target a major customer has eliminated all Hampton Creek products from inventory and Whole Foods Market stores do not currently appear to stock Just Mayo.

The progress of the company under its Founder-CEO will be of interest to the egg industry given the fallacious and bombastic claims made by Tetrick when he established Beyond Eggs a previous iteration to Hampton Creek with Josh Balk of The Humane Society of the United States.

   
 

 European Commission to Extend 12-Week Free-Range Allowance for Flocks

Jul 28, 2017

    

Due to prolonged quarantines and restrictions placed on farmers in the E.U. as a result of ongoing outbreaks of H5N8 avian influenza, farmers who confined their flocks to barns came close to exceeding the 12-week derogation period.

At the end of this period, flocks which are not allowed outside access cease to be regarded as “free range.” The Commission has proposed extending the period to 16 weeks without additional requirements for outdoor protected areas including sun porches (verandas.)

  

The laying period would commence at 17 weeks of age for a flock but after 16 weeks of confinement, eggs would be downgraded from free-range to barn eggs. In the E.U. the housing system is denoted on each egg as a coded jet print impression.

Regulations would relate to individual flocks and not to entire farms which may house flocks of different ages.

It is imperative that in the presence of migratory waterfowl shedding avian influenza virus, flocks must be confined to barns fitted with bird-proofing and should be operated with a high level of biosecurity.

There is no welfare justification for allowing outside access since flocks can be exposed to sunlight and at the same time receive protection from predators, parasites and pathogens using sun porches. There is no benefit in terms of nutritional quality of eggs from outside access. In fact, welfare is probably at a lower level with outside access based on the stress to which flocks are exposed.

Readers are referred to the Editorial on July 21st dealing with proposed changes to the regulations relating to USDA organic certification which mandate outside access for all flocks. This is intended to disqualify in-line operations providing access to sun porches in accordance with a National Organic Program decision in 2003.