LIVESTOCK HIGHLIGHTS: Top Stories of the Day

07/30/2020 | 05:29pm



Tyson Foods Creates Chief Medical Officer Position as Part of Covid-19 Monitoring Program

Tyson Foods Inc. said it has created a chief medical officer position and plans to hire nearly 200 nurses and administrative personnel as part of its Covid-19 monitoring program.

The meatpacking giant on Thursday said its program involves screening employees daily as they arrive at work and testing for Covid-19, including those without symptoms. An algorithm-based process will select a number of employees each week to be tested based on factors such as the number of positive cases involving plant workers as well as the surrounding community, it said.


Kraft Heinz Earnings Hit by Write-Downs -- 2nd Update

Kraft Heinz Co. wrote down the value of Oscar Mayer, Maxwell House and several other of its well-known brands, reflecting the challenges for the food maker despite strong sales in recent months amid the pandemic.

Kraft Heinz on Thursday recorded $2.9 billion in impairment charges, which resulted in the company swinging to a loss in the second quarter. The hit comes after Kraft Heinz last year reduced the value of its assets by nearly $17 billion. It said at the time that consumers had gravitated toward niche brands often viewed as fresher, healthier, or more innovative.


Impossible Burger Rolling Out at Walmart Locations

Impossible Foods' flagship plant-based burger began rolling out at Walmart Inc. on Thursday.

The Silicon Valley-based company said Impossible Burger will soon be stocked at almost 2,100 Walmart Supercenter and Walmart Neighborhood Market locations. That will bring the number of bricks-and-mortar grocery stores carrying the product in the U.S. to more than 8,000, am increase of more than 50 times in the food startup's retail footprint in less than six months, it added.




Ahold Delhaize USA Introduces New Policies on GMOs, Animal Welfare

Food retailer Ahold Delhaize USA on Thursday said it was introducing new sustainability policies across its brands, which include Food Lion, Giant Food and Stop & Shop.

The company said the new policies address the issues of genetically modified food and farm animal welfare.

Under its new policies, the company said, all private brand products will be required to have clear on-pack Bioengineered Food labeling, adding this requirement comes "well ahead of the Federal Bioengineered labeling deadline of January 1, 2022."


Families File First Wave of Covid-19 Lawsuits Against Companies Over Worker Deaths

Employers across the country are being sued by the families of workers who contend their loved ones contracted lethal cases of Covid-19 on the job, a new legal front that shows the risks of reopening workplaces.

Walmart Inc., Safeway Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and some health-care facilities have been sued for gross negligence or wrongful death since the coronavirus pandemic began unfolding in March. Employees' loved ones contend the companies failed to protect workers from the deadly virus and should compensate their family members as a result. Workers who survived the virus also are suing to have medical bills, future earnings and other damages paid out.




Hogs Finish on the Downside -- Market Talk

16:04 ET - Hog futures trading on the CME finished the day 3% lower, dropping to 48.325 cents per pound. That's their lowest close since June 8, suggesting that pressure from the large hog slaughters being performed by meatpacking plants is being felt. Live cattle futures, on the other hand, have maintained a strong performance in July. The most-active contract finished trading today up 0.7% to $1.0675 per pound. Since the start of July, cattle futures have moved up 6.2%. (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jul 30 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Jul 30       +$ 50.70            +$ 11.68 
Jul 29       +$ 48.83            +$ 11.96 
Jul 28       +$ 51.04            +$ 15.21 
* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production. 
A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of production of the animals. 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
          For Today              Choice   94.5 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  101.0 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Thursday rose 69 cents per hundred pounds, to $201.80, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $2.01 per hundred pounds, to $191.50. The total load count was 137. Wholesale pork prices fell 13 fell, to $67.17 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

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