A feature story inUSA Today, the country's most-read newspaper, highlights the efforts meat and poultry processors are making to find uses for the animal parts that they can't sell to consumers. Among the examples given are making plastics from feather protein and diesel fuel from fat.

The article highlighted the actions of three processors specifically. Tyson Foods is developing plastics, adhesives and non-woven materials from keratin found in feathers, with the hopes that diapers and hospital gowns can be made from the material. Perdue Farms collects its poultry litter and converts it into organic fertilizer pellets. Maple Leaf Foods operates a biodiesel plant near Montreal and uses a portion of the fuel produced to run its own trucks.

A spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, though, argued that rendered materials can spread diseases. "The last thing we need in this country is another use for the bodies of animals," said Kathy Guillermo, vice president of laboratory investigations.

To read the article in its entirety, go to http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/2009-11-23-parts_N.htm.

Source: USA Today

Hormel reports Q4, year-end results

Hormel Foods Corp. reported fiscal 2009 fourth quarter net earnings of $103.9 million, up 53 percent from earnings of $67.8 million a year earlier. Sales totaled $1.68 billion, which was down 10 percent from fiscal 2008.
For the twelve months ending October 25, 2009, net earnings were $342.8 million, or $2.53 per diluted share, (up 22 percent) compared to $285.5 million a year ago, or $2.08 per diluted share. Sales totaled $6.53 billion, down 3 percent from $6.75 billion in the same period last year.

For the year, Hormel reported the following results for its various divisions:
Grocery Products operating profit up 9 percent; volume down 3 percent; dollar sales down 2 percent
Refrigerated Foods operating profit up 7 percent; volume down 1 percent; dollar sales down 2 percent
Jennie-O Turkey Store operating profit up 11 percent; volume down 3 percent; dollar sales down 3 percent
Specialty Foods operating profit down 2 percent; volume down 9 percent (down 12 percent excluding acquisitions); dollar sales down 9 percent (down 11 percent excluding acquisitions)
All Other operating profit up 2 percent; volume up 2 percent; dollar sales down 2 percent

“We are pleased to report an excellent finish to fiscal 2009. All five business segments contributed to our third consecutive strong quarter, generating a 54 percent increase in EPS and a 17 percent increase in segment operating profit. We are happy to get back on track with our long-term record of earnings growth after a challenging year in 2008,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO.

“Having returned to more normal earnings growth levels this year, we are confident in our ability to continue to enhance our bottom line. We intend to tackle the challenge of a continued weak economy and reduced consumer spending, and expect to restore top-line growth on an annualized basis in 2010. After assessing the important factors affecting our business for the upcoming year, we are setting our fiscal 2010 guidance range at $2.63 to $2.73 per share,” stated Ettinger.

Source: Hormel Foods Corp.

Indiana poultry industry donates 145,000 pounds of food

The Indiana State Poultry Association has donated 145,000 pounds of eggs, chicken, turkey and duck to food pantries across the state. The group has donated poultry products at Thanksgiving for 62 straight years, reports theChicago Tribune.

The companies involved in the donation were: Berne Hi-Way Hatchery, Creighton Brothers, Culver Duck, Farbest Foods, Hy-Line, North America, Maple Leaf Farms, Perdue Foods, Miller Poultry, Rose Acre Farms, Tyson Foods, Wabash Valley Produce and Chore-Time Equipment.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Togo's offers smaller versions of sandwich favorites

Togo's Eateries Inc. announced it has introduced Mini Classics, smaller-sized versions of its most popular sandwiches. Togo's Mini Classics feature six of Togo's best sandwiches on a freshly baked roll for $2.50 each. The six featured Mini Classic sandwich varieties will include Togo's famous #3 Turkey & Cheese, #9 Hot Pastrami, #7 Roast Beef, #20 Albacore Tuna, the popular #24 Turkey & Avocado and  #29 Chicken Salad.

"Our new Mini Classics offer our most popular classic sandwiches perfectly portioned and perfectly priced," said Tony Gioia, Togo's chairman and CEO. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Togo's has 242 franchised locations across the West Coast.

Source: Togo's Eateries Inc.