Livestock marketing rules proposed by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) will weaken meat quality, according an op-ed by Certified Angus Beef Founder Mick Colvin that appeared in yesterday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“Over the past few decades, there has been a quality revolution in our industry,” Colvin said. “Years ago, meat was a generic commodity -- supposedly, one cut was just as good as another. Consumers couldn't connect meat to its source or predict whether it would be juicy, tender and lean or gristly, tough and tasteless. Then came ‘value-based’ marketing. Working with cattle producers, meatpackers developed alternative marketing arrangements that enable cattlemen to work with meat companies as partners in providing consumers with the choice, quality and specialty items they want.”

But Colvin says that the rules proposed by USDA threaten the partnerships that have developed between livestock producers and meat companies.

“Raising and marketing cattle should be left to people who love red meat, not red tape. But the proposed GIPSA rule would disrupt value-based marketing and become a bonanza for trial lawyers because the rule would make it easier to file lawsuits against meat companies that use contracts for the alternative marketing arrangements. That would be bad news for everyone who relies on a thriving meat and poultry industry: large and small,” he said.

He also noted that the rule could eliminate as many as 104,000 jobs nationwide and 4,000 in Ohio, where he continues to raise Angus cattle. “In our industry, inedible meat is discarded as scrap,” he concluded. “For the sake of producers and packers, retailers and restaurants, workers and consumers, it's time for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to scrap this proposed rule.”

To read the entire op-ed, click go to

Source: AMI

Rumba brand debuts first on-pack promotion

Cargill has launched its first Rumba brand on-pack promotion, "Warmth of Home" or "Calor de Hogar." The program reaches Hispanic consumers during the holiday season when specialty meat consumption is at its highest, as is consumers' desire for savings. The national bi-lingual promotion runs Oct. 25, 2010, through Jan. 15, 2011, in stores nationwide and gives consumers the chance to win more than 100 cash prizes just in time for the holidays.

During the promotion, specially marked Rumba packages include peel-off labels, each of which includes a unique keyword that must be texted for chances to win prizes ranging from $500 to $5,000 in cash. Consumers can also visit for other ways to enter to win a prize. In addition, select packages also include a $1 off coupon. The promotion is backed by in-store demonstrations and market-level radio advertising support.

"Warmth of Home" leverages insights from a Scarborough "Hispanic Internet User" study and a separate 2009 study called "Hispanic Shopper + Retailer Study." The studies show higher-than-average cell phone use, including texting, among Hispanics and a 78-percent participation rate in price promotions among Spanish-speaking consumers.

"The Rumba product team is excited about the brand's new holiday promotion and being able to work closely with our retail partners to bring timely and relevant marketing programs that help drive increased sales," said Rumba Brand Manager Meredith McGowan. "We are dedicated to ensuring that the brand meets the needs of today's multicultural consumers so that our customers are able to provide the right product solutions that help optimize sales for these targets."

Developed specifically with the tastes and preferences of multicultural consumers in mind, the Rumba product line consists of 33 fresh, never frozen beef and pork specialty meat cuts that are conveniently available in mainstream groceries.

Source: Cargill

Cargill exceeds 2009 Chicago Climate Exchange greenhouse gas emission reduction targets

Cargill announced that it has exceeded the Chicago Climate Exchange's (CCX) required 5-percent greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction target for calendar year 2009 (the latest reporting year for which the data has been verified). Cargill reduced its GHG emissions at its U.S. facilities by 12 percent. During calendar year 2008, Cargill achieved a 7.8 percent reduction. Cargill has now met every annual CCX reduction milestone since 2003.

Cargill made a voluntary but legally binding commitment to reduce absolute GHG emissions from its primary U.S. locations by joining the Chicago Climate Exchange.

While the slow economy had a role in 2009, Cargill also credits the progress to efforts to improve energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy sources at its corn milling, meat, salt and oilseeds facilities throughout the United States.

For example, at its beef and pork plants, Cargill reclaims methane from its waste water lagoons and turns it into biogas to fuel its plant boilers. Biogas now displaces 20-25 percent of natural gas demand at all eight of Cargill's U.S. meat processing plants. Cargill is also implementing behavior-based energy savings programs, a system which engages employees in recognizing and eliminating energy inefficiencies.

"Climate change is a priority for Cargill, our customers, our stakeholders and the communities in which we do business," said Cargill Environment, Health and Safety Vice President LaRaye Osborne. "As part of these efforts, we are actively engaged in supporting development of efficient carbon trading markets and in building understanding of the relationship of climate change and agricultural and food systems."

Source: Cargill

Pat Boone Meats officially launches

Pat Boone announced the launch of Pat Boone All-American Meats, the iconic crooner's new mail-order line of tantalizing, premium, U.S.-raised steaks and other fine cuts. They are available for order by phone at 1-866-400-9507 or online atwww.patboonemeats.comand feature a line of thick-cut filet mignon, ribeye, top sirloin, New York strip, T-Bone and Porterhouse. Pat Boone All-American Meats are 100 percent U.S.-raised and processed by only the choicest beef producers in the country, the company says.

"We have specifically chosen these premium meats through a painstaking process to ensure that these will be the finest steaks to ever grace your grill," said Michael Genho, president of Pat Boone All-American Meats, who holds a master's degree in meat science from Colorado State University. "And, they're perfect for gift giving, too. We're so confident in the tenderness, flavor and consistency of our products that we're offering a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee."

Inspired by his late friend Paul Newman's success, the entertainer and television personality put his philanthropic drive behind the line of mail-order meats as a way to raise money for charitable missions around the world. At least 5 percent of each purchase made at Pat Boone All-American Meats goes directly to the Pat Boone Foundation, a 501(c)3 that funds organizations actively addressing the problem of world hunger.

"I've been so impressed by what Paul was able to accomplish with his incredibly successful line of salad dressings, that this seemed the perfect way for me to build a legacy that will carry on in the spirit of giving for generations," Boone said. "A great steak is the perfect centerpiece for families to gather 'round the dinner table and reconnect with one another. Grilling is an all-American pastime for millions. What better way to enjoy time with family and friends than over a tender, juicy steak and know that your hard-earned money is going to support American ranchers and help feed the hungry all at the same time?"

Customers of Pat Boone All-American Meats will also have exclusive access by phone and online to a dedicated team of steak connoisseurs, who stand ready to help customers choose the right cut, determine the right portion size for their gathering or answer any questions about ordering and preparing these premium-quality steaks.

All Pat Boone All-American Meats products are flash frozen and shipped via FedEx in reusable, insulated containers, packed in dry ice to ensure they arrive fully frozen and in excellent condition. The company also offers gift cards and can package steaks for gift giving.

Source: Pat Boone All-American Meats

USDA permits meat inflation -- literally

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published a final rule that permits plants to inflate livestock carcasses and parts with air to facilitate fabrication if the plant develops a written procedure to ensure that the use of air does not cause unsanitary conditions.

Plants using air inflation must incorporate air inflation into their HACCP plans or sanitation standard operating procedures.
The rule appeared in today’s Federal Register and may be viewed at:

Source: AMI