Food Business News - Apr 03, 2007 - (Page 1)

FoodBusinessNews ® April 3, 2007 NEWS, MARKETS AND ANALYSIS FOR THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY 19 Hormel's competitive edge 26 Complementing organic 38 MARKET WATCH U.S.D.A. honing nutrition education programs PHILADELPHIA - Meaningful spending on nutrition education and a major program to incorporate fruits and vegetables into government programs were among proposed farm program innovations detailed March 26 by Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns. Speaking at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Mr. Johanns touched on a number of initiatives within the farm bill nutrition proposals. Overall, $467 million more would be spent under the proposed plan than under current programs. Mr. Johanns said the proposals would strengthen efforts to integrate nutrition education into the food stamp program by devoting $100 million to create a fiveyear competitive grants demonstration Continued on Page 18 COURTESY OF U.S.D.A. I.R.I.'s new product pacesetters Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns outlined the U.S.D.A.'s efforts to improve the nation's food and nutrition programs. March 1 soybean stocks 1,784.3 1,381.4 1,669.2 1,202.0 905.8 1,403.9 1,336.0 1,457.3 1,396.0 1,055.8 1,202.9 million bushels '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture March 1 soybean stocks were the highest on record. Passing on the pressure Major changes seen unfolding in food retailing LA QUINTA, CALIF. - Persistent pressure on supermarket profit margins will not abate as the industry becomes more global and will spill pressure onto food companies, said Allan S. Noddle, the retired president and chief executive officer of Giant Food Stores, Carlisle, Pa. Profit margins averaged about 1% last year, he said, about the same as the profitability rate in 1965. Mr. Noddle, who also was an executive vice-president and member of the corporate executive board of Giant's Dutch parent, Royal Ahold, was the keynote speaker March 19 at the annual meeting of the American Bakers Association. The A.B.A. annual meeting was held March 18-21 at the La Quinta Resort and Club. As a career supermarket executive, Mr. Noddle noted the extraordinary investment supermarkets have made in technology over the past decades, but he bemoaned the reality that "the savings all went to the American consumer." He warned that the retail environment abroad is not better, with Germany, Poland and China even more competitive. "Germany has been a terribly difficult Continued on Page 20

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Food Business News - Apr 03, 2007