Archive for October, 2010

NOAA and FDA Announce Chemical Test for Dispersant in Gulf SeafoodSILVER SPRING, Md.  (Food-News.net)  Building upon the extensive testing and protocols already in use by federal, state and local officials for the fishing waters of the Gulf, NOAA and FDA have developed and are using a chemical test to detect dispersants used in the Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill in fish, oysters, crab and shrimp. Trace amounts of the chemicals used in dispersants are common, and levels for safety have been previously set.

Experts trained in a rigorous sensory analysis process have been testing Gulf seafood for the presence of contaminants, and every seafood sample from reopened waters has passed sensory testing for contamination with oil and dispersant.  Nonetheless, to ensure consumers have total confidence in the safety of seafood being harvested from the Gulf, NOAA and FDA have added this second test for dispersant when considering reopening Gulf waters to fishing.  

Using this new, second test, in the Gulf scientists have tested 1,735 tissue samples including more than half of those collected to reopen Gulf of Mexico federal waters.  Only a few showed trace amounts of dispersants residue (13 of the 1,735) and they were well below the safety threshold of 100 parts per million for finfish and 500 parts per million for shrimp, crabs and oysters. As such, they do not pose a threat to human health.  

The new test detects dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, known as DOSS, a major component of the dispersants used in the Gulf. DOSS is also approved by FDA for use in various household products and over-the-counter medication at very low levels. The best scientific data to date indicates that DOSS does not build up in fish tissues.

“The rigorous testing we have done from the very beginning gives us confidence in the safety of seafood being brought to market from the Gulf,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Under Secretary for Commerce and NOAA Administrator. “This test adds another layer of information, reinforcing our findings to date that seafood from the Gulf remains safe.”

“This new test should help strengthen consumer confidence in Gulf seafood,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, Ph.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. “The overwhelming majority of the seafood tested shows no detectable residue, and not one of the samples shows a residue level that would be harmful for humans. There is no question Gulf seafood coming to market is safe from oil or dispersant residue.”

The 1,735 samples tested so far were collected from June to September and cover a wide area of the Gulf. The samples come from open areas in state and federal waters, and from fishermen who brought fish to the docks at the request of federal seafood analysts. The samples come from a range of species, including grouper, tuna, wahoo, swordfish, gray snapper, butterfish, red drum, croaker, and shrimp, crabs and oysters.

Previous research provided information about how finfish metabolize DOSS, and at FDA’s Dauphin Island, Alabama lab, scientists undertook further exposure experiments on fish, oysters and crab; similar experiments on shrimp were held at NOAA’s Galveston, Texas lab. These exposure studies further support that fish, crustaceans and shellfish quickly clear dispersant from their tissues, and provided samples with known concentrations for use as standards for validating the methodology. Samples undergoing chemical analysis are always accompanied by standards with known concentrations of DOSS, to verify the equipment continues to measure the compound accurately.

Nearly 9,444 square miles, or about 4 percent of the federal waters in the Gulf are still closed to commercial and recreational fishing.

For More Information:  FDA Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Update

Media Inquiries:
Meghan Scott, FDA, (240) 507-0466
Christine Patrick, NOAA, (301) 713-2370
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA



Three New Plants in Hohhot, Luohe and Sanshui Underscore China Commitment

Coca-Cola Continues Strong Investment in ChinaHOHHOT, Inner Mongolia  (Food-News.net)  The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, Mr. Muhtar Kent, announced in Inner Mongolia today the opening and near completion of three new bottling plants in China worth a combined 1.6 billion RMB (USD 240 million), continuing its rapid expansion in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing beverage markets.

The new investments are a part of Coca-Cola’s 3-year USD 2 billion accelerated investment in China and the latest phase of Coca-Cola’s long-term commitment to its business in China. The investment is also aligned with the government’s call to develop the central and western areas of the country. The plants in Hohhot in Inner Mongolia, Luohe in Henan Province and Sanshui in Guangdong Province will locally produce beverages such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, and Minute Maid to quench the thirst of consumers in those regions.

The bottling plant in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, which is opened today, is the 41st Coca-Cola bottling plant in China. Yesterday, Mr Kent visited Luohe to inaugurate the new bottling plant in that city. It will be the largest Coca-Cola production facility in China and will begin production in November 2010. The plant has been constructed to the Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) standard, showcasing many energy and water conservation features. The Sanshui plant is also scheduled to commence production by the end of 2010. These new facilities will augment Coca-Cola’s strategic footprint in China, with the Luohe investment alone worth 900 million RMB. The three plants together will directly create 2,000 additional new jobs in the local communities and approximately 20,000 additional indirect employment opportunities in the supporting industries. By the end of the year this marks 6 plants inaugurated over the last 2 years.

“This 1.6 billion RMB commitment to Inner Mongolia, Henan and Guangdong Province is more than an investment in Coca-Cola’s expansion to capitalize on the fast growing China market. It is also an important step by Coca-Cola to assist in the development of local communities throughout China, including in the less developed areas,” said Mr. Muhtar Kent at the opening ceremony for the Hohhot plant. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Bater, the Chairman of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Mr. Frank Ning, Chairman of COFCO Group, and senior officials of Inner Mongolia and The Coca-Cola Company. “Our business has experienced strong growth year on year in China, which is now our third largest market. More importantly, the new plants in Inner Mongolia, Henan and Guangdong, will extend our competitive edge in China and allow Coca-Cola to support local community development by providing jobs, generating tax revenue and boosting further investment in the local economy by Coca-Cola suppliers,” said Mr. Kent.

In addition to the new world-class bottling facilities in China, Coca-Cola is also a global partner of the World EXPO in Shanghai. The Company has already served more than 70 million servings to EXPO visitors and working staff, and has greeted more than one million visitors to the “Coca-Cola Happiness Factory” pavilion in the EXPO Park.

Mr. Muhtar Kent who is Chairman of the US China Business Council and will lead board members on an official trip to Beijing over the coming days to meet with senior government leaders. The delegation will exchange ideas with various officials to help promote and improve commercial relations between China and US corporations.

Coca-Cola and its bottlers have always been active corporate citizens in China, promoting sustainable environmental projects and development of local communities through education and cooperative public-private endeavors. Over the past several years, Coca-Cola has actively contributed to the development of the local communities in China by contributing over 200 million RMB for disaster relief efforts and sponsoring Project Hope, a program that aims to improve education for disadvantaged children throughout China. By 2011, Coca-Cola would have built 100 Project Hope Schools across China. Working hand in hand with the World Wildlife Fund, Coca-Cola has also launched a project in 2007 to conserve the Yangtze River basin, the lifeblood of China that provides water to more than 400 million people. The partnership with WWF made significant progress toward the protection of this valuable natural resource by galvanizing local communities to actively participate in river basin conservation.

The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

Pilgrim's Pride Reports Financial Results for Third Quarter of Fiscal 2010GREELEY, Colo.  (Food-News.net)  Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (NYSE: PPC) today reported net earnings of $57.9 million, or $0.27 per share, on net sales of $1.7 billion for the third quarter ended September 26, 2010.  For the comparable quarter a year ago, the company reported net earnings of $82.7 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, on total sales of $1.7 billion.  Pilgrim’s currently has 214.3 million shares outstanding, compared to approximately 77.1 million diluted shares outstanding in the year-ago period.  Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes restructuring and reorganization charges, was $170.0 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2010, as compared to $185.3 million for the same period a year ago.  

“When compared to the second quarter of 2010, our financial performance in the third quarter reflects continued improvement in operating efficiencies and cost control,” said Don Jackson, Pilgrim’s president and chief executive.  “Our operational focus on improving yields, labor and other plant-related costs is driving better efficiencies, and we remain focused on sales mix and price improvement.”

Pilgrim’s said sales volumes rose across its retail and foodservice segments when compared to a year ago and the company succeeded in bringing in new, higher-margin business during the quarter.  When compared to the second quarter of 2010, gross margin as a percentage of sales in the third quarter increased across the company’s retail, foodservice and commodity channels.  

Jackson said the company is on track to restart deboning operations at its idled processing plant in Douglas, Ga., in mid-November 2010 to support other plants, with slaughter operations to begin in January 2011.  The company continues to target further expansion later in 2011 and 2012.  

“We are optimistic about the outlook for chicken heading into 2011,” Jackson said.  “While all of us are concerned about higher grain prices and the uncertain economy, there are several encouraging signs heading into next year.  Given the reduction in beef supply and the higher prices that are expected for beef and pork, chicken should be attractively positioned with consumers who are looking for the best value.  As a result, many of our customers are planning to feature chicken more prominently on their menus or in their stores next year.  We are already seeing an increase in foodservice demand for next year.”  

For the first three quarters of fiscal 2010, the company reported net income of $45.3 million, or $0.21 per share, on sales of nearly $5.1 billion.  These results include nonrecurring restructuring charges and reorganization expenses of $72.8 million pre-tax, or $45.3 million after tax, or $0.21 per diluted share.  For the same period a year ago, Pilgrim’s reported net income of $77.2 million, or $1.00 per diluted share, on sales of $5.2 billion.  Adjusted EBITDA for the first nine months of fiscal 2010 was $357.1 million, compared to $430.5 million for the same period a year ago.

Conference Call Information

A conference call to discuss the company’s quarterly results will be held today at 9 a.m. Mountain (11 a.m. Eastern).  To listen live via telephone, call toll-free 800-817-4887, passcode 9043889.  International callers should dial 913-981-5564, passcode 9043889. The presentation will be broadcast live over the Internet at  http://www.videonewswire.com/event.asp?id=73072.  (Please copy and paste the link into the browser.)  

Additionally, the company has posted a slide presentation on its website at http://www.pilgrimspride.com, which may be viewed by listeners in connection with today’s conference call.  The webcast will be available for replay within approximately two hours of the conclusion of the call.  A toll-free telephone replay will be available today beginning at approximately noon Mountain time by calling 888-203-1112, passcode 9043889. International callers may dial 719-457-0820, passcode 9043889.  The replay will be available for 30 days.  

About Pilgrim’s Pride

Pilgrim’s employs approximately 41,000 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared-foods facilities in 12 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico.  The Company’s primary distribution is through retailers and foodservice distributors.  For more information, please visit http://www.pilgrimspride.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release that state the intentions, plans, hopes, beliefs, anticipations, expectations or predictions of the future of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation and its management are forward-looking statements. It is important to note that the actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements.  Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements include: matters affecting the poultry industry generally; the ability to execute the company’s business plan to achieve desired cost savings and profitability;  the ability of the company to achieve the anticipated synergistic gains from the sale of 64% of its common stock to JBS USA Holdings, Inc; the ability of the company to re-open its idled facilities in the manner and on the time schedule planned due to, among other things, the company’s  dependence on commodity prices and economic conditions; future pricing for feed ingredients and the company’s products; additional outbreaks of avian influenza or other diseases, either in Pilgrim’s Pride’s flocks or elsewhere, affecting its ability to conduct its operations and/or demand for its poultry products; contamination of Pilgrim’s Pride’s products, which has previously and can in the future lead to product liability claims and product recalls; exposure to risks related to product liability, product recalls, property damage and injuries to persons, for which insurance coverage is expensive, limited and potentially inadequate; management of cash resources, particularly in light of Pilgrim’s Pride’s substantial leverage; restrictions imposed by, and as a result of, Pilgrim’s Pride’s substantial leverage; changes in laws or regulations affecting Pilgrim’s Pride’s operations or the application thereof; new immigration legislation or increased enforcement efforts in connection with existing immigration legislation that cause the costs of doing business to increase, cause Pilgrim’s Pride to change the way in which it does business, or otherwise disrupt its operations; competitive factors and pricing pressures or the loss of one or more of Pilgrim’s Pride’s largest customers; currency exchange rate fluctuations, trade barriers, exchange controls, expropriation and other risks associated with foreign operations; disruptions in international markets and distribution channel, including exports into Russia, the anti-dumping proceeding in Ukraine and the anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceeding in China; and the impact of uncertainties of litigation as well as other risks described under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact: Gary Rhodes  
Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations  
(903) 434-1495  
   
PILGRIM’S PRIDE CORPORATION  
Consolidated Statements of Operations  
(Unaudited)  
 
Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended  
September 26, September 26, September 26, September 26,  
2010 2009 2010 2009  
(In thousands, except per share data)  
 
Net sales $       1,719,850 $       1,736,149 $       5,070,336 $       5,211,064  
Costs and expenses:  
Cost of sales 1,560,031 1,560,934 4,726,007 4,791,630  
Operational restructuring charges, net 2,525 12,464 2,525 12,464  
 
Gross profit 157,294 162,751 341,804 406,970  
Selling, general and administrative expense 45,096 46,086 157,415 161,864  
Administrative restructuring charges, net (1,006) 51,695 (435)  
 
Total costs and expenses 1,606,646 1,619,484 4,937,642 4,965,523  
 
Operating income 113,204 116,665 132,694 245,541  
 
Other expenses (income):  
Interest expense 26,492 37,074 81,027 122,361  
Interest income (646) (543) (1,820) (3,855)  
Miscellaneous, net (1,676) 709 (8,505) (2,231)  
 
Total other expenses 24,170 37,240 70,702 116,275  
 
Income from continuing operations before reorganization
    items and income taxes
89,034 79,425 61,992 129,266  
Reorganization items, net 21,891 18,541 74,025  
 
Income from continuing operations before income taxes 89,034 57,534 43,451 55,241  
Income tax expense (benefit) 30,512 (24,766) (4,295) (21,864)  
 
Income from continuing operations 58,522 82,300 47,746 77,105  
Income from discontinued business, net of tax 25  
 
Net income 58,522 82,300 47,746 77,130  
Less:  Net income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interest 596 (425) 2,449 (69)  
 
Net income attributable to Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation $            57,926 $            82,725 $            45,297 $            77,199  
 
Net income per common share:  
Basic $                0.27 $                1.12 $                0.21 $                1.04  
Diluted $                0.27 $                1.07 $                0.21 $                1.00  
 
Weighted average shares outstanding:  
Basic 214,282 74,056 214,282 74,056  
Diluted 214,282 77,141 214,282 76,802  
               
PILGRIM’S PRIDE CORPORATION  
Consolidated Balance Sheets  
(Unaudited)  
September 26, September 26,  
2010 2009  
(In thousands)  
Assets:  
Cash and cash equivalents $            46,213 $          220,029  
Investment in available-for-sale securities 8,800 5,302  
Trade accounts and other receivables, less allowance for doubtful accounts 354,837 316,953  
Inventories 910,625 763,869  
Income taxes receivable 53,872 15,028  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 63,490 44,540  
Assets held for sale 59,218 473  
 
Total current assets 1,497,055 1,366,194  
 
Investment in available-for-sale securities 56,235 57,314  
Deferred tax assets 16,732  
Other long-lived assets 70,626 63,609  
Identified intangible assets, net 50,371 57,179  
Property, plant and equipment, net 1,343,694 1,499,476  
 
$       3,017,981 $       3,060,504  
 
Liabilities and stockholders’ equity:  
Accounts payable $          271,187 $          182,173  
Accounts payable to JBS USA, LLC 19,359  
Accrued expenses 276,506 309,259  
Pre-petition obligations 1,736  
Income taxes payable 16,549  
Current deferred tax liabilities 15,276 16,732  
Current maturities of long-term debt 75,355  
 
Total current liabilities 675,968 508,164  
 
Long-term debt, less current maturities 1,166,606 41,062  
Deferred tax liabilities 50,646 22,213  
Other long-term liabilities 88,522 98,783  
 
Total liabilities not subject to compromise 1,981,742 670,222  
 
Liabilities subject to compromise 2,233,161  
 
Common stock 2,143 771  
Additional paid-in capital 1,442,810 646,793  
Accumulated deficit (390,497) (469,407)  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (23,572) (27,237)  
 
Total Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation stockholders’ equity 1,030,884 150,920  
 
Noncontrolling interest 5,355 6,201  
 
Total stockholders’ equity 1,036,239 157,121  
 
$       3,017,981 $       3,060,504  
 
       
PILGRIM’S PRIDE CORPORATION  
Selected Financial Information  
(Unaudited)  
 

Note:  “EBITDA” is defined as the sum of income (loss) from continuing operations plus interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. “Adjusted EBITDA” is defined as the sum of EBITDA plus restructuring charges and reorganization items. EBITDA is presented because it is used by us and we believe it is frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties, in addition to and not in lieu of results prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the US (“GAAP”), to compare the performance of companies. We believe investors would be interested in our Adjusted EBITDA because this is how our management analyzes EBITDA from continuing operations. The Company also believes that Adjusted EBITDA, in combination with the Company’s financial results calculated in accordance with GAAP, provides investors with additional perspective regarding the impact of certain significant items on EBITDA and facilitates a more direct comparison of its performance with its competitors. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measurements of financial performance under GAAP. They should not be considered as an alternative to cash flow from operating activities or as a measure of liquidity or an alternative to net income as indicators of our operating performance or any other measures of performance derived in accordance with GAAP.

 
Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended  
September 26, September 26, September 26, September 26,  
2010 2009 2010 2009  
(In thousands, except per share data)  
 
Net income attributable to Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation $            57,926 $            82,725 $            45,297 $            77,199  
 
Add:  
Income tax expense (benefit) 30,512 (24,766) (4,295) (21,864)  
Interest expense, net 25,846 36,531 79,207 118,506  
Depreciation and amortization 57,924 58,173 175,397 175,847  
Minus:  
Amortization of capitalized loan costs 3,726 1,706 11,266 5,244  
 
EBITDA 168,482 150,957 284,340 344,444  
 
Add:  
Restructuring charges, net 1,519 12,464 54,220 12,029  
Pre-petition reorganization items, net  
Post-petition reorganization items, net 21,891 18,541 74,025  
 
Adjusted EBITDA $          170,001 $          185,312 $          357,101 $          430,498  
               

TreeHouse Foods Completes Acquisition of S.T. Specialty Foods; Amends and Increases Credit Facility to $750 MillionWESTCHESTER, Ill.  (Food-News.net)  TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE: THS) announced today that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of S.T. Specialty Foods for $180 million, plus up to an additional $15 million if the company achieves certain earnings targets for the 12 month period ending December 31, 2010.  S.T. Specialty Foods, Inc., headquartered in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, produces private label macaroni and cheese, skillet dinners and other value-added side dishes and salads.

Prior to the closing, on October 27, 2010, TreeHouse amended and restated its revolving credit facility.  The Amended and Restated Credit Agreement extends the maturity of the Company’s revolving credit facility from August 31, 2011 until October 27, 2015 and increases the amount available under the revolving credit facility from $600 million to $750 million.  The covenants under the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement are substantially consistent with those contained in the Company’s prior credit agreement.  The interest rate under the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement is based on the Company’s consolidated leverage ratio, and will be determined by either LIBOR plus a margin ranging from 1.50% to 2.50%, or a base rate (as defined in the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement) plus a margin ranging from 0.50% to 1.50%.

The proceeds of the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement were used to refinance the Company’s existing credit facility, fund the acquisition purchase price, and pay related transaction costs.  Upon closing of the S.T. Specialty Foods transaction, approximately $200 million of the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement remained undrawn and available.

About TreeHouse Foods

TreeHouse is a food manufacturer servicing primarily the retail grocery and foodservice channels.  Its products include non-dairy powdered coffee creamer; canned soup, salad dressings and sauces; sugar free drink mixes and sticks; instant oatmeal and hot cereals; macaroni and cheese, skillet dinners and other value-added side dishes and salads; salsa and Mexican sauces; jams and pie fillings under the E.D. Smith brand name; pickles and related products; infant feeding products; and other food products including aseptic sauces, refrigerated salad dressings, and liquid non-dairy creamer.  TreeHouse believes it is the largest manufacturer of pickles and non-dairy powdered creamer in the United States and the largest manufacturer of private label salad dressings, drink mixes and instant hot cereals in the United States and Canada based on sales volume.

Dole Awarded Distinction for Innovative Excellence in Produce CategoryWESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE) today announced the company has again won Supermarket News’ Category Excellence Award for the Produce Category.

Supermarket News, a nationally circulated weekly trade magazine for the food distribution industry, stated that “innovation this past year has run the gamut from new product introduction, to creative marketing and merchandising, to new steps toward better conservation of natural resources.”

With this award, Dole Fresh Fruit and Dole Fresh Vegetables were recognized for efforts in:

  • Tying Into Consumer Trends: Introducing the second phase of salad blend reimagining with all-natural kits and the publishing of an attractive, information-packed nutrition handbook.
  • Marketing/Promotions: Developing far-ranging, multimedia programs to further push banana sales, and successful use of social media, including Facebook, to spotlight salad kits and bananas.

Extensive consumer research efforts related to the re-launch of Dole’s complete line of packaged salad blends last year, found that fresh lettuce and other vegetables alone were not enough to meet consumers’ needs. Consumers wanted salad toppings and dressings included in the salad kits to be all-natural as well. In response, the company took its nine salad kits and introduced All Natural DOLE Salad Kits.

Ronda Reed, Dole Fresh Vegetables Vice President of Marketing said, “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized again for innovation in the category. This validates that the research we are doing and the focus we are placing on hearing what consumers want and responding, is gaining traction in the marketplace.”

The award also acknowledged that Dole hasn’t let up either on looking for ways to sell more bananas. Such efforts as the banana diet and creative point-of-sale materials have worked in past years. This year, the company picked up on something that emerged from consumer research. Dole learned that while 95% of American households buy bananas, almost all of the fruit is consumed early in the day. Thus was born Go Bananas After Dark™, a long-term promotion designed to encourage banana lovers to enjoy their favorite fruit after the sun goes down.

“Bananas are a very mature category and as such it is difficult to move the sales needle,” said David Bright, Vice President of Marketing for Dole Fresh Fruit. “Showing consumers new ideas and recipes will truly help inspire them to use bananas more in cooking and outside of the typical breakfast and morning snack usage patterns. We believe it really is an innovative concept, and appreciate the recognition from Supermarket News and the industry.”

This marks the third year in a row Dole has received this award.

Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.

LOS ANGELES  (Food-News.net)  Further cementing its position as one of the greenest companies in Southern California, F. Gavina & Sons, Inc. (Gavina) has been named the “2010 Food Processor of the Year” by the Food Industry Business Roundtable (FIBR).  The award was presented at the 14th Annual Taste of FIBR Awards Dinner in Los Angeles to Leonor Gavina-Valls and Michael Gavina, respectively the daughter and grandson of Founder Don Francisco Gavina.      

“Gavina’s commitment and tangible contributions on the sustainability front are not only a source of pride for us here in Southern California but also a perfect example for the food processing industry at-large of what can happen when vision turns into action,” explained Dandy Don Whittemore, president of FIBR. “We look forward to continuing to work with Gavina and the entire FIBR community to brew even greater progress towards a sustainable and greener America.”

The nominations were solicited from more than 1,800 food processing companies throughout Southern California and reviewed by a committee of FIBR board members. The winning nomination came from the City of Vernon’s Environmental Health Department praising Gavina for its’ extraordinary work in developing, implementing and promoting the principles of sustainability.  

“As a relatively small company with less than 800 employees, we are humbled by this recognition and thank the FIBR for their support and commitment to bringing sustainability to the forefront,” said Vice President of Marketing Leonor Gavina-Valls.  “Gavina may be the largest privately-held and minority-owned roaster in the country but to my three siblings and me who continue to build on our father Don Francisco’s four-generation legacy, we are just a tight-knit family with a whole lot of love and passion for coffee and the sustainability and wellness of the communities in which we work and live.”    

A recognized corporate leader for its environmental health and energy conservation practices, Gavina’s long-standing commitment to minimizing its products’ carbon footprint, reducing waste, lowering energy costs, and industry-leading green manufacturing practices are as integral to its mission as is delivering the highest quality coffee in every cup.  In 2007, the City of Vernon recognized Gavina’s newly inaugurated 240,000 square foot state-of-the-art roasting facility as the greenest factory in the city and awarded the makers of California’s own Don Francisco’s Coffee its prestigious Solid Waste Alternative Programs Award.  As further testament to its environmental vision in action, Gavina has reduced its waste output by more than 84 percent and plans to reach its goal of over 90 percent in the next few years.  In addition, Gavina is currently in the process of attaining LEED (The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. LEED certification is the most sought-after designation awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), setting the benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.  

About Food Industry Business Roundtable

The Food Industry Business Roundtable is a nonprofit business association dedicated to promoting the growth of the ethnic and specialty food processing industry in Southern California. FIBR accomplishes this mission by encouraging communication and cooperation among all segments of the industry; working with regulatory and economic development agencies; partnering with educational institutions to upgrade employee skills; building linkages between public and private sources of capital; and  keeping members informed about industry developments, market trends, trade policies and regulatory issues.

About F. Gavina & Sons, Inc.

Based in Vernon, California, F. Gavina & Sons, Inc. (Gavina) was founded in 1967 by Don Francisco Gavina.  The company has been a leading producer of high-quality and great-tasting premium coffee for more than four generations and is the nation’s largest family- and minority-owned coffee roaster company. Gavina is still owned and run by Don Francisco’s four children: Pedro (president), Jose (chief financial officer), Leonor (vice president of marketing), and Francisco (vice president of operations). To learn more about F. Gavina & Sons, Inc. and Don Francisco’s Coffee, please visit www.gavina.com and www.donfranciscos.com.

SEATTLE  (Food-news.net)  Allrecipes.com, a Reader’s Digest Association (RDA) brand and the #1 recipe site in the U.S., today announces “Thanksgiving Menu Mania,” a collection of Thanksgiving menus created to satisfy the cravings of home cooks this holiday. Allrecipes compiled a collection of themed menus from the site’s more than 3,700 Thanksgiving recipes from home cooks across the country. The menus include “Modern Twists to Old Favorites,” “Gluten Free,” “Bacon Lovers,” “Ready In 2 Hours or Less,” “Delightfully Light,” and more at (http://bit.ly/a588w3). The star of the show is a menu selected from Allrecipes’ community itself; “America’s Thanksgiving Choice Menu” was created with top recipes based on the behaviors of millions of home cooks, then voted on by thousands of community members to create a nine-dish feast from appetizers to dessert.

“With millions of home cooks in our community, there is a wide range of tastes and expectations for the Thanksgiving spread, which is why we created Thanksgiving Menu Mania,” said Lisa Sharples, president of Allrecipes. “Thanksgiving is the most important food holiday of the year and Allrecipes is consistently ranked the #1 food site for Thanksgiving. We are committed to meeting our community’s expectations as the ultimate destination for Thanksgiving meal planning.”

Thanksgiving Statistics

Allrecipes expects a significant increase from the 11.5 million home cooks who visited the site in November last year. Results from Allrecipes’ annual Thanksgiving Trends survey demonstrate what the community will be looking for:

  • 82 percent of respondents said they plan to try a new side dish recipe this year, while only 15 percent are willing to mess with the tried and true turkey.
  • Preparing dishes from scratch continues to rise with 66 percent of home cooks making their meal from scratch, up 11 percent year over year.
  • Positive ratings and reviews from peers are the most important factors that help home cooks choose holiday recipes.
  • The top three challenges of Thanksgiving are having dishes ready at the same time (36 percent), finding room in the fridge for leftovers (12 percent) and finding time to shop, cook and clean (12 percent)…though women are three times more likely to feel pressed for time compared to men (13 percent vs. 5 percent).

Second Annual LIVE Thanksgiving Webcast

The use of technology to aid in Thanksgiving preparation continues to rise as 46 percent of home cooks report they will view recipes on a computer or phone while in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner. To help tech-savvy cooks, Allrecipes is hosting its second annual LIVE Thanksgiving webcast on Saturday, November 20, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST. The webcast will take place in Allrecipes’ Seattle kitchen where staff and special guests will prepare America’s Thanksgiving Choice Menu, answer home cooks’ questions in real time on air via Facebook and Twitter, award prizes to live trivia questions and provide holiday cooking and entertaining tips and tricks. For the full schedule and segment topics, visit www.allrecipes.tv/live.

Stuffing In, Or Out?

America is divided over what makes the perfect stuffing, according to Allrecipes Thanksgiving Trends survey. Forty-one percent of respondents prefer stuffing prepared outside of the bird, 27 percent prefer it prepared inside the bird and 32 percent don’t care how it’s prepared as long as it’s on the table. Cooks in the Northwest are most likely to skip the stuffing, Midwest cooks are most likely to choose a boxed stuffing and Southerners are three times more likely to choose a cornbread stuffing compared to other regions. To flame the debate, “Allrecipes.com What’s Cooking?” asked members of its community to weigh in and filmed their stuffing secrets and preferences. Video vignettes from these cooks will air at 9:30 a.m. PST, during the stuffing segment of the LIVE Thanksgiving Webcast on November 20.

About Allrecipes

Allrecipes, the world’s largest food site, receives 434 million annual visits from home cooks who discover and share food experiences through recipes, reviews, photos, profiles, and blog posts. For 14 years, the Seattle-based site has served as a dynamic, indispensable resource for cooks of all skill levels seeking trusted recipes, entertaining ideas, everyday and holiday meal solutions and practical cooking tips. Allrecipes has 16 international sites around the world providing insights into the kitchens and cooking passions of home cooks everywhere. Allrecipes is part of Lifestyle Communities @ RDA, a division of The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. For additional information regarding Allrecipes, please visit www.allrecipes.com.

About Reader’s Digest Association

RDA is a global media and direct marketing company that connects more than 130 million consumers around the world with products and services from trusted brands. With offices in 43 countries, the company reaches customers in 78 countries, publishes 91 magazines, including 50 editions of Reader’s Digest, the world’s largest-circulation magazine, operates 78 branded websites and sells 40 million books, music and video products across the world each year. Further information about the company can be found at www.rda.com.

Campbell Soup Company to Support New Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labeling InitiativeCAMDEN, N.J.  (Food-News.net)  Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) today announced its support of a new, voluntary front-of-package nutrition labeling initiative announced Wednesday by the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI).

The fact-based system will feature information about the amount of calories and other nutrients, and will begin to appear on many appropriately-sized packages across Campbell’s portfolio of healthy beverages, baked snacks and simple meals starting in 2011.

“It’s essential to help people make informed choices at the point of sale and this new system has been created to help simplify the decision,” said Denise Morrison, Campbell’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Campbell will support this effort both through labeling and consumer education efforts together with other food and beverage manufacturers and retailers.”

Campbell’s participation in the labeling initiative is consistent with the company’s commitment to providing health and wellness options in the marketplace and the workplace. The company continues to work with members of the GMA and FMI to provide input into the design and implementation of the voluntary system and the supporting consumer communications program.

About Campbell Soup Company

Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup and sauces, baked snacks and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including “Campbell’s,” “Pepperidge Farm,” “Arnott’s” and “V8.” Through its corporate social responsibility program, the company strives to make a positive impact in the workplace, in the marketplace and in the communities in which it operates. Campbell is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoup.com.

Abbott's New ZonePerfect Cookie Dough Nutrition Bars: A Nutritious Twist for Cookie Dough LoversABBOTT PARK, Ill.  (Food-News.net)  Abbott makes nutritious snacking a lot tastier for cookie lovers today with the introduction of ZonePerfect Cookie Dough Bars, the first-ever full line of soft, chewy cookie dough nutrition bars offering antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and an excellent source of protein. A creative blend of taste, texture and nutrition, ZonePerfect Cookie Dough bars are now available in three delicious flavors: Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Raisin.

News Facts:

  • Available in three new flavors including Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Raisin, the newest addition to the ZonePerfect brand takes a creative approach to nutrition, combining great taste with an excellent source of protein (10 grams) for a ready-to-eat and delicious snack.
  • ZonePerfect Cookie Dough bars are a good source of 17 vitamins and minerals, and are rich in antioxidants (vitamins C & E, and selenium).
  • ZonePerfect Cookie Dough bars contain 170-190 calories per serving and a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat to help satisfy snackers on the go.
  • ZonePerfect Cookie Dough bars are ready-to-eat. There is no raw egg in the bars.
  • ZonePerfect Cookie Dough bars are available nationwide in the nutrition aisle at grocery stores, drug stores and mass merchandisers (store locator), and are sold individually, or in packs of five.

Commentary on new ZonePerfect Cookie Dough Bars:

From Monica Hysell, division vice president and general manager of Global Performance Nutrition, Abbott Nutrition:

  • “We’ve always taken a creative approach to nutrition, giving people a way to get important vitamins, minerals and protein but without sacrificing great taste. The new ZonePerfect Cookie Dough bars combine breakthrough cookie-inspired flavors, essential nutrients, and a soft, chewy texture for a delicious snack that could have you rethinking traditional cookie dough.”

Where to Buy ZonePerfect® Cookie Dough Bars:

ZonePerfect Cookie Dough bars are available nationwide in the nutrition aisle at grocery stores, drug stores and mass merchandisers (store locator). ZonePerfect nutrition products also can be ordered online at http://store.ZonePerfect.com.

About ZonePerfect®

The ZonePerfect brand provides balanced nutrition for busy people who refuse to sacrifice great taste. Full-size ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars are a good source of at least 17 essential vitamins and minerals and contain 170-220 calories and 10-15 grams of protein per serving. They are available in 21 flavors that appeal to taste preferences at any time of day.

About Abbott Nutrition

For more than 85 years, Abbott Nutrition has been developing and marketing science-based nutritional products to support the growth, health and wellness of people of all ages. Internationally recognized brands include the Similac® brand of infant formulas; the Gain® brand of growing-up milks; the PediaSure® brand of nutritionals for children; and the Ensure® brand of complete and balanced nutrition for adults.

The company is a leader in nutritional products clinically shown to address the distinct dietary needs of people with serious health conditions or special nutrient requirements, such as the Glucerna® brand of nutrition shakes and bars for people with diabetes.

Abbott Nutrition also offers EAS® specialized products to meet the unique nutritional needs of athletes, as well as ZonePerfect® all-natural nutrition bars for busy, active lifestyles.

More information about Abbott Nutrition’s products is available on the Web at http://www.AbbottNutrition.com.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs nearly 90,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott’s news releases and other information are available on the company’s website at http://www.Abbott.com.

VICTORIA, British Columbia  (Food-News.net)  Industrial-scale aquaculture production magnifies environmental degradation, according to the first global assessment of the effects of marine finfish aquaculture (e.g. salmon, cod, turbot and grouper) released today. This is true even when farming operations implement the best current marine fish farming practices.

Dr. John Volpe and his team at the University of Victoria developed the Global Aquaculture Performance Index (GAPI), an unprecedented system for objectively measuring the environmental performance of fish farming.

“Scale is critical,” said Dr. Volpe, a marine ecologist. “Over time, the industry has made strides in reducing the environmental impact per ton of fish, but this does not give a complete picture. Large scale farming of salmon, for example, even under even the best current practices creates large scale problems.”

The fish farming industry is an increasingly important source of seafood, especially as many wild fisheries are in decline. Yet farming of many marine fish species has been criticized as causing ecological damage. For instance, the researchers’ found that the relatively new marine finfish aquaculture sector in China and other Asian countries lags in environmental performance.

Dr. Volpe added, “The fastest growing sector is Asia, where we found a troubling combination of poor environmental performance and rapidly increasing production.”

With support from the Lenfest Ocean Program, Dr. Volpe and his team developed GAPI, which uses 10 different criteria to assess and score environmental impacts. Incorporating information such as the application of antibiotics and discharge of water pollutants, GAPI allows researchers to gauge which farmed species and countries of production have the best or worst environmental performance. The researchers examined the environmental impact of marine fish farming per ton of fish produced and the cumulative environmental impact for each country producing a major farmed species.

“GAPI provides a valuable tool for developing environmentally responsible fish farming. Governments can use GAPI to inform policies and regulations to minimize the environmental footprint of fish farming. Farmers can use it to improve production practices. And buyers can use it to compare and select better, more environmentally friendly seafood options,” said Chris Mann, senior officer and director of the Pew Environment Group’s Aquaculture Standards Project, which collaborated on the work.

For further information on GAPI, including a summary of the methodology and findings, please visit www.lenfestocean.org.

The GAPI 2010 report released today is based on 2007 data, the most recent year for which data for all aquaculture indicators are available. GAPI analysis will be updated periodically as additional data becomes available. For additional information, updated research and analysis, please see the GAPI Web site (www.gapi.ca).

The Lenfest Ocean Program supports scientific research aimed at forging solutions to the challenges facing the global marine environment. The program was established in 2004 by the Lenfest Foundation and is managed by the Pew Environment Group.

The University of Victoria, located in Victoria, British Columbia is a national and international leader in the study of the oceans, with expertise as far-ranging as ocean-climate interactions, ocean observation systems, physical and chemical oceanography, marine ecology, coastal resource management and ocean engineering.

MINNEAPOLIS  (Food-News.net)  The pathway to better health for teenage girls starts with the first meal of the day, and when they make a “good-for-me” choice their odds of having a healthier body weight and lower cholesterol improve. These are the latest peer-reviewed findings summarized in Public Health Nutrition. This analysis of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study (NGHS) data was funded in part by the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. The NGHS followed the diets of 2,379 girls who, at the beginning of the study, were between the ages of nine and 10 from 1987 to 1997; 51 percent, or 1,213, were African American girls and 1,166 were Caucasian girls who lived in Berkeley, CA, Cincinnati, OH and Washington, D.C.

10 Years of Study Data Finds African American Girls Benefit When They Eat BreakfastBased on analysis of the girls’ food diaries, breakfast cereal eaters tended to have lower waist-to-height ratios, which is an indicator of healthy body weight, lower total cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol. Previous findings from NGHS cited health benefits of eating breakfast related to lower BMI (findings released in 2005) and improved nutrition, higher milk consumption and increased physical activity (findings released in 2008).

One of the healthiest breakfast choices in the 10-year study was fortified ready-to-eat cereal, which helped boost the nutrient content in the girls’ diets. Analyses of the study results identified that tween and teen girls who regularly ate cereal for breakfast – relative to 24 other reported breakfast foods – were less likely to be overweight, had healthier body weights and lower cholesterol. A recent report indicates that 24 percent of African American girls ages 12 to 17 are overweight, compared to 15 percent of white girls1.

“As we look at the results of the study, it’s important to communicate three primary points with girls and their parents or guardians,” explained Susan Crockett, PhD., RD, F.A.D.A., Vice President and Senior Technology Officer, Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. “First, breakfast is a must for better health. Second, choose foods that will nourish your body and help jumpstart your day. Third, fortified cereal is a convenient, wholesome choice.”

I <3 BKFST

“About half, or approximately 51 percent, of girls followed in the study were African-American, so there is a real purpose for reaching out directly to teen Black girls to help them understand the benefits that come with having breakfast,” explained KeKe Palmer, I <3 BKFST spokesperson and teen actress and singer. “Starting the day right with a bowl of cereal topped with fruit, milk and a glass of orange juice is a smart choice—and one that more girls need to make. I’m asking girls to pledge on Facebook to eat breakfast—so they can help themselves and someone in need, too.”

Palmer is encouraging teens, ages 14 to 17, to visit www.facebook.com/IHEARTBKFST as a step toward better health – and to lend a helping hand to girls in need. I<3BKFST, translated as I HEART BREAKFAST, is designed to appeal to and help educate teens and their parents and guardians, and it borrows its name from the popular text symbol for love “<3.” Teens can visit Facebook.com/IHEARTBKFST, where they can first “like” the IHEARTBKFST page, and then pledge to eat breakfast. In turn, General Mills will donate $0.25 for every pledge made through December 22, 2010 – up to $10,000 and a minimum donation of $5,000 – to Grace House, a foster home for girls in need located in Birmingham, AL.

“Encouraging healthier eating habits is every parent’s responsibility, and given the body of evidence supporting the benefits of breakfast – and breakfast cereal as a good choice – we’re clearly giving our girls a great advantage by reinforcing the importance of the first meal of the day,” said Karol Watson, vice president, Association of Black Cardiologists and I <3 BKFST spokeswoman.

About General Mills

One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Yoplait , Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Häagen-Dazs, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2010 global net sales of US$16 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.

1 Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2007. Table HEALTH5.

al fresco Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage is a Winner of Cooking Light's 2010 Taste Test AwardsCHELSEA, Mass.  (Food-News.net)  al fresco – America’s #1 chicken sausage – was recently named a winner in Cooking Light magazine’s 2010 Taste Test Awards for its Sweet Apple chicken sausage. Featured in the magazine’s October issue, Cooking Light’s Taste Test Awards celebrate a year-long search for the most delicious and nutritious food products from hundreds of brands in 50 bestselling grocery store and artisanal categories.

“We are ecstatic to have received this award from Cooking Light for our all natural Sweet Apple chicken sausage,” said Sarah Crowley, al fresco’s Senior Brand Manager. “Cooking Light is the leading voice in light and healthy cuisine, and we are honored to have received this nod from their editors.”

About Cooking Light magazine’s 2010 Taste Test Awards:

Cooking Light editors chose products available in major supermarkets nationwide and then vetted those products against nutrition standards, omitting any with artificial trans fats, artificial sugars, or too much salt. The 200 products that made the cut were then tasted “blind,” with the brands of each product unknown to the tasters until after the winners were selected.

al fresco All Natural chicken sausage comes in 12 delicious flavors such as Sweet Apple, Roasted Pepper & Asiago and Chipotle Chorizo. They have no artificial ingredients, are gluten free and have 70% less fat and 40% less sodium than traditional pork sausage. Made with lean, skinless chicken meat and only the freshest herbs and spices, these flavorful and juicy sausages are fully cooked for your convenience – just heat, serve and enjoy! To learn more about the al fresco brand or to explore the many recipes created to highlight al fresco’s variety of flavors, please visit www.alfrescoallnatural.com.

About al fresco:

al fresco All Natural is manufactured by Kayem Foods, Inc. the largest meat processor in New England, making over 500 products under eight brand names. Based in Chelsea, MA, the privately held and operated company has been owned and operated by the same family since 1909. Kayem Foods offers the best of both worlds – “Old World” flavor and “New World” quality and freshness. For more information, visit the al fresco All Natural website at www.alfrescoallnatural.com.

Most Egg Production Worldwide Continues To Be In Traditional Cage HousingALPHARETTA, Ga.  (Food-News.net)  The vast majority of commercial egg production around the world continues to be in traditional cage housing, according to the latest statistics reported by the International Egg Commission (IEC) and released today by the United Egg Producers,  America’s largest cooperative of egg farmers nationwide.

Approximately 85 percent of eggs worldwide are produced in traditional cages, according to the IEC report. Thirty of the 35 countries which the IEC surveyed had more than half of their eggs produced in modern cages, and 15 of the 35 countries produced more than 90 percent of their eggs in cages.   Seven countries produce all of their eggs in cages, according to the report, including Mexico, China, Brazil, India, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Iran.  These countries would be in an ideal position to profit by increasing their export of eggs to the United States if egg cage housing restrictions are enacted here, as some animal rights activist groups have proposed. The United States produces 95 percent of its eggs in modern cage housing, and only 5 percent in cage-free or other non-cage type systems.

Gene Gregory, president of United Egg Producers, says that despite pressure and bullying tactics by some animal rights groups, the overwhelming majority of American consumers continue to prefer regular eggs from modern cage housing systems rather than cage-free. “Americans vote every day with their wallets, and regular eggs from modern cage housing systems win every time by a landslide ratio of 95 percent.”

Cage housing systems, in which small groups of about six hens live together in a manner that allows farmers to systematically provide them with fresh food and water and their eggs to be collected quickly for the freshest and most safe eggs, are considered by many animal health experts to be the best production system for hens.  

Hens in modern cage housing systems tend to have fewer diseases, less mortality, require fewer medications, produce the cleanest and best quality eggs, with the smallest carbon footprint, and at least cost for consumers, according to Craig Reed, former deputy administrator of the Food Safety Inspection Service of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“The advantage of having an egg produced in a cage system is that the egg gets away from the manure, the bedding and the live animal (it rolls out of the cage after being laid) more rapidly,” explains Craig Reed.

“The sooner you can isolate that egg so it can be washed, cleaned, sanitized and checked for any deformities, the better that egg is going to be.  And the safer that egg is going to be,” he explains.

A new study by a team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit showed there is no substantial quality difference between specialty (cage-free, etc.) and traditionally-produced eggs.

A study in 2010 by D.C. Lay, Jr., with the Agricultural Research Service of USDA,  and ten others animal welfare and behavior experts  reported that “mortality can reach unacceptably high levels in non-cage systems”, “hens in conventional cages and furnished cages have less footpad dermatitis and bumblefoot” and “non-cage and outdoor systems provide a greater opportunity for disease and parasites.”  

In the U.S., the average advertised price for Grade A regular eggs from such traditional cage housing systems is 87 cents per dozen for the week of October 22, 2010, according to USDA.  During the same period, cage-free eggs were $2.62 per dozen and organic (free range) were $4.06 per dozen.

The U.S. is the fifth highest per capita consumer of eggs in the world, at 246 eggs per person each year, according to the IEC.  Mexico is the highest per capita consumer of eggs, at 355 eggs per person each year, followed by China, Japan and the Czech Republic.

About United Egg Producers

United Egg Producers (UEP) is the nation’s leading egg farming cooperative for U.S. egg farmers, representing 97 percent of U.S. egg farmers, whose members produce eggs including modern cage production, cage-free, free range, organic and other specialty eggs. UEP is based in Alpharetta, GA. To learn more about the egg industry visit www.uepcertified.com.

 

Cocopotamus Fudge Truffles Are Rolling Across the Midwest; Featured in Health MagazineALBUQUERQUE, N.M.  (Food-News.net)  Cocopotamus handmade dark chocolate fudge truffles are rolling into a new market. And, the handmade chocolates are again getting national recognition for being a deliciously healthy indulgence.

The November issue of Health magazine, currently on newsstands nationwide, taps Cocopotamus as a delicious indulgence that won’t blow your diet. “We are all very excited about Cocopotamus,” says Health staff member Kimberly Holland. “I tell all my customers that a Cocopotamus truffle has only 54 calories,” gushes Gina Battle, owner of Faith, Hope & Chocolate in Vero Beach, FL. “Cocopotamus is my top-shelf truffle. We love it!”

Starting this holiday season, Cocopotamus will be rolling across the Midwest in a big way. The handmade truffles will be carried at select Hy-Vee supermarkets across the Mid-West. Already sold in Illinois and Wisconsin, the move to Hy-Vee will now add six more states to the Cocopotamus repertoire: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Previously, Lifetime Network has featured Cocopotamus on national TV for both its “yummy and healthy” chocolate status. Rachael Ray’s Holiday Gift Guide also tapped the fudge company, calling Cocopotamus fudge truffles “awesome chocolate.” Just in time for the holidays, Cocopotamus has 3 new flavors: “Love Potion #10,” infused with Mexican canela cinnamon and organic strawberry, “Holy Cow,” a milk-chocolate fudge truffle dipped in dark chocolate, and “Bo Peep,” an 88% dark chocolate fudge truffle infused with organic black raspberry. So far, “Holy Cow” is selling like gangbusters.  “Holy Cow is a huge holy hit,” says Battle. Monica Barr, co-owner of Le Chocoholique in Columbus, OH concurs. “Yuuuuhmmee!”

The most popular flavors of Cocopotamus for the holidays are “Santa’s Addiction” (a double peppermint truffle), “Cupcake” (classic dark chocolate fudge), “Yo-ho-ho” (with Caribbean dark rum), and “Blame Canada” (pure maple). “But we think that this year, ‘Holy Cow‘ may give the others a run for their money,” laughs Cocopotamus by NYDC Chocolate CEO Max Sinclair.

Cocopotamus chocolate is all natural, handmade and hand-dipped. The dark chocolate fudge truffles are all gluten-free, and surprisingly low fat. The 22 Cocopotamus flavors range from classic – such as Ray’s pick, “Cupcake,” to the more exotic – like “Mr. French,” topped with gourmet sea salt. And of course, this whimsical chocolatier won’t stop there; Mr. French recently got married. “Mrs. French” takes the dark chocolate/sea salt combination to new heights by infusing French almond into the dark chocolate fudge truffles. Cocopotamus ships nationwide from http://www.cocopotamus.com, including gift, party, corporate and wedding chocolate. Cocopotamus is sold in 24 states at retailers including Whole Foods Market, Mother’s Gourmet Market, and Hy-Vee, and in Canada and the Cayman Islands.  Cocopotamus by NYDC Chocolate was created by the husband and wife team of Max and Ally Sinclair.

Contact:

Ally Sinclair
Cocopotamus by NYDC Chocolate
http://www.cocopotamus.com
505-301-1633

HAMDEN, Conn.  (Food-News.net)  The Enlightened Gourmet (OTCBB: ENLG) announced today that it has kicked off its new product campaign aimed at the $12 Billion National School Lunch Program. The Program serves over 5 billion lunches every year, feeding over 30 million students in over 100,000 schools across the Country every school day.

The Company’s new stuffed pasta entrées offer a healthier alternative to existing stuffed pasta entrées like raviolis, lasagna and stuffed shells. The Company utilized several of its base ingredients and created a new process to make a fat free ricotta cheese that has both the taste and texture of a full fatted cheese, with not only fewer calories, but with considerably less sodium as well. The entrées meet the Federal Government’s protein requirement making it eligible for the Lunch Program. The entrées also include a natural prebiotic to help aid in the absorption of calcium. According to the National Institutes of Health, 70% of school age children between the age of 9 and 12 do not receive the recommended daily amount of calcium. Lastly, the entrées are also lactose free. According to the Department of Health & Human Resources, almost 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant. Children who are lactose intolerant consume less dairy products as a result of being lactose intolerant; because the Company’s new stuffed pasta entrées are lactose free, children can eat them without becoming sick.

Unlike large food companies who were criticized by a recent Department of Agriculture study for not being creative, the Enlightened Gourmet is being very innovative by using its expertise to create entrées for school children that not only taste great, but are a healthier alternative to many of the meals currently being served in our Nation’s schools.

The Company believes that these new products will become very popular with school dieticians who are looking for healthier, cost effective meals to serve in the National School Lunch Program. The Company expects to record its first sale of this new product prior to the end of the year.

About The Enlightened Gourmet Inc.

The Enlightened Gourmet Inc. has developed a neutral tasting, low calorie, fat free texture and flavor carrying system. The system is not based upon fat and is extremely low in net carbohydrates. This technology and know how is proprietary to the Company and can be applied to many food categories. While the Company now manufactures a line of healthy, fat free, Ice Cream, it is seeking to introduce other foods traditionally high in fat. It is also seeking licensing partners which will allow it to expand rapidly into the $56 billion food industry.

The Enlightened Gourmet, Inc. is a fully reporting company whose stock trades on the OTCBB under the symbol “ENLG.” For further information contact Alexander L. Bozzi, III, the Company’s President, at 203-823-8865.

This Press Release contains or incorporates by reference “forward looking statements including certain information with respect to plans and strategies of The Enlightened Gourmet, Inc. For this purpose, any statements contained herein or incorporated herein by references that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “suggests,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward looking statements. There are a number of events or actual results of The Enlightened Gourmet operations that could differ materially from those indicated by such forward looking statements.

Marler Clark Sues Iowa Egg Producer on Behalf of Texas Salmonella Victim

SEATTLE  (Food-News.net)  Wright County Egg, one of two egg companies whose products resulted in over 1,500 Salmonella cases nationwide this year, is facing another lawsuit from a Salmonella outbreak victim. The latest lawsuit was filed by the Seattle-based food safety law firm Marler Clark in Federal District Court in Iowa today on behalf of Brookshire, Texas resident Jim Bussey.

According to the lawsuit, Bussey became ill with a Salmonella infection after consuming a purchased egg and sausage breakfast taco in Sealy, Texas, on June 25, 2010. He was hospitalized for three days and continues to suffer from ongoing Salmonella-related gastrointestinal issues. A stool sample obtained during Bussey’s hospitalization cultured positive for the strain of Salmonella enteritidis associated with the outbreak linked to Wright County Egg.

“Companies that sell food to consumers need to double and triple check their food safety procedures to make sure they’re doing everything they can to prevent foodborne illness,” commented Bussey’s attorney, Bill Marler of Marler Clark. “Clearly, Wright County Egg was not doing all it could to prevent its customers from becoming ill with Salmonella.”

Marler continued, “What we’re seeing right now in Texas is another company’s failure to prevent consumers from becoming ill with foodborne illness – this time listeriosis.”

On October 20, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced that chopped celery was the source of a Listeria outbreak among Texas residents. At least 10 Texans have become ill with listeriosis in the last 8 months; 5 have died as a result of their Listeria infections. Texas DSHS determined that the source of the outbreak was chopped celery sold by Sangar Fresh Cut Produce in San Antonio.

MARLER CLARK is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella and Listeria outbreaks. The firm has been representing victims of food poisoning outbreaks nationwide for nearly 20 years. For additional information about the lawsuit or food poisoning litigation in general, contact Bill Marler at 206-794-5043 or bmarler@marlerclark.com.

Nestle Prepared Foods Company to Decrease Sodium by Another 10% by 2015NEW YORK  (Food-News.net)  Nestle Prepared Foods Company today announced a comprehensive plan to decrease the sodium content in its products by another 10 percent from reductions made earlier this decade. This major initiative will carry through 2015 and includes the company’s popular STOUFFER’S®, LEAN CUISINE®, BUITONI®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brands which will undergo gradual but steady recipe changes in order to bring down sodium levels without impacting taste.

“We are dedicated to helping people improve their overall wellness by providing convenient, wholesome and delicious foods. That’s what we mean by “Good Food, Good Life,” the statement that appears on a number of our consumer communications,” said Brad Alford, Chairman & CEO of Nestle USA.  “Adjusting our sodium levels is part of our broader effort to create delicious and nutritious options that contribute to healthier lifestyles.”

New Ingredients, Classic Flavors

The most recent example of the company’s ongoing efforts to provide sound nutrition balanced with great taste are STOUFFER’S® Farmers’ Harvest™ meals, to be available nationally by year’s end. The Farmers’ Harvest™ portfolio includes three new family size meals and seven new individual servings of classic but updated favorites like Macaroni & Cheese and Lasagna.

Taste is assured by the use of high-quality ingredients such as sea salt, olive oil and real cheese.  Whole grains are featured in eight of the recipes while four of the individual meals feature 1/2 cup of vegetables.  (The 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day; one serving equals 1/2 cup.)  Sodium content for these ten varieties ranges from 660-950 mg (28% – 40% DV or Percent Daily Value).  

“Now is the perfect time to introduce Farmers’ Harvest™,” Alford said.  “Consumers live in an “and” world. They want great taste and sound nutrition, convenience and variety. This is exactly the need Farmer’s Harvest meets by offering a convenient and delicious way to satisfy both taste and nutrition needs.”

Updating a Classic

Modernizing Macaroni & Cheese is another way that Nestle has improved the nutritional profile and sodium content of its offerings, while still assuring taste.  First introduced in 1954, the company’s top-selling STOUFFER’S® Macaroni & Cheese is now available in a variety made with whole grain, introduced in the Farmers’ Harvest™ range.

In addition, classic STOUFFER’S® Macaroni & Cheese has decreased sodium levels of its 20 oz. and  12 oz. packages from 920 mg per serving to 820 mg per serving (from 38%DV to 34% DV, an average decrease of 10 percent) since 2005. The average sodium level for the entire range of STOUFFER’S® meals is now at 876 mg (36.5% DV).

The changes to sodium content were made gradually, since consumer research consistently has shown that consumers often associate sodium reduction with reduced flavor. With this approach of stepwise, moderate reductions, Nestle has managed to avoid negative reactions as well as helping consumers gradually adapt their taste for salt, making their choices more likely to last.

“We’ve taken a ‘slow but steady’ approach to updating our Macaroni & Cheese,” Alford recalled.  “We wanted to make this change in a way that consumers would adapt to easily and enjoyably. As it turns out, ‘slow and steady’ has been a successful approach in transitioning this American favorite to this new sodium level.”

Continuous Improvements

STOUFFER’S® is not the only brand within the Nestle Prepared Foods Company roster to gradually decrease sodium levels over the years.  LEAN CUISINE® was introduced to the American marketplace in 1981 with 10 products; average sodium levels were then at or above 1,000 mg. Today, LEAN CUISINE® offers 123 varieties with an average sodium level of 606 mg (25% DV).  

Within the LEAN CUISINE® line, fifteen SPA CUISINE™ and eight new MARKET CREATIONS items all contain 1/2 cup vegetables (2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day; one serving equals 1/2 cup).  Fifteen LEAN CUISINE® items are made with 100% whole grain pasta.  Ten varieties of LEAN CUISINE® feature seafood, which provides an excellent source of omega-3.*

From its Denver-based business, Nestle offers 69 handheld products marketed under HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches. These convenient items also have benefited from gradual sodium reduction strategies which began in 2005.  Current average sodium content across these products is 610 mg per serving (25% DV).  As well, LEAN POCKETS® now offers eight varieties featuring whole grain crusts.

BUITONI® Refrigerated Pastas also have heeded consumer requests for tasty and nutritious choices. In 2005, when the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommended that Americans consume more whole grains, BUITONI® invited consumers to try their whole wheat ravioli, linguine and tortellini varieties.

“As part of the world’s largest food company, our Nestle businesses have access to a depth of knowledge and expertise that is unmatched,” said Alford. “Working with Nestle S.A., we have established Nutrition Foundations for our key brands and used the guidance provided by the Nestle S.A. policies on sodium, sugar, and trans fat to shape the product development work at Nestle Prepared Foods Company. We are pleased to be able to offer American favorites that deliver delicious taste and thoughtful nutrition in every bite.”

About Nestle Prepared Food Company

Under the leadership of President and CEO Bob Leonidas, Nestle Prepared Foods Company businesses employ over 9,000 people in their U.S. manufacturing facilities and headquarter sites. With a focus on convenient, nutritious and delicious meals, sandwiches and snacks, Nestle Prepared Foods Company is the maker of America’s most popular frozen food brands including: STOUFFER’S®, LEAN CUISINE® , HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches and BUITONI® refrigerated pastas and sauces, also a category leader. Its Nestle Baking business includes well-known brands including NestlE® TOLL HOUSE® Morsels, Baking Ingredients and Refrigerated Cookie and Brownie Dough; NestlE® CARNATION® Milks, and LIBBY’S® Pumpkin.

With the upcoming release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Nestle Prepared Foods Company will again be ready with a range of nourishing choices that help consumers achieve a balance between taste and nutrition. Likewise, the company will continue to strive for leadership in consumer education with an increased focus on “front-of-package” nutritional information that complements the standard nutrition labeling and the proprietary Nestle Nutritional Compass, which appears on product packaging representing 98% of total Nestle sales volume around the world.(1)

Nestle is also a proud member of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation(2), a coalition of more than 100 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, sporting goods and insurance companies, non-governmental organizations and professional sports organizations assembled to help reduce obesity – especially childhood obesity – by 2015.  As such, the company is committed to build upon its existing efforts with products, packaging and labeling that make it easier for consumers to manage their calorie intake while preserving or enhancing overall nutrition quality. For more information on Nestle’s commitment to “Good Food, Good Life,” or on any of the products mentioned, please visit www.nestleusa.com.

About Nestle USA

Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for thirteen consecutive years, Nestle provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day.  From nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine® to baking traditions with NestlE® Toll House®, Nestle USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that enrich the very experience of life itself.  That’s what “Nestle. Good Food, Good Life” is all about.  

Well-known Nestle brands include: NestlE® Toll House®, NestlE® Nesquik®, NestlE® Coffee-mate®, Stouffer’s®, Lean Cuisine®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, NescafE®, NescafE® Taster’s Choice®, NESTLE® Juicy Juice®, Buitoni®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, NestlE® Crunch®, NestlE® Butterfinger®, Wonka®, DIGIORNO®, TOMBSTONE® and CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® frozen pizza.

Nestle USA, with 2009 sales of $10.4 billion, is part of Nestle S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company with a commitment to Nutrition, Health & Wellness — with 2009 sales of $99 billion.  For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or NestleNewsroom.com.

All trademarks are owned by Societe des Produits Nestle S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

* The LEAN CUISINE® seafood varieties contain a minimum of 50 mg DHA & EPA combined per serving, which is 31% of the 160 mg Daily Value for omega-3 fatty acids DHA & EPA.

(1)  Nestle Nutritional Compass:   Nestle web site.  Creating Shared Value case studies.

(2)  Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation: press release, Oct. 5, 2009 “Nestle USA Partners with Retailers, Food and Beverage Industry To Launch National Obesity Campaign

Nutrition Experts, Celebrity Chefs Mark Dole Salad Bar Donation at DC SchoolWESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  Today, Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE:DOLE) was joined by USDA Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Julie Paradis, city officials and D.C.-based celebrity Chefs Cathal Armstrong and Spike Mendelsohn to mark the donation of a salad bar at the CentroNía D.C. Bilingual Charter School.

The District of Columbia has the highest childhood obesity rate in the nation, according to a study released this month by the Centers for Disease Control. Thankfully, initiatives including First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign are drawing attention to the obesity epidemic and have made nutrition and health goals a part of the country’s national agenda.

Dole Food Company, in partnership with United Fresh Produce Association, is working to help schools in our Nation’s Capital meet these goals by donating free salad bars to several schools throughout the District, including D.C. Bilingual Charter School, Walker-Jones Elementary, River Terrace Elementary and Brown Education Campus.

“The salad bar donations are a natural extension to Dole’s existing commitment to kids’ nutrition,” said Marty Ordman, Dole’s Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications. “With the donation of these salad bars, we’re making healthy eating a daily event.”

Thursday’s event highlighted real-world solutions to combat the obesity epidemic. It also recognized an innovative D.C. school that is working to ensure their students understand the important role of fresh fruits and vegetables in eating healthy every day.

“I am proud to instill healthy lifestyles in children and families by starting early with healthy eating,” said BB Otero, President and CEO of CentroNía. “Together, with partnerships like these, we can improve our children’s health.”

About CentroNia

CentroNía is a multicultural learning community, pioneering the approach to bilingual education. A multi-site organization, CentroNía provides guidance each step of the way for children, youth and families to achieve their goals within the community and beyond. At present, CentroNía is located throughout the region offering programs at three center-based facilities. Annually, our programs reach more than 1,500 children and families.

About Dole Food Company

Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas and producer/shipper of organic pineapples. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. For more information, please visit www.dole.com.

Sustainable Food and Drink Lovers Attracted by Perceived Superior Quality, Reports MintelCHICAGO  (Food-News.net)  Consumer demand for sustainable food and drink continues to grow, and companies are increasing the supply, as Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) has tracked more than 13,000 new sustainable food and drink products since 2005. While 84% of consumers say they regularly buy green or sustainable food and drink, some are unaware of what the claims actually mean.

“Packaging claims such as ‘recyclable’ or ‘eco- or environmentally friendly’ are fairly well known to consumers, but sustainable product claims such as ‘solar/wind energy usage’ or ‘Fair Trade’ have yet to enter the mainstream consumer consciousness,” David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel points out. “They may have heard of the terms, but they’d be hard-pressed to define them.”

Of those surveyed, 40% have never heard of the solar/wind energy usage claim. The 37% that have say they’ve never purchased food or drink bearing the claim. Reduced carbon footprint/emissions is another lesser-known claim, as 32% have never heard of it. Thirty-four percent say they’ve never heard of the Fair Trade claim.

So, why do they buy?

According to Mintel research, 45% of sustainable food and drink users cite a perceived belief in superior quality as the reason behind their purchases. Meanwhile, 43% say they buy sustainable food and drink because they’re concerned about environmental/human welfare and 42% say they’re concerned with food safety.

“These reasons vary in importance across different demographics. What’s most important to young adults may not be the primary deciding factor for affluent consumers,” notes David Browne. “Marketers should consider this in their claims closely; noting that health, welfare, and safety are important for nearly all consumers.”

About Mintel

Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence. For more than 38 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, offering exclusive data and analysis that directly impacts client success. With offices in Chicago, New York, London, Sydney, Shanghai and Tokyo, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand. For more information on Mintel, please visit www.mintel.com. Follow Mintel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mintelnews

Tennessee Pride Introduces Turkey Sausage BiscuitsMADISON, Tenn.  (Food-News.net)  For the first time in its 67-year history, Tennessee Pride has introduced its first poultry-based breakfast sandwich: Turkey Sausage Biscuits. They are the only snack-size turkey breakfast sandwich available, and they contain 60% less fat.

The company has been expanding its breakfast sandwich business recently to meet a growing consumer demand for hot, nutritious breakfast products that are lower in fat. The idea that sparked this new product came directly from consumer research, which showed that mothers have a need for a nutritious breakfast alternative for their children. The product also needs to taste great and be easy to prepare – especially for hectic mornings before school.  

According to Larry Odom, the president and CEO of Tennessee Pride, “We listen to our customers to keep our product offerings in tune with their changing needs. The new Turkey Sausage Biscuits are a perfect solution for families seeking a new breakfast option. They have 60% less fat than our regular Sausage Biscuits, contain no MSG, and have only 100 calories per sandwich.”  

The new product is being offered to all Tennessee Pride retail customers and is available in various grocery stores, including Bi-Lo, Food City, Food Lion, Hy-Vee, Ingles, Jewel, Kroger, Lowes, Piggly Wiggly, Publix, Schnuck’s, Shopper’s Food Warehouse, Shop ‘n Save and Walmart.

About Tennessee Pride

Odom’s Tennessee Pride is one of the largest sausage companies in the United States. It is family-owned and based in Madison, TN. The company manufactures and markets fresh breakfast sausage, breakfast sandwiches, fully cooked products, sausage gravy and appetizers for retail and foodservice distribution throughout the U.S. More details can be found on the company’s website at www.tnpride.com

Cargill Recognized by McDonald's USA for Its Animal Welfare and Environmental EffortsMINNEAPOLIS  (Food-News.net)  Citing the ability to balance long-term sustainability goals with the need to perform competitively, McDonald’s USA has selected Cargill for its 2010 U.S. Sustainability Award.

“One of Cargill’s strengths is that when we face a challenge the best of the company comes together to solve it,” said Pete Richter, president, Cargill global McDonald’s business unit. “This award shows the progress we’ve made in leveraging our leadership in food and agriculture to tackle complex economic, environmental and social challenges throughout our supply chains.”

McDonald’s U.S. Supply Chain Management team established the award three years ago to recognize the importance of sustainability as an area of growing importance to the business. “Cargill has demonstrated a proactive, systematic approach to understanding and seeking solutions to address how our supply chain affects, and is affected by, the world around us,” said Susan Forsell, McDonald’s vice president, quality systems.

McDonald’s cited these examples of Cargill’s accomplishments:

  • Managing and proactively improving animal handling practices in the company’s red meat business using remote video auditing;
  • Managing the administration of the research that will be conducted with the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply. This research requires the coordination of suppliers, non-governmental organizations and academia, and potentially will play a leading role shaping the egg industry of the future;
  • Promoting science-based animal welfare programs through the North American Food Animal Well-being Commission;
  • Sponsoring, with McDonald’s, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Global Conference on Sustainable Beef in Denver, Colorado, in November 2010. The conference is designed to reach out and engage other beef industry leaders and trade associations to address sustainability concerns; and
  • Establishing 2015 environmental goals for Cargill in energy efficiency, greenhouse gas intensity, renewable energy use, and freshwater efficiency; as well as reporting annual progress against those goals.

The U.S. Sustainability Award follows McDonald’s recognition of five Cargill business units in its “2010 Global Best of Sustainable Supply Report,” which was released earlier this year, as well as Cargill Meats Europe earning McDonald’s European Sustainability Supplier of the Year Award 2010. The award was announced in September at the company’s U.S. Suppliers Summit in Schaumburg, Illinois.

About Cargill

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.

About McDonald’s

McDonald’s USA, LLC, is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome food made from quality ingredients to more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local business men and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the 11,000 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter (@McDonalds) and Facebook (Facebook.com/McDonalds) for updates on our business, promotions and products.

Jif Challenges Home Cooks to Create Holiday Recipes With a Peanutty TwistORRVILLE, Ohio  (Food-News.net)  The makers of Jif Peanut Butter want to hear how consumers will be giving peanut butter a starring role within their holiday spread this season. Peanut butter in cookie and dessert recipes has been a staple for years, but the fresh peanutty taste of Jif Peanut Butter is also a go-to ingredient for adding extra flavor and rich texture to any dish on your holiday entertaining menu. Jif is asking creative cooks to submit their favorite original recipes using Jif Peanut Butter in the Jif Holiday Spread Recipe Contest at www.Jif.com for the chance to win a $10,000 kitchen makeover.

Starting today, October 21, 2010 through January 17, 2011, creative cooks can submit their original recipe suitable for entertaining at www.jif.com in one of two categories: savory recipes or sweet recipes. Recipes must include at least two tablespoons of any variety of Jif Peanut Butter and yield at least six servings. One grand prize winner in each category will win $10,000 for a kitchen makeover.

Jif Peanut Butter is already a favorite part of everyday menus so it’s a natural fit to include it in holiday recipes that create memories and family traditions for years to come,” said Maribeth Badertscher, Vice President, Corporate Communications, The J.M. Smucker Company. “We look forward to seeing all of the ways that consumers are making crowd-pleasing holiday creations with Jif Peanut Butter this season.”

The Jif Holiday Spread Recipe Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., over 18 years of age. Contest void where prohibited. For recipe ideas, inspiration, complete details and Official Rules visit www.jif.com.

About The J. M. Smucker Company

For more than 110 years, The J.M. Smucker Company has been committed to offering consumers quality products that help families create memorable mealtime moments.  Today, Smucker is a leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed milk, and health and natural foods beverages in North America. Its family of brands includes Smucker’s®, Folgers®, Dunkin’ Donuts®, Jif®, Crisco®, Pillsbury®, Eagle Brand®, R.W. Knudsen Family®, Hungry Jack®, White Lily® and Martha White® in the United States, along with Robin Hood®, Five Roses®, Carnation®, Europe’s Best® and Bick’s® in Canada. The Company remains rooted in the Basic Beliefs of Quality, People, Ethics, Growth and Independence established by its founder and namesake more than a century ago. The Company has appeared on FORTUNE Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the United States 12 times, ranking number one in 2004. For more information about the Company, visit www.smuckers.com.

The J.M. Smucker Company is the owner of all trademarks, except Pillsbury, the Barrelhead logo and the Doughboy character are trademarks of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license; Carnation is a trademark of Societe des Produits Nestle S.A., used under license; and Dunkin’ Donuts is a registered trademark of DD IP Holder, LLC, used under license. Borden and Elsie are trademarks used under license.

WASHINGTON  (Food-News.net)  The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), which celebrates its tenth anniversary this week, is marking the occasion with a gathering of representatives from industry, government, development organizations, and research institutes around the globe. “Marking a Decade of Cocoa Sustainability” is the theme for WCF’s two-day Partnership Meeting, which opens this morning in Washington, D.C. During a special reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden last night, WCF acknowledged the members, partners, and supporters who have contributed to the organization’s growth over the last ten years.

Earlier in the day, WCF’s outgoing Chairman Kip Walk of Blommer Chocolate Company announced newly-elected WCF officers for 2011. Anne Alonzo of Kraft Foods will serve as Chair, and Andy McCormick of The Hershey Company will serve as Secretary/Treasurer. Steve Genzoli of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and Gerry Manley of Olam International Ltd. will continue in their positions as Vice Chairs. Nicko Debenham of Armajaro and Francisco Gomez of Casa Luker Colombia were elected to the Executive Committee under the Small and Medium Enterprise membership category.

WCF also welcomed Denmark-based Carlletti SA and U.S.-based General Cocoa Company as new members. They join WCF’s global membership of cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies of all sizes. WCF members represent more than 80% of the global cocoa market.

WCF President Bill Guyton said, “As we enter our second decade, we look forward to working with this outstanding leadership team and with all of our members in support of cocoa farmers, their families, and their communities.”

The Partnership Meeting continues through Thursday afternoon with sessions on Cocoa and the Green Revolution, Programs to Address Child Labor, Emerging Markets and Producing Regions for Cocoa, and roundtables on the cocoa supply chain, diversification, food security, and the environment, and research.

About the World Cocoa Foundation

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership foundation that promotes a sustainable cocoa economy by providing cocoa farmers with the tools they need to grow more and better cocoa, market it successfully, and make greater profits. These efforts help increase the supply of cocoa and help guarantee chocolate lovers access to their favorite products. WCF’s membership includes more than 70 cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide. Member companies range in size from small and medium size firms to large international corporations and represent over 80% of the global cocoa market. For more information, visit www.worldcocoa.org.

Matador Beef JerkyMINONG, Wis.  (Food-News.net)  MATADOR™ Beef Jerky continues to grow its presence in the snack aisle with its fun and edgy “Stick It” retail campaign. Since its inception, consumers have proclaimed that the brand absolutely “nailed it” with the bold flavor, snappy texture and spicy taste of its MATADOR snack sticks. Now, with momentum and awareness continuing to build, MATADOR launches a new campaign inviting even more meat stick lovers to experience the bold and spicy flavor of MATADOR snack sticks for themselves, with the belief that once they try MATADOR they’ll never go back.

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, the No. 1 U.S. meat snack brand and fastest-growing meat snack manufacturer worldwide, launched the MATADOR brand in the spring of 2009 as a bold snack for those with an action-driven and social lifestyle. Backed by a tremendous early response to MATADOR, Jack Link’s and Frito-Lay North America, a business unit of PepsiCo, formed an exclusive distribution partnership on the MATADOR line of snacks.

“Within one year, MATADOR Beef Jerky introduced three stick flavors and four jerky flavors, and expanded our distribution nationwide,” said Mark Catlin, director of marketing, MATADOR Beef Jerky. “And in less than two short years, MATADOR has already earned its place as one of the top national meat snack brands.”

Packing the flavor profile that teens and young adults crave, MATADOR is now the No. three brand in the category(1). But, it’s not stopping there. The brand is making bold moves and is challenging consumers to grab a MATADOR snack stick instead of the stick they might normally purchase. As soon as they sink their teeth into a MATADOR, jerky and stick lovers will be convinced that MATADOR’s product quality and great flavors can’t be beat.

Over the past decade, the meat snack category has experienced tremendous growth due, in part, to consumers’ increasing interest in protein-based snacks. After all, beef jerky and other meat snacks are convenient, satisfying, great tasting, and generally low in fat, calories, and carbs. It’s no wonder that meat snacks have quickly become the third largest salty snack category, behind only potato and tortilla chips, with growth surpassing even nuts, pretzels and popcorn.(2)

MATADOR Beef Jerky proudly sponsors pro athletes in action sports fields including Scotty Lago in snowboarding, Dennis Enarson in BMX and Adam Taylor in skateboarding. The brand also partners with top action sport events including the Dew Tour, which consists of five major, multi-sport events spanning across the country; Camp Woodward, a premier action sports training camp; and Major League Gaming, the first professional video game league.

MATADOR Snack Sticks are available in Original, Mild and Flamin’ Hot and MATADOR Beef Jerky is available in Original, Teriyaki, Sizzling Sweet and Smokin’ BBQ flavors.

MATADOR Beef Jerky

MATADOR Beef Jerky is a bold snack brand for teens with an action-driven lifestyle. MATADOR Beef Jerky is produced by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, the No. 1 U.S. meat snack brand and fastest growing meat snack manufacturer worldwide. The Jack Link’s family of brands represents a heritage of quality and consumer trust. In addition to its premium products, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is known for its popular Messin’ with Sasquatch advertising campaign which has achieved nearly cult-like status. The commercials feature pranksters playing sophomoric pranks on an unsuspecting Sasquatch. Check out www.MATADORsnacks.com and www.JackLinks.com for more information on the MATADOR Beef Jerky and Jack Link’s brands.

Frito-Lay North America

Frito-Lay North America is the $12 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, www.fritolay.com, and the Snack Chat blog, www.snacks.com.

(1) AC Nielsen Custom Database, 4 weeks ending 5/15/10  (All Channels – FDMxC)

(2) ACNielsen Custom Database, 24 weeks ending 9/5/09 (Convenience store)

WAUCONDA, Ill.  (Food-News.net)  In response to the demand for high-protein, low-calorie products in sports nutrition and the growing trend for natural products in this category, Synergy Flavors Inc., an international flavors and ingredients company, has tackled the flavoring challenges associated with whey protein and the natural sweetener stevia. Synergy has developed a range of flavors from traditional chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla to more trendy and complex flavors such as honey cream and baked oatmeal. Since whey protein and stevia have been associated with negative taste profiles and bitter off-notes, developing a product that balances taste and the functionality requires a dose of strategy, a degree of insight, and a measure of innovative flavor creation.

Synergy is uniquely positioned in the flavor industry to provide expert solutions for food and beverages containing whey protein as a division of Carbery Ingredients, a leading manufacturer of whey protein. In addition to a protein heritage, Synergy has translated learnings from their partnership with North Carolina State University into a quantitative approach to designing flavors in protein-based products across a broad range of sweetening systems, including stevia.  

Greg Bach, Vice President of Business Development at Synergy Flavors, says, “Synergy, along with our parent company Carbery, is dedicated to the principal of increasing the palatability of nutritional products. We’re accomplishing this by deploying our joint sensory and analytical tools and working with research organizations to better understand the components that contribute to the off-notes in protein and other functional ingredients.”        

Synergy is Carbery’s flavor ingredients business. With extensive experience in many sectors of the food, beverage, and nutritional industries, Synergy provides integrated products and solutions. To a global customer base, the company offers a wide range of sweet, suitable for organic and certified organic flavors, additionally Vanlab branded vanilla extracts and Saporesse branded savory ingredients. Synergy has production, R&D, and technical facilities in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. Synergy offers local access to its expertise and provides a strong portfolio of customized and cost-effective flavors to all its markets.

For further information on Synergy’s flavors designed for all-natural, low-calorie, high-protein drinks, please contact Synergy USA’s Marketing Manager, Karen Gallagher, at us.inquiry@synergytaste.com or visit Synergy’s website at http://www.synergytaste.com. Synergy will be at booth #24096 at the Supply Side West Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mrs Baird's Enhances Wheat Bread Line With AntioxidantsFORT WORTH, Texas  (Food-News.net)  In its continuing commitment as a leader in the bread industry, Texas-based Mrs Baird’s becomes the first major baking company in its region to fortify its line of sandwich wheat breads, now providing an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A and E. These enhancements further Mrs Baird’s attention to wholesome, great tasting and nutritious breads. The new health benefits are now included in Mrs Baird’s 100% Whole Wheat, Honey 7 Grain, Honey Wheat and Split Top Wheat.

“Research continues to show that consumers are more health-conscious than before and antioxidants rank high in interest, now being found in more everyday foods,” said Dan Larson, Mrs Baird’s Marketing Manager. “By enhancing our line of sandwich wheat breads with antioxidant vitamins A and E, consumers have another way to support a healthy diet.”

Antioxidants are believed to help prevent and repair oxidative stress, a process that may damage cells within the body. In addition to its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E also helps support skin health and the function of the immune system.

“Our customers will not notice any change in texture and flavor,” said Larson. “However, they will notice the benefits of the added nutrition on the label. For example, only two slices of our Honey 7 Grain bread provides 25-percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamins A and E.”

About Mrs Baird’s

Mrs Baird’s products are produced by Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) which operates 33 bakeries in the United States and distributes top brands such as Arnold®, Bimbo®, Boboli®, Brownberry®, Entenmann’s®, Francisco®, Freihofer’s®, Marinela®, Oroweat®, Stroehmann®, Thomas’®, and Tia Rosa,® through more than 7,000 routes. Bimbo Bakeries USA is headquartered in Horsham, PA, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B de C.V., one of the world’s largest baking companies with over 104,000 associates and operations in 17 countries throughout the Americas and China. More information about Mrs Baird’s full line of products can be found at www.mrsbairds.com.

ST. LOUIS  (Food-News.net)  With nearly 2,000 scientific studies on soy published annually, the amount of new information on soy’s health effects could understandably overwhelm the typical consumer. However, consumers looking to make informed decisions about their diet, whether to lower cholesterol or decrease breast cancer risk, received a major boost this week, as the foremost soy nutrition researchers gathered from around the world to present their latest findings at the 9th International Soy Symposium in Washington, DC. The symposium is co-sponsored by the United Soybean Board, representing the nation’s soybean farmers.

“Research presented at the symposium resolves some of the most hotly debated and contentious issues among soy scientists,” said event organizer Mark Messina, Ph.D., MS, of Loma Linda University. “As a result, the public receives the most definitive guidance to date regarding soy intake by breast cancer patients and recommendations for lowering blood cholesterol levels and alleviating menopausal hot flashes.”

Soy and Breast Cancer

It’s fitting to highlight new research on soy and breast cancer at the event, as October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a woman dies of breast cancer every 69 seconds, according to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization. With statistics like these in mind, it’s not surprising that one of the more active research areas in the soy field is the relationship between soy and breast cancer.

Dr. Mary Hardy, Medical Director of the UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, presented exciting evidence indicating that modest soy consumption during adolescence reduces risk of breast cancer later in life. Dr. Hardy stated that epidemiologic research shows soy consumption actually improves the prognosis, or likely outcome, of breast cancer patients, and clinical data demonstrates the safety of soy for breast cancer patients.  If research studies continue to support the existing evidence, Dr. Hardy says oncologists will likely soon move from advising their patients not to consume soy to actively recommending it be part of their diet.

Soy and Cholesterol

How can you reduce your risk of heart disease? Consumers can control some risk factors including dietary choices. Scientists first studied the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein in the early 1960s. In 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim stating that 25 grams of soy protein per day may reduce risk of coronary heart disease, based on the cholesterol-lowering effect of soy protein.

At the 9th International Soy Symposium, Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto discussed the direct and indirect benefit of soy consumption for lowering cholesterol. The direct benefit, according to Dr. Jenkins is that soy protein by itself lowers blood cholesterol by more than 4 percent. The indirect benefit comes from the decrease in cholesterol that occurs when soyfoods displace dietary protein sources higher in saturated fat, says Dr. Jenkins. He estimates that the combined benefit can, in theory, reduce risk of heart disease by at least 10 percent.

Soy and Menopause

Hot flashes occur in more than half of all women and are severe in about 10 to 15 percent of them. Naturally-occurring plant compounds found in soy, called isoflavones, have been under study for their ability to alleviate hot flashes for 15 years.

University of Minnesota researcher Dr. Mindy Kurzer presented findings from a systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 placebo-controlled clinical studies. Dr. Kurzer found that soybean isoflavones significantly reduce both the frequency and severity of hot flashes. This new research further solidifies soy isoflavones as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy for the alleviation of menopausal symptoms.

Soy and Equol

In 2002, pioneering soy scientist Dr. Kenneth D.R. Setchell suggested that certain people might benefit from consuming soy more than others. According to Setchell, those individuals who possessed the intestinal bacterial capable of converting the soybean isoflavone daidzein into equol were the ones to benefit most. Dr. Takeshi Aso, Professor Emeritus of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, presented results of a new clinical study showing that equol alleviates hot flashes.

Incorporate the Power of Soy into Your Diet

Results from the 9th International Soy Symposium give consumers more reason than ever to incorporate soy into their diet – from soynuts to soymilk and soybeans to soybean oil, there are many ways to add soy to a healthy diet alongside lean meat, whole grains and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Whip up edamame hummus as an appetizer, spruce up your salad with a soybean oil-based dressing, or top pasta or homemade pizza with shelled edamame. Visit SoyConnection.com/Recipes for more ideas and inspiration.

“U.S. soybean farmers support the Symposium because we are proud to produce one of the healthiest crops in the world, which is especially important as consumers realize the need to improve the nutritional content of the foods they eat,” says Steve Poole, Director of Public Relations and Nutrition Communication for the United Soybean Board. “According to our 2010 Consumer Attitudes about Nutrition study, 84 percent of consumers view soy as healthy. With the new studies presented at the 9th Soy Symposium, we anticipate the continuation of this upward trend of consumers seeking out soy products.”

About the 9th International Soy Symposium

Since 1994, the Symposium has become a central meeting ground for researchers investigating the health effects of soyfoods and soybean components. An impressive group of well-respected researchers come together to present the latest studies on the role soy plays in preventing and treating chronic disease.

About USB

The United Soybean Board is a farmer-led organization comprised of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. For additional health information and recipes to put the findings into practice, visit USB’s SoyConnection.com.

New Survey Finds Key to Spectacular Holiday Season Starts With Twists on Traditional MealsDES MOINES, Iowa  (Food-News.net)  Updating holiday menus doesn’t have to mean out with the old and in with the new. Having a bit of fun by mixing up seasonal flavors can reinvigorate comfortable family classics while still evoking cozy memories of holidays past. This is good news for the eight out of 10 people who described their 2009 holiday meals as “predictable,” according to the National Pork Board’s “Holiday Table Trends 2010” survey. To help inspire twists on traditional dishes and break free from holiday predictability, celebrity chef Michael Symon has created pork pairings inspired by the survey results.

“Pork’s versatility makes it my first choice for holiday dinners,” said Symon. “I can pair pork with sweet holiday favorites like cranberry and cinnamon – and explore unexpected flavors like chocolate – when recreating holiday classics.”

The survey also found that chocolate was a top-rated festive flavor that many people would never consider pairing with pork. But Symon insists that mole, a savory Mexican sauce that incorporates chocolate, is a perfect pork pairing. He created a “Cider-and-Beer-Braised Pork with Chocolate Mole” recipe to show how pork’s savory flavor can be enhanced by almost any holiday ingredient.

Festive Flavors That Pair Perfectly With Pork

Perennial classic holiday dishes can easily become delicious new favorites with great-tasting pork and complementary crowd-pleasing seasonal flavors. According to the survey, pumpkin pie, chocolate, cinnamon and cranberry top America’s holiday flavor wish list. Whether it’s a festive dinner for 20 or busy pre-holiday weeknight meals, try these Chef Symon recipes that unite the essence of pork with favorite holiday ingredients:

  • Roasted Rack of Pork with Five Spice Pumpkin Puree – Coriander and cumin reinvigorate the classic combination of tender pork and robust pumpkin. Symon’s zesty cilantro salad provides another unexpected accompaniment to this holiday meal.
  • Ginger-Crusted Pork Cutlets with Cinnamon-Orange-Cranberry Chutney and Wilted Arugula Nothing reflects the spirit of the holidays more than the sweet and tart flavors of cinnamon and cranberry. The color, texture and taste of the ginger crust could make this a new family favorite.
  • Cider-and-Beer-Braised Pork with Chocolate Mole Two of America’s holiday favorites – cider and chocolate – highlight pork’s versatile pairing possibilities. Here, Symon has created a dish that’s perfect for any size group – from small meals for four to a holiday feast.

For more about Chef Symon’s holiday recipes based on the “Holiday Table Trends 2010” pork survey results, a FREE brochure filled with tips on preparing the holiday’s go-to protein and videos for how to celebrate the season with pork, visit www.TheOtherWhiteMeat.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheOtherWhiteMeat and @allaboutpork on Twitter.

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. 

About The “Holiday Table Trends 2010” Survey

The “Holiday Table Trends 2010” survey was conducted by independent research firm Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative adults ages 18 and older. The study was conducted using an email invitation and an online survey between June 28th and July 2nd, 2010.

PepsiCo Unveils Global Plans to Revolutionize Farming with New i-crop 'Precision-Farming' TechnologyPURCHASE, N.Y.  (Food-News.net)  PepsiCo today announced plans to roll-out its new i-crop farming technology on a global basis. The web-based tool, which was developed by PepsiCo in conjunction with Cambridge University, United Kingdom, is a crop management system that will enable PepsiCo’s farmers around the world to monitor, manage and reduce their water use and carbon emissions, while also maximizing potential yield and quality.

Trials of i-crop are currently underway at 22 farms in the U.K., where PepsiCo yesterday announced ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions and water usage by 50 percent across the farming of its core crops in the next five years.

The technology will be rolled-out in Europe in 2011* and then to the United States. The company hopes to take it to India, China, Mexico and Australia by 2012.

As one of the world’s largest food and beverage businesses, with brands including Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay, PepsiCo is a major investor in global farming.  In 2009, the company announced 15 global goals and commitments to guide its work to protect the Earth’s natural resources through innovation and more efficient use of land, energy, water and packaging.

In the U.K., the company is the largest purchaser of British potatoes and one of the largest purchasers of British oats and apples, using 100 percent British produce in Walkers crisps, Copella English Apple juice, Quaker Oats, Oatso Simple and Scott’s porage.

Richard Evans, President of PepsiCo U.K. and Ireland said, “Farming is in the DNA of our business – we rely on fresh produce every day. Finding ways to produce more food with less environmental impact is essential to our future.” He added, “i-crop has the potential to revolutionize the way we farm, enabling our farmers to save costs and water and carbon consumption, while at the same time improving their yields. I am immensely proud of this innovation which I hope will also benefit PepsiCo farmers around the world.”

In its first Sustainable Farming Report published yesterday, PepsiCo U.K. outlined how it is working in partnership with its 350 British farmers to reach its aim of ’50 in 5′. Other initiatives announced include trials of new low-carbon fertilizers and plans to replace more than 75 percent of PepsiCo U.K.’s current potato stock with varieties that will significantly improve farmers’ yields and decrease wastage by 2015.  A full copy of the report is available for download at www.pepsico.co.uk/farming.

Commenting on the PepsiCo U.K. sustainable farming report, Richard Perkins, Senior Commodities Adviser at WWF said, “The food industry is starting to recognize that in order to fully embed sustainability and biodiversity in its business practices, a large part of the focus must be on the agricultural supply chain. In this respect PepsiCo U.K. has taken a leadership role in recognizing that it is, at its heart, an agricultural business. The focus of the business on improving its key environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions – in the field and on the farm – is most welcome.”

Notes to Editors

For further information about i-crop visit: www.i-crop.com

* i-crop will be rolled-out to the following markets in 2011:

  • Holland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Turkey

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

GAITHERSBURG, Md.  (Food-News.net)  As one of the founding partners of The System on Our Plates – the James Beard Foundation’s first annual national food conference – Sodexo is proud to announce the October 21st kick-off meeting in Washington, D.C. Founded in collaboration with the Sustainable Food Laboratory, Sodexo is also one of the key sponsors of this invitation-only event, which will focus on public health and sustainability through the lens of the foodservice industry.

“Sodexo is proud to have a role in the diverse local and national programs initiated through the James Beard Foundation and its launch of The System on Our Plates,” said Arlin Wasserman, vice president, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Sodexo. “We look forward to contributing fresh insights from our unique vantage point in the foodservice industry.”

The agenda of the national gathering is based on a series of regional meetings hosted by the James Beard Foundation and the Sustainable Food Laboratory in Portland, Ore., Portland, Maine, Kansas City, Mo., Long Island, N.Y. and New York City.  Through various presentations, panels, group discussions, and other guided conversations, the conference will address many of the common themes discussed by chefs, farmers, sustainability experts and other stakeholders in the food system who attended the regional meetings.

Topics that will be addressed during the food conference are:

  • What can large foodservice operations learn from the experiences of chefs in small, independent restaurants and vice versa?
  • Beyond the sourcing of ingredients, how should restaurants best address sustainability issues such as water and energy consumption, waste, and labor?
  • How can we better inform and educate consumers about the best choices to make?

“More people than ever before in our nation’s history are interested in and passionate about the healthfulness of their food and the health of their food system,” said Susan Ungaro, president, the James Beard Foundation. “Our goal is to engage the entire culinary community to identify ways to improve food safety nutrition and sustainability in the foodservice industry.”

Guest speakers and panelists include Sam Kass, White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives; Mike Strain, Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry; Chef Nora Pouillon; and sustainable food pioneer Chef Michel Nischan.

About the James Beard Foundation

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, nurturing, and preserving America’s diverse culinary heritage and future. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit www.jamesbeard.org. Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter.

About the Sustainable Food Laboratory

The Sustainable Food Lab is a consortium of business, non profit and public organizations working together to accelerate the shift toward sustainability.  The Sustainable Food Lab facilitates market-based solutions to the key issues—including climate, soil, poverty, and water—that are necessary for a healthy and sustainable food system to feed a growing world. The Sustainable Food Lab uses collaborative learning to incubate innovation at every stage along the supply chain from producing to distributing and selling food.

About Sodexo

Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On Site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $13 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.

Foster Farms' Turkey Helpline Offers Help Throughout the Holidays

Foster Farms' Turkey Helpline Offers Help Throughout the Holidays

LIVINGSTON, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  Roasted, smoked, grilled or baked, a crowd-pleasing holiday turkey is no small feat.  From storage and preparation, to calculating how long to cook the bird, to baste or not to baste, to perfecting your grandmother’s stuffing recipe and finally, to carving your masterpiece with finesse… Foster Farms’ turkey pros are ready to help. They’re even available all day long on Thanksgiving Day to help avert last-minute disasters. Turkey is low in fat and high in protein, making it a healthy and popular family favorite year round. Each year, thousands of consumers depend on Foster Farms as their trusted turkey producer. As a testament to the company’s turkey expertise, Foster Farms has been invited by the National Turkey Federation to raise this year’s Presidential Turkey for pardoning by President Obama.

Foster Farms Turkey Helpline operators will be on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week November 17 – 29, including Thanksgiving Day. The Turkey Helpline experts can be reached at (800) 255-7227. Prior to November 17 and after November 29, the Foster Farms Turkey Helpline is available Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST.  Online resources are available year-round at www.fosterfarms.com.

“Turkey is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, and we’re here to make sure every bird wins applause,” said Teresa Lenz, Foster Farms’ Consumer Affairs Manager. “Generations of families have depended on Foster Farms for memorable holiday feasts and comforting, delicious chicken and turkey meals year round. Whether this year is your first time hosting or if you’re a seasoned veteran, we’re just a quick phone call away and ready to lend immediate, live advice.”

On the phone, online or in store, Foster Farms offers consumers countless resources for cooking their best-ever bird.  A new brochure, “Serve Them the Perfect Turkey,” is available to consumers in grocery stores and by contacting the hotline at 1-800-255-7227. The brochure contains all the information needed for cooking a perfect turkey including: Detailed thawing and cooking instructions by size, portion and serving tips to accommodate any crowd, savvy stuffing advice, storage and transport reminders, best-ever roasting and stuffing recipes, and a detailed, step-by-step photo guide to help carve your masterpiece like a pro.

The Foster Farms website offers extensive and easy-to-use tips for the holiday season at www.fosterfarms.com/cooking/turkey beginning in late October. Budget-friendly and festive menu ideas are available as well as guides to a variety of turkey cooking methods, carving instructions, nutrition information and food safety tips. Be inspired by more than 170 special holiday turkey recipes by searching www.fosterfarms.com/recipes. Make a week’s worth of meals in no time by selecting a variety of recipes like Citrus Turkey and Hearty Turkey Soup with Parsley Dumplings to take you from Thanksgiving dinner to crave-worthy leftovers.

Foster Farms has been raising quality turkeys with care since 1939. The company’s fresh turkeys are 100% natural, fresh, never frozen and contain no hormones or preservatives. This year, the company has been invited to raise the Presidential Turkey for the official National Turkey Presentation to the President of the United States, in partnership with the National Turkey Federation. The Pardoning ceremony, held in late November, pays homage to Thanksgiving and the role of the turkey in the national holiday.

“In 1939, Foster Farms started out as a single ranch raising only the finest turkeys,” said Ira Brill, director of communications for Foster Farms. “We maintain a proud legacy for care, quality and excellence that makes our birds worthy of Pardoning by the President, and worthy of applause.”

Foster Farms’ fresh turkey offerings include Whole Young Turkey for traditional roasts, Young Turkey Breasts for shorter cooking times, and pre-marinated Savory Servings® Turkey for no-fuss preparation. Foster Farms’ Savory Servings pre-marinated Turkey Tenderloins are ideal for households hosting smaller feasts or to experience the taste of a traditional Thanksgiving meal anytime of the year.

About Foster Farms

Since 1939, West Coast families have depended on Foster Farms for premium quality chicken and turkey products. Family-owned and operated, the company continues its legacy of excellence and commitment to quality established by its founders, Max and Verda Foster. Foster Farms specializes in fresh, all natural chicken and turkey products free of preservatives, additives or injected sodium enhancers. Based in California’s Central Valley, with ranches also in the Pacific Northwest, the company’s fresh chicken and turkey are produced in or near each region served. Foster Farms also produces delicious pre-marinated, ready-to-cook and fully cooked products that meet the quality and convenience needs of today’s home cooks, retailers, warehouse clubs and foodservice customers. The company’s commitment to excellence, honesty, quality, service, and people is a source of great pride, and, a longtime family tradition.

HARRISBURG, Pa.  (Food-News.net)  Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding today encouraged Pennsylvanians to help end hunger by supporting the state’s charitable food system as part of “World Food Day,” observed Oct. 16.

“Pennsylvania is home to an abundant food supply thanks to our farmers and food processors, yet one in 10 families do not know from where their next meal will come,” said Redding. “Tough economic conditions have forced many of our friends and neighbors to turn to food banks, pantries and soup kitchens, and these organizations are struggling to meet the growing need for emergency food assistance.

“The foundation of emergency food assistance programs are the compassionate volunteers who donate their time, money or food items, and I encourage each Pennsylvanian to act not only this Saturday on World Food Day, but every day. Together, we can help end hunger in Pennsylvania – one meal at a time.”

Today, Redding joined staff members from the state Department of Agriculture and community volunteers to serve meals to Harrisburg-area residents in need at Downtown Daily Bread, one of the state’s 1,800 emergency food assistance agencies.

As part of today’s volunteer efforts, Knouse Foods and Centerplate donated products, and time and expertise, respectively, to the meal.

Pennsylvania is one of a small number of states that funds its own State Food Purchase Program, or SFPP, to supplement food supplies at emergency food assistance agencies. More than 3.9 million citizens were assisted through this program in 2009.

In addition to a state appropriation, federal funding provided through The Emergency Food Assistance Program, or TEFAP, helped assistance agencies provide 24 million pounds of food to more than 4.8 million people throughout the state in 2009.

“In partnership with state and federal programs, our emergency food assistance agencies are better able to extend the reach of programs like SFPP and TEFAP to people in need throughout the state, including those served by our partners at Harrisburg’s Downtown Daily Bread,” said Redding.

Governor Edward G. Rendell proclaimed Oct. 16 as “World Food Day” in Pennsylvania to raise awareness of the ongoing hunger crisis and promote ways in which Pennsylvanians can help eliminate hunger.

For more information about the state’s food distribution programs, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on “Bureaus” and then “Food Distribution,” or call 800-468-2433.

Media contact

Nicole L. C. Bucher
717-787-5085

MINNEAPOLIS  (Food-News.net)  One child dies every five seconds from hunger-related causes.

That’s the type of haunting statistic that UN World Food Day, October 16, is designed to change.  Alleviating hunger is also a key focus area for Cargill’s charitable giving efforts, which reached $57.5 million during the company’s 2010 fiscal year ending May 31.

“Around the globe more people are hungry now than ever before,” said Michelle Grogg, senior director, Cargill corporate contributions.  “The problem is too big for any single entity to solve alone.  At Cargill, we’re trying to help ensure everyone has enough to eat by engaging our employees on the issue, as well as partnering with organizations to help find long-term solutions.”

More than a dozen Cargill locations around the globe will participate in activities ranging from collecting and distributing food at local food banks to serving meals at local shelters as part of World Food Day.

Cargill also invited its businesses, locations and 131,000 employees to help fight hunger in their local communities during fiscal 2010.  The company promised to match each dollar its business units contributed as part of its Nourishing People Challenge Grants.  As a result, $3.5 million in cash and food products was raised for local organizations working on long-term and emergency hunger efforts, including a donation of 495,000 pounds of egg products to Feeding America’s national protein program from Cargill Kitchen Solutions in Monticello, Minn.  “The donation from Cargill Kitchen Solutions is an important source of protein for some of the 37 million Americans that we feed annually.  They are our largest donor of egg products, nutritious food that’s especially welcome by our food bank members,” said Randy Starck, senior account manager, protein, at Feeding America.

The company’s total charitable giving in fiscal 2010 was down slightly from the previous year, but represents a doubling of total contributions in six years.  Nearly 50 percent of Cargill’s giving is directed to developing and emerging countries in which the company has a presence.  Along with nutrition and health, Cargill focused its giving primarily in the areas of education and environmental stewardship.  New and/or expanded partnerships in fiscal 2010, included:

  • CARE— A $2 million donation to CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty, marking the third installment in a five-year, $10 million commitment. The project aims to help 100,000 people in rural areas in seven nations lift themselves out of poverty.  In fiscal 2010, the initiative expanded to include improving livelihoods for cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire.  Among this year’s achievements: 76,000 students are participating in school lunch programs, 82,000 students are enrolled in Cargill-supported schools and 14,500 farmers increased their production and sales.  After implementing agricultural practices recommended by a farmer association organized by Cargill/CARE, Ghana farmer Mame Dufie said, “I am now able to make enough money to look after my children and to buy farm inputs.  I am still harvesting cocoa in the month of January, something that never happened before!”
  • PROJECT LEAD THE WAY (PLTW)— A $1.5 million gift over three-years will bring PLTW’s engineering curricula to fifty schools across the nation in communities where Cargill has a presence.  PLTW focuses on showing 6th-12th graders how engineers use technology to solve everyday problems with a goal of encouraging students to pursue high education in science, technology, engineering and math.  The gift builds upon previous donations which brought PLTW to schools in Minneapolis and Osseo, Minn.  
  • WORLD WILDLIFE FUND (WWF)— Grants of $400,000 are supporting Cargill’s collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on two projects.  WWF has undertaken an assessment of Cargill’s palm oil suppliers in Indonesia as part of the company’s continued commitment to sustainable palm oil production.  The assessment will help gauge current progress amongst Cargill’s suppliers to implement the principles and criteria established by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).  A second project aims to bring stakeholders together to develop new standards for sustainable beef production.
  • THE NATURE CONSERVANCY (TNC)— A $1 million grant over two-years continues Cargill’s work with TNC in China, Brazil and along the upper Mississippi River in the U.S. “In Santarem, we were able to reduce and stabilize the deforestation rate in six years among the soy farms participating in the Responsible Soy Project.  Cargill confronted the problem and provided a solution— a system to monitor suppliers and help them get into compliance,” said TNC’s project director.  Funds will also support new projects along the Missouri River in the U.S. and to help preserve biodiversity in the Patagonian Grasslands of Argentina.

Cargill supported community giving efforts in more than 54 countries in fiscal 2010, including:  

  • A $1 million grant to the city of Palembang in South Sumatra, Indonesia, to construct a water treatment plant.  The plant will supply clean water to the athlete’s village for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, as well as 18,000 nearby households.
  • Grants totaling $780,000 for nutrition, education and environmental programs in Brazil, including a new project designed to strengthen job-training and technical programs for teenage students in the state of Mato Grosso.
  • A gift of $140,000 which continues support for the Antinea Foundation’s work to map 100 of the most important marine eco-regions in the world.  

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.

About Cargill Community Giving

Cargill gives back to communities by contributing 2 percent of its global consolidated pre-tax earnings (based on a three-year trailing average). Cargill donated $57.5 million in 54 countries during its 2010 fiscal year. We provide support to organizations, projects and programs that fall in three focus areas: nutrition and health; education; and environmental stewardship.