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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

S.D. Passes N.D. As Top Sunflower Producer

January 19, 2012 7:23 am

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — South Dakota farmers can boast for the first time in recorded history that they are the nation's top sunflower growers, although producers understand those bragging rights aren't likely to last. North Dakota has worn the sunflower production crown since 1977, when the government started compiling data for the Dakotas.

Top Meat Antitrust Regulator Steps Down

January 19, 2012 7:20 am

A top federal antitrust regulator for meat companies is stepping down. J. Dudley Butler will end his tenure next week as head of the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday. Butler oversaw key parts of the Obama administration's effort to pass sweeping antitrust reforms covering the meat packing industry.

Beef Group Responds To Proposed Consolidation Of Agencies

January 19, 2012 7:17 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NCBA) — “The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) supports the administration’s recognition of the need to improve government efficiency and eliminate wasteful spending. However, precautions must be in place to avoid unintended consequences. “NCBA has strong concerns about President Obama’s proposal to merge the Office of the U.


Paula Deen: 'Practice Moderation, Y'all'

January 19, 2012 7:13 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Celebrity chef Paula Deen on Wednesday pledged a portion of her earnings from a lucrative endorsement deal with a diabetes drugmaker to the nonprofit American Diabetes Association. The queen of Southern cooking and author of numerous cookbooks disclosed Tuesday that she's had Type 2 diabetes for three years while promoting high-fat, high-sugar recipes as usual on her Food Network TV shows.

Report: Closing The Skills Gap Critical For American Competitiveness

January 19, 2012 4:01 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRNewswire) — A concerted national effort to close the widening gap between the skills needed in the U.S. workplace and the skills being produced by its education and worker training systems is critical to continued U.S. competitiveness, DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman told U.

Currency Woes May Hurt Beverage Makers

January 19, 2012 3:54 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Pressure on beverage makers is intensifying because of the tough economy in Europe and the dollar's increasing strength against the euro, Citi analyst Wendy Nicholson said Wednesday. THE OPINION: Consumers in Europe are likely to continue to keep sales at a sluggish pace for beverage makers, Nicholson wrote in a research note.

Shrimp Season Could Be Cut Short

January 19, 2012 3:49 am

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — New England fishermen have been casting their nets in the cold Gulf of Maine waters since the northern shrimp season began Jan. 2, but their season could be cut short this winter if their catches are too strong. Regulators are meeting Thursday to assess where the overall harvest now stands.

Diamond Foods Gains On Investor Report

January 19, 2012 3:47 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Diamond Foods Inc. gained more than 4 percent on Wednesday on reports that hedge fund manager David Einhorn may have closed his short positions on the food company. THE SPARK: Various media reported that Einhorn's firm, Greenlight Capital Inc., sent a letter to investors on Tuesday saying that it closed its short position on Diamond Foods, maker of Emerald Nuts and Pop Secret popcorn.


Dean Foods Cuts Jobs At HQ

January 19, 2012 3:44 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Dean Foods Co., one of the largest dairy distributors in the United States, has cut a "significant" number of jobs at its Dallas headquarters. The company would not disclose the exact number of jobs cut on Wednesday. But Liliana Esposito, a spokeswoman for the company said that more information may be made available when the company reports its financial results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year on Feb.

Photo Of The Day: Shrimp Season Sails On

January 19, 2012 3:41 am

(AP) — In this Friday, Jan. 6, 2012 photo, James Rich maneuvers a bulging net full of northern shrimp caught in the Gulf of Maine. New England fishermen have been casting their nets for Gulf of Maine northern shrimp since the season began Jan. 2, but their season could be cut short if their catches are too strong.


Consumer Trends: No-Guilt Snacking Popular With Football Fans

January 18, 2012 9:45 am

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Business Wire) — With the NFL ® playoffs in full swing and the Super Bowl ® fast approaching, the majority of football fans say they feel no guilt about snacking down heartily as they watch their favorite teams try to make it to the Super Bowl, according to the third annual SUPERVALU ® Snack Down Survey by Harris Interactive.

Wholesale Prices Fall Slightly

January 18, 2012 7:05 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices fell last month because companies paid less for food and energy, evidence that inflation remains tame. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach consumers, declined 0.

U.S. Ambassador To Head U.N. Food Program

January 18, 2012 7:01 am

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ertharin Cousin, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.'s Rome-based food agencies, has been chosen to head the U.N. World Food Program. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva announced Cousin's appointment Tuesday.

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.

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.


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