Cargill

Mississippi chicken farmers protest proposed pay cut they say is tied to merger

When Sanderson Farms announced a base pay cut for its growers throughout Mississippi in early August, farmers claimed it was an effort to undercut wages in the wake of a merger between Sanderson and Wayne Farms, another major producer in the state, as Marcia Brown reports in FERN's latest story, produced with The Capitol Forum. (No paywall)

House panel asks meatpackers how many Covid-19 infections and deaths they had at their plants

The toll the coronavirus has taken on the meatpacking industry may be greater than currently thought, said a House panel on Wednesday in asking Cargill and National Beef, two of the largest U.S. meat processors, to disclose how many of their workers had contracted Covid-19 and how many had died. (No paywall)

Lowest grain prices in weeks due to Hurricane Ida

With exports in doubt because of hurricane damage to grain elevators near New Orleans, prices for corn, soybeans and wheat, the most widely planted U.S. crops, fell to their lowest levels in several weeks in futures trading on Tuesday. The fall harvest will begin soon and could glut the U.S. market if foreign sales are disrupted.

Cargill to support regenerative agriculture on 10 million acres

Agricultural processor Cargill said on Wednesday that it would support the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices on 10 million acres of North American farmland over the next 10 years.

Two major meat processors part of USDA’s $1.2-billion Food Box program

Two of the largest meat processors in the country, Tyson Foods and Cargill Meat Solutions, are among roughly 200 "approved suppliers" for a USDA initiative to buy surplus fresh produce, dairy products and pre-cooked chicken and pork for distribution to needy Americans. The USDA said it approved $1.2 billion in contracts for the Farmers to Families Food Box program but did not list individual awards.(No paywall)

Lawsuit alleges turkey companies conspired to keep prices high

A new class-action lawsuit brought by two food distributors alleges that the country's top turkey companies conspired for most of the past decade to raise turkey prices. The allegations mirror those brought in recent years against beef, pork, and chicken companies, and all revolve around the use of reports on industry production and pricing made by a secretive data company called Agri Stats.(No paywall)

Multiple lawsuits allege price-fixing by big beef companies

Just a few months after news broke that the nation’s top attorneys are investigating Big Chicken for alleged antitrust violations, similar allegations are piling up against Big Beef. Consumers, ranchers, and a meat distributor have now filed lawsuits alleging that the country’s biggest beef companies have broken antitrust law by conspiring to raise the price of beef and lower the amount paid to producers.

Ranchers suit claims packers conspired to deflate beef prices

Last week, several Midwestern feedlot owners along with the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that dominant meatpackers conspired to depress cattle prices starting in 2015. The case argues that JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and National Beef strategically cut back on open market cattle bids, closed plants, and imported costly foreign cattle in order to force farmers to accept lower prices and manipulate spot market cattle values.(No paywall)

Initiative will use the ‘power of poultry’ to lift farmers from subsistence

A new project, dubbed “Hatching Hope,” aims to improve the livelihoods of 100 million people, focusing on women farmers, in the coming decade through chicken farming, which is seen as a quick way to produce food at home and for sale in town.

Grain companies establishing co-ops to benefit from tax law

The recently passed tax law included a provision that gives farmers a larger tax savings if they sell their goods to cooperatives. Now grain companies, angered by what they see as an advantage being given to their competitors, are setting up their own cooperatives in case the law isn’t amended.

Cattle group asks USDA to set label rules for lab-grown meat

The U.S. Cattlemen's Association petitioned the USDA to establish label requirements for laboratory-grown meat and alternative proteins, said the weekly Tri-State Livestock News, of Belle Fourche, S.D. "We look forward to working with the agency to rectify the misleading labeling of 'beef' products that are made with plant or insect protein or grown in a Petri dish," said USCA president Kenny Graner.

McDonald’s wants more humane treatment of chickens

McDonald’s will now require chicken suppliers, including Tyson and Cargill, to treat animals more humanely at slaughter. “Birds sold to the chain ... no longer will be shocked, shackled by the feet to conveyors and have their throats slit ...,” says The Los Angeles Times. “Such methods can leave chickens fully conscious when they are slaughtered.”

It sounds like a spoof, but it’s your Thanksgiving turkey

It was a comic skit on Portlandia: two hipsters asking about the provenance of the locally raised chicken being served in a restaurant. But farce has become fact this holiday season under a pilot program by Cargill that allows consumers to identify the farm that raised their turkey.

Cargill, a meatpacker, invests in California ‘clean meat’ company

Memphis Meats, a San Francisco Bay–area company that is developing technology to grow meat from self-reproducing cells, raised $17 million in funding from investors that included Cargill, one of the largest U.S. meatpackers. “Cargill’s investment is the first by a traditional meat company in to the ‘clean meat’ sector,” said Drovers CattleNetwork.

USDA will help farmers adapt to climate change, says Perdue

Democratic lawmakers and farm activists criticized President Trump for his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate treaty, saying it would result in harsher conditions for agriculture in coming years. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue shrugged off climate change as inevitable and said USDA was "committed to digging ever deeper into research to develop better methods of agricultural production in that changing climate."

Cargill sells feedlots, will rely on others to raise cattle

One of the world's largest food processors, privately owned Cargill announced sale of its two remaining feedlots, holding 155,000 head of cattle, to ethanol maker Green Plains. The transaction will make Green Plains the fourth-largest cattle feeder in the nation with a feedlot capacity of 255,000 head, said Drovers Cattle Network.

Deforestation gathers speed in Amazon basin

Nearly 2 million acres — 3,100 square miles — of forested land were cleared for agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon in the year ending July 2016, while Bolivia has cut down 865,000 acres, equal to 1,351 square miles, annually, says The New York Times. "A decade after the 'Save the Rainforest' movement forced changes that dramatically slowed deforestation across the Amazon basin, activity is roaring back in some of the biggest expanses of forests in the world," said the newspaper.

Cargill stops using important antibiotic in turkeys

Cargill has stopped using an important human antibiotic to prevent disease in turkeys, Reuters reported. It was the latest step by a major meat processing company to drop an antibiotic because of concerns about the the impact on public health. Cargill has not used the drug, gentamicin, to prevent disease in turkeys that supply its two biggest brands, Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms, since Aug. 1, a company statement said. Cargill said it would continue to use antibiotics to treat sick turkeys and to stop the spread of a disease within flocks that include sick birds.

‘Inspired by stevia,’ a sweetener faces a marketing challenge

Food industry giant Cargill “has created a sugarlike product that seems perfect,” said the Minneapolis Star Tribune. But while it tastes like sugar and has no calories, it comes from the lab, so “Cargill faces an enormous marketing challenge with its breakthrough ingredient.”

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