Dawn Meats and Dunbia deal approved

The strategic partnership and acquisition agreement announced in May 2017 by Dawn Meats and Dunbia has been completed, with all relevant regulatory clearances approved.

Dawn has agreed a strategic partnership with Dunbia to establish a joint venture in the UK, comprising the UK operations of both organisations.

The combined UK businesses now trade as Dunbia and are managed by former Dunbia CEO Jim Dobson as CEO, and Dawn Meats CEO Niall Browne as Executive Chairman. Today the new brand and logo for the joint venture was unveiled to staff and customers at the business’s headquarters in Dungannon, Northern Ireland.

In the Republic of Ireland, Dawn has acquired Dunbia’s operations, and now has 9 facilities (including 5 abattoirs), following the addition of two complementary Dunbia facilities – one abattoir in Slane, and one boning hall in Kilbeggan.

The combined businesses in the UK and Ireland will process approximately 900,000 cattle and 2.6m sheep annually.

full story – independent.ie

Brazilian beef exports to U.S. may resume in October

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The ban on fresh Brazilian beef exports to the United States could be lifted in October, Brazil’s agriculture ministry said late on Tuesday.

The ban, implemented in June, would end after the United States finishes its current evaluation of documents sent in response to questions raised in a U.S. veterinary mission to Brazil earlier this year, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.

The United States accounts for 3 percent of Brazil’s fresh beef exports annually, but is seen as a leader in food safety standards with other countries often taking cues.

The predicted end to the ban comes after Washington informed Brasilia that it would allow thermoprocessed meat exports from five plants to resume, according to the ministry.

“We received information that processed beef was cleared,” Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said, according to the statement. “We hope that very soon, we will also be able to clear fresh beef.”

Following a meeting with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue shortly after the ban came into effect, Maggi had predicted that the embargo could be lifted in 30 to 60 days, dates which have since passed.

The United States said previously there is no timeline for lifting the ban.

Brazil in March unveiled a probe accusing meatpackers of bribing inspectors, leading many countries to temporarily suspend Brazil meat imports. Most have since lifted the bans.

The United States stepped up inspections after the probe and cancelled one establishment’s exporting license in connection with it, Abiec said, before instituting a broader ban. The United States accounted for 5.3 percent of Brazil’s total fresh and processed beef exports last year, Abiec data show.

sheep industry

Ireland: Decline in lamb numbers

Ireland: Lamb supplies are tighter at factories this week, according to IFA (Irish Farmers’ Association) Sheep Committee Chairman, John Lynskey.

Factories are looking for stock, he said, and are paying 470-480c/kg to secure supplies; the latter price is being paid to groups and those marketing larger numbers.

Despite this decline in numbers, spring lamb quotes continue to remain under pressure; most factories are now offering base quotes of 460-470c/kg (including QA bonuses) to secure supplies.

Kildare Chilling is offering a base quote of 460c/kg for spring lambs; a 10c/kg bonus is also available for QA stock.

Kepak Athleague is starting negotiations with farmers at 470c/kg (including of 5c/kg QA bonus) and the two Irish Country Meats’ plants are quoting an all-in price of 460c/kg (450c/kg + 10c/kg QA).

In addition, farmers are being offering 240-250c/kg for suitably-fleshed cast ewes.

full story – agriland

Niall Claffey

FSA to connect 220 UK abattoirs

The Food Standards Agency has signed a deal to implement networking technology to connect 220 abattoirs around the country with its four offices across the UK. 

The deal will see cloud firm Exponential-e deploy ADSL and fibre technology to provide connectivity linking the slaughterhouses with the agency’s sites in Belfast, Cardiff, and York, and its London headquarters.

The organisation, which is a non-ministerial central government department, claimed that the project will give its inspectors a swift, reliable, and secure means of submitting reports on food safety standards and meat quality. It added that the rollout forms part of a wider drive to adopt digital practices.

Phillippa Tasselli, head of IT services at the Food Standards Agency, said: “It’s vital for us that we’re able to provide a secure communications platform to our team of inspectors who are on the coal face of food standards. A slow, jittery connection that is constantly dropping does not enable a good user experience; it’s just a time-consuming frustration.

She added: “Working with Exponential-e, we’ve been able to put in place an architecture that will mean our inspectors can file important documentation in a timely manner that ensures the integrity of the food chain.”

full story – PublicTechnology.net

Sam Trendall

Rapid detection of meat fraud

Spanish researchers say a new biosensor can give test results within an hour

In recent years meat fraud has been a growing problem.

Unscrupulous sellers have been caught adulterating beef with cheaper horse meat and swapping chicken for turkey in sausages labelled 100 per cent turkey.

Now researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid say they’ve developed an electrochemical biosensor that can quickly detect a DNA fragment unique to the horse genome and absent in all other mammals.

“Thus, it is possible to identify selectively and without false positives any type of horsemeat, regardless of race,” said F. Javier Gallego, a genetics researcher.

Until now, the tests and strategies to detect meat adulteration were based on immunological, spectroscopic or molecular biology techniques which were more expensive and took far longer to get results from.

They also weren’t as precise, and were particularly troubled by an inability to detect adulteration both at low levels, and using closely related species, and were not reliable in processed meat products because such products are often heat treated in some way, which affects the ability of tests to detect the proteins.

The new technique can detect differences between samples that are unadulterated and those containing horsemeat at levels as low as half of one per cent.

The multidisciplinary team found better results were obtainable from mitochondrial DNA fragments rather than nuclear DNA, because mitochondrial DNA is more protected and better resistant to possible heat treatments.

Members of the team say the next steps include moving beyond horse meat and finding similar proteins in other animal species.

Full story – manitoba co-operator

Brazilian beef exports back to near record level

Brazil’s beef exports will return close to a record high net year, encouraged by revived growth in the cattle herd, and the industry’s success in avoiding lasting bans from importers over a slaughterhouse scandal.

Brazil will export 1.91m tonnes of beef in 2018, a fourth successive year of recovery, and returning shipments to 4,000 tonnes from the record high recorded in 2014, the US Department of Agriculture’s Brasilia bureau said, in its first forecasts for next year.

The increase reflects in part the continued recovery in the country’s herd from a 2013-14 low, when drought sent slaughter rates to a record top, indeed fuelling the surge in shipments to an all-time high too.

“Rains are expected to improve the availability of pasture conditions during the 2017-18,” the bureau said, flagging too the availability of subsidised loans for pasture improvement, and the prospect of “lower feed costs” thanks to strong Brazilian corn and soybean harvests.

Brazil’s beef exports in July ended up 20% above year-before levels, with those in August the highest in nearly three years.

China will continue to be an important destination for Brazilian beef exports, according to Rabobank  in a separate report, noting that 89 plants in the South American country had applied for permission to export to China, on top of the 16 facilities currently licensed on this route.

full story – agrimoney

Mike Verdin


Smithfield Foods to buy Romanian meat producers in Europe push

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The world’s largest pork supplier WH Group Ltd said on Tuesday its Smithfield Foods Inc unit would buy two packaged meats manufacturers in Romania, further expanding the Chinese group’s operations in Europe.

U.S.-based Smithfield has agreed to buy a 100 percent stake in Elit SRL and Vericom SRL for an undisclosed sum, the Chinese pork producer said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse.

The deals are conditional on obtaining anti-monopoly approval from the relevant regulatory authorities, it added.

Elit and Vericom operate three packaged meats manufacturing facilities and five distribution centres in Romania. They sell about 25,000 metric tons of packaged meats each year to 12,000 customers through a nationwide distribution network.

In August, WH Group through Smithfield acquired Pini Polska, Hamburger Pini and Royal Chicken in Poland, as part of its efforts to expand in Europe.


Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Richard Pullin

Brexit not a problem for NZ lamb

New Zealand: Fears of a lamb export market downturn after the Brexit vote are unfounded, as markets other than Britain have picked up the export volume slack.

Encouragingly, the Middle East has increased its share of New Zealand lamb exports from 6.6% to 9.1% over that period.

China and the United States have also increased their shares, ASB’s latest Farmshed Economics report said.

Demand had lifted this year and overall lamb export prices had lifted 6.6% on the back of firm demand so far this season. Prices had lifted in all markets except the United Kingdom.

The price outlook was strong heading into the new season. Lamb supply was likely to lift so prices might “come off the boil” but, with such a high starting point for prices, the 2017-18 outlook was “rosy”.

Beef prices continued to soften, with demand from the key US market pulling back from earlier highs and the lift in Japanese tariffs on frozen beef imports.

However, beef market fundamentals remained firm and while prices had softened a touch over the past month, they remained comparable with a year ago.

Prices were expected to largely track sideways over the remainder of the year. Supply remained relatively tight in New Zealand and was similar in Australia.

The outlook was still firm for 2017-18, albeit a touch back from the highs seen over the past season or two.

story – Otago Daily Times

Sally Rae

Hong Kong bans meat imports from Brazilian firms

Hong Kong authorities on Thursday suspended meat imports from a Brazilian exporter and two producers on suspicions that health certificates had been falsified for 10 shipments of frozen chicken feet and livestock offal.

Some shipments should have only been intended as pet food, Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety said in a statement on its website.

The centre said it was stepping up verification checks of all health certificates for frozen meat and poultry exported from Brazil.

 Hong Kong is a top destination for Brazilian meat and had temporarily suspended Brazil meat imports in the wake of the scandal. The Centre for Food Safety said that all 562 tests of Brazilian meat since March 21 have been satisfactory.

Brazilian meatpackers association ABPA said in a statement that it supported the investigation into falsified certificates, adding that the tests indicated it was an isolated case.

Brazil’s agriculture ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Of the 10 shipments suspected of having falsified papers, eight had been re-exported to the Chinese mainland or Vietnam and one is being held in a container terminal.

One shipment of 27 tonnes of frozen chicken feet had found a buyer, although authorities said that the product has not been found on sale in local markets.

story – Reuters