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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Analyst: ConAgra Acquisition Is A Good Fit

November 30, 2012 12:39 pm

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Akshay Jagdale expects that ConAgra's plans to acquire Ralcorp are a good fit, despite the private food label's poor quarterly performance. ConAgra Foods Inc. announced Tuesday that it is buying private-label foods maker Ralcorp Holdings Inc. for $5 billion.

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NY Caviar Distributor Pleads Guilty In Fraud Scam

November 30, 2012 12:37 pm | by LARRY NEUMEISTER,Associated Press

A New York caviar distributor who evaded arrest for nearly a quarter century pleaded guilty Thursday to unlawfully importing more than 100,000 pounds of Russian and Iranian caviar in the 1980s. Isidoro "Mario" Garbarino faces up to four years in prison at a Jan. 7 sentencing after admitting that he used schemes to avoid high taxes while importing caviar worth more than $10 million.

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Consumer Trends: Adult Beverage Sales Track Higher

November 30, 2012 12:35 pm

Adult beverage sales at the bar are growing in dollars and volume despite the rocky economic environment, according to Technomic's 2012 BarTAB (Trends in Adult Beverage) report. Sales of spirits, wine and beer in restaurants, bars and other licensed on-premise locations increased 4.9 percent to reach $93.7 billion in 2011 and projections call for continued growth in 2012.

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Monsanto Investing $100M To Expand Seed Production

November 30, 2012 9:47 am

Monsanto plans to spend more than $100 million to expand production at four of its seed processing plants in Nebraska, Indiana and Iowa to meet growing demand for its corn seeds. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that most of the money will be spent at Monsanto plants in Waco, Neb., and Remington, Ind., but more capacity will also be added at plants in Grinnell and Williamsburg, Iowa.

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Feds Deny Oyster Farm Lease Renewal In Calif.

November 30, 2012 9:45 am | by JASON DEAREN,Associated Press

Kevin Lunny's struggle to keep his family's oyster farm running in Point Reyes National Seashore appears to be over, closing out an era of oysterman plying the park's pristine waters and ushering in the nation's newest ocean wilderness.

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Drought Could Make Mississippi River Impassable

November 30, 2012 9:40 am | by JIM SALTER and JIM SUHR,Associated Press

After months of drought, companies that ship grain and other goods down the Mississippi River are being haunted by a potential nightmare: If water levels fall too low, the nation's main inland waterway could become impassable to barges just as the harvest heads to market.

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Analyst Upgrades ConAgra

November 30, 2012 9:37 am

An analyst raised ConAgra Foods' rating and price target on Friday, saying that its proposed acquisition of Ralcorp would speed up revenue growth. On Tuesday ConAgra Foods Inc. said that it would buy private-label food producer Ralcorp Holdings Inc. for $5 billion. The companies value the transaction at about $6.8 billion, when debt is included.

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Hostess Granted Approval For Sale Plans And Executive Bonuses

November 30, 2012 9:35 am | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

The update on the sale process came as Hostess received approval to give its top executives bonuses totaling up to $1.8 million for meeting certain budget goals during the liquidation. The company says the incentive pay is needed to retain the 19 corporate officers and "high-level managers" for the wind down process, which could take about a year.

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Photo Of The Day: Drought Threatens Mississippi Shipping

November 30, 2012 9:32 am

This Nov. 28, 2012 photo provided by The United States Coast Guard shows vessels navigating through close quarters at a fleeting area, where barges are picked up and dropped off, on the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Mo. The Mississippi, after months of drought, is approaching the point where it may become to shallow for barges that navigate the river.

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Identifying Counterfeit Electrical Products

November 29, 2012 12:38 pm

Eaton Corporation announced tips aimed at helping facility owners and contractors identify counterfeit electrical products. The tips can help customers as they take inventory of their current stock and prepare for purchasing in the New Year.

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Agency: Canadian Beef Meets Same Standards As Exports

November 29, 2012 12:32 pm | by The Canadian Press

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the same safety standards apply to meat for domestic consumption and for overseas exports and reports to the contrary are "categorically false." The food safety agency is reacting to reports that inspectors at the XL Foods processing plant in Brooks, Alta., were told to ignore contamination on cattle carcasses unless they were destined for Japan.

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USDA: Wheat Genome Sequence Crucial For Global Food Security

November 29, 2012 12:27 pm

U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists working as part of an international team have completed a shotgun sequencing of the wheat genome, a paper published in the journal Nature reported today. The achievement is expected to increase wheat yields, help feed the world and speed up development of wheat varieties with enhanced nutritional value.

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No Immediate Lockout In Grain Shippers Union Dispute

November 29, 2012 12:25 pm | by STEVEN DUBOIS,Associated Press

Pacific Northwest grain shippers say there will be no immediate lockout at a half-dozen terminals along the Columbia River and on Puget Sound. The owners had given the International Longshore and Warehouse Union until midnight Wednesday to accept what they describe as their "last, best and final" offer. But Pat McCormick, a spokesman for the owners, said there would be no midnight lockout.

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Hostess Says It Has More Than 100 Interested Buyers

November 29, 2012 12:23 pm | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

Hostess Brands Inc. says it's in talks with more than 100 parties interested in buying its brands, which include Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. Those interested parties now include at least five national retailers such as supermarkets, a banker for the company said in bankruptcy court Thursday.

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Consumer Trends: 5 Canadian Restaurant Trends For 2013

November 29, 2012 12:07 pm

Shifting consumer preferences continue shaping Canada's foodservice industry, with numerous implications for restaurant operators in the coming year. Looking forward, Technomic sees these five trends as growing in importance in 2013.

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Kansas State Researchers Help Sequence Wheat Genes

November 29, 2012 9:40 am

Kansas State University researchers have helped create a genetic blueprint for many of the traits found in the most common type of wheat. Bikram Gill and Sunish Sehgal were part of an international collaboration that sequenced most of the genes of common wheat, also known as bread wheat.

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Survey: U.S. Economy Growing At Steady Pace

November 29, 2012 9:38 am | by MARTIN CRUTSINGER,AP Economics Writer

A pickup in consumer spending and steady home sales helped lift economic growth from October through early November in most parts of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday. The one exception was the Northeast, which was slowed by Superstorm Sandy.

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Peanut Butter Plant Closure Angers N.M. Town

November 29, 2012 9:36 am | by JERI CLAUSING,Associated Press

Farmers are worried about getting paid for their peanuts, nearly a third of the plant's 150 workers have been laid off, and residents wonder what toll an increasingly contentious showdown between the nation's largest organic peanut butter plant and federal regulators could ultimately have on the region's economy.

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BPI Wants ‘Pink Slime’ Suit Back In State Court

November 29, 2012 9:33 am

Lawyers for a South Dakota beef processing company suing ABC News for defamation have asked a federal judge to remand the lawsuit back to state court. Beef Products Inc. sued ABC News Inc. for defamation over its coverage of a meat product that critics dub "pink slime." The company is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.

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Watchdog: U.S. Should Explain Probe Of Halal Company

November 29, 2012 9:31 am | by RYAN J. FOLEY,Associated Press

A national civil rights organization called on U.S. authorities Wednesday to explain their investigation into a leading maker of food for observant Muslims, saying it is troubled by the secrecy surrounding the seizure of the company's bank account and records.

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