DairyBusiness Update for April 23, 2013

U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners named

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® announced the winners of the second annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards on April 23 at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. The program recognizes dairy farms and businesses of all sizes for practices that advance the industry’s commitment to healthy products, healthy communities and a healthy planet. The 2013 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards winners include:

• Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability

Petersen Dairy Farm, Appleton, Wis.

Prairieland Dairy, Firth, Neb.

Skyridge Farms, Sunnyside, Wash.

Honorable mention McCarty Family Farms, Rexford, Kan.

• Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability

Unilever, Henderson, Nev., plant

• Outstanding Achievement in Energy Efficiency 

Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese, Gooding, Idaho

• Outstanding Achievement in Renewable Energy

Green Valley Dairy, Krakow, Wis.

Honorable mention Fulper Family Farmstead, Lambertville, N.J.

Visit USDairy.com/Sustainability/Awards.


Is there a message for dairy in Rabobank’s ‘cereal’ report?

A new report from Rabobank looks at the “U.S. morning eating occasion,” particularly from the perspective of the breakfast cereal market. While the report examines factors that are contributing to a decline in breakfast cereal consumption, reading between the lines might identify dairy as both a “co-miserator” (fluid milk sales) and a “co-conspirator” (breakfast yogurt).

In the report, titled “Cereal Killers: Five Trends Revolutionizing the American Breakfast,” Nicholas Fereday, Global Senior Analyst with Rabobank’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group, questions whether breakfast cereal manufacturers and marketers are up to the challenges of the 21st century consumer landscape. He identifies five trends that are changing U.S. consumers’ breakfast habits:

1) “I’ll take that to go.” Breakfast is the new eating-out occasion, and breakfast sandwiches are the No. 1 item.

2) “Snackfast.” The rising culture of snacking is transforming breakfast into “snackfast” as consumer seek convenience and portability. 

3) Beware of Greeks bearing yogurt! Protein is the latest superfood promising satiety and weight management, and Greek yogurt is answering the call.

4) The nutrition challenge. Consumers today are more interested in the nutritional profile of food than in past eras, and the cereal category has two hot-button issues – added sugars and marketing to children – which attract critics. 

5) Boomers or bust? With declining birth rates, the growth of a key cereal-eating demographic, children, is slowing.  


Study examines types of fluid milk purchases in changing economies

Many studies have shown the elasticity of milk prices and consumer purchasing decisions: In general, when retail milk prices go up, consumption goes down. A new report from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) evaluates fluid milk purchasing decisions during the peak of the most recent recession, 2007-2009. The study found the relationship between retail prices and household incomes impacted the type of fluid products purchased, but had less impact on stifling overall volume.

This study, by ERS researchers Diansheng Dong and Hayden Stewart, showed the median U.S. household made 3.6% less money in 2008 than it did in 2007, and 0.7% less in 2009 than 2008. During the same period, prices for fluid milk at retail food stores rose 11.6% in 2007 and 6% in 2008, before ultimately falling 13.2% in 2009. 

Overall, when substantial price and income shocks occurred, households switched from more expensive to less expensive products. For instance, households saved money by choosing fluid milk products with a lower fat content, or by switching from organic to conventional milk.


CVM testing milk replacer products for Salmonella

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is analyzing samples of commercial milk replacer products to test for the prevalence of Salmonella and the serotype/genetic fingerprint/antimicrobial susceptibilities of each Salmonella isolate. According to a website post, FDA is concerned about animal feeds and feed ingredients serving as vehicles for transmitting Salmonella. Young animals are generally the most susceptible to Salmonella infections. 

CVM assigned field staff to collect samples of milk replacer products from unopened bags in dry powder form at commercial feed stores and mills in major dairy regions of the country. A total of 100 samples will be analyzed. As part of the sampling program, FDA will also document interstate commerce; labels and labeling materials; and the address and contact information of milk replacer product manufacturers.


FDA cautions in EWG interpretation of antimicrobial resistance data

Recently, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) issued a report of its interpretation of the 2011 Retail Meat Annual Report of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement, saying EWG’s report oversimplifies the NARMS data and provides misleading conclusions. Among its comments, FDA said “it is inaccurate and alarmist to define bacteria resistant to one, or even a few, antimicrobials as ‘superbugs’ if these same bacteria are still treatable by other commonly used antibiotics. This is especially misleading when speaking of bacteria that do not cause foodborne disease and have natural resistances, such as Enterococcus.”

“Antimicrobial resistance is a serious and challenging issue,” FDA said. “It is critically important that we continue our efforts to minimize antimicrobial resistance, including promoting appropriate and judicious use of antimicrobials in both humans and animals.

FDA has created a strategy for the judicious use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals that states their use should be limited to situations where the drugs are necessary for ensuring animal health, and done so under veterinary guidance. It is the non-judicious use – for growth promotion and feed efficiency – that is of particular concern to FDA. For more, click here.


MARKETS: Butter, cheese prices soften; Class III futures lower

Today's market closing prices:

Butter: down 3.5¢, to $1.7350/lb.

Cheddar blocks: down 1.5¢, to $1.8650/lb.

Cheddar barrels: down 0.75¢, to $1.7575/lb.

Grade A nonfat dry milk: unchanged at $1.7850/lb.

Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged at $1.70/lb.

Class III milk: -3¢ to -36¢ through February 2014. Based on current CME closing prices, the 2013 average is $18.43/cwt.; and the 2014 average is $16.90/cwt.


Corn lower; soybeans, meal futures mostly lower

Corn: -7¢ to -13¢ per bushel through September 2014. The remaining 2013 average is $5.79/bu.

Soybeans: -11¢ to +2¢ per bushel through September 2014. The remaining 2013 average is $13.02/bu.

Soybean meal: -$2.20 to +$1.70/ton through August 2014. The remaining 2013 average is $367.25/ton.


Coming Wednesday in DairyBusiness Weekly:

• China Dairy Symposium

• Baxter Black: The veterinary profession

• Addressing dairy’s labor pains

• Monthly milk production report

• New York Spring Dairy Carousel winds down

• Survey: Instagram contest winner

• Check out our industry briefs, view our product spotlight, see what’s happening on social media, listen to our podcasts and more!


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