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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Wash. Group Opposes Bill To Provide More Water For Organic Crops

January 18, 2012 6:57 am

OLYMPIA, Wash. (PRNewswire) — At a recent legislative hearing in Olympia, the Washington State Horticultural Association and its lobbyist Jim Halstrom publicly opposed legislation (House Bill 2192) that would provide a relatively small amount of new water to allow apple and tree fruit growers to grow additional acreage of organic tree fruit.

N.J. Governor Allows Wine To Be Shipped To Homes

January 18, 2012 6:52 am

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey wine-drinkers can start getting their merlot and pinot grigio sent to their homes. Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday signed a bill to allow small out-of-state wineries and New Jersey vineyards to ship their products directly to customers' homes. The law is intended to boost sales in New Jersey's fledgling wine industry.

Factory Output Lifts Economy

January 18, 2012 6:49 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories are roaring back from the depths of the recession, cranking out more machinery, vehicles and energy. Factory production has surged 15 percent above its lows of 2 1/2 years ago and is helping drive the economy's recovery. A jump in manufacturing output last month coincided with other data suggesting that the economy began 2012 with renewed vigor.

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CDC: Binge Drinking A Bigger Problem Than Previously Thought

January 18, 2012 3:40 am

(CDC) — More than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink an average of four times a month and the most drinks they consume on average is eight according to a new Vital Signs report form the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .  While binge drinking is more common among young adults ages 18–34, of those age 65 and older who report binge drinking, they do so more often – an average of five to six times a month.

Cott Corp. CFO Retiring

January 18, 2012 3:36 am

Beverage maker Cott Corp. announced Tuesday that Neal Cravens, its chief financial officer, is retiring. The company has appointed Jay Wells to take his place, effective March 20. Cravens will remain with Cott until the end of 2012 to help with the transition. Wells, 49, comes to Cott from Molson Coors Brewing Co.

Wheat Prices Fall As Plantings Rise

January 18, 2012 3:33 am

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wheat prices tumbled Thursday as a government report showed the nation's farmers had planted winter wheat on much more of their land this season amid last year's higher prices and easing drought conditions in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Across the country, the amount of winter wheat planted for harvest in 2012 was estimated at 41.

Extended Freeze Worries Calif. Citrus Growers

January 18, 2012 3:30 am

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California citrus growers are sweating a hard freeze that has blanketed the nation's largest fresh-fruit market in the midst of harvest. The National Weather Service said temperatures dropped to as low as 19 degrees in some regions early Tuesday. It forced orange farmers to fire up wind machines and flood groves with water to keep bitter cold air from settling.

ConAgra To Buy Del Monte Canada

January 18, 2012 3:28 am

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. is making another international deal by acquiring Del Monte Canada. Omaha-based ConAgra announced its plans to buy the Canadian company from an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners on Tuesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. ConAgra says it will add Del Monte Canada's packaged fruits, vegetables and fruit snacks to its portfolio that already includes the Hunt's brand.

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Photo Of The Day: Winter Wheat Plantings Rise

January 18, 2012 3:25 am

(AP) — In a Sept. 28, 2011 photo, Arlyn North plants a field to winter wheat as the early evening sun paints the hills with color along the Smoky Hill River southwest of Hays, Kansas. The nation's farmers seeded more winter wheat this season amid higher prices and easing drought conditions in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

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Consumer Trends: Top Five Trends From Winter Fancy Food Show

January 17, 2012 8:45 am

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (PRNewswire) — The top five food trends for 2012 have been identified by a panel of trendspotters at the 37th Winter Fancy Food Show, which ends today in San Francisco.  It is the largest marketplace for specialty foods and beverages on the West Coast, with 80,000 products on display from 1,300 exhibitors from the U.

Ralcorp Board Approves Spinoff Of Post Cereals

January 17, 2012 6:59 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ralcorp Holdings Inc.'s board has approved the planned spinoff of its Post cereals business, the food maker said Tuesday. Post makes cereals brands including Honey Bunches of Oats, Grape Nuts and Post Raisin Bran. Ralcorp, which makes a variety of store-brand foods, announced the planned spinoff in July.

Kraft Foods To Cut 1,600 Jobs

January 17, 2012 6:57 am

NORTHFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Kraft Foods Inc. says it will cut 1,600 positions in North America this year as it prepares to split its business in two. The Northfield, Ill.-based food company said Tuesday that it plans to eliminate the positions throughout the U.S. and Canada primarily from sales, corporate and other business units.

Argentina: Monsanto Contractor Abuses Workers

January 17, 2012 6:54 am

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's tax agency has raided a Monsanto Co. contractor and found what it calls slave-like conditions among workers in its cornfields. The AFIP tax agency says Rural Power SA hired all its farmhands illegally, prevented them from leaving the fields and withheld their salaries.

American Crystal Calls Union Offer 'Publicity Stunt'

January 17, 2012 6:48 am

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar Co. on Monday rejected a proposal to end the cooperative's six-month lockout of its factory workers in three states, calling it a "publicity stunt" by the leadership of the union that represents them. Separately, the Moorhead, Minn.-based sugar beet processing cooperative reported that its first-quarter profits fell 28 percent, to $186.

PepsiCo, Ocean Spray Announce Alliance

January 17, 2012 4:12 am

PURCHASE, N.Y. and LAKEVILLE, Mass. (PRNewswire) — PepsiCo and Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. today announced they have formed a strategic alliance in Latin America.  As part of the alliance, PepsiCo will have exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute a portfolio of cranberry- and blueberry-based beverages through its Latin America Beverages division.

Poultry Shares Rise On Cheaper Corn

January 17, 2012 4:10 am

Shares of poultry producers rose sharply Thursday as corn prices plunged. Corn is one of the most expensive ingredients for chicken feed, and one of the biggest costs of production for companies like Tyson Foods Inc. Poultry producers have been squeezed in recent years by rising corn prices.

Snack Co. Purchases Ice Cream Maker

January 17, 2012 4:07 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A Chicago snack food supplier has completed acquisition of an Arkansas ice cream maker and plans to make its products available to retailers across the state. In a statement released Monday, Schulze & Burch Biscuit Co. said its management will meet with retailers to present the Yarnell's Ice Cream Co.

Idaho Leaders Look To Repurpose Potato Plant

January 17, 2012 4:06 am

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Eastern Idaho leaders say they're still working to find a new purpose for the J.R. Simplot potato processing plant in Aberdeen. The Simplot company announced last fall that it would close the plant in 2014, eliminating about 290 jobs. Former Pocatello Mayor Roger Chase told the Idaho State Journal that the importance of the plant to the town of less than 2,000 people can't be overstated.

FDA Says Orange Juice Is Safe

January 17, 2012 4:03 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. acknowledged Thursday it was the company that alerted federal regulators about low levels of fungicide in its own orange juice and in competitors' juice, prompting juice prices to rise and increased government testing for the residue. The Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have said orange juice is safe to drink and the levels found are below levels of concern.

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