Even with eggs in short supply nationwide and prices climbing to new heights, it has not been enough to keep a 100-year-old egg farm from going out of business.
John Lewis Jr., president of Farmer John Egg Farm in Bakersfield, confirmed that the family operation will close its doors by the end of the month. The move comes as commercial poultry farms across the country have been pummeled by avian influenza, which has led to bird losses topping 57 million and shoppers facing sticker shock on eggs. Click here to read the full article.
Legislators in Virginia and Washington state have introduced bills that aim to provide universal free meals to students. The Washington Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act would offer all 1.1 million students in the state free breakfast and lunch at school.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, HB 1967 would require schools to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students unless they receive written instruction from a student’s parent or guardian to not offer the meals. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education. Click here to read the full article.
Only 54% of QSR employees reached 90 days of working before quitting in 2022, according to an HourWork report emailed to Restaurant Dive that is based on surveys of employees at over 8,000 QSR restaurants. Prior to the pandemic, the segment’s 90-day retention rate hovered at 58%. Click here to read the full article.
Though experts still are split on whether the U.S. Federal Reserve’s inflation-fighting moves will plunge the economy into a recession, consumers apparently aren’t waiting for the official figures, already trimming their grocery bills and choice of restaurants, the latest survey from Acosta indicates. Click here to read the full article.
Restaurants are removing meat dishes from their menus due to the impact of inflation and the rising popularity of Veganuary, researchers say. Only 20% of all dishes served at restaurant chains last summer contained meat, according to the latest figures from Lumina Intelligence, a drop of four percentage points from last spring. Click here to read the full article.
The worst outbreak of avian influenza on record is threatening to stretch into a second year, as the U.S. races to contain a virus that has already caused some food prices to soar amid a shortage of eggs.
Nearly 58 million birds from commercial and backyard flocks have been wiped out in the U.S. since last February, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Click here to read the full article.
High prices are driving an increase in attempts to bring eggs into the US from Mexico, according to border officials. Officers at the San Diego Customs and Border Protection Office have seen an increase in the number of attempts to move eggs across the US-Mexico border, according to a tweet from director of field operations Jennifer De La O. Click here to read the full article.
Technomic's Take: Younger consumers are not cutting back because of higher prices. But they are looking for the right deal. Here's how operators should respond. Click here to read the full article from Restaurant Business.
If the flavors have felt slightly off at your favorite restaurant lately, it may not be your imagination. An eye-opening new report on the state of the restaurant industry entering 2023 reveals economics have started influencing ingredients in a major way. Click here to read the full article.
As the U.S. poultry industry continues to contend with the nation’s worst outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) ever, experts are weighing in on the difficulties of trying to contain the bird-killing virus.
“This is the largest animal emergency that the USDA has faced in this country,” Gino Lorenzoni, an assistant professor of poultry science and avian health at Pennsylvania State University, told NBC News.
Efforts to prevent infections in commercial and backyard flocks are particularly difficult in that HPAI infections can come from wild birds. In addition to direct exposure, fecal matter can contaminate the grounds around farms and yards, the story published Thursday noted.
The USDA on Thursday announced a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for HPAI in the U.S., with the agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) requesting public comment to define its scope. The agency said it would consider all comments received on or before Feb. 17.
As of Thursday, the government’s tally included confirmed HPAI infections in 732 commercial and backyard flocks, affecting 57.87 million birds since February 2022. The latest infection was confirmed Wednesday in Lampasas County, Texas, according to APHIS.
As economic pressures continue, consumers across demographics are making changes to their restaurant purchasing behaviors. The December edition of PYMNTS’ Restaurant Digital Divide study, The 2022 Restaurant Digital Divide: Restaurant Customers React To Rising Costs, Declining Service, draws from a December survey of a census-balanced panel of more than 2,300 consumers who regularly purchase food from restaurants, seeking to understand how their dining habits have changed. Click here to read the full article.
Chickens may not be able to fly very far, but the price of eggs is soaring. A lingering bird flu outbreak, combined with soaring feed, fuel and labor costs, has led to U.S. egg prices more than doubling over the past year, and hatched a lot of sticker shock on grocery aisles. Click here to read the full article.
As schools around the country reopen after winter break, their students are being reminded of the lunch debt they've racked up this school year – an ugly reality that follows the end of federal assistance that paid for school meals for more than 50 million students during the pandemic. Click here to read the full article.
For the last 12 months, Adams Publishing Group’s journalists from across the country collected local grocery price data, spoke with American consumers about how they’re navigating the high tide of inflation, and heard from economists on when the price pressures might subside. Click here to read the full article.
The USDA announced that 25 projects will receive $9.6 million to help strengthen the resiliency of the country’s food supply chain. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack hosted a teleconference to announce the investment, and that the department is taking several additional steps to help farmers, ranchers, processors and rural businesses diversify the nation’s meat supply.
Americans consume several billion pizzas each year. More than eight in 10 consumers eat pizza at least once a month, and about half of them are slicing a pie once a week, according to Technomic research. Pizza clearly is one of America’s favorite go-to comfort foods. Click here to read more.
The number of U.S. restaurants — including chain franchises and independents — is still meaningfully lower than what it was before the advent of COVID-19. Click here to read the full article.
The surge in Covid-19 cases in China is impacting the completion of manufacturing orders, according to CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map data.
Logistics managers are warning clients that because of the spike in infections, factories are unable to complete orders — even with U.S. manufacturing orders from China already down 40% due to an unrelenting demand collapse. Click here to read the full article.
Here’s a sobering statistic: Even if every single unemployed person in the country takes a job, there would still be more than 5 million unfilled positions according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The foodservice industry, a bit of a jobs powerhouse with a corps of nearly 15 million workers, has historically high turnover rates, a situation further complicated by the tight, post-pandemic jobs market. Click here to read the full article.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza continued its destruction of U.S. commercial and backyard flocks in the final days of 2022. The latest tally from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service had five outbreaks confirmed last week in four states: Kansas, Michigan, Tennessee and Washington.
The largest recent outbreaks involve two commercial broiler breeder producers in Tennessee’s Weakley County, and affected a total of 62,600 birds between them. Confirmed HPAI detections in 2022 include 306 commercial and 411 backyard flocks in 47 states, affecting 57.82 million birds, the federal agency said Wednesday in its last update.
According to APHIS, commercial and backyard flocks in just three states — Hawaii, Louisiana and West Virginia — have been spared amidst the deadliest HPAI outbreak in U.S. history. The last major HPAI outbreak in the U.S. occurred in 2015, when 50.5 million chickens and turkeys perished.
The ongoing scourge of HPAI is a global issue, with Japan and the Czech Republic among the nations reporting massive culling efforts in recent weeks. Outbreaks were also reported in Mexico and Canada during the month of December.
William W. Wilson, an expert in risk management and trading at North Dakota State University, predicted increased volatility in the U.S. grain market throughout 2023.
Part of the reason commodity prices rose so sharply, Wilson explained, is transportation rates are much higher for alternative grain shipping routes out of Ukraine, according to a report in Feed & Grain. Rail routes that traditionally went to Odessa now route through Romania, Poland and Moldova, which adds as much as $125/metric tonne to costs.
“Unblocking exports by sea will significantly strengthen the stability of the economy and alleviate the acuteness of the food crisis, but only under the condition of stable export of six million tonnes of grain per month at least until March 2023,” Wilson said.
Rising grain prices due to both the war in Ukraine and disappointing harvests in the US, Europe and Asia, are compounding challenges producers already face from global supply chain disruptions and labor and energy costs.
Wilson, who studies grain marketing as well as logistics and supply chain systems, offered his comments during the closing general session of the National Grain and Feed Association’s 2022 Country Elevator Conference in December 2022.
Inflation has hit all parts of the economy, with the evidence in your grocery bill. For one item, however, there’s one factor that’s having a big effect. Avian flu is hitting farms hard, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating nearly 58 million commercial and backyard birds were affected in the past year across the country. Click here to read the full article.
The Food & Drug Administration will begin treating sesame as a major allergen with the arrival of the new year, and along with that designation comes new rules for declaring sesame as an ingredient.
In an article posted on its website, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service noted that sesame will not need to be declared on the labels of products under FSIS jurisdiction. However, the agency said, "the voluntary use of allergen 'contains' statements are permitted on meat, poultry and egg products."
A voluntary allergen “contains” statement may be added using a generic label approval, and so, adding "contains sesame" or similar on a label would not require that the label be submitted to FSIS for sketch approval.
FSIS has been allowing the voluntary inclusion of sesame and sesame derived components in “contains” statements prior to January 1.
The choice beef cutout has spiked in the past few days, partly due to significant disruptions at feedlots brought about by recent extreme winter weather. The supply of cattle with more than 120 days on feed on Dec. 1 already was the lowest inventory of market-ready cattle on that date since 2018, estimated to be 76,000 head smaller than the previous year, analysts at the Daily Livestsock Report said in an analysis published today.
"Add to this the stress of winter weather and availability suddenly plummets," the analysts wrote. Extreme cold negatively impacts cattle in feedlots as livestock burns more energy to stay alive.
The recent storm significantly affected the movement of cattle from feedlots to processing plants, plants’ ability to bring workers in, and the movement of beef from processing plants from the middle of the country to metropolitan areas, the DLR said. Fed cattle slaughter was 15% lower for the week of Dec. 19 than two weeks prior.
But with supply needed for the meat case and to run further processing plants, the rib primal value on Tuesday was $548/cwt, the highest for the year, at a time when prices of bone-in and boneless ribeyes typically decline, after Christmas orders have been filled.
"Why are people paying that kind of price? Because they are short and when you need to fill orders in a market where supply is thin you end up paying whatever it takes to outbid the other guy," the analysts said. "So here we are with likely less supply of market-ready cattle for January in feedlots, more weather stressed cattle and more beef booked for delivery. Spot buyers/traders woke up to this reality during the Christmas week storms and may feel the effects of tight supplies well into January."
Highly pathogenic avian influenza’s assault on the poultry industry continues, with new outbreaks reported in the U.S. and across the Mexican and Canadian borders. The USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service on Thursday confirmed outbreaks in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and South Dakota during the past two days. That includes a commercial turkey operation with 31,800 birds in Hanson County, S.D., and 239,700 egg-laying hens in Colorado’s Weld County.
The 2022 tally currently stands at confirmed infections in 708 commercial and backyard flocks in 47 states, impacting 57.69 million birds, according to the agency.
The Huron Perth Public Health agency in Ontario recently reported HPAI was identified in live poultry delivered to a commercial processing plant. “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, along with the Huron Perth Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Public Health Ontario are working together with the plant operator to respond to the situation,” HPPH stated.
Operations at the plant — identified by the London Free Press as operated by Sofina Foods — resumed on Monday, officials said. HPAI is also striking across the southern border, with the virus confirmed in 17 commercial poultry flocks in Mexico, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.
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