September 20, 2017 

Today's News Summary:

Headlining the news today is a focus on how The Kroger Co. has introduced a nationwide effort to eliminate hunger in the communities it serves, as well as ending waste across the company, by 2025. To accomplish these “moonshot” goals through its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan, the grocer is working with hunger relief organization Feeding America, of which it is a founding member, and, somewhat more surprisingly, the global nongovernmental organization World Wildlife Federation (WWF). The need for such a program is critical: Across the United States, 42 million Americans go hungry, while an estimated 72 billion pounds of food wind up in landfills annually.

In other news, Tyson Foods said its plans for a poultry plant in Tonganoxie, Kansas have been put on hold. In a letter to the Leavenworth County community on Tuesday, Tyson poultry president Doug Ramsey wrote, “We’d still like to get to know each other, however, after Monday’s reversal of support by the Leavenworth County commissioners, we will put our plans in your community on hold. We still have interest in Leavenworth County, but will prioritize the other locations in Kansas and other states that have expressed support.” More than half a dozen communities in Kansas have contacted the state about having Tyson build the proposed $320 million plant in their area, said Jackie McClaskey, Kansas secretary of agriculture.

Elsewhere, Canadian poultry and meat processor Sofina Foods is ratcheting up production at its new turkey plant in southern Ontario. The company, which packages its products under the Lilydale, Janes, San Daniele and Mastro labels, invested $55 million in the project that converted a pork processing facility acquired in 2015 into a turkey production facility.

Premium Brands Holdings Corporation, a leading producer, marketer and distributor of branded specialty food products, announced that it has acquired 100% of the shares of Ontario based Leadbetter Foods Inc. Leadbetter has annual sales of approximately $55 million and is one of Ontario's leading manufacturers of specialty bacon, fresh and frozen burgers and portion-cut steaks. It operates two production facilities, including a modern 47,000 square foot custom designed bacon operation built in 2012, both of which are located in Orillia, Ontario.

Lastly, with the U.S. being the exception, foodservice markets across the world realized various degrees of visit growth in the quarter ending June this year, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. European markets continued their solid, if unspectacular, recovery; and Brazil and Russia, both mired in recession in recent years, came back. Korea posted a very solid traffic gain. Total visits to U.S. restaurants and foodservice outlets declined by 1 percent or a loss of 94.5 million visits in the quarter compared to year ago, according to NPD Group’s CREST®, which continually tracks consumer use of foodservice outlets in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Spain, and the United States.

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By Linda Lindner

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