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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

U.S. Wholesale Prices Up 0.8 Percent in June

July 15, 2013 9:53 am | by MARTIN CRUTSINGER,AP Economics Writer

Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in June compared with May when prices had risen 0.5 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday. Food costs rose 0.2 percent in June, a moderation after a larger 0.6 percent May increase in food that had been driven in part by a surge in the price of eggs.


Farm Bill Doesn’t End Food Stamps

July 15, 2013 9:51 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

One after another, angry Democrats took to the House floor to say Republicans would increase hunger in America by stripping food stamps from the farm bill. In reality, though, the bill passed by the House on Thursday didn't deal with food stamps at all. And the lack of congressional action on food stamps could keep the $80 billion-a-year program untouched by any cuts.


Miss. Meat Plants Often Cited for Food Safety Violations

July 15, 2013 9:48 am

More than two dozen Mississippi slaughterhouses and poultry meat processing plants have violated sanitation or food safety guidelines over the past decade — and most did both, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. The newspaper analyzed records from the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service database of enforcement action against federally inspected facilities.


Rise of the Farming Robots

July 15, 2013 9:45 am | by GOSIA WOZNIACKA and TERENCE CHEA,Associated Press

A new generation of machines is targeting the last frontier of agricultural mechanization — fruits and vegetables destined for the fresh market, not processing, which have thus far resisted mechanization because they're sensitive to bruising.


Photo of the Day: Lettuce Bot Does Work of 20 Farm Workers

July 15, 2013 9:41 am

In the Salinas Valley, the lettuce capital of the world, entrepreneurs with the Silicon Valley company Blue River Technology are testing the Lettuce Bot, a boxy robotic machine that can thin fields of lettuce, a job that now requires detailed hand work by 20 farm workers.

Consumer Trends: Cider Consumption Soars

July 12, 2013 1:00 pm

A new report on the rising trend in global cider consumption forecasts that super-premium and value brands alike will prosper in the future. In the report, the bank says that consumption of cider has increased by 50 percent in the past decade.


Dairy Industry Expands in Kansas

July 12, 2013 12:29 pm | by AMY BICKEL,The Hutchinson News

The new Kansas Dairy Ingredients plant at Hugoton is just the start of what could be even more expansion in southwest Kansas, where today a few dozen industrial-strength dairies dot the horizon where crops like wheat and corn once grew — operations that stretch across a mile section.


Post Expects Sales Rose in 3Q

July 12, 2013 12:27 pm

Cereal maker Post Holdings Inc. on Thursday said it expects sales in its fiscal third quarter rose 4 to 7 percent from a year ago, helped by a recent acquisition. The St. Louis company predicts revenue of $252 million to $258 million for the quarter that ran through June, up from $241.9 million in the same months a year ago.


Republicans to Tackle Cuts in Food Stamp Program

July 12, 2013 12:25 pm | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

It remains unclear what a food stamp bill will look like, how it will move through the House or how quickly lawmakers can craft a bill. While Democrats have opposed any cuts to the $80 billion-a-year program, designed to give people temporary food assistance when their income falls beneath a certain level, Republicans have proposed many different approaches to trimming it.


Feds to Spend $1M to Fight Coffee Pest

July 12, 2013 12:19 pm | by AUDREY McAVOY,Associated Press

The USDA will spend $1 million to fight the coffee berry borer, a pest plaguing coffee farms in the Big Island's Kona district, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono announced Thursday. The pest has affected up to 80 percent of coffee farms, Hirono said, leaving some coffee fields in such bad shape that they've been abandoned, creating havens for the beetle.


Twinkies Make Early Return at Wal-Mart

July 12, 2013 12:17 pm

Twinkies are making an early comeback at Wal-Mart stores, and they won't be frozen beforehand. The world's largest retailer says it is selling the snack cakes at about 1,600 stores starting Friday and that about 3,000 of its 4,000 U.S. stores should have them by Sunday morning, a day before Hostess had said the spongy yellow cakes would start hitting shelves nationwide.


Daily Sound Bite: FDA Sets Arsenic Cap for Apple Juice

July 12, 2013 12:00 pm

After lobbying efforts by environmental groups and alarms raised by physician and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, the FDA is taking steps to limit the amount of arsenic allowed in apple juice. The "level of concern" has been lowered from 23 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion.


South Korea to Resume Buying Northwest Wheat

July 12, 2013 9:42 am

An Oregon Wheat Commission spokesman says South Korean flour mills will resume buying soft white wheat from the Pacific Northwest and will not restrict purchases of wheat grown in Oregon. Japan, Korea and Taiwan suspended imports of western white wheat from the Pacific Northwest after genetically modified wheat was discovered growing in an eastern Oregon field in May.


Melon Producers Face New Rules After Outbreak

July 12, 2013 9:41 am

Southwestern Indiana's melon growers are facing new federal food-safety regulations following last year's salmonella outbreak that killed three people who ate Indiana-grown cantaloupes. The FDA will be inspecting packing sheds and possibly field conditions as part of that effort.


House Approves Scaled-Down Farm Bill

July 12, 2013 9:38 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

Republicans pushed a scaled-down farm bill through the House on Thursday, putting off a fight over food stamp spending and giving GOP leaders a victory after a decisive defeat on the larger bill last month. Republicans faced significant opposition to the plan from Democrats, farm groups and conservative groups that threatened to use the vote against GOP members in future campaigns.


FDA Sets New Limits on Arsenic in Apple Juice

July 12, 2013 9:36 am | by MATTHEW PERRONE,AP Health Writer

The FDA is setting a new limit on the level of arsenic allowed in apple juice, after more than a year of public pressure from consumer groups worried about the contaminant's effects on children. Nationwide, apple juice is second only to orange juice in popularity, according to industry groups.


Corn Harvest Estimates Downgraded Slightly

July 12, 2013 9:31 am | by DAVID PITT,Associated Press

The USDA slightly lowered its estimate of the corn crop on Thursday, a reflection of late planting in the Corn Belt due to the wet spring. Farmers are now expected to harvest about 13.95 billion bushels, 55 million fewer bushels than predicted in June.


Photo of the Day: Dry Weather Improves Crops

July 12, 2013 9:28 am

Warmer, drier weather recently has helped improve crops after a soggy spring in the corn belt. For many farmers in Iowa and surrounding states, the rainy spring left fields soggy for weeks, causing them to delay planting weeks later than normal and, in some cases, re-plant because seeds had rotted.

Consumer Trends: Summer Fancy Food Award Winners

July 11, 2013 1:00 pm

The winners of the 41st sofi Awards for the outstanding specialty foods and beverages of the year were announced at the Summer Fancy Food Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. A sofi is the highest honor in the $86 billion specialty food industry.


U.S. Activists Praise Europe's Food Standards in Trade Talks

July 11, 2013 12:28 pm | by MARJORIE OLSTER,Associated Press

American activists urged European trade negotiators on Wednesday not to weaken environmental and food standards as they begin talks in Washington on a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement. About 50 activist groups were allowed to make 10-minute presentations each to trade negotiators and the media, expressing their views on aspects of the agreement.



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