Tyson Foods Introduces Grower Bill Of Rights


Tyson Foods announced a “Contract Poultry Farmer’s Bill of Rights” on May 3rd applying to 3,600 independent growers raising replacement pullets, producing fertile eggs and growing broilers.

Contractors will have the following rights:

  • Complete transparency on calculation of payment
  • Freedom to discuss contracts with advisors and third parties
  • The right to affiliate with associations representing contractors
  • Enhanced training on welfare and standards
  • A fixed length contract which can be terminated by Tyson only with justifiable cause

Tyson has also established an Advisory Council which currently comprises six farmers representing Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri.

Doug Ramsey, Group President of Poultry for Tyson Foods stated “We value the farmers who raise our chickens and we work hard to maintain good relationships with them, but also know we can do better.” He added “That’s why we’re taking steps to enhance how we interact with our growers.”

Johnny Simmons, a member of the Advisory Council noted “The Council will give growers the ability to communicate directly with top management.” He added “the Bill of Rights that Tyson has put together explains our relationship with the company and shows its commitment to our relationship. This is a working Council, so we will watch for results.”

During recent years there has been considerable concern over equity in contracts and interaction between integrators and their growers. The previous Administration attempted to intervene by invoking GIPSA with a new Rule enforcing many of the provisions in the Tyson Bill of Rights. In the event the proposed rule was set aside by the Administration in January 2017. The Tyson Bill of Rights as reported does not make reference to the tournament system of remuneration.

In February 2017, a class representing poultry growers initiated a lawsuit against Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Perdue Farms, Koch Foods and Sanderson Farms as defendants, alleging collusion to suppress remuneration.

Tyson Foods has demonstrated leadership in establishing the Bill of Rights and strengthening the long relationship between contractors and the company which in some cases has extended over three generations.


Poultry Industry News



According to the May 10th 2018 WASDE #577 release, 80.7 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2018 to yield 14.60 Billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.84 Billion bushels from 88.2 million acres harvested. These values are updated from the April WASDE report.


Quarterly corn and soybean stocks were estimated by USDA in early April to total 8.9 Billion bushels (60.9 percent of 2017 harvest) and 2.1 Billion bushels (47.8 percent of 2017 harvest) respectively.


The following quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on May 11th together with values for May 4th in parentheses.






Corn (cents per bushel)

May ’18    390  (399)        

July  ‘18     397  (406)             

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

May ’18    993  (1,028)    

July  ’18  1,002  (1,028)      

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

May ‘18    391  (394)

July ’18      386  (394) 



Changes in the price of soybeans and soybean meal this week were:-



Corn:                   May quotation down 9 cents per Bu.                (-2.3 percent)

Soybeans:            May quotation down 35 cents per Bu.              (-3.4 percent)

Soybean Meal:      May quotation down $3/ton.                           (-0.8 percent) 


  • For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn:-


The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen


The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight


  • For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-


The cost of egg production would change by 0.40 cent per dozen


The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight


See WASDE posting summarizing the May 10th USDA-WASDE Report #577, reviewing price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced, used and exported during the 2018 season.


USDA- WASDE FORECAST #577, May 10th 2018



The May 10th 2018 USDA WASDE projections for the 2018 corn and soybean harvests are based on more defined planting intentions by farmers, long-range weather forecasts and historical data. Harvest areas for corn and soybeans were projected to be 80.7 million acres (83.1 million in 2017) and 89.2 million acres, (89.5 million acres in 2017) respectively. The USDA lowered corn yield to 174.0 bushels per acre (175.4 bushels in 2017). Soybean yield was lowered to 48.5 bushels per acre (49.5 bushels in 2017). The USDA May projection of ending stock for corn was reduced 22.9 percent to 1,682 million bushels due to lower “Food and Seed” and “Ethanol” use. Ending stock for soybeans was lowered 24.5 percent to 415 million bushels compared to the April 2018 WASDE Report.

It is accepted that the USDA projections of ending stocks and prices are independent of disruption by current uncertainties concerning future trade embargos or punitive tariffs.


The projection of the corn harvest was lowered from the April 2018 Report to 14,040 million bushels consistent with more firm intentions of farmers as half the crop is in the ground. The projection for 2018 can be compared to the 2017 harvest of 14,577 million bushels and is down 7.3 percent from the 2016 near-record harvest of 15,148 million bushels. The “Ethanol and Byproducts” category was raised 0.9 percent to 5,625 m. bushels and exports were lowered to 2,100 m bushels. “Feed and Residual” was reduced by 125 m. bushels resulting in a corresponding decrease of 22.9 percent in ending stocks to 1,682 m. bushels. The projected USDA range in farm price was widened to 330 to 430 cents per bushel. At close of trading on May 11 th CME quotations for May and July 2018 corn were 390 cents and 397 cents per bushel respectively.


Weekly Broiler Production and Prices


Chick Placements


The May 9th 2018 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that 176.9 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending May 5 th. This was one percent more than the corresponding week in 2017. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 183.5 million, approximately two percent above the corresponding week in 2017. Average hatchability was 79.8 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Broiler chick placements for 2018 through May 5th amounted to 3.30 billion.

Broiler Production

For the processing week ending May 5h 160.7 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 6.20 lbs. (6.16 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 0.7 percent less than the corresponding processing week in 2017. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week attained 757.2 million lbs. (344,175 metric tons), 1.6 percent less than in the corresponding week in 2017. Production of RTC for 2018 to date attained 13.43 million lbs. (6.105 million metric tons), the same as the corresponding period in 2017.

The USDA Southern States (SS) benchmark prices in cents per lb. (rounded to nearest cent) as documented in the Broiler Market News Report (Vol. 65 No. 19) May 11th 2018 edition are tabulated with a comparison with the previous week:-


Weekly Turkey Production and Prices


Poult Production and Placement:

The April 16th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 28.1 million eggs in incubators on April 1st 2018 (28.5 million eggs on March 1st 2018) down 2.1 percent from April1st 2017. A total of 24.0 million poults were hatched during March 2018 (22.7 million in February 2018), down 7.1 percent from February 2017.

A total of 22.7 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in March 2018, (21.4 million in February 2018), down 3.8 percent from March 2017. This suggests disposal of 1.3 million hen poults or 10.5 percent of hen poults hatched during March 2018 or 5.2 percent of the total hatch.

For the twelve-month period April 2017 through March 2018, 285.9 million poults were hatched and 268.8 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 17.2 million hen poults over the period representing 12.0 percent of hen poults hatched or 6.0 percent of all poults hatched.


Turkey Production:

The May 11th edition of the USDA Turkey Market News Report (Vol. 65: No. 19) confirmed the following provisional data for turkeys slaughtered under Federal inspection:-


U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports for January-March 2018.


Data for January-March 2018 indicate a relatively static export market for broiler parts in comparison to the first quarter of 2017. Broiler exports for January-March 2018 attained 774,803 metric tons, 0.2 percent less than in the corresponding period in 2017 (776,040 metric tons) although total value improved by 10.7 percent to $784 million.


During January-March 2018 the National Chicken Council (NCC), citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 828,618 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $881 million with a weighted average unit value of $1,063 per metric ton, 11.1 percent higher in value compared to January-March 2017 ($957 per m. ton).


Status of 2018 Corn and Soybean Crops



The USDA Crop Progress Report released May 14th documented an increased rate of corn planting after a slow start with almost 2/3rds now in the ground. Corn is emerging at a rate consistent with time of planting. Soybean planting surged in the past week exceeding the 5-year average. Soybeans are emerging. EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of harvest in October.





May 6th

May 13th

5-Year Average

Corn Planted %

Corn emerged %








Soybeans Planted %

Soybeans emerged %












V. Poor





Corn Condition 2018

Corn Condition 2017


Soybean Condition 2018

Soybean Condition 2017






V. Short




Topsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year





Subsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year







McDonalds Experiences More Woes in India


A posting on October 24th 2017 in CHICK-NEWS recounted the problems experienced by McDonalds Corporation with one of their two franchisees in India. Following deviations from the franchise agreement and procedures, Connaught Place Restaurants was placed on notice to either conform or relinquish the franchise covering 170 stores.

McDonalds has attempted to obtain legal satisfaction and resolution in a series of court actions both in India and the London Court of International Arbitration without success.

The Wall Street Journal of April 19th reported on concerns with the second franchisee, Hardcastle Restaurants (Pvt) Ltd. operating 270 stores in the south and west of the nation. It is alleged that the franchisee has contravened Indian tax laws. Hardcastle maintains that it is in compliance with tax legislation and that the raid on 20 locations in Mumbai and Pune were unjustified.

India has a business environment characterized by restrictive beauracracy, corruption, illogical regulations and institutionalized xenophobia. Multinational companies have experienced difficulties in competing with local entities. Both McDonalds and YUM! Brands have endured unjustified negative publicity arising from spurious health complaints leading to temporary closure of stores. 


Zoetis Reports on Q1 of FY 2018


In a press release dated May 2nd, Zoetis (ZTS) announced results for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal 2018 ending March 31st 2018.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)


Quarter Ending. March 31st 2018/April 2 nd 2017



Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating income:




Net Income




Diluted earnings per share:




Gross Margin (%)




Operating Margin (%)




Profit Margin (%)




Long-term Debt:




12 Months Trailing:


Return on Assets (%)



Return on Equity (%)



Operating Margin (%)



Profit Margin (%)



Total Assets




Market Capitalization



52-Week Range in Share Price: $55.48 to $86.38

Market Close May 1st $88.48 Noon May 2nd post release $79.24.

Forward P/E: 23.2

International sales attained $726 million, an 11 percent increase over Q1 FY 2017. Sales in the U.S. advanced 5 percent to $634. In this segment livestock and companion species increased 4 percent and 6 percent respectively compared to Q1 of FY 2017. An increase in sales to the poultry sector was driven by vaccines and feed additives. It is estimated that during the 1st Quarter of 2018 sales to the U.S. broiler industry of anticoccidials and a feed-additive bacitracin branded by Zoetis amounted to $14 million

In commenting on results Juan Ramón Alaix CEO stated, “We continue generating profitable revenue growth thanks to the quality and diversity of our portfolio, the innovations we bring to the market and the value we deliver to our customers.” He added “we remain confident in the strength of our company and our ability to offer customers more integrated solutions across the entire cycle of healthcare -- from prediction and prevention to detection and treatment. With this approach and our proven business model, we can generate long-term growth for Zoetis and value for our shareholders.”

Guidance for FY 2018 included a revenue projection of $5.7 billion to $5.8 billion with EPS over a range of $2.77 to $2.93.


Weis Markets to Invest in New Stores and Improvements


Chairman and CEO of Weis Markets, Jonathan H. Weis announced that $101 million, mostly from tax savings, will be applied to capital expenditure to establish new stores and to upgrade existing units.  In addition, the company will also strengthen the supply chain and will test an on-line order and delivery service to supplement the existing click-and collect operation. 


Weis Markets operates 106 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.


Implicates Strain of Listeria Identified in South African Plant


After numerous denials, Tiger Brands the owner of the Enterprise Foods plant implicated in extensive outbreak of listeriosis has acknowledged that environmental samples collected in plant during February conforms to the outbreaks strain of Listeria monocytogenes strain T6.


A company statement was issued on April 25, “To update shareholders on the results of the independent laboratory re- testing carried out in respect of the presence of LST6 in the above samples which were manufactured at the Enterprise Polokwane (Pietersburg) processing facility.


Tiger Brands has consistently denied any link between the sausage product (Bolony) and the outbreak of listeriosis which claimed 200 fatalities.

The company faces possible criminal action by the judiciary in South Africa and is also the named defendant in a class action lawsuit of victims of the disease.


Maple Leaf Foods of Canada Reports on Q1 of FY 2018


In a press release dated May 1st Maple Leaf Foods, announced results for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal 2018 ending March 31 st 2018.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as US$ x 1,000 except EPS. Conversion factor CAN$1=US$0.78)

1st Quarter Ending March 31st.



Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating income:




Net Income




Diluted earnings per share:




Gross Margin (%)



Operating Margin (%)



Profit Margin (%)



Long-term Debt:




12 Months Trailing:


Return on Assets (%)



Return on Equity (%)



Operating Margin (%)



Profit Margin (%)



Total Assets




Market Capitalization



52-Week Range in Share Price: $20.67 to $28.90

Market Close May 1st. $23.70 Close May 3rd $22.01

Forward P/E: 16.1

Commenting on results Michael H. McCain, president and CEO stated “as anticipated, it was a more challenging start to the year in 2018 although we were pleased to have delivered EBITDA margins of 10.1% in these conditions, which reflects our balanced portfolio, brand strength and value-added product mix,” He added “we realized excellent commercial and operating gains in the prepared meat portfolio, offset by the much-anticipated headwinds of market conditions. We are now launching the most extensive food and brand renovation in our history, which will be one of our strategic growth foundations for years to come.”

The CEO makes no mention of the status of NAFTA and the implications of a failure to renew the Agreement nor a renegotiation with terms more favorable to the U.S.


USPOULTRY Financial Management Seminar


The 2018 Financial Management Seminar will take place June 25 – 27 at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa in Destin, FL.


The agenda will include a Washington update, a review of tax legislation, an economic update and accounting technology and analytics presentations for live poultry production.


The program will include small-group break-out sessions covering financial data, costing trends and transportation.  For further information access www.uspoultry.org


Ichthyornis Demonstrated Similarities in Anatomy With Modern Birds


Applying computerized tomography to fossils, scientists have demonstrated that Ichthyornis demonstrates beak structures reminiscent of modern chickens and other birds.

The link between reptiles and birds lived approximately 90 million years ago and possessed a movable mandibular (upper) jaw, a bill with teeth and a hook on the mandibular beak. From scans of the scull, Ichthyornis had powerful jaw muscles. It probably became extinct from vent-peck!

Hanson, M. and Bhullar, B.-A., in Evolution Paleontology, Plants and Animals, DOI:10.1126/ Science.AAAU0560


Soybean Exports to China at a Standstill


As a high-level U.S. delegation returned from meetings with counterparts in China during the first week of May, buyers in that Nation have switched soybean orders from the U.S. to Brazil notwithstanding a 26 cents per bushel differential in price.  Although China has not yet imposed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans, the risk of a tariff being imposed while shipments are on the water is illustrated by the situation with sorghum.  China imposed a 179 percent tariff on the commodity with 20 vessels carrying cargos to China.  It is understood that most of the consignments were diverted to other ports and sold by ADM and Cargill at a fire-sale price.


In 2017, China purchased soybeans to the value of $14 billion representing approximately 25 percent of the U.S. crop.


During the meetings in the first week of May Jim Sutter, CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export Council stated, “I am optimistic with our really senior good people going over there but hopefully some good discussions can take place and some substantive change is affected.”


Publix Reports on Q1 of FY 2018


On May 1, Publix Super Markets Inc. (PUSH) reported on Q1 of fiscal 2018 ending March 31.

For the period, sales attained $9.3 billion, a 7 percent increase over Q1 of FY 2017.  Net earnings were $680.3 million, 22.6 percent higher than the corresponding quarter of 2017.  EPS increased from $0.73 to $0.93 for the most recent quarter.  Net earnings were impacted by $8.1 billion as a result of adjustments for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. A positive adjustment of 25.8 million was made with respect to the Fair Value Accounting Principle.  Effective net was $704.2 million and EPS attained $0.96.


For the quarter, Publix posted a 5.1 percent increase in same-store sales.


Publix Super Markets have a market capitalization of $14.6 billion.  The return on investment on a trailing 12 months basis was 15.0 percent.  The company attained a gross margin of 27.9 percent and a net margin of 5.9 percent based on sales value.


Pilgrim’s Pride Reports on Q1 of FY 2018


In a press release dated May 10th, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (PPC) announced results for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal 2018 ending April 1st 2018.          


The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)



Bill Northey and Rodolphe Barrangou to Speak At Alltech ONE18 Conference


Bill Northey who leads the Farm Production and Conservation Mission as Undersecretary of the USDA will be a key speaker at the 2018 ONE18 Conference. This is the 34th annual event to be held in Lexington, Kentucky from May 20th through the 22nd.

Northey is a fourth-generation farmer serving as President and Chairman of the National Corn Growers Association and also President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou, T. R. Klaenhammer Distinguished Scholar in probiotics research Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University will review the application of CRISPR-Cas technology.

Barrangou was the recipient of the 2016 prestigious Warren Alpert Foundation Prize among other distinctions.

ONE18 is approved for 16 CEUs by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists and the Conference is registered with the Kentucky Department of Education as a program available for professional development credit hours.


Vegetarian Substitutes to Be Displayed in Meat Section?


Writing in the May 7th edition of Forbes, Katrina Fox raises the question of where vegetarian meat substitutes should be displayed in supermarkets. Currently most supermarkets stock burgers and related products manufactured by Beyond Meat, and Gardein, in Canada in specialty sections alongside organic and healthy products appealing to a lifestyle-conscious demographic.

Beyond Meat is now actively promoting Beyond Burger presentations to retailers to be sold in or alongside the meat case. Founder Ethan Brown stated “We made a rule that if retailers were not going to put it in the meat case, we were not going to sell it to them.” He added “If they put it in the meat case, they can also put it wherever else they like, but it definitely has to go in the meat case.” Brown maintains that shoppers should not have to work their way through a store to a separate section to access plant-based meats.

According to the Forbes article, Beyond Burger was the most popular beef patty in the meat case in a specific chain of stores in Southern California leading up to Easter. Costco is displaying vegetable-meat items alongside Kirkland brand raw beef patties.


H5 LPAI Diagnosed In Danish Ducks


A farm located near Holstebro on the island of Jutland housing 20,000 ducks, presumably with outside access, has been diagnosed with an H5 strain characterized as an LPAI. The flock is not clinically affected, but will be depopulated as a precautionary measure.

In the case of other than H5 or H7 avian influenza, controlled slaughter could be an option to preserve the value of flocks. Given that all H5 and H7 isolates irrespective of pathogenicity are reportable to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), measures taken by the Danish authorities are justified.


El Pollo Loco Franchisee Awarded $8.8 Million in Conflict Suit


A jury in California awarded Michael and Janice Bryman, franchisees of an El Pollo Loco store in Lancaster, CA $8.8 million in a lawsuit. It was alleged that the company opened a store within two miles of the Bryman’s El Pollo Loco restaurant without consultation or notification. There are profound implications for both franchisors and franchisees as a result of the judgement. The Bryman’s location generated $3.8 million annually in revenue, which was reduced by the competition from the company store.

El Pollo Loco operates 212 company-owned restaurants and has 268 franchisees. For the 1st Quarter of 2018 ending March 28th, the company recorded sales of $105.76 million, 89 percent of which was derived from company stores which generated a gross profit margin (sales minus food and paper) of 71 percent. Operating profit for the quarter was $4.45 million, down 52.5 percent from the $9.36 million recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. The difference in operating profit was attributed to an additional expense of approximately $5.0 assigned to the category “Franchise Expenses”.

El Pollo Loco posted a net profit of $2.53 million compared to $4.88 million, a decline of 48.1 percent from Q1of FY2017.


Mountaire Farms Subject to Litigation Over Nitrate Contamination


Following violation notices issued to Mountaire Farms in November 2017 regarding untreated wastewater, the company committed millions to upgrades and renovations to the waste treatment plant. The State alleges that Mountaire failed to report data relating to disposal following a breakdown in their wastewater treatment process followed by inappropriate application of waste onto fields.

The presence of nitrates in groundwater above acceptable levels has resulted in residents within five miles of the plant consuming bottled water.

Two law firms will bring civil actions against Mountaire demanding changes in wastewater disposal, upgrades to the plant, relining storage lagoons, remediating existing contamination and supply a public water supply system for impacted wells and pay a penalty for each day in violation of the Clean Water Act. Naturally with any environmental issue, there is a question as to responsibility. Sussex County is an intensive agricultural area and nitrates have accumulated from application of fertilizer and other sources over decades.

From news reports, Mountaire understands the situation and is using its best endeavors to satisfy residents. A jury trial would be prejudicial to Mountaire given a history of violations and antagonism on the Eastern Shore to intensive poultry production.


Aviagen Appointment


Aviagen® has named Dr. Marcelo Silva as the Global Head of Nutrition Services. He will report to Dr. Bryan Fancher, Group Vice-president of Global Technical Operations and will be based at the Aviagen corporate office in Huntsville, AL. Dr. Silva will lead a team of experienced nutritionists in providing strategic direction for Aviagen nutrition research and development to ensure that current recommendations and specifications are relevant.


Dr. Silva earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil and subsequently a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from Vicosa University in Brazil.


During the past nine years, he has served Aviagen as a Senior Poultry Nutrition Specialist, where he provided guidance for both internal Aviagen do Brazil operations and for customers in Latin America.


JBS SA Reports on Q1 of FY 2018


In a press release dated May 14th JBS SA of Brazil (JBSAY-OTC) announced results for the 1st Quarter of Fiscal 2018 ending March 31st 2018.         


The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS: Real to US$ conversion 3.66)


Tyson Foods Acquires Renderer.


In a May 15th release, Tyson Foods announced an agreement to acquire the poultry rendering and blending assets of American Proteins, Inc. and AMPRO Products, Inc. for $850 million. The transaction will enable Tyson Foods to recycle animal products for feed, pet food and aquaculture and expand its presence in the market for feed ingredients. The agreement is not expected to raise regulatory concerns.

The acquisition includes four rendering plants located in Georgia and Alabama and 13 blending facilities located throughout Southeastern and Midwestern states. The facilities are expected to provide additional capacity to Tyson’s current animal by-products business. Approximately 700 people work for American Proteins and most are expected to become Tyson Foods team members.

“Rendering plays a key role in growing our business and helping us deliver on our sustainability goals,” said Tom Hayes, president and CEO. “Through this important business, no part of the animal goes to waste, and we can recycle valuable ingredients into feed for pets and aquaculture.”

Doug Ramsey, Group President of Poultry for Tyson Foods commented “this acquisition is a great complement to our existing business, gives us the ability to render raw materials in a region we don’t currently serve, and better positions us to meet the competitive, fast-growing national and global demand for animal protein,”

 Mark Ham, president and CEO of American Proteins established in 1949, stated, “we value and appreciate our  employees as well as the relationships we have with our suppliers and customers, and are confident that after the transaction closes the Tyson team will offer them the same commitment to service and quality as provided by American Proteins.” 


Clock Running Out on NAFTA


In April, the Administration announced that it intended to conclude renegotiating the NAFTA agreement on May 1.  This date has passed without a clear indication of unanimity among the three nations.


House speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has placed a deadline of May 17th to submit a final draft of the North America Free Trade Agreement if Congress is to vote on the modified version in 2018.


Ryan noted, “Time is of the essence because Trade Promotion Authority provides for fast tracking passage of the trade agreement by putting the deal to an up-or-down vote without any amendments.”  He Added, “We have to have the paper from the U.S. Trade Representative by May 17th for us to vote on it this year.”

Ambassador Robert Lighthizer

Shane Commentary

Venture Capital Companies Combine to Support Future Meat Technologies


Future Meat Technologies, an innovator and potential producer of laboratory cultured meat on a commercial scale has raised $2.2 million in a round lead by Tyson Ventures but including the Neto Group of Israel, S2G Ventures of Chicago, BitsXBites of China and Agrinnovation an investment fund representing the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University.


The technology to be used by Future Meat is based on the research of Professor Yaakov Nahmias of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Nahmias the chief scientist and founder of the company stated, “We redesigned the manufacturing process until we brought the cost down to $800 per kilogram, with a clear roadmap to $5 to $10 per kg by 2020.”


Product which will be cultured by Future Meat Technologies includes both muscle protein and fat which is necessary to provide texture and aroma on cooking.  Nahmias noted, “I want my children to eat meat that is delicious, sustainable and safe, this is our commitment to future generations.”


Justin Whitmore, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Chief Sustainability Officer of Tyson Foods stated, “This is our first investment in an Israel-based company and we’re excited about this opportunity to broaden our exposure to innovative, new ways of producing protein.”  He added, “We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that gives consumers more choices.”

Dr. Yaron Daniely, President and CEO of Yissum, the Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University stated, “Our institution is the only Faculty of Agriculture, specializing in incubating applied research in fields such as animal-free meat.”


Tyson Ventures has also invested in Beyond Meat which produces vegetable-meat alternatives and also in Memphis Meats which is pursuing tissue cultured-derived muscle meat albeit at a high cost which precludes immediate commercialization.


The credentials of Future Meat Technologies and Memphis Meat are without question. Both innovators have published on their work and presented data at national scientific meetings. This contrasts with unsubstantiated claims made by Josh Tetrick of Hampton Creek/Just etc. who perpetually claims to be at the threshold of a breakthrough and will soon make traditional livestock production obsolete.


At a price of $5 to $10 per kg by 2020, if achievable, synthetic meat will most certainly represent a challenge to traditional livestock production. Even with stringent label requirements cell-cultured meat will be attractive to an affluent demographic intensely concerned over sustainability and environmental issues.

Hebrew University Jerusalem


A poultry specific synbiotic


Poultry Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics: Application in Poultry Nutrition

For poultry professionals, it is important to understand the different actions of the various probiotic products on the market, and to use the one that is most suited to their particular requirements.

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  • A probiotic is “a live organism which, when given in sufficient quantities, confers a benefit to the host” (FAO/WHO, 2001). Probiotics are also called direct-fed microbials, or DFMs.
  • A prebiotic is a non-digestible additive often consisting of natural dietary fibers such as fructooligsaccharides (FOS) that stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the colon, thus improving host health
  • A synbiotic is a combination of probiotic and prebiotic products Categories of commercial probiotics



Alltech ONE 2018 Conference


The Alltech ONE 2018 Conference will include a dedicated poultry-focus session.  Topics to be considered include how artificial intelligence robotics and other emerging technologies can contribute to improved efficiency to meet the demands of a burgeoning global population.

The Alltech18 Conference will take place from May 20th to 22nd in Lexington KY. Information on registration is available at <www.one.alltech.com>





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