Food Business News - Mar 04, 2008 - (Page 1)

FoodBusinessNews ® March 4, 2008 NEWS, MARKETS AND ANALYSIS FOR THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY Diesel prices surge to record high Food safety: Front and center House lawmakers confront food companies, federal agencies after recalls N Nestle's stand out st performance p 32 Pro Probiotic claims under scrutiny un 53 MARKET WATCH Dried egg products per cent increase from year ago 143% 94% 100% 28% Whole U DOUG MILLS/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX 20 2 rging more immediate access to information regarding recalls and stepped-up government funding for food safety research, representatives of some of the nation's largest food processors testified at a Capitol Hill hearing Feb. 26 on food safety in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. Gary M. Rodkin, chief executive officer of Omaha-based ConAgra Foods, told the House panel he would like to see the government provide access to information earlier on any unsafe products. "That would help us protect consumers sooner rather than dumping the information on us all at once," he said. Mr. Rodkin Gary Rodkin, president and c.e.o. of ConAgra Foods, Inc., was one of several executives to testified at a Capitol Hill hearing Feb. 26 on food safey. testify at the hearing, titled "Contaminated Food: Private Sector Accountabil- president and c.e.o. of Dole Food Co., ity," the fifth in a series of hearings held dur- Inc., Westlake Village, Calif., who stressed ing the past year to address safety measures recalls should not be viewed as an indication of complacency, and urged additional related to domestic and imported food. Continued on Page 47 Also on hand was David A. DeLorenzo, White Yolk Blend Breaking egg prices also were more than double a year ago. Rough road ahead Efficiencies, innovation and emerging markets are focal points at CAGNY BOCA RATON, FLA. - "Challenging" was a word used frequently by food industry executives presenting at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference, held Feb. 19 to 22. Confronted by historically high input costs, the leading food and beverage companies have turned to improved productivity, innovation and pricing to offset the increases and drive profitability. They also have put a renewed focus on emerging markets in China, Russia, India and others in an effort to further grow sales and profits. It became clear as executives spoke that pricing will play a greater role in the second half of the year, as most of the "low-hanging" productivity initiatives have been executed by many companies. For competitive reasons, company executives would not identify how much pricing they will take or when, but consumers will Continued on Page 39

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Food Business News - Mar 04, 2008