Today’s quick hits, January 10, 2020

Faux meat shortage (Vox): Companies that produce plant-based meat alternatives are facing more demand than they can meet, and until production is scaled up, sourcing to massive outlets like McDonald’s may be out of reach.

Failed milk companies vie for Starbucks business (Wall Street Journal): Two bankrupt milk processors, Dean Foods and Borden Dairy, are sparring over which company is best suited for a milk and creamer deal with Starbucks.

ADM may sell ethanol plants (Bloomberg): Agribusiness giant ADM, one of the largest U.S. ethanol producers, is in advanced talks to either sell or find a joint venture partner for three of its plants that make ethanol through the dry milling process, said CEO Juan Luciano.

‘Real money’ for dairy farmers (Farm and Dairy): More than 80 percent of U.S. dairy farmers have enrolled in the new Margin Protection Program, but while the USDA has issued more than $300 million in payments — “real money,” as one observer noted — analysts are unsure if the program has reduced stress on producers.

U.S. seeks dismissal of hog inspection suit (Food Safety News): A U.S. district judge will hear arguments on Jan. 27 on the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit, filed by labor unions, to block adoption of the USDA’s New Swine Slaughter Inspection System.

Five-year high in world food prices (FAO): The Food Price Index, a gauge of international prices of a basket of food commodities, soared to a five-year high, propelled by strong rallies in vegetable oils, sugar, and dairy products. The cost of cereals rose modestly, but meat prices held steady.