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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

Smithfield To Stop Using Gestation Crates For Pigs

December 8, 2011 7:30 am

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer, said Thursday it plans to end the practice of keeping pregnant hogs at the company's farms in small metal crates. The Smithfield, Va.-based company, which has been criticized for continuing to breed sows in gestation crates that severely restrict the animals' movement, said it will phase out the use of gestation crates at its facilities by 2017.

Ark. Court Affirms $50M Verdict For Rice Farmers

December 8, 2011 7:29 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a nearly $50 million verdict for farmers who claim they suffered economic losses when a strain of genetically altered rice seeds produced by Bayer CropScience contaminated the food supply and hurt crop prices. Bayer, a German conglomerate, had argued that Arkansas tort laws set a limit on damages, and that courts should set aside jury awards that "shock the conscience.

UN Agency: Food Prices Ease A Bit

December 8, 2011 7:28 am

ROME (AP) — A U.N. food agency says global food prices have eased marginally, with wheat prices dropping by 3 percent. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report Thursday that its Food Price index in November was "virtually unchanged" from its October level and down 10 percent from its peak in February.

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Photo Of The Day: Smithfield Profits Slide

December 8, 2011 7:24 am

(AP) — In this June 14, 2011 photo, a package of Smithfield Sliced Maple Flavor Boneless Ham, is posed, in Montpelier, Vt. Smithfield Foods Inc. said Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, its fiscal second-quarter net income slid 16 percent compared with last year's quarter, when some market factors helped the pork producer firm up its prices.

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Coca-Cola Moves Formula For 1st Time Since 1925

December 8, 2011 4:10 am

ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Company has moved its secret formula for the first time in 86 years, taking it from a bank vault to a new repository on exhibit at its downtown Atlanta museum. The world's largest beverage maker says the new vault containing the formula will be on display for visitors to its World of Coca-Cola museum.

USDA Awards $10.4 Million In Food Safety Grants

December 8, 2011 4:09 am

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday it had awarded 17 grants totaling $10.4 million for university research projects designed to boost food safety at a time when millions of Americans get food-borne illnesses each year. The funds are being divided among universities in 13 states, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said during a visit to Michigan State University, a recipient of three grants.

McDonald's Sales Boosted By Breakfast

December 8, 2011 4:09 am

OAK BROOK, Illinois (AP) — McDonald's Corp. said Thursday a key revenue figure rose 7.4 percent in November on strong demand from markets around the world. In the U.S., sales were boosted by sales of breakfast items and the seasonal addition of the peppermint mocha to the company's coffee menu.

Japan Funding Whaling With Disaster Budget

December 8, 2011 4:08 am

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is spending 2.3 billion yen ($29 million) from its supplementary budget for tsunami reconstruction to fund the country's annual whaling hunt in the Antarctic Ocean, a fisheries official confirmed Thursday. Tatsuya Nakaoku, a Fisheries Agency official in charge of whaling, defended the move, saying the funding helps support Japan's whaling industry as a whole, including some whaling towns along the devastated northeastern coast.

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Nestle Cleared For $1.7 Billion China Candy Deal

December 8, 2011 4:07 am

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss food and drinks giant Nestle SA says it has received Chinese government approval to buy a majority stake in candy maker Hsu Fu Chi. Nestle says it will proceed with its plan to buy 60 percent of Hsu Fu Chi in a deal valued at about $1.7 billion. The Hsu family will retain the remaining 40 percent stake.

Over 75% Of Cereals Fail Proposed Nutrition Standards

December 8, 2011 3:31 am

Washington, D.C. (EWG) — Parents have good reason to worry about the sugar content of children’s breakfast cereals, according to an Environmental Working Group review of 84 popular brands . Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, at nearly 56 percent sugar by weight, leads the list of the 10 worst children’s cereals, according to EWG’s analysis.

Brown-Forman 2nd-Quarter Profit Rises

December 8, 2011 3:29 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Liquor maker Brown-Forman Corp. said Thursday that fiscal second-quarter profit rose 2 percent due to higher sales for its flagship Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, and its vodka and tequila brands. The Louisville, Ky., company, which also sells Southern Comfort and Finlandia vodka, said revenue rose 12 percent in the August-October quarter, but it spent more on advertising to promote new products such as Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper and a honey-flavored Jack Daniel's.

Smithfield Foods 2Q Profit Plunges 16 Percent

December 8, 2011 3:28 am

SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) — Smithfield Foods Inc. said Thursday that its fiscal second-quarter earnings slid 16 percent, as costs climbed. The pork producer also faced a tough comparison with last year's quarter, when market factors enabled it to boost prices. Despite the latest earnings decline, its adjusted results still beat Wall Street expectations.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Primo Water Corporation

December 8, 2011 3:27 am

NEW YORK (PRNewswire) — Levi & Korsinsky announces that a class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on behalf of investors who purchased Primo Water Corporation ("Primo Water" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: PRMW) pursuant and/or traceable to the Company's initial public offering on or about November 4, 2010 and August 10, 2011, inclusive.

USDA Strips Down Antitrust Rule

December 8, 2011 3:26 am

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release a new antitrust rule regulating meat companies that's stripped down from an earlier, more far-reaching proposal. The final rule being released Thursday is far different from a sweeping proposal the Obama administration proposed last year.

Justice Breyer's Wife Sells Nestle Stock

December 7, 2011 7:01 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The wife of Justice Stephen Breyer has sold her holdings in food and drink company Nestle to allow the justice to participate in a case involving a company that Nestle recently bought. Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says Joanna Breyer sold the stock Wednesday morning, shortly before the justices were to take the bench to hear arguments.

Montgomery Farm Family Honored By State

December 7, 2011 6:54 am

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Jeremy and Lindsey Brown of Montgomery and their two daughters, 2-year-old Ansley and two-month-old Lydia Grace, have been named Alabama's outstanding young farm family by the Alabama Farmer's Federation. The Browns are poultry farmers and were presented the award this week during the federation's annual meeting in Mobile.

Chick-fil-A Responds To 'Eat More Kale' Legal Matter

December 7, 2011 6:46 am

MADISON, Wis. (ABM) — On Monday, Chick-fil-A released a statement in the wake of criticism surrounding a lawsuit the company has filed against a Vermont small business owner and artist, Bo Muller-Moore, who is seeking to trademark "Eat More Kale" for use in his t-shirt business. The fast food company alleges that the phrase too closesly resembles the company's own catchphrase "Eat mor chikin" and therefore impinges on Chick-fil-A's trademark.

Consumer Reports Raises Questions About Some Fish Oil Brands

December 7, 2011 6:44 am

magazine also reported that CR's tests found "elevated levels of compounds that indicate spoilage" in samples from Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega 1000mg (180 count). Just as digital versions of the story were being readied for publication, however, the company challenged that conclusion based on the fact that its product includes natural lemon oil as a flavoring.

Coca-Cola Inks Deal With Burger King

December 7, 2011 6:42 am

MIAMI (AP) — Burger King customers can soon personalize more than just their Whopper. The fast-food chain announced Tuesday that it has agreed to put Coca-Cola Co.'s Freestyle machines at its more than 850 company-owned stores nationwide. The specialty fountain soda machine allows customers to select from more than 100 beverages.

Smithfield Foods' 2Q Earnings A Test Of Pork Prices

December 7, 2011 3:15 am

SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) — Pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc. is expected to report leaner profits when it reports its fiscal second-quarter results Thursday, trimmed by lower prices than a year earlier and higher grain costs. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Last year's second quarter makes for a tough comparison.

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