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Retail Cargo Continues Setting Records as Supply Chains Struggle to Keep Up with Consumer Demand

Imports at the nation’s largest retail container ports saw their busiest April on record and May could turn out to have set a new all-time record as vaccines allowed consumers to return to normal shopping patterns, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Vaccine rates are increasing, shoppers are back in stores and retail supply chains are working overtime,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “There’s no shortage of demand from consumers, but there continue to be shortages of labor, equipment and shipping capacity to...

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Jun 9 8:22 AM, General News



Most British Online Grocery Shoppers Plan to Continue Online Grocery Shopping After the Pandemic 

The great online grocery shopping boom is here to stay as 90% of current online grocery shoppers plan to keep shopping for their groceries online once the peak of COVID-19 passes. Meanwhile, just 5% of these shoppers say they are planning to stop doing so.

An impressive three in five (59%) Brits are online grocery shoppers, up from 50% in 2019 – this represents the highest level of growth recorded in the past decade. In addition to user growth, the category is experiencing increased usage from existing users, with over half (53%) of online grocery shoppers doing...

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Jun 3 8:20 AM, General News


Beef Quarterly Q2 2021: Record Prices, but Will They Last?

Many key beef production and consumption areas across the world are currently experiencing high or record prices for beef or cattle. We explore what is driving this and whether it will last. There are also several other issues affecting global beef markets at present.

Covid-19

The rollout of vaccines, the transition to robust economic growth, and the advance of the northern hemisphere summer see many areas experiencing lower Covid case numbers and higher economic activity. With restrictions being eased, foodservice sales are also...

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Jun 2 8:21 AM, General News


Kroger to Launch $5 Million Giveaway to Encourage Vaccinations

Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., is launching a new effort to incentivize more Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The #CommunityImmunity giveaway campaign will start next week and provide individuals, including customers and associates, the opportunity to win life-changing prizes like one of five $1 million payouts and 50 chances to win free groceries for a year.

The program comes after a collaboration with the Biden Administration to encourage increased vaccinations as part of the national push to have at least 70% of U.S. adults with at least their first dose by...

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Jun 1 8:28 AM, General News


A Strong but Changed Retail Industry Looks to the Future

The retail industry is now doing better than many retailers expected last year as stores, offices, and schools shut down across the country. In fact, compared to last year, discretionary retail sales revenue in the U.S grew 17% from January 1 through May 8, 2021, according to The NPD Group. Even more strikingly, retail sales increased 18% over 2019. Growth in the U.S. economy continues to rise as vaccination rates increase and as more consumers, as well as businesses and schools, begin to map their post-pandemic paths forward.

A recent “Future of Style” event, hosted by The NPD group, explored the major trends affecting global industries, including...

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May 27 8:26 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Holds Steady in May

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® held steady in May, following a gain in April. The Index now stands at 117.2 (1985=100), down marginally from 117.5 in April. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—increased from 131.9 to 144.3. However, the Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—fell to 99.1 in May, down from 107.9 last month.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on an online sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Toluna, a technology company that delivers real-time consumer insights and market research through...

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May 26 8:27 AM, General News


Sysco Offers Two New Foodie Solutions Toolkits as Summer Approaches

Sysco Corporation, a leading global foodservice distribution company, announced that it has launched two new online toolkits to its Foodie Solutions platform. The Labor & Hiring and Summer Solutions Toolkits are the latest in a series of carefully curated tools to help foodservice operators succeed while generating additional revenue and meeting consumer expectations.

Labor & Hiring Toolkit – As restaurants reopen amidst a tight labor market, the Labor & Hiring toolkit provides a comprehensive resource for hiring, training and retaining restaurant employees, including tips such as taking action on employee feedback and offering incentives to improve retention. This comprehensive toolkit also features...

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May 17 8:26 AM, General News


Maple Leaf Foods Plans First Employee Vaccine Clinics as Efforts to Prevent COVID-19 Continue

Maple Leaf Foods is planning its first on-site vaccine clinics in Ontario thanks to a collaborative effort with the Peel Region Public Health Authority and the Province of Ontario.

Through this initiative, and subject to vaccine availability, Maple Leaf Foods expects employees at four plants located in the Peel Region (Brampton, Walker Road, Courtney Park and Canning) will have the opportunity to receive vaccinations on-site as early as next week. Participation in the vaccination clinics will be...

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Apr 26 8:30 AM, General News


Tyson Foods Extends On-Site Vaccinations to Employee Families, Households

Expanding on its successful vaccination efforts in communities across the country, Tyson Foods, Inc. will now be among the first to extend onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to family members of employees as well as others living in their homes. Vaccines will be available, per state and local guidelines, to these extended groups at all future Tyson Foods vaccination events.

The expanded benefit, believed to be one of the first of its kind, started recently at Tyson Foods vaccination events in Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia, where team members, as well as...

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Apr 22 8:30 AM, General News


March Retail Sales See Strong Rebound Amid Increased Vaccination and Government Stimulus

Retail sales rebounded with huge gains in March as government checks fattened consumers’ bank accounts and more vaccination against COVID-19 made it easier for shoppers to get out of the house and lead the acceleration of the U.S. economy, the National Retail Federation said.

“The dramatic increase of nearly 18 percent in March retail sales over the same period last year confirms that a confident consumer is driving the economic rebound, and that should continue through the remainder of 2021,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “American households are clearly feeling the full effect of additional fiscal stimulus, gains in the job market and the reopening of the economy. Although there have been some recent issues related to vaccines, consumer confidence remains...

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Apr 19 8:30 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Chicken Wings Head into Overtime

It isn’t often that chicken wings continue to command the limelight in Q2. But despite the conclusion of March Madness, and in the absence of any wing-centric holidays on the immediate horizon, the market...

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Apr 9 8:32 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Turkey Thigh Meats Get a Leg Up

With springtime now in full swing, seasonal outreach is beginning to develop...

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Apr 8 8:29 AM, Urner Barry


Walmart is Now Offering COVID-19 Vaccines in 48 States, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout ramps up and vaccine eligibility widens, Walmart is administering vaccines in more than 3,800 stores and clubs across 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Walmart has worked to administer COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of residents in rural and vulnerable areas across the country. More than 80% of shots administered through our pharmacies and 60+ dedicated community events were in what HRSA designates as the most medically underserved areas of the country. For example, in Jackson, Mississippi, we partnered with the Jackson Housing Authority to set up in a community center for a low-income senior housing unit where we administered nearly 2,000 vaccinations to vulnerable seniors.

We remain focused on reaching communities with access issues and vaccine hesitancy, especially those located in medically underserved areas where Walmart has a presence. That continued focus will...

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Apr 5 9:54 AM, General News


Giant Food Announces all 152 Pharmacy Locations Now Offering COVID-19 Vaccine

Giant Food today announces that all 152 of its in-store pharmacies throughout Washington, D.C.MarylandVirginia, and Delaware are offering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible residents. Since late 2020 Giant has been administering vaccinations and is continuing to work closely with local and federal authorities to receive additional doses on an ongoing basis. Giant's pharmacies are currently utilizing the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, dependent on specific location.

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Apr 1 8:30 AM, General News


Tyson Foods to Hold Employee Vaccination Event at Dakota City Beef Plant

Tyson Foods, Inc. is expanding its free, onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to team members working at its Dakota City, Nebraska, beef plant, the largest of its six U.S. beef operations. March 26, the company will hold a vaccination event to ensure the company’s more than 4,000 Dakota City employees have convenient access to the vaccine.

The vaccines are being provided in conjunction with the local health department. Food manufacturing workers are among the priority groups now eligible for vaccination in Nebraska.

“We’re pleased to offer our team members convenient access to the vaccine and are committed to a long-term strategy that ensures any team member...

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Mar 25 8:36 AM, General News


NAMI: Infections in Meat Sector 85% Lower than General Pop.; Urgent Need to Accelerate Vaccination

Nearly one year after the first reported cases of COVID-19 among meat and poultry workers, comprehensive protections have brought case rates to just 2.67 cases per day per 100,000 workers - more than 85% lower than rates in the general population (18.25 cases per day per 100,000 people) and more than 98% lower than the May 2020 peak in the sector (98.39 cases per day per 100,000 workers).

North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) President and CEO Julie Anna Potts will discuss the latest COVID-19 data, effectiveness of protection measures implemented since spring 2020, and the sector’s advocacy for urgently expanded vaccinations during an executive roundtable March 23 at the Annual Meat Conference....

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Mar 23 8:15 AM, General News


February Retail Sales Show Strong Year-Over-Year Growth as Vaccine and Stimulus Provide a Boost

Retail sales gained considerable year-over-year traction in February – despite a monthly slowdown from unusually high numbers in January – as increased COVID-19 vaccination, government stimulus and reduced restrictions on businesses continued to impact the pace of spending, the National Retail Federation said.

“February’s retail sales numbers are a minor speed bump on the road to post-pandemic recovery and are not a reflection of consumers’ willingness and ability to spend and drive the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "A number of factors contributed to these results, including major snowstorms in the northeast and unprecedented ice storms in the south, but they do not diminish the stimulus-related growth we saw in January or what we expect to see as additional stimulus relief hits consumer bank accounts in...

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Mar 18 8:15 AM, General News


Tyson Foods Plans 19 Employee Vaccination Events Across Arkansas

Tyson Foods, Inc. is expanding its free, onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to all team members in the state of Arkansas, where 20 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce is based. March 15 through April 2, the company will hold 19 vaccination events to ensure the company’s 24,000 Arkansas employees have convenient access to the vaccine.

The vaccines are being provided in conjunction with Matrix Medical, local health departments and other healthcare providers where food processing workers are among the priority groups now eligible for vaccination...

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Mar 16 8:44 AM, General News


American Food and Grocery Shopping Patterns have Changed One Year Into the Covid Pandemic 

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 global health crisis, 96% of Americans say they clean and disinfect their homes as much or more than before; nearly half (47%) are eating healthier and half are cooking more; and almost one in seven are watching more television as a form of self-care and snacking while they do it. These new or increased consumer behaviors have contributed to a 14% increase in American household grocery spending, according to NCSolutions (NCS), a leading company for improving advertising effectiveness for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) ecosystem.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCSolutions conducted an analysis of 12 months of its consumer purchase data as well as findings from a newly fielded...

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Mar 16 8:23 AM, General News


What’s on the Menu: Global Foodservice Outlook

In many countries, including those in Europe and North America, Covid-19-related disruptions remain the most relevant driver of foodservice performance in the near term, as sales and foot traffic trends remain well-below pre-Covid levels. Notably, China, which is ahead of the curve in terms of both virus outbreak and containment, could be a potential indicator of the likely speed and scope of the foodservice recovery as the virus subsides.

As vaccinations and treatment advance, the focus of attention will shift from near-term recovery to more strategic matters. The most relevant performance drivers over the next 6 to 12 months will be...

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Mar 15 8:55 AM, General News


West Liberty Foods Holds COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for West Liberty, Iowa Team Members 

West Liberty, Iowa-based West Liberty Foods recently announced that they successfully conducted a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for their team members located in West Liberty, Iowa. The announcement came after the FDA approved and endorsed the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which became immediately available for use in Muscatine County, Iowa.

With the help of the Iowa Department of Public Health and Trinity Muscatine Public Health, West Liberty Foods was able to distribute 965 vaccinations on Friday, March 5th.

“Being considered an essential business during the Coronavirus Pandemic and beyond means we must continue to take the necessary precautions to...

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Mar 12 8:22 AM, General News


Kroger Health Increases COVID-19 Vaccination Capacity to One Million Doses Per Week

Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. announced it has significantly increased operational capacity to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, achieving the ability to deliver one million doses per week through in-store pharmacies and clinics, and mass vaccination off-site events.

To vaccinate more Americans more quickly, Kroger Health will use the first hour of pharmacy operations as a focus hour assigned to administering the three FDA-authorized vaccines. Patients will continue to have the ability to schedule appointments for various times, but the morning focus hour will allow for additional COVID-19 vaccines to be administered. To accomplish the administration of one million doses per week, the plan requires...

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Mar 12 8:21 AM, General News


Albertsons Companies Surpasses 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Administered

Albertsons Companies today announced that its pharmacies have now administered more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

“Our pharmacy teams across the country are working diligently in serving our communities during this national effort. We are deeply grateful to our federal partners and local jurisdictions in delivering this important milestone,” said Omer Gajial, SVP of Pharmacy and Health at Albertsons Cos. “We continue to provide equitable vaccination solutions to underserved and rural customers and will...

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Mar 11 8:26 AM, General News


January Red Meat Exports Below Year-Ago Levels Amid Transportation, Labor Challenges

U.S. beef and pork exports opened 2021 below the large volumes posted a year ago, according to January data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef exports totaled 105,047 metric tons (mt) in January, down 2% from a year ago, while value slipped 3% to $653 million. The decline was due mainly to lower beef variety meat shipments, as muscle cut exports were steady with January 2020 at 81,398 mt, valued at...

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Mar 10 8:23 AM, General News


NAMI Calls on Biden Administration to Ensure Meat and Poultry Workers are Vaccinated

As some states begin to vaccinate essential meat and poultry workers, The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today called for the Biden Administration’s help in ensuring all states prioritize these workers to receive the vaccine and its long-term protection from COVID-19.

Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts encouraged the White House to ensure all states prioritize vaccine access for the diverse meat and poultry workforce, which will also maximize health benefits in rural communities than can have limited health services.

“Some states like Kansas, Colorado and Iowa are working with meat and poultry companies to facilitate the vaccination of their frontline employees to ensure...

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Mar 10 8:21 AM, General News


National Beef Begins Employee Vaccination in Kansas, Following Governor Kelly’s Announcement

More than 6,000 National Beef employees in Dodge City, Kansas, and Liberal, Kansas, are now eligible and have started receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, following an announcement that prioritizes meat processing workers for vaccine distribution in Kansas.

Governor Laura Kelly; Tim Klein, CEO of National Beef; UFCW Local 2 and other leadership groups in Kansas outlined a plan where Kansas meat processing employees and counties with meat processing plants will receive vaccine doses, earmarked explicitly for them.

"National Beef is grateful to all the partners who have helped provide vaccines for the meat processing industry's essential workers. We especially appreciate the state of Kansas, local health departments, and...

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Mar 9 10:10 AM, General News


CDC Issues First Set of Guidelines on How Fully Vaccinated People Can Visit Safely with Others

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume.

The new guidance—which is based on the latest science — includes recommendations for how and when a fully vaccinated individual can visit with other people who are fully vaccinated and with other people who are not vaccinated. This guidance represents a first step toward returning to everyday activities in our communities. CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, rates of COVID-19 in the community change, and...

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Mar 9 9:54 AM, General News


Tyson Foods to Vaccinate Thousands of Workers in Arkansas, Kansas and North Carolina

Tyson Foods, Inc. will offer free, onsite COVID-19 vaccinations this week to thousands of frontline team members in Arkansas, where 20 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce is based, as well as Kansas and North Carolina. The vaccines are being provided in conjunction with Matrix Medical and local health departments in each of the three states, where food processing workers are among the priority group now eligible for vaccination.

“We’ve been working with Matrix Medical and health department officials to prepare for this moment and we’re ready,” said Tom Brower, senior vice president of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods. “We’re pleased to offer our team members convenient access to the vaccine, and we appreciate state leaders recognizing...

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Mar 9 8:34 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Cash Cattle Prices Are Stuck in Limbo

The weekly USDA five-area direct average fed steer price last week was $114.07/cwt, steady with the previous week but $0.78/cwt less than...

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Mar 5 8:24 AM, UB Newswires


COVID-19 Meat Worker Case Rates More Than 5 Times Lower than General Population

The latest analysis of independent data reveals that COVID-19 infection rates among meat and poultry workers are more than five times lower than in the general U.S. population, 95% lower than peak case rates in the sector from May 2020.

According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of just 4.81 new reported cases per 100,000 workers per day in February 2021, compared with 26.15 cases per...

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Mar 4 8:29 AM, General News


Tyson Foods to Vaccinate Thousands of Iowa Workers

Tyson Foods, Inc. will offer free, onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to thousands of frontline team members at its Iowa plants this week. The vaccines are being provided in conjunction with local health departments across the state of Iowa, where food processing workers are among the priority group now eligible for vaccination.

“We’ve been working with Matrix Medical, Hy-Vee and health department officials across Iowa to prepare for this moment and we’re ready,” said Tom Brower, senior vice president of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods. “We’re pleased to offer our team members convenient access to the vaccine, and we appreciate the state of Iowa recognizing...

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Mar 3 8:26 AM, General News


JBS USA and Pilgrim’s to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine for 8,500 Essential Team Members

JBS USA and Pilgrim’s announced that approximately 8,500 team members in eight states will have the opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccine this week. The companies have been working closely with state officials, local health departments and union partners to encourage vaccination of the essential workforce producing food for our country as quickly as possible.

This week, team members in Beardstown, Ill.; Booneville, Miss.; Cactus, Texas; Grand Island, Neb.; Greeley, Colo.; Hyrum, Utah; Lufkin, Texas; Marshalltown, Iowa; and...

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Mar 2 8:22 AM, General News


Walmart Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Drive to Reach More Residents in Vulnerable Communities

To drive higher vaccination rates in vulnerable communities by improving access to the COVID-19 vaccine, Walmart is creating a series of community events to administer the COVID-19 vaccine across the country. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing Walmart with allocation of the vaccine for this new effort, which Walmart is launching in partnership with local community leaders and nonprofit organizations.

These new events mark an expansion of Walmart’s role with the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program and are supplementing Walmart’s ongoing vaccination program at more than 1,400 pharmacies nationwide in...

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Mar 1 8:22 AM, General News


NRF Forecasts Retail Sales to Exceed $4.33T in 2021 as Vaccine Rollout Expands

The National Retail Federation issued its annual forecast, anticipating that retail sales will grow between 6.5 percent and 8.2 percent to more than $4.33 trillion in 2021 as more individuals get vaccinated and the economy reopens.

“Despite the continuing health and economic challenges COVID-19 presents, we are very optimistic that healthy consumer fundamentals, pent-up demand and widespread distribution of the vaccine will generate increased economic growth, retail sales and consumer spending,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “From the outset of the pandemic, retailers have gone above and beyond even the most conservative safety guidelines to protect...

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Feb 26 8:27 AM, General News


North American Meat Institute Welcomes Confirmation of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute), congratulated U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on his confirmation and issued the following statement:

“Due to comprehensive protections instituted since the spring, independent data show that COVID-19 infection rates for meat and poultry workers are now more than four times lower than in the general population and 95% lower than when the pandemic hit the sector hardest in April, 2020. We welcome...

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Feb 25 8:28 AM, General News


COVID-19 Disruptions Create New Areas of Opportunity and Risk for the Poultry Industry 

Covid-19 is disrupting the business in ways the global poultry market had never planned for, creating new areas of opportunity and risk. The impacts of Covid-19 are spread very unevenly between regions and between companies.

“Company leaders and investors need to constantly review market conditions and adjust company positioning to optimize growth and returns. There will be bigger differences between winners and losers, which will lead to a process of accelerated capital investments, consolidation, and internationalization in the coming years,” according to Nan-Dirk Mulder, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein.

Rabobank has identified three stages of Covid-19’s impact on the global poultry industry...

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Feb 23 8:26 AM, General News


Tyson Foods Provides Additional Incentive for Frontline Workers to Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Tyson Foods, Inc., is providing an additional incentive for frontline workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. The company, which already offers free, on-site COVID-19 vaccinations at its U.S. plants, consistent with prioritization regulations and as vaccine supplies become available, has announced it will also compensate workers for up to four hours of regular pay if they are vaccinated outside of their normal shift or through an external source.

Several hundred Tyson Foods team members, mostly health service staff and workers over the age of 65, have already been vaccinated. The company expects about 1,000 frontline workers in...

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Feb 18 8:23 AM, General News


JBS USA Delivers Covid-19 Vaccinations to Team Members At Illinois Production Facility

Leading global food company JBS USA announced that nearly 700 team members at its Beardstown, Ill., pork production facility have received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The company’s team members were enthusiastic to be vaccinated and as a result, the full allotment of vaccines provided by the local health department were utilized. In partnership with the Cass County Health Department, team members were vaccinated on site at the plant, making it the largest vaccination effort to date at a red meat facility and one of the largest efforts for essential food production workers thus far.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to vaccinate many of our team members in Beardstown and appreciate the Cass County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health for their...

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Feb 15 8:41 AM, General News


Walmart and Sam’s Club Pharmacies Administer COVID-19 Vaccines Through Federal Program

Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines through the U.S. Federal Retail Pharmacy Program on Feb. 12, 2021. More than 1,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies in 22 states are receiving federal vaccine allocations this week, with an emphasis on locations that reach customers in underserved communities with limited access to health care. In addition to the 22 states, Walmart and Sam’s Club is also currently administering vaccinations under the state allocation in 11 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. While initial vaccine supply is limited, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists and technicians stand ready to help expand vaccine access across the country.

With 150 million customers and members passing through our doors each week, Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacists can safely and easily reach customers where...

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Feb 11 8:18 AM, General News


Kroger Announces New Vaccine Payment for All Associates

The Kroger Co. Family of Companies announced that it will provide a one-time payment of $100 to all associates who receive the full manufacturer-recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to the new vaccine payment, the company also announced an additional $50 million investment to thank and reward associates across its 35-state footprint, including...

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Feb 11 8:17 AM, General News


Giant Food Reports Successful COVID-19 Vaccine Pilot Program Launch in Maryland

Giant Food reported the successful distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible Marylanders alongside Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Health as part of the pilot program launch. The vaccine administrations, which began Jan. 25 for residents in phase 1A/B/C, resulted in zero waste as all doses distributed to Giant's 22 Maryland stores were administered within a one-week period. The pilot program announced by the State of Maryland last month began with 35 retail pharmacies throughout the state at Giant, Walmart and Martin's locations.

"We've felt extremely fortunate to be selected for this collaboration with the state of Maryland, developing the best practices that will be the foundation for...

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Feb 10 8:35 AM, General News


Perdue Farms Provides COVID-19 Vaccines to Associates at Virginia Plant

Perdue Farms associates received the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health. Eligible associates at Perdue’s Accomac, Va., operations received the vaccine, marking the beginning of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution to its associates across the U.S.

The voluntary vaccines were administered free-of-charge to associates at the plant’s onsite Wellness Center. Perdue operates onsite Wellness Centers at its processing facilities, which are staffed by local healthcare providers and available free-of-charge to associates and their families. As more vaccines become available...

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Feb 10 8:33 AM, General News


Kroger Announces New Vaccine Payment for All Associates

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) Family of Companies today announced that it will provide a one-time payment of $100 to all associates who receive the full manufacturer-recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to the new vaccine payment, the company also announced an additional $50 million investment to thank and reward associates across its 35-state footprint, including a $100 store credit and 1,000 fuel points for hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates. Both rewards will be loaded to associates' loyalty cards on Thursday, Feb. 11...

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Feb 8 7:43 AM, General News


New Program Assesses, Verifies Effectiveness of Tyson Foods’ COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Efforts

Tyson Foods, Inc. is piloting a new MATRIX MEDICAL NETWORK® (Matrix) program that assesses, addresses, verifies and monitors the effectiveness of the company’s efforts to protect workers from COVID-19.

More than a dozen Tyson Foods plant locations, including some of the company’s largest facilities, are participating. Six have already received safety verification and seven more are in the process of being assessed.

The MATRIX CERTIFICATION PROGRAM was developed in collaboration with CLEVELAND CLINIC, one of the nation’s largest health systems, and is designed to help verify and monitor that...

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Feb 4 7:57 AM, General News


Meat and Poultry Workers COVID-19 Case Rates 60 Percent Lower than General U.S. Population

New analysis of independent data show that reported new COVID-19 infection rates among meat and poultry workers are 60% lower than in the general U.S. population and two-thirds lower than case rates in the sector in May 2020.

According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of 32.64 new reported cases per 100,000 workers per day in January 2021, two-thirds lower than the average of 98.39 new reported cases per 100,000 workers per day in May 2020.

The New York Times reports that in January 2021, the average new case rate for the U.S. population climbed to...

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Feb 4 7:24 AM, General News


2020 Holiday Season: One for the Record Books at Retail

Record holiday season retail sales during the last two months of 2020 reflected the recovering economy but also got a boost from consumer emotions after a stressful year, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today.

“This was not a typical holiday season and it took place amid an unprecedented shopping landscape,” Kleinhenz said. “When we assembled our 2020 holiday forecast, we knew one scenario was that results could come in high and that sales might exceed...

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Feb 3 8:29 AM, General News


Walmart to Begin Administering the COVID-19 Vaccine in Several States 

As we prepare this week to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines in Maryland, Texas, Delaware, Indiana and the District of Columbia to eligible populations as determined by each district and state, we know our pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are ready. It has been a year of hard work and preparation to get to this point. And as more people become eligible for vaccination, it’s a good time to take a look back at how we got here.

I’m on the clinical team with Dr. Tom Van Gilder, our chief medical officer, and last year, as soon as we heard about the speed at which COVID-19 was spreading toward the United States, we started planning immediately. And when we learned the viral sequence of SARS-CoV-2 was discovered in January of 2020, we knew at that point...

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Jan 28 8:45 AM, General News


National Restaurant Association Releases 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report

The National Restaurant Association released its 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, which measures the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the restaurant industry and examines the current state of key pillars including technology and off-premises, labor, and menu trends across segments based on a survey of 6,000 restaurant operators and consumer preferences from a survey of 1,000 adults. The report also provides a look at the path to recovery for chains, franchises, and independents and the year of transition ahead.

Key findings regarding the impact of coronavirus on the restaurant industry include...

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Jan 27 8:22 AM, General News


JBS USA And Pilgrim’s Offer $100 Bonus to 66,000 U.S. Team Members to Promote COVID-19 Vaccination

JBS USA and Pilgrim’s announced they would provide a $100 incentive bonus to any U.S. team member who voluntarily chooses to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The new initiative is designed to encourage maximum participation in the Biden Administration’s accelerated pandemic response efforts and ensure that every JBS USA and Pilgrim’s team member who wants to get vaccinated can do so as soon as vaccines are made available.

“Throughout the pandemic, JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have adopted industry-leading measures to protect our essential frontline workers who continue to provide food for the nation,” said Andre Nogueira, chief executive officer, JBS USA. “Our goal in offering this extra pay to our team members is to...

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Jan 25 8:23 AM, General News


Food and Agricultural Workers Prioritized for COVID-19 Vaccine Under Phase 1b

The devastating effects of the pandemic on food and agricultural workers were on full display during the early stage of COVID-19 in the U.S. last year. Several processing plants in the nation experienced complications related to the virus, impacting thousands of employees and upending the food supply chain.

Union representatives and the nation’s largest meat processors are pressing for food and agricultural workers to receive high priority for vaccinations. Phase 1a, the first priority group including...

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Jan 22 8:38 AM, Urner Barry


How the FDA is Supporting the Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccination to Food and Ag Workers

Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs, and Frank Yiannas, M.P.H., Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy and Response, are speaking out on the importance of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to food and agriculture workers. In an article posted to the FDA’s website, Hahn and Yiannas explain 21 FORWARD, the new data analysis tool that the agency created to help inform their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For those unfamiliar with 21 FORWARD, it was developed...

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Jan 21 12:23 PM, SeafoodNews


NRF Welcomes Necessary Aid as Biden Unveils Stimulus Plan

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay in response to the release of President-elect Biden’s plan to combat the coronavirus and stimulate the nation’s economic recovery.

“The stimulus plan released by President-elect Biden is expansive in scope, but it serves as an encouraging signal that the new administration intends swift action to support businesses and...

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Jan 15 9:46 AM, General News


Meat and Poultry Worker COVID-19 Case Rates Five Times Lower in December than May

New analysis of independent data for 2020 show that reported new COVID-19 infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers were five times lower in December than in May, while rates in the general population rocketed up by nine times in the same period.

According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of 19.91 new reported cases per 100,000 workers per...

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Jan 14 8:22 AM, General News


Tyson Foods Partners with Matrix to Ensure Employees have Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine

Tyson Foods is partnering with Matrix Medical Network, a leading clinical services company, to ensure the company’s U.S. team members are educated about and have access to the COVID-19 vaccines.

Matrix will collaborate with Tyson Foods’ health services team to deploy mobile health clinics and expert clinical staff to support vaccine communications, administration and counseling at Tyson Foods facilities beginning in early 2021 and continuing throughout the year. Tyson Foods will provide team members with...

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Jan 13 9:01 AM, General News


Global Consumer Confidence Improved in Q4

Global consumer confidence increased in the fourth quarter of 2020, driven largely by an improved outlook for personal finances—which, in many regions, reflect unprecedented fiscal measures in response to COVID-19. Prospects for jobs and spending intentions saw smaller improvements in Q4, according to The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey.

Conducted in collaboration with Nielsen, the survey found that overall global consumer confidence climbed to 98 in Q4 2020, up six points from 92 in Q2 2020. A reading below 100 is considered...

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Jan 13 8:27 AM, General News


HHS Announces $22 Billion in Funding to Support Expanded Testing, Vaccination Distribution

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two upcoming actions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide more than $22 billion in funding to states, localities, and territories in support of the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as directed by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

Funding will provide critical support for testing and vaccination-related activities to jurisdictions before January 19, 2021...

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Jan 7 10:34 AM, General News


Grocers Begin Offering the COVID-19 Vaccine

As shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine are being sent out around the United States, grocery chains are preparing to offer the vaccine through their pharmacies. Clearance for immunizations came in December, after the FDA authorized the use of the first COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE. The second vaccine to be authorized was developed by Moderna, which the FDA stated can be given to people 18 years of age and older and cited the shot's high effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 in a large clinical study.

Kroger announced it will provide the COVID-19 vaccine nationwide across its 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics, partnering with the federal government and state health departments to administer the vaccine in accordance with...

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Jan 5 9:30 AM, Urner Barry


Anti-Meat Activist Poses as Smithfield Foods CEO on National Television 

Last week, animal activist Matt Johnson of Direct Action Everywhere, posed as the CEO of Smithfield Foods during a national television interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. On December 23, 2020, Bartiromo thought she was speaking with Smithfield Foods CEO Dennis Organ. However, she and her audience were being misled. 

During the interview, Johnson blamed animal agriculture for new infectious diseases and made false claims that the Centers for Disease Control has data proving that the livestock industry would...

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Dec 29 10:13 AM, Urner Barry


COVID-19 Case Rates for Meat and Poultry Workers More than 8 Times Lower than General Population

New analysis of independent data for the full month of November show that reported new COVID-19 infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers were more than 8 times lower than rates in the general population.

According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network (data), the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of 5.57 new cases per 100,000 workers per day in November. Infection rates amongst meat and poultry workers have declined steeply in the last six months, while...

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Dec 24 8:21 AM, General News


CDC Agrees: Frontline Meat and Poultry Workers High Priority for COVID-19 Vaccination

Frontline meat and poultry workers should be amongst the first to be vaccinated after health care workers and those in long-term care facilities, according to federal guidance approved by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Priority (ACIP).

Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts applauded ACIP’s guidance and urged state governments to follow CDC’s decision:

"Priority access to vaccines is a critical step for the long-term safety of the selfless frontline meat and poultry workers who have...

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Dec 22 8:19 AM, General News


China’s Shifting Retail Landscape Signals the Permanence of Change Post-COVID-19

China’s rebound from COVID-19 has been unique. It came faster and with more demonstrable economic tailwinds for the economy than other markets. But it has also been a bellwether that has helped point to consumer behaviors elsewhere that have inevitably followed China’s lead. An example is the rebalancing of retail playing out around the world.

Pandemic-led shifts to further online adoption and an increased focus on neighborhood and small-format stores have become an ongoing normal. Though different to other markets, China helps us understand...

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Dec 18 7:33 AM, General News


Meat and Poultry Industry Calls for Prioritization of Workers to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

The meat industry is calling on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and state governments to prioritize essential meat and poultry workers, their families, and co-habitants, for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1b of distribution.

Perdue Farms has offered resources to assist the CDC and states in this effort, recognizing that a successful vaccine program will require a partnership between government and private industry. Perdue Farms mentioned that many meat and poultry industry workers, including its associates, live in one state but...

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Dec 15 8:16 AM, Urner Barry


FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older. The emergency use authorization allows the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S.

“The FDA’s authorization for emergency use of the first COVID-19 vaccine is a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “Today’s action follows an open and transparent...

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Dec 14 9:54 AM, General News


A Look at Potential Regulatory Impacts on the Meat Industry Ahead of Biden Presidency

In the final session of the North American Meat Institute’s Post-Election Outlook Series, the discussion revolved around the regulatory implications of the incoming Biden Administration. A pair of experts explored what companies will have in store from a compliance perspective.

Carmen Rottenberg, former Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Managing Director for Groundswell Strategy and Christopher DeLacy, Partner, Holland & Knight were the panelists for the discussion...

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Dec 11 9:06 AM, General News


Whose Workers Are Most Essential? Meatpackers, Airlines Lobby for Covid-19 Vaccine Priority

The arrival of Covid-19 vaccines is sending big industries jostling to persuade public-health officials and state leaders that their workers are more essential than others.

Leaders in the food, restaurant, aviation and utility industries are calling on state and federal authorities to give their workers priority access to the shots, arguing that their employees are needed to keep the economy running and face high risks of contracting the virus. Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance on which Americans should be first in line for the initial doses, state governors have the final say—meaning the makeup of the priority line could vary widely by state...

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Dec 11 8:52 AM, General News


After Healthcare Workers, Essential Meat and Poultry Workers High Priority for COVID Vaccine

The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) urged federal authorities to highly prioritize COVID-19 vaccination for the men and women who work in the meat and poultry industry, following healthcare workers and those in long term care facilities.

Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts commented:

"The men and women of the meat and poultry industry help keep America’s grocery stores stocked and our farm economy working. They should be...

Full Story »
Dec 7 9:48 AM, General News




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