The Perdue Farms Inc. plant in Accomac, Va., and the Tyson Foods plant in Temperanceville, Va., are calling for more chicken houses to be built in Accomack County to meet the demand, as well as more workers to address the issue of employee turnover.

The Perdue plant processes over 82 million birds a year and brings in chickens from as far as Delaware and South Carolina to meet demand, reports

"Us being able to build some poultry houses in Northampton would be outstanding," said Joe Campbell, complex manager, said. There currently are no chicken houses in Northampton County.

Perdue needs 90 to 100 additional houses built on the Shore to lower the turnaround time between farm and processing plant, he said, adding, "We could do 300 more houses right now."

Tyson’s plant manager, Bill Ricken, said that Tyson needs 125 additional houses, as he wants to expand the plant. Land-use regulations in Maryland have made it virtually impossible to build more houses in that area, he added. Ricken said that he also needs more workers for the plant, as the 1,300-employee plant has a 60-percent annual turnover in the workforce.


Dakota Beef's suit against former CEO dismissed

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a South Dakota organic beef company's lawsuit against its former chief executive that had accused him of profiting from side ventures, running up more than $67,000 in personal charges on a company credit card and forming a competing company, reports the Associated Press.

Voward Venture LLC, dba Dakota Beef filed suit against Scott Lively and his Lively Foods LLC in June. Lively filed a counterclaim, saying Howard Venture owed him wages and expense account reimbursement, interfered with his business relationships and defamed him.

Lively's attorney, Andrew Damgaard, argued in court documents that Howard Venture was not entitled to enforce Dakota Beef's noncompete agreement with Lively because it never was his boss.

Both sides agreed to drop their claims this week, and Judge Lawrence Piersol signed the order to dismiss.

Source: Associated Press, NECN News

Dietz & Watson holds taste tests to fight hunger

Dietz & Watson, a national producer of premium deli meats and artisan cheeses, is hosting Deli Challenges at four prominent Manhattan grocery stores. The Deli Challenges will allow New York shoppers to participate in a free blind taste test that pits two premium deli brands, Dietz & Watson and Boar’s Head, against each other in search of the best.

For each participant, Dietz & Watson will donate one pound of food to the Food Bank for New York City. Dietz & Watson will also be selling its New York Brand Beef Franks for $1 with all sales going to support the food bank.

Following the Deli Challenges, Dietz & Watson will deliver the raised money and food – comprised of hams, turkeys, roast beef and cheese for the holidays – to the Food Bank for New York City.

The challenges will take place today, December 2nd between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at D'Agostino's on 578 3rd Avenue and 2828 Broadway, and at Gristedes on 350 East 86th Street and 1446 2nd Avenue.

Source: Dietz & Watson

National Restaurant Assn. lists top menu trends

The National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot" survey of more than 1,500 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation – reveals that local and hyper-local sourcing, healthy children's meals, sustainable seafood, and gluten-free cuisine will be among the hottest trends on restaurant menus in 2011. In addition, the chefs said that mobile food trucks and pop-up restaurants will be the top operational trend in restaurants next year.

The top 10 menu trends for next year will be locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce, sustainability as a culinary theme, nutritious kids' dishes, hyper-local items, children's nutrition as a culinary theme, sustainable seafood, gluten-free/food allergy-conscious items, back-to-basics cuisine and farm-branded ingredients.

"Our annual 'What's Hot' chef survey is one of the industry's most anticipated and quoted culinary forecasts, largely due to the credibility of its respondents – professional chefs that work in some of the nation's finest dining establishments and educate the next generation of chefs in culinary institutions," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. "The top trends identified by these culinary professionals for 2011 are reflecting larger societal trends, underscoring that American diners are becoming more and more interested in what's on their plate. Sustainability and nutrition are becoming key themes in our nation's nearly one million restaurants."

"Locally sourced food and a focus on sustainability is not just popular among certain segments of consumers anymore; it has become more mainstream. Diners are requesting to know where their food comes from, and are concerned with how their choices affect the world around us," said Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, ACF national president. "Nutrition will continue to play a key role in 2011. With the results from this survey of American Culinary Federation chefs, restaurants across America will be able to tailor their menus and better serve their guests."

Rounding out the top 20 hot menu trends are artisan liquor, locally-produced wine and beer, smaller portions for a smaller price, organic produce, nutrition as a culinary theme, culinary cocktails, newly fabricated cuts of meat, fruit/vegetable children's side items, ethnic-inspired breakfast items and artisan cheese.

Source: NRA