Food Business News - Jan 04, 2011 - (Page 1)

January 4, 2011 FOODBUSINESS NEWS NEWS, MARKETS AND ANALYSIS FOR THE FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRY Soybean oil prices keep rising on supply concerns KANSAS CITY - With many commodity and ingredient prices currently at or near two-year highs and looking to continue strong if not set new highs in some cases in 2011, soybean oil values are right in the mix, hitting new 28-month highs last week on global supply concerns and growing demand. The January 2011 soybean oil futures contract topped 57c a lb early last week, the highest for the nearby contract since July 2008. The March through September contracts topped 58c a lb. As the week came to a close, the nearby soybean oil future was up about 40% from the Dec. 31, 2009, close of 40.35c a lb, with year-end profit Continued on Page 28 ConAgra adjusting merchandising mindset OMAHA - Shifting consumer purchasing patterns had a negative effect on ConAgra Foods' earnings during the second quarter of fiscal 2011, ended Nov. 28. "Consumers are shopping from lists, making more quick trips to the store instead of stocking up as much, and being as value conscious as we've ever seen," said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods, in a conference call with securities analysts on Dec. 21. "So we did not get the lift on the promotions that we would normally expect to see, and that negatively impacted price/mix and profitability." For the quarter, ConAgra had income Continued on Page 24 Story on Page 39 Industry prepares for new food safety requirements Companies face challenges in achieving compliance WASHINGTON - With President Barack Obama poised to sign the Food Safety Modernization Act (F.S.M.A.) into law, the nation's food manufacturers considered what changes they may have to make in their operations and prepared to provide comment and advice to the Food and Drug Administration as the agency begins rulemaking to implement key provisions of the new law. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the F.D.A., said of the Food Safety Modernization Act, "This law makes everyone responsible and accountable for each step in today's global food supply chain. Under this new law, F.D.A. will now have new prevention-focused tools, as well as a clear regulatory framework, to help make substantial improvements in our approach to food safety." Both the F.D.A. and many food manufacturers and industry associations began planning for the new regulatory regime well ahead of the passage of the F.S.M.A. In an interview with Food Business News last summer, Michael R. Taylor, the first deputy Continued on Page 26

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Food Business News - Jan 04, 2011