Randall Parker Food Group

The Randall Parker Food Group is an impressive group of companies with an exceptional reputation for quality, experience and choice within meat supply throughout the world.

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Randall Parker Food Group

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Randall Parker Food Group

BSE Won’t Stop US Beef Export Growth

By Elizabeth Campbell – Apr 26, 2012

The first time mad cow disease appeared in the U.S., beef exports plunged 82 percent. More than eight years later, the discovery of an infected dairy cow in California may do little to prevent shipments from surging to a record for a second straight year.

U.S. beef sales to buyers including Mexico, China and Japan will jump 6 percent to 1.34 million metric tons in 2012, exceeding last year’s record, which the government valued at $4.7 billion, said Global AgriTrends, a Denver-based researcher that advises meat companies, investment banks and hedge funds. The company affirmed its forecast after the U.S. reported its fourth case of mad cow since 2003 and first since 2006.

Detection of the tainted carcass before it entered the human food chain should bolster confidence that U.S. meat is safe, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said yesterday, as cattle prices rebounded in Chicago. Canada, Mexico, Japan and South Korea, the four biggest buyers of U.S. beef, said they won’t halt purchases, bolstering prospects for agricultural exports that are a foundation of President Barack Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. sales overseas by 2015.

“The world market has shown that it can absorb any new mad cow information without causing a disruption in trade,” said Chris Hitch, the president of Hitch Enterprises in Guymon, Oklahoma, which owns two feedlots that can hold about 90,000 head of cattle. “International demand for beef is growing, and will continue to grow, with rising incomes in developing nations, especially Asia.”

via Mad Cow Case Won’t Prevent Record Beef Sales: Commodities – Bloomberg.

Mad-Cow Case Confirmed in Central California,

The first U.S. case of mad cow disease in six years has been found in a dairy cow in central California, detected before it could enter the human food chain and pose any threat to consumers, officials said.

The cow was identified as part of routine testing for the brain-wasting disease, known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, John Clifford, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief veterinarian, told reporters yesterday at a briefing in Washington.

The animal arrived April 18 at a Baker Commodities Inc. facility in Hanford, California, where dead livestock are held before going to a rendering plant, Dennis Luckey, executive vice president of operations at Los Angeles-based Baker, said in a phone interview.

The carcass “was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health,” Clifford said in a statement. Mad cow disease cannot be transmitted through milk from dairy animals, he said. “USDA remains confident in the health of the national herd and the safety of beef and dairy products.”

Cattle futures rebounded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange after tumbling the most in 11 months. Feeder-cattle also rose after falling by the exchange limit. Brazil’s JBS SA (JBSS3), the world’s largest beef producer, fell by as much as 5.2 percent before closing 0.3 percent lower in Sao Paulo. Tyson Foods Inc., the second-biggest U.S. beef processor, pared earlier gains to close 1.5 percent higher in New York.

Random Sampling

This is the fourth BSE case found in the U.S. herd, and the first since March 2006. Clifford said the age and the source of the animal in the latest case were being investigated. Luckey said the animal was at least 30 months old and the disease was discovered as part of random testing conducted to meet USDA quotas. He said it’s possible that a diseased animal could be processed without being tested.

Scientists say the disease is spread through feed that contains brain or spinal-cord tissue from infected animals. People can get it from eating products containing such tissues, such as head cheese. Since 1997, feed made from mammals has been banned from cattle rations, and high-risk materials such as brains have been kept from the human food supply.

via Mad-Cow Case Confirmed in Central California, USDA Says – Bloomberg.

Brazil’s JBS offers to buy local meat packer

(Reuters) – Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, made a bid to buy local meat packer Grupo Independencia in a cash and stock deal for 268 million reais ($142 million), the company said in a market filing on Monday.

The non-binding offer would be 135 million reais in JBS shares valued at 7.91 reais each and another 133 million reais in cash. JBS would not take on any other financial obligations in the takeover.

JBS shares on the BM&FBovespa stock exchange in Sao Paulo fell 5.9 percent to 7.21 reais in afternoon trade, while the main blue-chip index Bovespa was trading down 2 percent.

If Independencia accepts the offer, it would mark JBS’s first large-scale acquisition after a hiatus in recent years. Independencia has four slaughterhouses, most in the center-west, and two distribution centers in Sao Paulo state.

JBS rose from near obscurity out of Brazil’s grain-rich center-west to become the world’s largest meat producer in the past seven years through a series of major acquisitions, including U.S. Pilgrim’s Pride, Swift Foods and Smithfield Be

via Brazil’s JBS offers to buy local meat packer | Reuters.

Brazil could meet half of global meat demand

Brazil will be capable of supplying almost half of the world’s beef within 10 years, according to the Brazilian minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Jorge Mendes Ribeiro Filho.

Speaking on Brazilian national television yesterday (19 April), Ribeiro Filho said that Brazilian beef production will be able to supply 44.5% of the world market by 2020, with chicken meat expected to reach 48.1% of world exports and pork 14.2%.

Ribeiro Filho discussed a wide range of issues during the interview, including the country’s current dispute with Argentina over pork exports.

Brazilian pork exports to Argentina have dropped by almost 80% as a result of new import restrictions forcing exporters to apply for licences before entering the country. Ribeiro Filho said that he had warned his Argentinean counterpart, Norberto Yauhar, that unless the issue was resolved, Brazil might impose restrictions on Argentinean imports.

“Our meat must be released. If not, we are going to hinder the entry of Argentine products and that it is not good for anyone. Is not what President Dilma Rousseff wants. We want our trade to be revived,” he said.

Other areas covered included the importance of agriculture to the Brazilian economy. Ribeiro Filho pointed out that agriculture accounts for 70.4% of the country’s GDP and the sector employs 30m people. The livestock sector alone accounts for 29.6% of the GDP.

“Agribusiness is, without doubt, the great engine of the economy and it is largely responsible for the Brazilian trade balance surplus. If Brazil did not have the contribution of agribusiness, the country would not have the large accumulation of reserves that it currently has,” he said.

On the topic of foot-and-mouth disease, he said that Brazil had started vaccinating cattle and buffalo  in the states of Bahia and Rondônia this week.

The vaccinations in  Rondônia were given to animals under 24 months as part of a vaccination timetable set out by the Ministry of Agriculture. The vaccinations in Bahia were early due to the drought affecting the region. The second stage of the vaccination will take place in  Rondônia between October 15 and November 15, with all remaining cattle and buffalo vaccinated, Ribeiro Filho added.

via Brazil could meet half of global meat demand.

From: Globalmeatnews.com

(Reuters) – Improved grain supplies will help lower food prices this year after sharp rises in 2011 and take the wind out of price volatility, easing inflation concerns, a senior official at the United Nations’ food agency told Reuters on Monday.

Over the next decade, however, prices are set to rise for major food and agricultural commodities, Abdolreza Abbassian, senior grain analyst and economist at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit.

“We do expect the food prices in 2012 to be averaging perhaps slightly below 2011. We expect also slightly less volatility this year compared to last year because of better inventories,” Abbassian said in a telephone interview.

World food prices measured by FAO hit a record high in February 2011, helping to stoke unrest in some countries. Average annual prices in 2011 were the highest level since the agency started measuring global food prices in 1990.

Food and beverage companies will benefit from lower prices of agricultural commodities, such as grains and meat, after their profits were dented by high commodity costs last year.

via Better supplies to drive world food prices lower in 2012 | Reuters.

Image of red meat back in balance

The red meat industry has, for a number of years, had to put up with a lot of criticism, often unfairly. While, as in most sectors, there are areas where we can do better or improve performance and efficiency, we are an easy target for many with an agenda or who are simply ill-informed. This can be criticism on environmental performance, the health value of red meat in the diet or its animal welfare issues.

This can be galling in the trade press but can be even more frustrating in the consumer arena when the whole picture is not fully painted. The person on the street may just take what they have read at face value as they have no intrinsic knowledge of the subject, unlike someone reading an article in trade media, and this may change their behaviour. This is an area that EBLEX, in conjunction with our BPEX colleagues in the pig sector, and other related organisations like HCC in Wales and QMS in Scotland, are all working to address.


Too often unbalanced articles or comments appear in the media. We have concentrated resources and expertise over the last 12 months in ensuring commentators and influencers are better informed on the benefits of red meat. And this work is now demonstrating real returns. Analysing coverage over the 18 months since the meat and health campaign was launched, predominantly negative media have been turned to more positive items in print and broadcast.

Previously, an audit of press coverage showed five negatives to every one positive story on red meat in England. Now. We are looking at 5.5 positive to every 3.5 negative.

The work to achieve this has included speaking to more than 90 key opinion forming journalists and scientists, supporting the Meat Advisory Panel – a panel of experts keen on promoting the more positive aspects of red meat – compilation of a series of factsheets on common issues like red meat and obesity, red meat and heart disease, and red meat and cancer, setting out the real facts on these issues, and revamping the meatandhealth.com website.

The simple fact is that red meat is a nutritious source of many vitamins and minerals and can play an important part in a healthy diet. There will always be those with an agenda who simply want to put people off eating meat for whatever reason, but at least we are seeing more balanced reporting of the facts rather than skewed view with claims simply being taken at face value.

via Beef and Lamb Matters: Image of red meat back in balance.

Firm expectations for UK beef and sheep prices

YET another global prospects report indicates beef and sheep prices are likely to remain firm in 2012.

Demand from the emerging economies is helping to support the market, according to the latest International Meat Market Review, published by AHDB’s market intelligence division for Eblex and Bpex.

On beef, the report says all major producing countries saw prices increase last year to levels well ahead of 2010. It is likely prices will prevail through 2012, alongside some modest recovery in production volumes of beef and veal.

It is much the same with lamb – tight supplies set against rising demand in emerging economies.

“Prices should remain firm in 2012, if not quite reaching the heights recorded at some points in 2011,” said AHDB senior analyst Debbie Butcher.

Not surprisingly, as a result of this optimistic outlook, there should be some re-building of the global sheep flock.

via Firm expectations for UK beef and sheep prices | News | Farmers Guardian.