Senior management from Pierre Foods Inc., Advance Food Co. Inc. and Advance Brands LLC, announced that the Boards of Directors of all three companies have unanimously approved and entered into a definitive merger agreement. The combined company will be called Advance Pierre Foods and creates a leading supplier of value-added protein and handheld convenience food products to the foodservice, school, retail, club, vending and convenience store channels.

The transaction is expected to close within the next two months and is subject to customary closing conditions. Funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., a Los Angeles-based investment firm, are currently the majority shareholder of Pierre Foods and upon closing, will maintain a majority share of the combined company. The current shareholders of Advance Food Co., the Allen and McLaughlin Families, will own a minority share of the combined company.

Bill Toler, current CEO of Pierre Foods, will become the CEO of the newly combined company and Greg Allen, current CEO of Advance Food Co. will join the Board of Directors of the combined company.

“Pierre is extremely pleased to merge with these two outstanding companies we have known and admired over the years. The new and expanded product offerings and distribution network will give our combined customers tremendous variety, quality and value,” said Toler. “Our businesses are wonderfully complementary, and we share common corporate philosophies around the importance of taking care of both customers and employees.”

Advance Pierre Foods will offer a full line of packaged sandwiches, fully cooked chicken and beef products, Philly-style steak, breaded beef, pork, and poultry and bakery products. Headquartered in Cincinnati, with some divisional leadership based in Oklahoma, Advance Pierre Foods will operate protein processing facilities in Oklahoma, Ohio and Iowa as well as sandwich assembly facilities in North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. The company will also operate bakeries in North Carolina and Oklahoma. The management team for Advance Pierre Foods includes executives from all three companies. Integration planning for all company functions is underway.

“Pierre has had a long tradition of providing innovative and high quality products which are a natural fit for our company,” said Mark Allen, current president of Advance Food Company. “The combination of resources from all three companies will provide more options and opportunities across all sales channels, resulting in a stronger company going forward into the future.” In the newly combined company, Allen will run the division focused on foodservice and school channels.

“Putting our companies together truly combines the best of both worlds for all of our customers and creates a world class organization to serve their needs,” said Billy McPherson, vice president of sales for Advance Brands.

“Both Pierre and the Advance companies are coming off of successful years,” said Matthew Wilson, managing director at Oaktree Capital Management. “We are very excited about the growth opportunity created by putting these three financially strong companies together.”


Source: Advance Foods Co.



Global Conference on Sustainable Beef planned for November

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and global leaders from the beef industry today announced their intent to bring together the full breadth of industry stakeholders to move global beef production to a more sustainable system through open and balanced dialogue.

“On a finite planet, sustainability is as important to long-term business success as it is for conservation and protecting wildlife,” said Jason Clay, senior vice president of markets at WWF. “By carrying out a dialogue with broad representation of all stakeholders in the global beef system, we can make great strides in expanding best practices and developing strong global standards for sustainable beef production.”

The Global Conference on Sustainable Beef will serve as a unique forum to review current sustainability practices and begin to build alignment around key impacts, both positive and negative, of the beef system.

Cargill, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, JBS, McDonald’s and WWF will convene stakeholders and work to establish a process that may result in developing global voluntary, market-based standards for the beef industry. The event will take place from November 1-3 in Denver, Colo.

Possible next steps following the conference include expanding local multi-stakeholder programs that are economically viable, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible as well as the creation of Regional Sustainable Beef Roundtables to guide the development of standards for sustainable beef production.

With global populations expected to peak at more than 9 billion by 2050, there is growing interest in sustainability and securing natural resources for the benefit of people, the planet and wildlife.

The global organizations convening this conference each have a stake in making the beef system more sustainable. These leaders will come prepared for a constructive dialogue about how to improve industry sustainability by exploring and clarifying the environmental, economic and social impacts of a sustainable beef system. Through this approach, stakeholders will share better management practices to drive continuous improvement in sustainability of the beef system.

“McDonald’s is proud to work with stakeholders throughout the beef industry on efforts aimed at addressing sustainability in beef production globally,” said Jessica Droste Yagan, director of Sustainable Supply for McDonald’s. “We recognize that beef production has significant impacts on the environment, people, and animals – positive and negative, and believe that all beef production systems can make important contributions towards improved sustainability. We want to help highlight and promote the better management practices that could drive those contributions more quickly.”

The Conference program, developed to encourage dialogue and build partnerships, will include a series of panel discussions, plenary sessions and breakout meetings.

The conference is currently structured around three key pillars:
1) Science and Research: participants will present research and identify top sustainability production challenges and opportunities;
2) Better Management Practices: participants will share experiences, practices and operations, addressing hurdles and solutions along the way; and
3) Dialogue: participants will work to increase alignment around the key impacts of the beef system and identify approaches that promote sustainable beef practices worldwide.

The conference website can be found at www.SustainableLivestock.org, where news, program descriptions, outcomes and speaker details will appear leading up to and following the event.


Source: Global Conference on Sustainable Beef



Rosina meatballs enter Buffalo Wing Fest

Rosina Food Products’ newest meatball flavor, Buffalo Style Chicken Meatballs, are going to be the center of attention at the 8th Annual Buffalo Wing Festival held in Downtown Buffalo, N.Y. Along with a variety of restaurants from across the country, Rosina is participating in this unique festival that attracts an estimated 90,000 people during this event. The focus is on more than 100 different styles and flavors of chicken wings which are available for sampling.

Held at Coca-Cola Field on September 4th and 5th, this is an ideal event for Rosina to feature the Buffalo Style Chicken Meatball and promote it as the 'True Boneless Wing.' Consumers from across the country attend this event and have the opportunity to taste everything from traditional to unique flavored chicken wings. As a one-of-a-kind item, the Buffalo Style Chicken meatball will provide another exciting option.

Rosina has been named the Official Meatball of the festival and will be included in various media vehicles such as radio and television mentions. The corporate logo will be placed on the front cover of the festival guide as well as the Jumbotron and website.

For more information about the festival, go to www.buffalowing.com.


Source: Rosina Food Products Inc.



Nominations sought for membership on Microbiological Criteria Committee

The UDDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that nominations are being sought for membership on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF). The Federal Register Notice can be found at: www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/NACMCF.

Nominations are being sought for individuals with scientific expertise in the fields of epidemiology, food technology, microbiology, toxicology, chemistry, risk assessment, infectious disease, biostatistics and other related sciences. Individuals who may be currently employed by state and federal governments, industry, academia or consumer groups are invited to submit nominations. Members who are not federal government employees will be appointed to serve as non-compensated special government employees (SGEs). SGEs will be subject to appropriate conflict of interest statutes and standards of ethical conduct. USDA is also seeking nominations for one individual affiliated with a consumer group to serve on the NACMCF. This member will serve as a representative member to provide a consumer viewpoint, and is not required to have a scientific background.

The nominee's typed resume or curriculum vitae must be limited to five one-sided pages and should include educational background, expertise and a select list of publications authored. The current charter for the NACMCF and other information about the committee are available at the above link.

Nominations and submissions must be received by August 9, 2010, and should be sent to Ms. Karen Thomas-Sharp, advisory committee specialist, Room 333, Aerospace Center, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, D.C. 20250. Ms. Thomas-Sharp can be reached at (202) 690-6620, by fax at (202) 690-6634, or at Karen.Thomas-Sharp@fsis.usda.gov.


Source: FSIS