beef certification granted
Three packers were recently granted Quality System Assessment (QSA) certification
by USDA, which means they have “ranch-to-plate” monitoring
systems in place that will give them a head start once the largest overseas
beef export markets reopen their borders, particularly Japan and South
Korea. Under the QSA program, packers form alliances with ranchers to
supply feeder cattle that have been carefully monitored and tracked through
their entire lives, including individual animal genetics, age and feeding
regiments. The first three companies granted QSA approval are Harris Ranch
Beef Co., and Brawley Beef Co., both of California, and Packerland Co.,
based out of Wisconsin.
JPN confirms 20th case of BSE
Japan last Monday confirmed its 20th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy
in a four-year-nine-month old Holstein cow from the northern Japanese
town of Shikaoi in the prefecture of Hokkaido. Japan detected its first
case of the bovine brain wasting illness in 2001. Since then, Japan has
checked every slaughtered cow before it enters the food supply. In February,
Japan confirmed its first case of vCJD in a man who died in December 2004.
Japanese health authorities said they believed the man contracted the
disease during a month-long visit to Britain in 1989.
Lebanon reopens to U.S. beef
Effective June 2 Lebanon resumed the importation of U.S. beef and beef
products from animals under 30 months of age. In 2003, Lebanon imported
$643,000 worth of U.S. beef and beef products. It is the third country
in the Middle East region to reopen its market to U.S. beef. According
to USDA statisticians, as of the U.S. has regained approximately $1.9
billion of the $4.8 billion pre-BSE beef export value.
Arby's announces move, buyout
Fast food roast beef sandwich retailer Arby's announced recently it is
moving its headquarters from Fort Lauderdale, FL, to Atlanta. In addition,
Triarc Companies Inc., owner of the Arby's brand, will purchase the largest
Arby’s franchisee RTM Restaurant Group, Dunwoody, GA. The buyout
is for $175 million in cash and 10 million shares of stock, and is expected
to be completed sometime during the third quarter of this year, a Triarc
statement said. RTM operates 775 restaurants in 21 states, compared to
233 Triarc-owned stores. The Arby's restaurant system consists of approximately
Sysco buys West Coast processor
Sysco Foods, Inc., last week announced the purchase of Facciola Meat Company,
Fremont, CA, a beef, pork and fish product manufacturer. Facciola Meat
is also a Certified Angus Beef distributor that services restaurants,
hotels and foodservice operations in northern California, Hawaii and Nevada.
Last year, its sales were approximately $82 million. Company founder Robert
Facciola will remain as the company’s president, according to a
statement from Sysco.
Steak maker purchases processor
Midwest steak manufacturer Quantum Foods announced last week its purchase
of Choice One Foods, Los Angeles, a processor of fully-cooked meat products
for foodservice and retailer customers. Under the agreement, Choice One
will continue to operate under the name Choice One Foods, LLC, and will
retain its present management. Quantum, based out of Bolingrook, IL, was
founded in 1990 as a precision steak-cutter and portion-control provider
for the foodservice industry, and has since expanded into the retail market
nationally and internationally.
Vienna Beef, Target ink deal
Renowned hot dog manufacturer Vienna Beef Co., recently signed a distribution
deal with Target Stores where prepared Vienna hot dogs will be sold in
1,350 stores with food courts and packaged Vienna hot dogs will be sold
in Target stores with grocery departments nationwide. Vienna Beef hot
dogs are available in hot dog stands in various markets, but until now
were only available at retail only in Chicago-area grocery departments,
including Treasure Island, Costco, Sam's Club and Cub Foods.Vienna Beef
has estimated the Target deal will add about 10 percent to the company's
hot dog business, which at present represents about 25 million pounds
a year. Vienna beat out ConAgra Foods' Hebrew National brand and Chicago-based
Sara Lee's Best Kosher dog for Target’s business.
Flies kill cattle, other livestock
Swarming flies were responsible for killing 324 farm animals in Latvia
late last month, with most of the victimized livestock being cattle. The
flies bit the animals to death, Latvia animal health officials reported.
Warm temperatures after an unusually cold, damp spring created ideal conditions
for the massive swarms of flies to attack grazing animals in Latgale,
one of the European Union’s poorest regions. Damages from the fly
attack could amount to tens of thousands of euros. Published reports said
at least 90 percent of the animals killed were cattle.
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