Food Business News - Mar 06, 2007 - (Page 1)

FoodBusinessNews ® NEWS, MARKETS AND ANALYSIS FOR THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY March 6, 2007 Cellulosic ethanol focal point of debate Into the wind Input, distribution inflation is forcing companies to find new ways to improve efficiency and enhance margins 25 Kraft's new direction 26 McDonald's McMakeover 38 MARKET WATCH U.S. honey production Food industry executives have resigned themselves to the fact input inflation related to energy, raw materials and ingredients will pressure financial results for the foreseeable future. Addressing the effects of these cost "headwinds" was a common theme throughout many of the presentations at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York annual meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., Feb. 19-23, with many executives outlining initiatives they have implemented to reduce costs and enhance margins. "We look at it as being more systemic," Jeff Ettinger, president and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn., told Food Business News. "The key driver for us is corn and more recently soy meal, following it up with some questions about acreage. Unlike a single year equation, where corn is being driven by weather or carryover stocks, we see all of the ethanol plants coming on line, and we don't see Continued on Page 48 THIS PHOTO COURTESY OF AP WIDE WORLD 1,000 lbs 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 '86 '88 '90 '92 '94 '96 '98 '00 '02 '04 '06 Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture U.S. honey production was the lowest in nearly three decades. Sugar producers seek stable farm policy, eye Mexico in 2008 TUCSON, ARIZ. - U.S. sugar producers are hoping for an unchanged sugar policy in the 2007 farm bill, while processors and buyers alike are keeping close watch on trade with Mexico as sweetener duties are eliminated Jan. 1, 2008, and on the burgeon- ing U.S. ethanol industry as it competes for corn supply. About 300 producers, users and other participants in the sweetener industry gathered in Tucson Feb. 11-14 for the 2007 International Sweetener Colloquium sponsored by the International Dairy Foods Association. The farm bill, Mexico and ethanol easily dominated discussion. Jack Roney, director of economics and policy analysis for the American Sugar Alliance, which represents sugar growers and processors, said it was important to continue the current sugar policy to avoid further concentration in the sugar industry and to keep the sugar program at no cost to the government. One third of the sugarcane and beet Continued on Page 34

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - Mar 06, 2007


Food Business News - Mar 06, 2007