Saturday, July 31, 2021

Frozen mangoes on recall

Health officials have traced some cases of Hepatitis A to frozen mangoes marketed by Nature's Touch Frozen Food Inc. of Saint-Laurent, Que.

They are now on a recall that includes supermarket brand names – President’c Choice for Loblaws, Zehrs, Valu Marts, No Frills and Superstores; Compliments for Metro and Food Basics; and Irresistibles for Sobey’s, Foodland and Freshco.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says people could show symptoms from 15 to 50 days after eating the mangoes and the illness could last six months.

It can cause inflammation of the liver, and symptoms may include fever, low appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, and yellowing in the whites of the eyes and the skin (jaundice).

Friday, July 30, 2021

Woolley’s Lambs wins United Nations award

Woolley’s Lambs of Norfolk County has won an award from the United Nations for its innovation to integrate its sheep business with Schuyler Farms orchards.

Woolley’s was one of 50 selected from about 2,000 applicants submitted for the Best Small Business award.

The award honours small and medium enterprises that are contributing to feeding the world in a more healthy, sustainable and equitable way.

Carrie Woolley, livestock operations manager for the business, said she was impressed by some of the other winners, such as a business in Nigeria that uses solar panels to power food refrigeration.

The self-nomination process involved “quite a lengthy application,” she said. Applications included written, photo and video submissions. 

“Woolley’s Lamb is a part of a larger farm operation, which is Schuyler Farms Ltd., and we’re a mixed farm operation growing corn, soybeans, apples, and sour cherries, and now the lambs,” she told a reporter for 

“Eight years ago, we got the idea to integrate the sheep into the orchard and that’s where it all started and has really grown from there.”

Woolley and her husband now raise the lambs using orchard grazing and silvopasture, which both involve raising livestock and trees in a mutually beneficial way. 

“We can produce meat and fibre and timber and fruit all on one piece of land,” Woolley said. 

CFIA suspends licence for Dundas company


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has suspended the Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence held by Our Father's Farm of Dundas.

The order effectively shuts down the business which is an importer and retailer.

The CFIA said the operator failed to produce documents or information ordered for a food safety investigation and obstructed a CFIA inspector.

There is no food recall associated with this suspension.

Feds lay more price-fixing charges

The United States government laid more charges of price-fixing in the chicken industry this week including Koch Foods and four executives for Pilgrim’s Pride.

These latest indictments bring to 14 the number of individuals alleged to have conspired in a nationwide scheme to suppress and eliminate competition for sales of broiler chicken products. Koch’s senior vice president, William Kantola, is among ten individuals indicted in October 2020.

On May 19, a grand jury returned an indictment against Claxton Poultry. Pilgrim’s pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 2021 to pay a criminal fine of $107 million for its role in the conspiracy, which began as early as 2012 and lasted until at least 2019.

Pilgrim's Pride issued a statement to several media outlets, saying the company is aware of the indictments against former employees no longer affiliated with the company. Pilgrim's said it is cooperating with the DOJ in the invesigation, and is "committed to upholding high ethical standards in full compliance with U.S. antitrust laws." 

Bayer sets aside $4.5 billion more for Roundup


Bayer is setting aside another $4.5 billion to deal with customer claims glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, caused cancer. That’s on top of $9.6 billion it set aside earlier.

But the company intends to continue selling Roundup to farmers and landscape companies because Bayer said it’s safe. On the other hand, it’s no longer going to sell glyphosate to householders for lawn care after 2023 because that’s where almost all of the court cases have arisen.

The company said it will continue to pursue legal appeals at the U.S. Supreme Court and is hopeful of success to over-turn multi-billion-dollar class-action awards, mainly by courts in California.

The courts have been persuaded that glyphosate causes non-Hodgins lymphoma, a type of cancer.

“We want to provide comfort to our investors that the glyphosate litigation exposure should now be reasonably accounted for and leaves significant upside in the event of a favourable Supreme Court decision on the case,” said Bayer’s chief executive officer Werner Baumann.

Bayer inherited the problems after it bought Monsanto in 2018.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Special produce bins coming to Ontario stores

The government of Ontario is investing $867,484 to support Ontario Tender Fruit Growers in a shared-cost program to purchase branded display bins to make it easier for consumers to identify fruits and vegetables grown by Ontario farmers.

This three-year funding extension adds to Ontario’s previous commitment to produce and print 7,000 newly-designed display bins.


“Ontario’s tender fruit growers represent a very important part of our agriculture sector. In any year, they work hard to grow top-quality fruits; in a challenging time like now, it is especially important that we support their efforts to get the most out of each season,” said Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson at a FreshCo supermarket in Kitchener.

“By choosing to buy local food, Ontarians are helping our farmers to continue providing the good, healthy food that nourishes our families and keeps Ontario’s agri-food supply chain strong,” she said.

The announcement was welcomed by Bill George, president of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and by Phil Tregunno, chairman of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers who said “these display bins are crucial to our marketing success.We greatly appreciate this funding and our partnership with Foodland Ontario in promoting local fruit to consumers.” 

Denise Hockaday to head Chicken Farmers of Ontario

Denise Hockaday of Guelph is the new president and chief executive officer of the Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board.

She takes over from interim leader Mike Nailor and previous

executive-director Rob Dougans.

Hockaday has held executive positions with Bayer and Monsanto where she established and led the Climate Corporation in Canada, she managed the company’s seed business of corn, canola and soybeans, and she held additional national leadership roles.

She has been involved in agriculture industry and education programs, has served as a designate for Soy Canada, is past president of the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association and has been an advisor to the University of Guelph’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. 

Earlier this months she was appointed to a two-year term on the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario.

She is a graduate of the University of Guelph and was born and raised on a dairy farm in Eastern Ontario. She has also been active in Community Christian Reformed Church, Kitchener.

African Swine Fever found in Dominican Republic

African Swine Fever has been identified in pigs in the Dominican Republic.

The United States Department of Agriculture is working with the Dominican government on surveillance, containment and eradication programs.

The U.S. government also assured its hog producers that there are strong measures in place to prevent the virus from spreading to the U.S.

The Dominican Republic and Haiti share an island in the Caribbean.

Global food demand to increase sharply

Global food demand will increase by 35 to 55 per cent in the next 30 years, report researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Even though food supply has increased dramatically since the 1960s, the question of how to eradicate global hunger - one of the Sustainable Development Goals - and feed the growing world population in years to come, remains a major challenge, their report said.

In a worst-case scenario, world hunger could increase by eight per cent.

Climate change and increasing competition for land and water are further exacerbating the problem. 

This makes the need for effective policies to ensure global food security and a better understanding of the underlying causes of global hunger ever more urgent.

The researchers said there need to be more choices than either continuing along the current path of food production or switching to organic production and vegan diets. 

This study, which has been published in the journal Nature Food, focused on two key food security indicators – food demand and the impact of increased production on land us, biodiversity and climate change.

The study was done by compiling data from 57 research reports, leading to the conclusion that food demand will increase by between 35 and 56 per cent over the period 2010-2050. 

This is mainly due to population growth, economic development, urbanization and other drivers. This range is somewhat lower than previous studies, which stated that food production must be doubled. 

To avoid negative impacts on the environment and biodiversity, production increases would need to be accompanied by policies and investments that promote sustainable intensification, reduce food loss and waste and promote the shift towards a more plant-based diet, the authors led by Michael  Van Djik said.

“Our study can fuel the public debate on the future of food by inviting every citizen to imagine and discuss a wider range of food future scenarios, rather than just a binary choice between business-as-usual and the universal adoption of organic agriculture or vegan diets,” said co-author Yashar Saghai of the University of Twente at Enschede in the Netherlands.

“To think responsibility and creatively about the future, we need to envision multiple plausible scenarios and evaluate their consequences,” he said.



Gambling money funds ag tech company

Grand River Agriculture Society is investing $100,000 in IntelliCulture, a company in Waterloo that aims to automate decisions about crop spraying, task schedules and equipment maintenance.

Grand River Agriculture Society runs a casino and harness racing at Elora and sharecrops 67 acres.

IntelliCulture has created ShopView, CropView and CabView.

Katie Giddy, director of Hospitality, Sales and Marketing for the agriculture society, said IntelliCulture is a natural fit for the society’s new impact-investment program which will fund mid-stage startup agriculture companies.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Ottawa unveils protections for temporary foreign workers

Farmers who employ temporary foreign workers face a new set of regulations unveiled this week by two federal cabinet ministers.

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough and the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino have made it illegal to try to discipline workers who file a complaint against them.

Employers will be required to provide reasonable access to healthcare and inform workers about their rights in Canada. 

Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations also ban recruitment fees.

When a migrant worker calls the Temporary Foreign Worker tip line, live agents capable of providing service in multiple languages will pick up the phone. Since its launch in March, the tip line has assisted more than 400 callers. 

New applications to the Temporary Foreign Worker program will undergo greater scrutiny, and new features on Job Bank will help workers connect with eligible companies through a trusted source.

This year’s federal budget included $54.9-million over three years to include inspections ensuring workers have appropriate working conditions and wages. The new regiment reduces prescribed times for those inspections, and third parties, such as banks and payroll companies, will provide documents better identifying fraud and misrepresentation.

The budget also included $49.5-million over three years to support community-based organizations that provide services such as on-arrival orientation and assistance in emergency and at-risk situations.

There is also a $35-million Emergency On-Farm Support Fund to help employers upgrade and improve living quarters.

Between 50,000 and 60,000 foreign agricultural workers arrive in Canada every year, about 43 per cent to work on Ontario farms and greenhouses.



Loblaw sales flatten, profits soar

Loblaw Companies Ltd. reported that supermarket sales flattened during its second quarter, gaining only one-tenth of one per cent over the same period last year.

But its Shoppers Drug Mart division increased sales by 9.6 per cent, resulting in a 4.5 per cent in company revenues to $12.5 billion.

Profit increased from $169 to $375 million, mainly because costs declined. That reflected an end to bonuses it was paying staff to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year the company’s grocery sales rose sharply because restaurants and cafeterias were closed so people were preparing meals at home with ingredients purchased from Loblaws, No Frills, Zehrs and Real Canadian Superstores.

Loblaw’s e-commerce sales fell by 0.5 per cent in the quarter, after growing by 280 per cent in the second quarter of 2020.


Purdue near settlement on price-fixing

Purdue Farms is reported to be near settling with its chicken producers who filed a class-action lawsuit alleging price-fixing.

No monetary terms have been released, but the two sides are scheduled to make a presentation to the the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride have paid to settle the lawsuit that included them.

In all of the agreements, the poultry processors deny any wrongdoing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Ranch seasoning on recall

McCormick Canada is recalling Frank's RedHot brand Buffalo Ranch due to possible Salmonella contamination.

The company identified the food-poisoning bacteria.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is conducting a food safety investigation which may lead to the recall of other products.

The agency has had no reports of illnesses associated with the product.


Fire destroys Nova Scotia beef business

More than 100 firefighters from four Nova Scotia counties needed four hours to take control of a fire that devastated Scotia Meat Market Ltd. recently.

Nobody was injured and no livestock were lost in the fire that swept through four buildings.

They were fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, according to CTV News

The family-owned company had reopened under new ownership less than three years ago and recently launched a storefront retail business in the Halifax area.

Drought relief announced for Northwestern Ontario

The Ontario government said it will spent up to $2 million to assist with emergency measures for feed, water and basic livestock needs because of the ongoing drought conditions in Northwestern Ontario.

Rainy River, for example, has had hardly any rain since early May.

The Northwestern Livestock Emergency Assistance Initiative will help livestock farms with up to $800,000 administered by Beef Farmers of Ontario.

Another $1.2 million will be made available for emergency measures to source water for livestock and to purchase and install new fencing to allow livestock to safely graze in alternative locations. AgriCorp will deliver this program.

This funding will address urgent needs while the provincial and federal governments work together at longer term measures through AgriRecovery.

Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson said the government is “responding to get them the critical resources they need to protect their livestock and their farms. We’re working closely with Beef Farmers of Ontario and . . . AgriCorp to provide this support immediately.”

Rob Lipsett, president, Beef Farmers of Ontario, said “we sincerely appreciate the swift response and immediate financial support announced today . . . ”

“These short-term measures are an important step taken by the province as we await the completion of the federal-provincial AgriRecovery assessment that is investigating potential additional assistance for farmers in affected regions of the province.”

Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, said “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers in the northwest; our government is proud to deliver this critical support during an extremely challenging year.”



BHP potash project moves a step ahead

 BHP Corp. of Australia moved a step ahead in its plans to open a $5.7-billion potash mine at Jansen, Sask.

“BHP confirms that Westshore Terminals Limited Partnership … has signed an agreement to provide port services” for potash exports from the mine.

Last month BHP said it would present its board with a decision on whether to move ahead with Jansen after choosing between two port options.

“If the Jansen project does proceed, the agreement requires Westshore to handle potash for BHP for a term to 2051, subject to extension,” Westshore said.

Under the agreement, Vancouver-based Westshore would set up infrastructure to handle potash at Westshore’s Roberts Bank terminal by 2026, with BHP funding the construction. The terminal today handles Canadian and U.S. coal exports.

BHP could be in a position to break the cartel that mines potash in Saskatchewan, which is the world’s biggest supplier of potash.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Chefs honour Anita Stewart on Canada Food Day

To launch this year’s Food Day Canada, Jason Bangerter the executive chef at Langdon Hall in Blair and Denis Fontana, owner of LaFONTANA restaurant in Elora came together with her family to create a tribute to the late Anita Stewart.

Stewart was a devoted and inventive fan of Canadian farmers and chefs, a frequent guest on CBC, author of cook books and one of the founders of Canada Food Day.

The chefs will be featuring some of her favourite local, award-winning recipes. 


Denis Fontana said “I am very proud of the incredible event we have put together to celebrate Anita's philosophy to care about what is around you! 

“When I think of Anita Stewart, I think of what the hospitality and culinary world should represent: passionate individuals who care about food, more than just for nourishment.

“Anita directed us to become a center of showcasing what's available in our ‘backyard’, even when featuring a foreign cuisine.” 

Bangerter said “Anita Stewart was a long-time mentor, supporter, close friend and a national culinary icon in her tireless advocacy for Canada’s food industry. 

“Using Canadian ingredients is at the forefront of our ethos at Langdon Hall, and Food Day Canada provides an important opportunity to educate and celebrate our local foods, farmers, fishers, home cooks, chefs, bakers, brewers, wine makers and so much more. 

“I’m so happy we can honour our nation’s cuisines and the legacy Anita has left us. I miss her dearly and I am so proud to be able to continue her work and cook Canadian with Canadians on Food Day Canada on July 31st.” 

The dinner and Food Day Canada kickoff will be hosted on July 29, 2021 at LaFONTANA restaurant in Anita Stewart’s hometown of Elora. 

Proceeds will be directed to the Anita Stewart Tribute Fund at the University of Guelph. 

Among the many contributions Stewart made to farmers was support for beef farmers when Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow’s disease) banned exports and sent prices diving.

She was also a strong supporter of the Elmira Produce Auction which provides a market for farmers growing produce on their farms, many of them Mennonite families.



Food industry giants settle out of court

Some of the biggest food companies have been settling price-fixing cases out of court, avoiding trials that might have revealed the details of their cozy deals.

It seems they treat multi-million settlements and fines as merely a cost of doing business.

Most of the lawsuits have been filed against United States companies, but here in Canada at least one $1-billion class-action lawsuit was filed against the big supermarket chains and bread-making companies over price fixing.

The Bureau of Competition Policy brought charges against Loblaws, Wal Mart, Sobeys and Giant Tiger in January, 2018.

Loblaws, George Weston and Canada Bread then agreed to work with the bureau on its investigation.

The class-action lawsuits followed.

The biggest settlement without trial is the $10 billion Bayer AG agreed to pay to settle class-action lawsuits over Roundup weed killer.

Now there has been a parade of settlements over price-fixing in the U.S. poultry and pork industries.

The allegations there are that the companies all shared data with Agri Stats which, in turn, compiled reports for those companies. In other words, they learned what prices their competitors were charging and also their production-volume plans.

In Canada the major supermarket chains have shared their pricing data with A.C. Nielsen which then prepares reports that are purchased by all the chains. They learn exactly how much their competitors are charging for tens of thousands of items.

So far the Canadian government has done nothing to stop this practice.

But in the U.S., a court in Kentucky agreed to Pilgrim’s Pride offer to pay a fine of $110.5 million for price-fixing in the poultry industry.

And Pilgrim’s Pride paid $75 million in January to settle a class-action lawsuit on poultry price-fixing.

Tyson paid $221.3 million in January for its part in the same poultry industry price-fixing class-action lawsuit.

This July 23, JBS paid $20 million to settle a pork price-fixing class-action lawsuit, another $12.75 million in April and $24.5 million in January. The three lawsuits were filed by different groups of customers.

Smithfield Foods paid $83 million in January to settle its part of the pork price-fixing class-action lawsuit.

So who thinks these giant companies are suffering because of these expensive settlements?

In fact, I think the companies will simply squeeze suppliers and customers to maintain their profits.

It’s time for governments to break up these giants so there can be genuine competition in the food industry. 

And it’s not only the supermarket chains and dominant food-processing companies that ought to be broken up, but also those who supply farmers with inputs such as pesticides, fertilizers and farm machinery.





Ultraviolet light could control PRRS

Ultraviolet light shows promise in trials to determine whether it could control Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome (PRSS) in hog barns, report two researchers funded by the National Pork Council.

They already knew that ultraviolet light can be used to reduce hog-barn odours by killing bacteria floating in the air.

They reasoned that it might also control the virus when it’s floating on droplets. Those virus-laden droplets can hang around for a long time and even travel more than a mile from farm to farm.

The three forms of ultraviolet light analyzed in the study included conventional ultraviolet light, known as UV-C; light from novel excimer lamps that produce light with especially short wavelengths; and UV-A light, sometimes referred to as near-visible black light.

Both the conventional and excimer UV light demonstrated an ability to inactivate the virus and show promise as potential avenues to fight PRRS. 

Exposure to ultraviolet light can pose a risk for people and pigs, but the excimer light involved in the study has been shown to be less harmful. 

The black light, which has been shown to be helpful in tamping down odor-causing gases, did not have a significant effect on the PRRS virus, according to the research.

The researchers are Jacek Koziel, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and Jeff Zimmerman, professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine, both at the University of Iowa.

Researchers control grain fungi with ultraviolet light

Tatiania Koutchma has found that ultraviolet light can control fungi in grain, even reducing the toxins the fungi produce.

She is a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada in Guelph and has support from Grain Farmers of Ontario for her work.

She is an expert in the use of ultraviolet light to sanitize everything from food preparation surfaces to both solid and liquid foods.

She and her colleagues have tried controlling Fusarium graminearum, which causes head blight in cereals, and Penicillium verrucosum, which infests stored grain.

In lab tests they were able to reduce fungi by up to 99 per cent and fungi on grain kernels by more than 94 per cent.

The ultraviolet light also reduced levels of toxins the fungi produce by 75 to 97 per cent.

The next step is to set up trials on a conveyer belt.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Zuccini on recall

Veg Pak Produce is recalling Harvest Fresh brand Zucchini Spirals due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency caught the threat and is conducting investigations which may result in additional recalls.

So far nobody has been identified as sickened by the food-poisoning bacteria in the zucchini products.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Halva and Tahini recall expands

Phoenicia Group Inc. is recalling Al-Rabih brand Halva / Halawa and Tahini due to possible Salmonella contamination. 

This is an expansion to 17 lots produced by the company. The original recall was issued July 5.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said there have been no reports of illnesses associated with these products.

Porter cheese on recall

Tree of Life Canada ULC is recalling Cahill's brand Original Irish Porter Cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes food-poisoning bacteria.

The cheese has been distributed from Ontario east to the Maritimes.

The company identified the problem and issued the recall which the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is watching. It said its investigations may lead to additional product being recalled.

There have been no reports of illness associated with the product.

Friday, July 23, 2021

JBS pays $20 million over price-fixing pork

JBS USA and its related affiliates have agreed to a $20 million settlement with indirect buyers in a pork price-fixing case.

That’s in addition to $83 million paid to other pork customers..

The case was settled in the U.S. District Court for Minnesota, and deals with people who indirectly purchased JBS pork – eg. at restaurants and delis - between Jan. 1, 2009, and now.

JBS has denied wrongdoing and is co-operating with officials in the ongoing lawsuit against Clemens Food Group, Hormel Foods, Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods, Triumph Foods and Agri Stats.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Alt-meat firm raises another $350 million

Nature’s Fynd which uses fungi from Yellowstone National Park to produce meat-competing foods has raised another $350 million to bring its total to $500 million.

It has space in the old Chicago stockyards where it intends to begin producing and marketing its meat substitutes next year.

"In the past year, we showed that we can grow Fy at commercial scale leveraging robotics and automation . . . ,” said president and co-founder Thomas Jonas.

It will start marketing in the United States, then expand to Asia “where there is substantial demand and need for sustainable protein, and create multiple brand-aligned partnerships for retail, quick-serve restaurants and emerging high growth channels,” the company said.

Two tribunal members appointed

John Johnston of Guelph and Don McNalty of Singhampton have been appointed vice-chairmen of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal.

Both appointments are for two-year terms.

Johnston is a retired drainage coordinator, and a former general manager for Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal.

McNalty is owner and operator for Rob Roy Angus and a former senior engineer for RJ Burnside & Associated Ltd. 

He has been president of  the Ontario Angus Association and a club leader for Ontario 4-H.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Seneca College gets urban farming grant

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council are jointly granting $360,000 to Seneca College to study ways to help urban farming become stronger and more sustainable.

Because agriculture plays an important role in providing ecological services in cities, this program will incorporate training, mentorship and microfinancing specifically for urban farmers in communities across Canada, the college said.

“One of our goals is to work with the local community of urban growers and help them turn ideas into businesses,” said Dr. West Suhanic, a professor at Seneca’s School of Accounting & Financial Services.

 “What makes our project unique is that we’ll be bringing science, business and sustainability together in one package.”

Dr. Suhanic will be collaborating with Dr. Lesley Campbell, an associate professor at Ryerson University and an expert in urban agriculture, plant evolution and global climate change. They will lead a team of 12 to 15 Seneca student research assistants and work with community partners Greenest City and Toronto Urban Growers.

The goal is to help address food insecurity and increase access to healthy food in urban communities. Seneca student research assistants will be interviewing current and potential urban farmers to identify gaps and gain a better understanding of what is needed for successful urban agriculture.

“This project lays the foundation for sustainable urban agriculture businesses,” said Ben Rogers, dean of Seneca Innovation

“The knowledge base and microfinancing tools developed will also support equity-seeking populations facing barriers to food security and accessing start-up capital.”

Monday, July 19, 2021

Protein Pact formed in United States

Twelve organizations representing farmers and companies in the United States meat, poultry, dairy, and animal feed and ingredients sectors have formed the Protein PACT for the People, Animals, and Climate of Tomorrow, a joint initiative to accelerate momentum and verify progress toward global sustainable development goals across all animal protein sectors.

The Protein PACT has been submitted to the United Nations Food Systems Summit, and sustainable livestock and poultry production will be featured in an event at the upcoming Food Systems Summit in Rome on July 27.

Coinciding with the debut of the Protein PACT, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) released a draft sustainability framework and said is soliciting public comments to inform the organization's efforts to set transparent baselines and measure progress toward ambitious sustainability goals.

"The Protein PACT is the first initiative to unite meat, poultry, and dairy farmers and processors in a common vision for transparent communication, continuous improvement, and ambitious commitments to ensure the sustainability of the high-quality protein foods Americans rely on every day," NAMI President and CEO Julie Anna Potts said in a press release.

In Canada, the Sustainable Beef Roundtable was launched in 2014 with the goal of reducing the beef industry’s carbon footprint by a third by 2030.

Germany has third case of African Swine Fever

A third case of African swine fever has been found in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, German authorities said.

The farmer had four pigs.

The first two cases were another farm with only a few pigs and an organic-standards herd of about 200 pigs.

African Swine Fever is spreading within the wild boar population and German farmers have been trying to keep it out of domestic herds because its highly infectious and deadly.

It claimed about half of the pigs in China before the country brought it under control and is now well along in rebuilding its hog-production industry.

However, there have been a few new cases of African Swine Fever reported in China.

Canadian hog farmers, including those who own the co-operative Conestoga Meats plant at Breslau, have been shipping a high percentage of their pork to China, although there has been a recent decline in shipments.

Report recommends voluntary supermarket code

A report for the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture recommends supermarket chains adopt a voluntary code of practice.

The provinces, not the federal government, have the power to legislate against the abusive fees, discounts and allowances the country’s biggest supermarket chains impose on suppliers, the report said.

And if the provincial rules differ, things would be difficult for the food industry, so the report recommends a voluntary code.

Sobeys is so far the only major supermarket chain to voluntarily sign on to a code of practice.

The ministers of agriculture were prompted to look into the issue after Wal-Mart sprung a one per cent invoice discount on suppliers and Loblaws, Canada’s largest food retailer, followed suit.

But suppliers have complained for more than 60 years that they are forced to pay hundreds of different discounts, allowances and fees to retain access to shoppers.

A voluntary code is a complete cop-out. Agriculture ministers will sit back and watch Canadian grocery suppliers and farmers suffer.