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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Kellogg Pledges $250,000 To Haiti Victims

January 15, 2010 4:53 am

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Kellogg Co. on Wednesday pledged $250,000 to the American Red Cross to fund relief efforts for victims of the earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck just west of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, and it is feared thousands have died.

Ferrero Reportedly Drops Cadbury Interest

January 13, 2010 4:13 am

MILAN (AP) — The Italian chocolate company Ferrero International SA reportedly is not interested in bidding for British candy maker Cadbury PLC, which is the target of a hostile bid by Kraft Foods Inc. The business daily il Sole 24 Ore reported Wednesday that Ferrero, the maker of Nutella chocolate spread and Tic Tacs, decided after two days of talks with Hershey Co.

Kraft Foods Boosts Earnings Outlook Again

January 13, 2010 4:12 am

NORTHFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Kraft Foods Inc., engaged in a hostile takeover bid for candy maker Cadbury PLC, boosted its full-year profit outlook for the second time in two months after logging strong operating gains, as it spent more on marketing its core brands. The food company, whose products include Maxwell House coffee and its namesake cheese, has reduced its product lines during the economic downturn in order to concentrate on its most profitable products.

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Nonprofits Sue Over Patent To Feed Hungry

January 13, 2010 4:11 am

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A pair of American nonprofits want to ramp up production in the next year of a high-protein peanut butter-like paste that could feed some of the more than 1 billion people around the world who don't have enough to eat. But Breedlove Foods Inc. and the Mama Cares Foundation believe one thing stands in their way: U.

Group Prepares For Chicken Pollution Suit

January 13, 2010 4:10 am

BERLIN, Md. (AP) — An environmental group says it has filed a Public Information Act request with Maryland's Department of the Environment for records about a Berlin chicken farm it says is polluting waterways. The Waterkeeper Alliance has threatened to sue the Hudson Farm and Perdue Farms, which buys chickens from the farm.

Farmers To Admit To Human Trafficking

January 13, 2010 3:52 am

HONOLULU (AP) — The owners of Hawaii's second-largest fruit and vegetable farm will plead guilty to charges of importing laborers from Thailand to force them to work, court records show. Aloun Farms President Alec Souphone Sou and his brother, Aloun Farms Vice President Mike Mankone Sou, were expected to admit in court Wednesday to conspiring with Thai labor recruiters to bring 44 Thai nationals to Hawaii, according to their plea agreements.

ConAgra Pays Fines For Plant Explosion

January 13, 2010 3:51 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. has agreed to pay $106,440 for workplace safety violations at a snack foods plant where four workers died after a natural gas explosion last summer, state regulators said Tuesday. The fines are 21 percent less than the penalties originally assessed last month.

Bright Food Considers $1.4B CSR Sugar Division

January 12, 2010 5:09 am

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Chinese food and retail conglomerate Bright Food Group said Tuesday it's interested in buying the $1.4 billion sugar and renewable energy division of Australian building materials company CSR. Bright Food — a food producer and retailer — said while it valued CSR's sugar business at Australian dollars $1.

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PepsiCo Expects To Close Bottler Deals

January 12, 2010 5:08 am

PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) — PepsiCo Inc. said Monday it expects to close on the $7.8 billion buyout of its two biggest bottlers by the end of the first quarter and avoid further questions from the Federal Trade Commission. "PepsiCo believes that it can consummate its acquisitions of Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas by the end of the first quarter of 2010 without a 'Second Request' being issued by the Federal Trade Commission," PepsiCo said in a regulatory filing.

Cadbury Makes Case Against Kraft Takeover

January 12, 2010 5:07 am

LONDON (AP) — British candy maker Cadbury PLC on Tuesday stepped up its defense against a hostile takeover bid from Kraft Foods Inc. by announcing that full-year results will beat market expectations and pledging a 10 percent hike in dividend payments. Cadbury said Kraft's 10.

USDA Urges Grapes Over Opium

January 12, 2010 5:06 am

KABUL (AP) — The U.S. has announced plans to invest $20 million to improve the Afghan government's ability to promote agriculture reforms that the Obama administration considers the main non-security element in stabilizing the country. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told The Associated Press on Tuesday that efforts to steer Afghan farmers away from the opium poppy trade are key to the war effort.

EPA Strengthens Smog Standard

January 12, 2010 5:05 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. (EPA) — The United States Environmental Protection Agency last Thursday proposed the strictest health standards to date for smog. Smog, also known as ground-level ozone, is linked to a number of serious health problems, ranging from aggravation of asthma to increased risk of premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

Slaughterhouse Manager Pleads Guilty

January 12, 2010 5:04 am

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former manager at a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa has admitted to helping illegal immigrants get fake documents one week before an immigration raid. Former Agriprocessors, Inc. slaughterhouse manager Brent Beebe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit document fraud.

Livestock Disaster Payments Exceed $175M

January 11, 2010 4:39 am

WASHINGTON (USDA) — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday that USDA has already made more than $175 million in disaster payments to America's livestock producers after implementing two new programs in 2009, demonstrating USDA's commitment to rapidly meeting the goals of Congress and providing farmers and ranchers with timely and effective disaster assistance.

State To Open Sausage Development Center

January 11, 2010 4:38 am

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Agriculture is helping Wisconsin meat processors earn higher profits. A $300,000 federal grant has helped the state open a new meat development center. Its president, Bob Andorfer, says Wisconsin is well known for its cheese, but it's time to shine a spotlight on the state's sausage and cured meat processors.

Farmers Fight Back Against Animal Rights Groups

January 11, 2010 4:37 am

SEATTLE (AP) — It's little wonder that farmers fret about the future of the livestock industry. In the past two years, feed costs skyrocketed, pork and dairy prices plummeted, and animal rights groups stepped up efforts to improve living conditions for farm animals. Some farmers are hoping to strike back with proactive efforts to ward off unwanted legislation and boost the struggling industry.

NYC Asks Food Manufacturers To Cut Salt Content

January 11, 2010 4:36 am

NEW YORK (AP) — City health officials have battled trans fat and high-calorie fast food. Now, they're taking on salt. The health department planned to release on Monday draft guidelines suggesting the maximum amount of salt that should be in a wide variety of manufactured and packaged foods.

FDA Takes Action Against Seafood Processor

January 11, 2010 4:35 am

SILVER SPRING, Md. (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — The FDA on Friday announced that a Maryland seafood processor delivering fresh, frozen, and ready-to-eat seafood in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., is to stop processing and distributing adulterated fish and seafood because it is not compliant with federal food safety laws.

Heineken To Buy Femsa In $5.5B Deal

January 11, 2010 4:34 am

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch brewer Heineken NV said Monday it will buy the beer-making operations of Mexico's Femsa in an all-share deal that values the maker of Dos Equis, Tecate and Sol beers at $5.5 billion, excluding debt. The buy increases Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Heineken's presence in growth markets and cements its position as the world's second-largest brewer by sales.

Scientist Disputes Watershed Pollution Study

January 8, 2010 5:01 am

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A study by the state of Oklahoma showing phosphorous pollution in a sensitive watershed was incomplete, rife with errors and "not scientifically defensible," a scientist testified Thursday in federal court. The testimony targeted Oklahoma's closely watched case against 11 Arkansas poultry companies in a trial that began in September and is expected to run several more weeks.

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