Company News
June 15, 2017, Vancouver, B.C. - A chicken-catching company at the centre of an animal cruelty investigation in British Columbia says it will require staff to wear body cameras after an animal advocacy group released video of alleged abuse.

Dwayne Dueck, president of Elite Services in Chilliwack, says it will be mandatory for one supervisor and two staff members in each barn to wear cameras on their vests, and the video will be reviewed at the end of each day.

The announcement comes after the SPCA in British Columbia launched an investigation following the release of undercover video by Mercy for Animals that shows workers allegedly hitting, kicking and throwing chickens.

A statement from Elite Services says six staff members have now been fired, including two who were let go prior to the video being released, three who were fired immediately after, and one more who was terminated after the company did a ''detailed forensic review'' of the video.

Investigators with the SPCA are working on a report that will be forwarded to Crown counsel and SPCA spokeswoman Marcie Moriarty says the organization will recommend multiple charges of animal cruelty under both the Criminal Code and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The statement from Elite Services says the company hopes the ''senseless acts of violence'' in the footage will help implement new levels of animal care across the industry.

The company says it is updating its standards and procedures, undertook organization-wide retraining on Wednesday, and all employees will be asked to sign documents affirming they understand the company's care and concern procedures.

''It is our intent to share the experience of our new best practices with industry regulators, and adopt other best practices from cutting edge producers,'' the statement says.
June 12, 2017, Hunstville, Ala. – Aviagen, the world’s leading poultry breeding company, has added nutritionist Dr. Elisangela Glass to its Global Nutrition Team (GNT).

Effective April 24, Dr. Glass joins a team of nine nutritionists on the GNT, which currently offers nutritional support to Aviagen broiler breeder customers worldwide. Dr. Glass will report directly to Alex Corzo, Aviagen’s director of Global Nutrition Services. Supporting the U.S. and Canadian markets, Dr. Glass will be located in Hunsville, Alta.

Her considerable education and background will make her an invaluable nutrition resource for U.S. pedigree, great grandparent and grandparent flocks, as well as Aviagen’s U.S. and Canadian parent stock customers.

Dr. Glass earned a B.S. in Animal Science from the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. (2007) in Animal Science with a focus on Poultry Nutrition for the University of Missouri in the U.S.

Before joining Aviagen, she worked with Cargill Animal Nutrition since 2007 in various roles such as nutrition manager for the U.S. turkey division, consulting nutritionist for global feed operations and consulting nutritionist for broiler operation in Central America.

“Aviagen customers and her colleagues on the GNT will benefit from Dr. Glass’s in-depth education and experience developing nutrition strategies at a global level,” says Dr. Corzo. “I welcome Dr. Glass to the Aviagen GNT and have great confidence that she will help us continue to offer cutting-edge nutritional advice to our team and customers.”
May 25, Toronto, Ont. - Canadian based Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. signed a new partnership with the country of Uruguay introducing a new, renewable, low carbon cash-crop for farmers.

The deal gives the Quebec-based company the opportunity to grow its business outside of Canada by planting thousands of new hectares of the Carinata seed in Uruguay.

"This is a made in Canada solution," says Steve Fabijanski, CEO of Agrisoma. "Carinata, is a new crop first developed, tested and grown in Canada and now going global, being farmed as a new second, cash-crop alternative," says Fabijanski.

The partnership opens new opportunities for the Canadian agricultural sector to grow more Carinata and feed the global markets demanding a broad solution for world food security and clean energy.

"This partnership is a shining example of how foreign governments and Canadian business can work together to find sustainable farming solutions that address consumer's increasing demand for healthy food production and renewable energy, says Rodolfo Nin Novoa, Uruguay's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Under this new deal, both parties anticipate significant economic and rural benefits from production of Carinata in Uruguay as a non-food crop that can be made into low carbon bio and aviation fuels as well as nutritious, GMO-free animal feed.

Carinata was the crop that fueled the world's first 100% bio-jet flight in Ottawa in 2013.

Last month, Agrisoma's GMO-free animal feed received approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.
May 24, 2017, U.S. - Sanderson Farms CEO Joe F. Sanderson Jr. reiterated that the company has no intention of moving into the antibiotic-free chicken market.

Speaking on May 17 at the BMO Capital Markets 12th Annual Farm to Market Conference, Sanderson said it is a decision supported not only by the company’s management, but its veterinarians as well.

“For a lot of reasons, we didn’t think it was right for us to do antibiotic-free. Our veterinarians, half of them would leave us if we did. They’ve taken an oath,” Sanderson said.

Sanderson also noted that veterinarians in general do not advocate denying sick animals antibiotics. READ MORE
May 18, 2017, Milton, Ont. - Three new members were elected to AgScape’s 2017 Board of Directors at the organization’s annual general meeting on May 3.

The 12-member board directs the organization’s mandate to advance specialized agri-food education in Ontario.

Jim McMillan, a farmer from Beamsville, Ont. joins the board in a community seat position.

Charlotte O’Neill from Elanco Animal Health and Stephanie Szusz from TD Canada Trust both join the board in corporate seat positions.

Peter Hohenadel from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair was re-elected to the board in a corporate seat position.

Returning board members who are taking on new duties include Audrie Bouwmeester and Jennifer Peart. Audrie Bouwmeester – a dairy education program manager with Dairy Farmers of Ontario – is the newly appointed acting chair and vice chair, and holds a corporate seat position.

Jennifer Peart with Farm Credit Canada has been appointed acting treasurer and also holds a corporate seat on the board.

AgScape’s board includes three additional community seats held by past chair Lorie Jocius, Deb Campbell of Agronomy Advantage and Natalie Walt with Ceres Global Ag Corp.

Three additional corporate seats are held by Kathryn Doan of AgCareers.com, Mark Kerry with Monsanto Canada Inc. and Meaghan Ryersee from Syngenta Canada Inc.

The AgScape board also includes two advisors – Catherine Mahler with the Ministry of Education and Helen Scutt with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

AgScape is a not-for-profit organization providing reliable and balanced resources to Ontario schools on agriculture, food production, environmental sustainability and related topics.

AgScape, formerly OAFE, was created in 1991 with the mission of building awareness and understanding of the importance of our agriculture and food system. For more information visit www.agscape.ca.
May 17, 2017, Borden-Carleton, P.E.I. - The recipients of grants from a $2 million transition fund set up by McCain after it closed its potato processing plant in 2014 in Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., were announced Tuesday.

Nine businesses and the municipal government received grants. The amounts ranged from $7,000 to $1 million.

Innovation PEI established a steering committee to administer the fund and review funding applications; the committee included representatives from Innovation PEI, Borden-Carleton, the Central Development Corporation, ACOA, and McCain’s.

The 10 successful applicants announced include:
  • MacDougall Steel: $1 million.
  • Silliker Glass: $300,000.
  • Atlantic Beef Products: $142,000.
  • Mrs. Dunsters: $26,000.
  • Tree Top Haven: $25,000.
  • Island Apple Storage: $25,000.
  • P.E.I. Handpie Company: $7,000.
  • Town Of Borden-Carleton: $50,000.
  • Canadian Cold Storage: $200,000 (subject to project approval).
  • Larkins Poultry: $225,000 (subject to project approval).
Larkin Brothers plans to use the funds to establish a new poultry processing plant with the aim of increasing value added products and increased market share. READ MORE
The opening of a new broiler breeding stock hatchery by industry powerhouse Aviagen in January in northern New York State is good news for the Canadian poultry industry.

Located just a 30-minute drive from the Canadian border and fairly close to JFK International Airport, the new facility will minimize transport time to eastern Canadian broiler chicken breeder barns.
In my first week as Canadian Poultry magazine’s new editor, I had the privilege of learning the lay of the land at the London Poultry Show. One message was clear from the many conversations I had: while there are a few challenges, the poultry industry is remarkably stable and producers are thriving.
May 9, 2017, Wetaskiwin, Alta. - As the landscape of the poultry industry undergoes a major shift toward a brave new world of “post antibiotics” production, a new partnership has emerged to help producers make this transition successfully and profitably, while upholding high standards of animal health and welfare.

The partnership, involving Poultry Partners and Country Junction Feeds, is designed to integrate health and nutrition expertise and resources, including expanded antibiotic-free feed mill capacity.

The aim is to provide poultry operations with complete dedicated support to achieve an optimized approach to successful raised without antibiotics (RWA) or antibiotic free (ABF) production.

“We are in a brand new time for poultry production that requires enhanced integrated approaches,” says Dr. Tom Inglis, Managing Partner with Poultry Health Services, which is part of Poultry Partners. “On the one hand, we have to listen to what our customers and consumers want and take the steps needed to provide that in the marketplace. On the other hand, we need to do this in a way that does not sacrifice the productivity and profitability of poultry operations or sacrifice the health and welfare of the animals.”

“We believe that by optimizing the integration of nutrition and health management we can help poultry operations meet both of these requirements very successfully. It’s a new partnership that we are very excited about. We also believe it’s a model that fits the way of the future.”

Poultry Partners includes Poultry Health Services, which provides industry-leading veterinary and health management services. It also includes Nutrition Partners, which is a nutrition company that brings vitamin and mineral knowledge and support, while providing leading premix options including a poultry premix. Both companies are headquartered in Airdrie, Alberta, and collaborate as Poultry Partners serving customers across Western Canada.

“The poultry industry is shifting very quickly to ABF – a lot quicker than many envisioned,” says Darryl Lewis, President at Nutrition Partners, which is part of Poultry Partners. “The timing has never been more critical to provide integrated, value added approaches to help producers succeed in this new environment.”

For more information, visit: www.countryjunctionfeeds.com.
May 4, 2017, Princeton, N.J. - Church & Dwight Co., Inc., the parent company of Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition, is pleased to announce today it has acquired Agro BioSciences™, Inc. of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Agro BioSciences is a leading microbial biotechnology company with an innovative platform to provide novel, science-based products for animal and agricultural production. Using proprietary techniques and functional genomics, Agro BioSciences identifies the distinct and beneficial bacteria within the Microbial Terroir™ to improve animal and agricultural productivity.

With the integration of these two entities, Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition now becomes a worldwide leader in providing both microbial and nutrition solutions and services supported by an unmatched research and development pipeline.

“We are very excited about this integration because it further supports our long-term plan to grow, evolve and diversify our business through unique advancements in animal and agricultural productivity,” said Scott Druker, general manager of Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition.

This union is a positive development for both companies. “We are now a worldwide leader in providing the broadest portfolio of both microbial and nutrition solutions and services backed by an extensive R&D pipeline,” said Druker. “For Agro BioSciences, joining forces with ARM & HAMMER™ offers the support of the well-established Arm & Hammer Animal Nutrition brand and the considerable resources of a reputable, trusted corporation in Church & Dwight Co., Inc.”

“The joining together of Agro BioSciences and ARM & HAMMER sets a path for future success leveraging the trusted ARM & HAMMER brand with the extensive development platforms of Agro BioSciences,” says Agro BioSciences President Tom Rehberger. He added, “Together, we will work to increase agricultural productivity through natural solutions that improve the quality and safety of the food that reaches consumers’ tables.”

“The combined entities will have a strengthened portfolio of products to meet the growing needs of agricultural producers worldwide,” Druker explained. “This union is a good fit because ARM & HAMMER and Agro BioSciences share common core values: strong relationships with customers and partners; deep commitment to employee development; dedication to research and innovation; environmental stewardship; and a commitment to meet the growing needs of producers globally.”
May 3, 2017, United States - Subway and Ruby Tuesday became the latest U.S.-based restaurants to commit to sourcing only slower-growing broiler chickens that are raised according to Global Animal Partnership (GAP) standards.

Both companies, on their webpages, announced their plans to make the transition, and in both cases, the restaurant chains intend to complete the transition by 2024.

GAP standards call for the following criteria:
  • Using broiler breeds scientifically proven to have markedly improved welfare outcomes
  • Providing chickens with more space (maximum stocking density of 6 lbs./sq. ft.) and improved environments, including lighting, litter and enrichments
  • Eliminating live shackling and dumping and ensuring birds are rendered unconscious through multistep controlled atmospheric stunning, which is universally considered more humane, prior to slaughter
READ MORE
May 3, 2017, Guelph ON - The Farm & Food Care Canada board of directors has evaluated its mission, vision and organizational structure and transitioned to the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI).

The importance of building public trust in Canada’s food system is intensifying. The food system is seeking assistance to earn trust and to align resources. The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity with its research, training and consumer support services is well equipped to provide valuable expertise and support to the entire food system.

“We launched the Canadian CFI in June 2016 and after much consideration and consultation feel that this is the right strategic direction and organizational model that’s needed to help Canada’s food system earn trust in the future,” stated Ian McKillop, Chair. “This refined focus will strengthen the CCFI’s trust earning services and provide enhanced support for Farm & Food Care Ontario and Saskatchewan, and many other agri-food sector partners working in this area.”

The new Canadian CFI is funded by partners and individuals from across the food system and across the country. It will be governed by a small Board of Directors, with a focus on operational excellence, and a larger Advisory Council representative of the entire agri-food chain. The Farm & Food Care Canada board will serve as the transition board for the new CCFI until the new Board and Advisory Council is in place in the next few months.

You can learn more and be part of the progress along with farm and food system leaders from coast to coast and across all sectors at the CCFI Public Trust Summit: “Tackling Transparency – the truth about trust.” Program highlights include the release of the 2017 public trust in food and farming research and a live millennial consumer panel. Register now for the CCFI Public Trust Summit in Calgary, September 18- 20 at www.foodintegrity.ca

Farm & Food Care Canada was created in 2010 as a charity with the mandate to build public trust in Canadian food and farming. The new Canadian Centre for Food Integrity was launched in 2016 as a program of Farm & Food Care Canada, and an affiliate of The Center for Food Integrity, created in the United States in 2007.

The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity is a not-for-profit organization that helps today’s food system earn trust. Our members and project partners, who represent the diversity of the food system, are committed to providing accurate information and working together to address important issues in food and agriculture. The CCFI does not lobby or advocate for individual companies or brands. For more information visit www.foodintegrity.ca
May 2, 2017, Kitchner, Ont. - With several partners, Hendrix Genetics is investigating possibilities to use blockchain in the egg value-chain. Blockchain is a new technology that has the potential to make processes more democratic, secure, transparent, and efficient.

What is blockchain? Blockchain is in essence a public decentralized 'ledger'. All transactions are stored in a shared database and everything is verifiable and traceable. Nobody owns the database, all participants share it. Blockchains are secure by design.

With participation of several companies, Hendrix has defined its first blockchain project. They will build and test a system for international payments and deliveries in the egg value chain with the objective to replace the current Letter of Credit system. Hendrix is working on a proof of concept to investigate and learn the possibilities and limitations of blockchain technology for the animal protein value chains in which they are involved in.

For more information, visit https://www.hendrix-genetics.com/news/hendrix-genetics-innovates-blockchain/?platform=hootsuite

May 1, 2017, Springdale, Ark. - Tyson Foods, announced Monday that it will go antibiotic free by the end of the year.

In making its move, Tyson Foods joins competitors like Perdue and Pilgrim's Pride. Also, it mirrors some major fast food and quick service restaurant chains. KFC announced last month it will rid of its chicken of antibiotics by the end of 2018. Also going without antibiotics are McDonald's, Burger King, Panera, Chipotle, Taco Bell and Wendy's.

Tyson said its antibiotic-free pledge will apply to poultry it sells in supermarkets under its own Tyson label. For Tyson and the others, the move is being driven by consumer demand for food free of anything deemed unnatural, whether it's antibiotics, preservatives or something else.

Consumer Reports magazine found in a 2015 survey that one of four shoppers were buying meat and poultry without antibiotics more often than they had in the prior year.

Chickens are treated with antibiotics to keep them healthy as they grow. They live in relatively tight quarters, so a single sick bird can infect the flock.

When antibiotics are out of the mix, companies must look to other strategies to maintain chicken production -- and some are costly. Tyson, for example, says it has better ventilation to prevent illnesses and that its birds are fed a special probiotic diet. All major chicken growers say they are going to special lengths. READ MORE
April 20, 2017, Toronto, Ontario - Subway has filed a defamation lawsuit against the CBC over reports the sandwich chain alleges have caused it to suffer significant sales losses.

In a statement of claim filed with a Toronto court earlier this month, Subway takes issue with television and online reports as well as tweets published by the broadcaster, which it alleges were meant to discredit the company and its products.

Subway alleges the CBC acted ''recklessly and maliciously'' in airing a ''Marketplace'' report in February that said DNA tests suggested some chicken products served by the chain could contain only 50 per cent chicken or less.

The company further alleges the tests conducted on the chicken ''lacked scientific rigour,'' were conducted without appropriate methods by people without proper training and then interpreted by people who also lacked training.

''These false statements ... were published and republished, maliciously and without just cause or excuse, to a global audience, which has resulted in pecuniary loss to the plaintiffs,'' the company says in the document.

Subway is seeking $210 million in damages, saying its reputation and brand have taken a hit as a result of the CBC reports. It is also seeking recovery of out-of-pocket expenses it says were incurred as part of efforts to mitigate its losses.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and the CBC says it will defend itself against the lawsuit, which also names as defendants the reporter and two producers who worked on the program.

CBC ''Marketplace'' reported that DNA test results showed high levels of soy DNA in Subway's chicken products, suggesting potentially high levels of soy content in Subway's chicken products.

The TV report was followed by an online story and several tweets that included similar content.

Subway reacted angrily after the report aired, calling it false and misleading. The company said at the time its own analysis found only trace amounts of soy in its chicken.

The CBC has said it stands by its reports, noting the DNA tests were done by independent and credible experts.

The lawsuit alleges the reports unfairly painted Subway as resorting to misleading business practices and cheap ingredients at the expense of Canadian consumers.
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