News and analysis for the global poultry industry.

Articles by Gary Thornton


McDonald’s to discuss poultry antibiotics policy

McDonald's director of quality to discuss how chain stays transparent with consumers and works with suppliers as it eliminates antibiotics important to human medicine at Chicken Marketing Summit.
McDonald’s USA Director of Quality Systems Ernie Meier will speak about the fast food chain’s vision for antimicrobial stewardship in food animals during the National Chicken Council’s Chicken Marketing Summit July 10-12, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
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Poultry at center of retail grocery upheaval

Poultry is at the center of health, wellness and specialty product trends that are playing a big role in reshaping the retail grocery business through mergers and acquisitions.
Changing consumer demographics have made health and wellness concerns – including the availability of natural and organic poultry and meat proteins – a crucible for success or failure in the retail distribution channel.
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Secrets to antibiotic-free poultry production

A panel of experts dissected the secrets to successful antibiotic-free poultry production. Hint: There is no single secret – success is mainly from superior execution of poultry production basics.
If there is a secret to antibiotic-free poultry production it is that producers are using powerful tools to make their ABF programs successful – in most cases these tools are old ones just better applied than in the past. Combine those tools with the customized use of prebiotics, probiotics and organic acids, and you have the formula for maintaining competitive performance in ABF poultry production.
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Top US turkey producers rebuild flocks, invest after AI

Highly pathogenic avian influenza interrupted the U.S. turkey industry’s expansion in 2015 but investment in further processing proceeded, according to WATT PoultryUSA’s 2016 poultry company rankings.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) interrupted the U.S. turkey industry’s expansion in live production in 2015, according to WATT PoultryUSA’s poultry company rankings, but investment in further processing capacity proceeded even while turkey producers continued to rebuild production.
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 Graphic of top 10 US poultry companies highlighted in WATTPoultryUSA's Top Companies issue

Top 10 US chicken producers grow in new directions

The largest U.S. broiler chicken producers are redefining their products and business models to achieve profitable growth, as reflected in WATT PoultryUSA’s Top Poultry Companies Rankings.
No. 1 ranked Tyson Foods, the largest producer of broiler chicken in the U.S., was one of only four broiler producers to register a reduction in ready-to-cook chicken production in 2015, according to WATT PoultryUSA’s Top Poultry Companies Rankings, but it was a stellar year for the Springdale, Arkansas-based producer of meat proteins.
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Poultry bites into beef’s position in retail meat case

Beef (whole-muscle) had a significant decline in the National Meat Case Study, while poultry, pork and ground beef registered gains.
Retail prices of fresh meat and poultry played a major role in the results of the National Meat Case Study (NMCS) for 2015 with whole-muscle beef losing space in the fresh meat retail case to ground beef, pork and poultry. Fresh meat packaging, at the same time, registered an increase in natural/organic labeling claims, more store branding and vacuum packaging. Organic meat product claims, for example, increased in 2015, with claims on chicken packaging up 6.7 percent.
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2016 chicken production under control, profitable

With no drought in sight for 2016, lower costs for corn and soybeans are setting a lower break-even price for U.S. chicken producers.
Despite lower broiler chicken prices, chicken supply is under control – expected to rise by 2.5 percent in 2016 – and U.S. chicken producers should be profitable in the coming year. Speaking at the 2016 Annual Meat Conference, poultry industry economist Dr. Paul Aho said chicken prices are lower than in 2015, but feed and fuel prices are likely to remain low through 2018.
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Global warming potential of US broiler production

U.S. broiler chicken producers have a phenomenal record of production efficiency. But what does that mean for the broiler industry’s environmental impact?
U.S. broiler chicken producers have a phenomenal record of production efficiency. But what does that mean for the broiler industry’s environmental impact?
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Poultry antibiotics policy begs for science, data

Merely enforcing labeled usage or reducing total kilograms of antibiotics used in beef, pork and poultry production may not be the best public policy to reduce antimicrobial resistance.
The veterinary landscape for the production of food animals is changing with the FDA’s Veterinary Feed Directive, but, even as the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals comes under direct veterinary supervision, important scientific and ethical insights to drive future policy to reduce antimicrobial resistance are missing.
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The other side of poultry production transparency

When three executives from companies in the meat and poultry supply chain participated in a panel discussion at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) Antibiotics Symposium one might say they were in the hot seat – a high pressure situation in which a great deal of attention and scrutiny is focused on a person or organization.
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