New Smithfield website emphasizes ‘good food'

Good food. Responsibly. That’s the message in Smithfield Foods’ newly launched website designed to engage audiences to learn more about the company’s brands, products, policies and processes. FULL STORY »

Profit tracker: Pork producer margins maintain momentum

Pork producer margins inched closer to profitability, thanks to strong hog prices and improved cutout values last week. Meanwhile, packer margins are essentially holding steady at more than $6 per head, according to Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore. FULL STORY »

Packers interested in big Canada hog farm hurt by feed costs

Two Canadian pork processors are among those expressing interest in Canada's second-biggest hog producer, Big Sky Farms, which is looking for new ownership after soaring feed costs left it unable to pay its bills. FULL STORY »

Controversies in animal welfare

Animal welfare and improving, monitoring and evaluating it are a high priority for the American Meat Institute (AMI) and its members. But animal welfare, specifically for cattle and swine, is a complex subject not without its own controversies. FULL STORY »

R-CALF objects to Tyson’s supplier-audit plans

Last week, Tyson Foods Inc. announced the launch of its "Tyson FarmCheck program," which will include animal-welfare audits of beef, pork and poultry farms that supply animals to the meatpacker’s plants. R-CALF USA this week criticized the plan, saying it “exemplifies supply-chain control found only in monopolistic markets.” FULL STORY »

Profit tracker: Pork producer and packer margins improve

Pork producer margins remain in the red, but they gained back $5.61 per head on the week ending Oct. 12, compared with the week before. Meanwhile, pork packers increased their profit margin by $2.19 per head on the week, according to Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore. FULL STORY »

HSUS criticizes Tyson’s animal well-being audits

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not impressed with Tyson Foods’ launch of a new animal well-being auditing program for its suppliers, but that should not come as a surprise. The activist group wants Tyson to eliminate gestation-sow stalls and will keep applying pressure. FULL STORY »

Tyson initiates FarmCheck auditing program

Tyson Foods is launching a program to audit animal treatment at the livestock and poultry farms that supply the company. Known as FarmCheck, the audits have already occurred on a trial basis on some of the 3,000 independent hog farms that supply Tyson Foods. Under the program, auditors visit the farms to check on such things as animal access to food and water, as well as proper human-animal interaction and worker training. FULL STORY »

August pork exports trend higher from July’s sales

U.S. pork exports in August slipped 6 percent in volume compared to year ago levels and were down 7 percent in value. However, the totals were up 10 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from July’s performance, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). FULL STORY »

Cheesecake Factory targets 2022 for gestation-stall elimination

The Cheesecake Factory is the latest restaurant chain to join 33 other food companies committed to eliminating gestation-sow stalls from their supply chains. Also this week, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) filed a shareholder resolution with Seaboard Foods for the company to report on its contributions for political and charitable purposes. FULL STORY »

Brumm Speaks Out: Slaughter plants as food processing companies

As people involved in the business of pork production, we tend to think of slaughter plants as the final destination for our production. In fact, the slaughter plants don’t view themselves as pork processors, but rather, food companies. FULL STORY »

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