Perdue has joined with the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to help restore the Chesapeake Bay. Perdue has committed a total of $35,000 to the Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund to support habitat restoration and water quality improvement projects on the Delmarva Peninsula. The NFWF and its federal partners will provide matching funds of at least dollar-for-dollar to further leverage the investment.

“We are thrilled to have as a partner a company with Perdue’s stature and capacity to do good work,” said Jeff Trandahl, NFWF executive director. “Perdue has proven for decades that it can be a driver for the region’s economy. Through its more recent environmental initiatives, we’ve seen that it can bring similar benefits to the region’s natural resources. Our new partnership will strive to maximize the effectiveness of the company’s investment in environmental stewardship, while adding new momentum to the overall effort to revitalize the Chesapeake Bay.”

“The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has demonstrated its ability to bring together public and private partners,” said Steve Schwalb, vice president of environmental sustainability for Perdue. “This talent, along with its long track record of funding highly successful projects, made NFWF the logical choice for a partner in expanding our investments in the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”

“The projects supported by these grants will be both very creative and help fulfill priority strategies for restoring the Chesapeake Bay. We look forward to announcing the grant recipients later this summer,” said Mike Slattery, director of the NFWF Eastern Partnership Office. “Bringing back the Bay will take creative approaches to complex problems, along with continued support from corporations like Perdue that realize their business success, and the health of the communities in which we live, are inextricably linked to the vitality of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”

Source: Perdue Foods

Empire Kosher Poultry expands ABF, organic lines

Empire Kosher Poultry announced the expansion of its line of Kosher chicken and turkey products to include organic and antibiotic free (“ABF”) poultry, along with its regular offerings.

Empire’s production facility in Mifflintown, Pa. received USDA organic certification last year and has been testing both ABF and organic feeds and growing protocols for the past 18 months. With the completion of its extensive testing and test marketing, Empire is now rolling out these lines nationally.

Empire Kosher’s CEO Greg Rosenbaum stated, “As the nation’s largest producer of Kosher poultry, Empire wants to offer its customers greater choice. As we’ve seen demand for ABF and organic products grow in the non-Kosher world, we decided to enter these markets with Kosher products. In this way, we provide a one-stop shop for supermarkets and Kosher butchers who need to provide their consumers with the wide range of poultry choices available today. As with all our products, these new products are being produced with consistently high standards of Kashrus, food safety, animal welfare, worker safety and great taste.”

Empire’s ABF products will be “never, ever”, meaning the birds will be fed all-vegetarian diets and will never be injected with antibiotics or hormones. Empire’s organic chicken will be fed only certified, organically grown vegetarian diets. All of Empire’s poultry products are raised on family-owned farms within 75 miles of the Empire plant and are free roaming, allowing the birds to grow naturally.

Source: Empire Kosher Foods Inc.

Nueske's wins 3rd SOFI gold medal

Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats - a purveyor of premium, artisan Applewood Smoked bacon, ham, sausage and poultry since 1933 - has received its third gold Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation (SOFI) award in 10 years from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade.

Nueske's was presented with the gold sofi award at a red-carpet event at the Javits Convention Center in New York at the 55th Annual Summer Fancy Food Show. The company won in the category of Meat, Pate or Seafood. Nueske's is the only purveyor to have won the gold SOFI award three times in 10 years in the Meat, Pate or Seafood category. It previously took home the honor in 2001 and in 2006. Nueske's Applewood Smoked Tellicherry Pepper-Coated Bacon received a 2008 silver SOFI in the Meat, Pate or Seafood category.

"Wow, I'd give anything for my granddad to be here to see this," stated Tanya Nueske, company spokeswoman and granddaughter of Nueske's founder Robert Carl Nueske. "He started this company over 75 years ago selling his products out of the back of his automobile - everything made with the family's secret recipes. I marvel at the fact that what we make here in little Wittenberg, Wisconsin, led us to become the first meat company to win a sofi award three times in a one decade."

More than 250 retailers and foodservice buyers judged close to 2,000 entries in 33 categories in the SOFI awards.

Source: Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats

Devault burgers win taste test

In an effort to see how its product stacks up against its leading competitors, Devault Foods of Devault PA, a national suppler of portion-controlled meat products for the foodservice industry, recently conducted a blind taste test of its line of hamburgers against four of its leading competitors. The testing criteria were based on overall taste, tenderness and quality.

The testing was conducted at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College in Mays Landing, N.J. A total of 121 students blind taste-tested and evaluated Devault Foods hamburgers versus its competitors. The results indicated the Devault Foods product was superior over all its competitors, scoring highest in all categories.

Culinary chef instructors who also participated in the preparation and taste testing of all products noted that Devault Foods hamburgers provided substantially more yield.

"We realize that although Americans are eating more hamburgers and fewer steaks as the economy wallows in recession, we still have to give them a reason to buy our product over our competitors," said Bill Irwin, vice president of Devault Foods sales and marketing.

"The outcome of this exercise is exactly what we were looking for, and is what operators need in the current environment," said Irwin. "Not only did the Devault product excel over its competition across the board, our cooked yield was superior."

Devault Foods, family owned and operated since 1949, nationally supplies portion-controlled meat products for the foodservice industry out of southeastern Pennsylvania. Devault also services corporate distributors, independent distributors, corporate purchasing groups, restaurants and hotels, business and industry, healthcare, education and the military.

Source: Devault Foods