The World Trade organization ruled that U.S. restrictions on imports of Chinese chicken, turkey and duck broke global commerce rules. WTO judges in Geneva agreed with China that a congressional spending bill preventing authorities from processing shipments of cooked Chinese poultry unfairly closed the American market, reports Bloomberg News. China called the measures discriminatory and protectionist.

The measures against Chinese poultry have since expired, meaning that the WTO does not have to order the U.S. to bring the law into line with WTO rules.

China recently imposed stiff anti-dumping tariffs against U.S. poultry exports, claiming that U.S. subsidiaries give American processors an unfair advantage over Chinese processors.

China welcomed the World Trade Organization’s ruling on U.S. restrictions on imports of Chinese poultry, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website today, citing spokesman Yao Jian. China said its poultry is “safe” and called for the U.S. to conduct fair assessment and tests on the meat, according to the statement.

Source: Bloomberg News

News coverage of animal welfare cases turns people off meat

A university study showed that news coverage of animal welfare issues causes consumers to cut back on meat purchases in favor of non-meat items. It found that increased coverage of pork and poultry welfare issues from 1999 to 2009 reduced consumer demand, while coverage of cattle issues caused no decline in beef purchases, said researchers Glynn Tonsor of Kansas State University and Nicole Olynk of Purdue University said in the Journal of Agricultural Economics.

It's possible "positive" and "negative" news about the physical and psychological well-being of cattle "canceled each other out, netting to be zero," Olynk told United Press International.

They believe that if there hadn’t been increased news coverage of welfare issues, notably about gestation crates for pigs and battery cages for hens, pork demand would have been 2.65 percent higher and poultry would have been 5.01 percent higher.

Source: UPI

Hormel Foods first manufacturer to earn full certification in category management

Hormel Foods Corp. announced that it is the first manufacturer to achieve full certification in category management from the Category Management Association (CMA).

CMA, founded in 2004 to advance professional standards and encourage collaboration between category management professionals around the world, is the first and only group to certify companies as well as individuals in category management according to recognized industry-wide standards. These standards were developed by a steering committee comprised of veteran category management professionals from CPG companies, retailers and research organizations.

Individual certification is based on a combination of experience and formal training. There are three levels for individual certification: Certified Professional Category Analyst (CPCA), Certified Professional Category Manager (CPCM), and Certified Professional Strategic Advisor (CPSA). There are a total of 33 training modules across these three certification levels, with 10 at the Analyst level, 15 at the Manager level, and eight at the Strategic Advisor level.

More than 25 Hormel Foods category management professionals have been recognized with individual certifications.

To achieve corporate certification, the Certification Evaluation Board, the independent entity dedicated to managing CMA’s certification process, carefully reviewed the category management training programs at Hormel Foods, as well as the methodologies and metrics used by the company to ensure they meet the standards set by CMA. Hormel Foods is the first manufacturer to have all 33 training modules certified.

“I would like to congratulate Hormel Foods on being the first manufacturer to have all 33 required learning programs on the certification scorecard certified,” said Dan Strunk, chairman of the Certification Evaluation Board. “Hormel Foods has proven that it is a true leader in category management, and that its category management team is comprised of first-rate professionals.”

Source: Hormel Foods Corp.

Cal Ripken launches beef jerky line

Cal Ripken Jr., the Hall of Famer who holds baseball’s record for most consecutive games played, is getting into the beef jerky business. The former Baltimore Oriole is teaming with Florio Sports LLC to launch Ripken Power Shred, which will debut at the 2010 National Association of Convenience Stores trade show October 5-8 in Atlanta.

Ripken Power Shred, sourced and made in the U.S., is available in original, sweet n’ spicy, and teriyaki flavors.

“We are very excited to partner with Cal and unveil this new style of beef jerky,” said Frank Florio, president and founder of Florio Sports. “Everyone who has tried Power Shred so far really loves the taste and quality, which is much different from other types of jerky products on the market. This is a great game time snack for everyone, and we look forward to the responses and feedback from customers now that it’s available on our website.”

“I gave Power Shred to my son’s baseball team and they loved it,” said Ripken. “It is a great source of protein and helps maintain energy levels during workouts and physical activity. With three flavors, it tastes great and is made from a high-quality lean American beef. Give it a try.”

Sources: Baltimore Business Journal, Florio Sports LLC