Alberta group has big beef plans
A group of Alberta ranchers plans to purchase an existing beef plant in
Alberta, and open a new 1,400-head-a-day slaughter facility in Manitoba.
Canada Farm Direct has already raised $20 million of the $30 million
through private investment it will need to obtain a large, unidentified
beef processing plant in Saskatchewan. If that deal goes through, Canada
Farm Direct would then move to construct a new Manitoba-based
slaughterhouse capable of processing up to 1,400 fed cattle a day.
Canada Farm Direct is hoping to open the new facility somewhere in
western Manitoba along the Saskatchewan border in the next few years.
The group maintains its processing plant will not operate in competition
with the proposed Ranchers’ Choice Beef Co-op plant slated to be
constructed in Dauphin, Alberta, later this year. For a minimum $10,000
investment, investors get a guaranteed dividend on net profits and can
have 50 head of cattle processed at the facility each year.
South Dakota beef backed by Gov.
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds recently announced his support of the
South Dakota Certified Beef program. He said the program is an
opportunity for the state to market its beef as “the finest anywhere”
and also generate higher earnings for producers who participate in the
program. Rounds said consumers will be willing to pay more for the
certified beef, the result of producers following certain steps,
including detailed record-keeping that includes birth and immunization
dates. Many producers already are taking many of those steps anyway, the
governor said. “If we produce the best beef, let's get paid for it,”
Jack in the Box profits jump
San Diego-based hamburger chain Jack in the Box Inc. recently announced
profits for the third quarter totaled $23.9 million, compared to $20.7
million a year ago and ahead of earlier projections for the quarter. The
company raised its projection for year-end net profits to approximately
$2.52 per share, up from the earlier forecasted $2.46. Last year, the
company earned $2.02 per share. For the first three quarters, sales
increased to $1.9 billion, compared to $1.7 billion a year ago. Jack in
the Box now operates 2,033 restaurants, about three-quarters of them
owned by the company.
Red Robin CEO dismissed
Michael J. Snyder has been dismissed as chairman, chief executive and
president of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers after an internal probe revealed
he misused charter airplanes and corporate expense accounts. A special
committee investigation by the Greenwood Village, CO-based company
identified various expenses by Snyder that were inconsistent with
company policies or “lacked sufficient documentation.” Snyder took
control of the company after merging his Snyder Group Co., which
controlled 14 Red Robin franchises, with the parent company in 2000. The
publicly-traded company, known for its wide array of specialty burgers,
owns and franchises more than 260 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.
Sysco earnings up for Q4, year
Restaurant food distributor Sysco Corp., recently announced net profits
edged up 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, to $284.7 million. Sales for
the Houston-based firm were $7.98 billion in the fourth quarter. For the
year, sales reached $30.3 billion, up 3.2 percent from a year ago, while
net profits rose 6 percent to $961.5 million. Richard Schnieders,
Sysco's chief executive, said that increased distribution efficiencies
more than offset rising fuel costs, and that the company's investments
in specialty food distributors is paying off.
Bob Evans sees sales increase
Processor and restaurant chain Bob Evans Farms has seen a rise in sales
of 23 percent in the first quarter of the financial year. Sales rose to
$395.6 million compared to $320.6 million in the same quarter last year.
The company said the increase is primarily thanks to the acquisition of
Mimi's Cafe in July 2004. Net income for the quarter was $7.2 million,
compared with $14.2 million a year ago. The decline has been put down to
lower same-store sales and operating margins at Bob Evans restaurants,
partially offset by improved results in the food products segment.
Same-store sales for the quarter fell by 1.9 percent at the company’s
restaurant division, and average menu prices were down by 0.1 per cent
from a year ago. At Mimi's Cafe, same-store sales went up by three
percent, with average menu prices up by 2.3 percent. During the first
quarter, the company opened six new Bob Evans restaurants, bringing the
total to 593. However, the company is reducing the number of Bob Evans
Restaurant openings to around 20 this year, from 37 in the 2005
financial year, as it focuses on improving results at existing outlets.
FSIS proposes to raise fees
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced through a USDA press
release a proposed rule that would create four incremental annual fee
increases for voluntary inspection, overtime and holiday inspection
services, identification and certification services, and laboratory
services. For example, the fee for providing meat and poultry voluntary
inspection, identification and certification services is proposed to
increase from $43.64 per hour per program employee in 2005 to $46.78 in
2006, $47.79 in 2007, $48.84 in 2007, and $49.93 in 2008. FSIS must pay
for inspection during regular hours, but will charge when inspectors
incur overtime or work during the holidays. To submit comments: Email to
email@example.com or www.regulations.gov; mail
comments to Attention Docket Clerk, Docket No. 03-027P, USDA/FSIS, 300
12th St., SW, Room 102 Cotton Annex, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700 by Aug.
Montana slaughterhouse shuttered
Ranchland Packing Co., a Butte, MT, meatpacker, was closed by USDA
inspectors who discovered an infestation of rodents and insects in the
building. The plant was ordered closed on Sunday, and the owners have
until the end of the day Wednesday to prepare a plan to correct the
situation. The company told the Associated Press that the infractions
were minor and limited to the office areas and that the company has
operated for over 30 years without a single food-safety complaint.
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