Dearborn Sausage Co. Inc., a national supplier of fresh sausages, premium beef jerky, snack sausages and hams, and THANASI Foods LLC, a national supplier of branded snack foods, have formed Macomb Smoked Meats LLC as a joint venture to purchase and manage the American Foods Company Inc. beef jerky and smoked sausage production facility in Macomb, Mich. Macomb Smoked Meats will employ approximately 50 people in metro Detroit. The new company will launch and operate as a jointly-owned partnership.

"The strategic fit of Macomb Smoked Meats brings together years of experience in meat snack manufacturing and beef jerky category focus that will benefit THANASI Foods and Dearborn Sausage Co. tremendously," said Justin Havlick, CEO and president of THANASI Foods. "Given THANASI's current growth in the category, THANASI can now proudly claim direct manufacturing ownership of many of its foods, while continuing to provide the consumer with delicious, nationally co-branded, and high-quality alternatives to other competitive jerky products on the shelf."

"Our strong co-brand partnerships and newest manufacturing processes enable us to stand out even more in jerky flavor and tenderness, which we believe will earn category leadership in product quality and flavor differentiation," added Havlick. "This is truly a move for our consumers, and we are pleased to strengthen our product focus with a reputable, state-of-the art, capable, and safe manufacturing facility."

Todd Meier, vice president of Dearborn Sausage, commented, "We are thrilled to have a plant and partnership concentrating exclusively on the jerky and snack sticks market. Between our 64 years of smoked meats manufacturing experience, and THANASI's marketing and distribution expertise, the opportunities are endless. We have always preferred to be a dominant player in an enviable niche, as opposed to a dominant player in an overall market. This new partnership affords us the opportunity to present our years of experience and craftsmanship to the entire nation, with the unmatched marketing and distribution of THANASI Foods."

Source: THANASI Foods LLC; Dearborn Sausage Co. Inc.

Russia assured on safety of poultry exports

The USA Poultry and Egg Export Council assured Russia that U.S. poultry products are safe and are not affected by the Salmonella outbreak that has led to the recall of more than 500 million eggs in the U.S.

"The poultry meat and egg segments of the U.S. poultry industry are completely separate entities. The products never come in contact with each other and are produced at separate facilities remotely located from one another, which fully excludes any possibility of cross-contamination," USAPEEC President Jim Sumner said in a statement to Russia, Reuters reports.

An Interfax report on Tuesday stated that the Russian food safety watchdog group Rosselkhoznadzor was seeking information on the egg recall and if that recall could be a potential obstacle to U.S. poultry meat exports to Russia.

Source: Reuters

Premium Standard Farms implementing odor-elimination technology at farms

Premium Standard Farms announced that it has started installing state-of-the-art barn scraper systems at some of its pig farms in northwest Missouri, signaling the final phase of the installation of Next Generation Technology to further reduce barn odors. Work has started on installing the barn scraper systems at the first of the seven remaining Premium Standard Farms scheduled for the new technology. The company expects installation to be completed at all seven farms no later than July 31, 2012.

The final technologies being implemented - barn scrapers and the Sustainable Technology System - were approved by the court-appointed Management Advisory Team last April.

Premium Standard Farms has already spent about $40 million implementing improved environmental technologies, including lagoon covers and land application technologies, equipment and practices that are among the most advanced in the country. Barn odor was the final issue that needed to be addressed by next-generation technology.

"We are moving ahead with an aggressive implementation schedule for this final phase, which represents our company's commitment as good environmental stewards to reduce odor from our farms," said Bill Homann, president of Premium Standard Farms. "When we complete our work on these remaining farms, we're confident that Premium Standard Farms' Missouri operations will have clearly demonstrated that we're a world leader in the advancement of agricultural environmental technologies."

Homann added. "I'm proud of our employees and all their hard work. Ultimately, their efforts will ensure our continued future in northwest Missouri, and that's certainly good news for the local economy."

And, according to Homann, that good news means jobs.

"North Missouri is our home," Homann said. "Our focus at PSF is and always has been to ensure the sustainability of our business and in the process, provide jobs for our families, friends and neighbors."

Source: Premium Standard Farms

Chas Armitage receives service award from AAMP

Chas Armitage, president of Uncle Charley's Sausage, has been recognized for his contributions during his service as a National Director of the American Association of Meat Processors from 2007-2010.

According to AAMP Executive Director, Dr. Jay Wenther, Armitage brought a fresh dynamic to the organization and solid ideas on business.
"Chas provided a high degree of business structure as one of our national directors," Dr. Wenther said. "Uncle Charley's Sausage is a strong, well managed company, and he brought to our membership fresh perspectives on financial planning, resource management and marketing initiatives. We truly appreciate his input, thinking and dedication during his term."

Charles S. "Chas" Armitage Jr., assumed the presidency of Uncle Charley's Sausage from his father and company founder Charles S. Armitage last year. Chas, who served as vice president of operations of the company, has worked with his father over the years to make Uncle Charley's Sausage a consumer choice for premium fresh sausage, with growing distribution though neighboring states.

Uncle Charley's Sausage introduced turkey breast products and a turkey ham steak last year.

Recently the company has followed the trend toward convenience foods with the introduction of microwaveable packages of Uncle Charley's Cooked Hot Italian Sausage with Peppers, Onions and Sauce, available in the supermarket's chilled section. Four additional flavors are being tested.

Source: Uncle Charley's Sausage

McDonald's names global chief brand officer

McDonald's Corp. announced that Steve Easterbrook, currently president and CEO of McDonald's United Kingdom and president of Europe's Northern Division, has been named as McDonald's executive vice president and global chief brand officer.

The newly created position is designed to encompass Marketing, Menu Innovation, Consumer Insights and other global brand assets at McDonald's. Easterbrook will also provide strategic leadership on Corporate Social Responsibility and Restaurant Architecture.

"McDonald's is among the most recognized brands in the world, and that's an honor we embrace everyday," Easterbrook said. "Given our outstanding global performance, we have a tremendous opportunity to go even further in showing our customers what makes us unique as the leader in our industry."

"We're confident that Steve is the right person to step up and help keep our brand relevant and contemporary around the world," said McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner. "This new position is a natural evolution of our commitment to our customers and our pledge to be better, not just bigger."

Easterbrook is a 16-year McDonald's veteran with experience in finance, operations, and supply chain. He took over as CEO of the U.K. in April 2006, and added responsibility for Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Ireland in January 2007. Under his leadership, the U.K. transformed and improved the restaurant experience for the two million customers McDonald's serves there each day and further enhanced the employment experience for its 85,000 staff. That includes a major effort to remodel and modernize McDonald's restaurants, revitalize the menu with more choice and variety, and increase investment on staff training to better serve customers and encourage personal development. Easterbrook also has done groundbreaking work around employment image, redefining for the public what it means to work at McDonald's.

In related news, Jill McDonald, who is currently chief marketing officer for Northern Europe, will succeed Easterbrook as CEO of the U.K. and President of Northern Europe. She will report to Denis Hennequin, president of McDonald's Europe.

"Jill's ability to drive innovation in our menu and in the way that we communicate with our customers has been key to our success in the UK," said Hennequin. "With her strong leadership and strategic skills, I'm delighted that she'll be leading our business in the UK and Northern Europe".

Source: McDonald's Corp.