Tyson Foods Inc. has secured a 100 million real ($51.4) loan from Brazil's BRDE bank to support its poultry supplies. The loan will be used to help approximately 330 Brazilian poultry suppliers to modernize and expand their operations in Brazil's southern states of Parana and Santa Catarina, according to Dow Jones newswires. The company had acquired three Brazilian companies last October, and the loan will allow its suppliers to improve the supply of chickens to those plants.

Tyson also announced that structural changes and improved market conditions are having a positive effect on its domestic chicken business. Speaking at the Stephens Inc. Spring Investment Conference, Donnie Smith, Tyson's senior group vice president for poultry and prepared foods, said, "We have modified many of our business practices, and our people have really embraced making these changes. I think we'll have a stronger Q3 in our chicken segment than we thought a month ago," referring to statements made in Tyson's second quarter earnings call on May 4.

Smith said that, while the company is better positioned to operate more effectively in the current environment, higher input costs and demand for other proteins could have an impact later in the year. "My long-term focus in chicken is on our 'back to basics' approach which is serving us well," he said. "We have a great, hard-working team, and they're headed in the right direction. It feels good to see how far we've come in a fairly short time, and we will continue to focus on improving our business and creating shareholder value."

Sources: Dow Jones newswire, Tyson Foods Inc.

Clinton, Ark., sues Pilgrim's Pride

The town of Clinton, Ark., the site of an idled Pilgrim's Pride processing plant, has sued the processor for shutting down the plant and is seeking at least $28.6 million in damages.

"With its largest and sole remaining employer Pilgrim's now evacuated, the city faces a crisis of revenue, bond payments and economic devastation," the city said in its lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth, Texas. "As a result of the Pilgrim's evacuation [the city of Clinton] is threatened with becoming a modern day ghost town." Arkansas Business reports that the city is charging the company with violating the Packers & Stockyards Act by manipulating the price of chicken by idling several plants, including the one in Clinton.

The city also stated that it spent $8.5 million on improvements to its wastewater treatment plant after Pilgrim's threatened to leave the city. A spokesman for the company sais it does not comment on pending lawsuits.

Source: Arkansas Business

Oregon, Ohio companies announce recalls

SP Provisions, a Portland, Ore., establishment is recalling approximately 39,973 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The products subject to recall include 5-pound and 10-pound bags of ground beef, 5-pound and 10-pound bags of chili grind and 15-pound boxes of ground beef patties, marketed under the Cascade Natural Beef and the SP Provisions brands.

These ground beef products were produced on various dates from April 8, 2009 through May 28, 2009, and were distributed to retail establishments as well as hotels, restaurants and institutions in Oregon and Washington. The products, produced from the same source material, were sent into commerce prior to May 29, 2009. The problem was discovered through FSIS microbiological sampling. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

Additionally, The Wornick Company, a Cincinnati, Ohio, establishment is recalling approximately 153,698 pounds of a "Chili no beans" product because the product was mislabeled with the incorrect nutrition facts information panel. The product subject to recall is 11.25-ounce pouches of "Brushy Creek Chili no beans."

The chili product was produced and packaged on various dates in January 2009 through April 2009 and was distributed to correctional institutions nationwide. The distribution of the chili product was limited only to correctional institutions. The problem was discovered by a routine quality assurance check by the establishment.

Source: Food Safety and Inspection Service

More associations join NAMP E. coli conference

A total of 22 groups are partnering with the North American Meat Processors Association for itsE. coliO157:H7 Conference for North American Beef Further Processors, scheduled for Aug. 18-19 at the Four Points by Sheraton Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Along with NAMP, the 14 associations and seven media publications partnering for the event include: International HACCP Alliance, American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP), American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF), American Meat Science Association (AMSA), Canadian Meat Council (CMA), Chicago Mid-West Meat Association (CMMA), Consejo Mexicano de la Carne (Mexican Meat Council), Eastern Meat Packers Association (EMPA), National Meat Association (NMA), Southeast Meat Association (SEMA), Southwest Meat Association (SMA), U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), Canadian Meat Business, Carnetec, Meat & Poultry, Meatingplace, National Provisioner, Independent Processor, and Urner Barry’s The Reporter.

This is the first time so many industry groups have partnered on a single event, NAMP says. The previously released lineup of speakers includes several leading government officials and experts in the field. The conference features a technical session on microbiological testing and interventions on Tuesday, focusing on what testing means, exploring intervention technologies, and real-world use of interventions and testing. Wednesday’s agenda features special sessions for attendees from Canada and Mexico, and general sessions on regulations and risk.

For more information about the event, read the full NAMP press release at http://www.namp.com/images/namp/NAMPpartners.pdf.

Source:  North American Meat Processors Association