From the editors of MEAT+POULTRY, this weekly Podcast is your online portal to hear from experts in the industry about the latest news, trends, technologies and people in the world of meat and poultry processing.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance has been bringing together stakeholders in the animal agriculture industry since 1987. The non-profit, Arlington, Virginia-based organization is working to bridge the communications gap between farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, animal feed companies, animal health companies, processors and allied associations.
Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of the Animal Ag Alliance since 2011, serves as a national spokesperson and adviser to the agriculture and food industry.
While attending the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta this January, Johnson Smith shared her thoughts on the challenges facing the animal agriculture industry. In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRYpodcast, find out how industry stakeholders can come together to achieve common goals. Also, learn about the upcoming Stakeholders Summit, to be held in Arlington, Virginia, May 7-8.
In Canada, halal-observant consumers are one of that country’s fastest growing market segments. In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY Podcast, Salima Jivraj, client services director at Nourish Food Marketing and founder of Halal Foodie, provides insights into understanding halal consumers and strategies food companies should undertake to gain their trust.
In the second part of the meat science conversation, longtime MEAT+POULTRY contributor Jeff Savell, who co-authors Meat Perspectives, discussed the popular two-day Camp Brisket.
The event examines the educational side of barbecue at Texas A&M and is a joint venture between Foodways Texas and the Meat Science Section of the Dept. of Animal Science at Texas A&M Univ in the summer.
Savell details his background in barbecue and how he’s grown to love the process of setting up this camp and informing the attendees. Tune in above to hear his knowledge and expertise on the subject. He also emphasized the global reach of his program at Texas A&M.
For more details visit the Camp Brisket website.
Listen to Part One of our discussion with Savell here.
Longtime MEAT+POULTRY contributor Jeff Savell, who co-authors Meat Perspectives , is the latest guest in this episode of the podcast.
Savell currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of Meat Science at Texas A&M Univ. as well as the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chairholder in the Dept. of Animal Science.
During the first part of the discussion, Savell discusses how he and his fellow professor Kerri Gehring come up with the ideas for the columns and make it appeal to the meat and poultry audience.
He also talks about how they developed their partnership in studying meat science. Finally, Savell examines how students have evolved over the years at Texas A&M and the growth in the number of women participating in the university’s meat science programs and pursuing meat science as careers.
In Part 2, scheduled for Feb. 7, the discussion turns to the educational side of barbecue at A&M, including its annual Camp Brisket. This is a joint venture between Foodways Texas and the Meat Science Section of the Dept. of Animal Science at Texas A&M Univ. The popular two-day “camp” takes a deep dive into what is considered by many as the centerpiece of Texas barbecue, beef brisket. Tune in for a barbecue fix next week.
Last week, we introduced you to Matt Wadiak, co-founder of the meal kit company, Blue Apron, and founder of Cooks Venture, a poultry company. Cooks Venture sells a proprietary breed of chickens directly to consumers online, through retail outlets and to foodservice operators at prices comparable to competing mid- to high-attribute birds currently on the market.
But Wadiak will tell you that the story behind Cooks Venture chicken is the real selling point. He became a poultry breeder because he believes that turning the tables on climate change relies, in part, on solving what he calls the poultry problem.
Wadiak says that topsoil is this country’s greatest resource and mixing it with synthetic inputs is only sustainable for so long. For Cooks Venture, meat production that manages crops and empowers producers to support a whole food system instead of just one point in the food system.
“Our goal is to partner with our feed growers to create more systems of small grains and alternative crop rotations,” he explains. “And because our bird has a more robust and developed digestive tract, our bird can eat low-density seeds and process them into muscle, bone and organ tissue more effectively than a conventional bird could. So, having a healthy bird is really essential to having healthy soil.”
In this episode of the podcast, Wadiak explains how adopting regenerative chicken production and farming practices not only can fix the food system but make an impact on climate change in the process.
Matt Wadiak, co-founder of Blue Apron, launched Cooks Venture last year because he saw agriculture as an untapped opportunity to make an impact on climate change using regenerative agriculture practices.
After seeing a surge of meat alternatives come onto the market in 2019, 2020 looks to be going down a similar path.
There are new companies jumping into the meat alternative frenzy, but there are also established brands developing products.
That’s why the rise of plant-based products will continue to be on our watch this year.
Listen above for the latest meat alternative stories MEAT+POULTRYcovered since January. Below are the links to the stories on meatpoultry.com this week.
Impossible Foods: http://bit.ly/39Xp6sq
Hooters Unreal Wings: http://bit.ly/36HkN2B
Prime Roots: http://bit.ly/35G1oxx
MEAT+POULTRY’s first podcast of the year focuses on the pork industry and specifically explores findings from the National Pork Board’s (NPB) consumer research conducted this past year.
Tara-Ann Dugan, director of consumer and marketplace insights for the NPB, discussed key findings about consumers, including the role of simplicity and convenience in new product offerings as well as pork’s health and wellness attributes. Dugan also covers how pork’s popularity continues to grow across cultures and the opportunities that still exist
Dugan details all the programs the association spearheaded in 2019 and looks ahead at opportunities in the coming year based on the most recent consumer trends.
For anyone within earshot of Pederson’s Natural Farms in Hamilton, Texas, it’s hard to miss this battle cry from Neil Dudley, vice president of sales: “Sooie! We got bacon!”, especially in early October.
The thriving meat-processing company has evolved since Dudley’s lifelong best friend, Cody Lane, joined the company in 2001 as president and hired Neil early in his tenure. Since about 2006, Pederson’s has focused on processing premium bacon for specialty retailers including Whole Foods and many others. The company’s overall production, sales and new products have flourished as consumers’ love affair with bacon seemingly gets stronger each year. And since 2012, Pederson’s has committed to giving back by hosting an annual event to promote two charities by hosting Bacon Bash Texas. Combining bacon, beer and bands for one day each October Pederson’s brings thousands of people to Cranfills Gap, Texas, to raise money for Niki Warms the Cold (to purchase coats and blankets for those in need during the winter) and children living with Type 1 diabetes.
In Part 2 of the MEAT+POULTRY Podcast with Dudley, he talks about how the company came to realize how its philanthropic pursuits could make a difference in the lives of people in need. To hear Part 1 of the podcast, click here.
Pederson’s Natural Farms, based in Hamilton, Texas, is a bacon processing success story led by two legitimate cowboys, Cody Lane, president and Neil Dudley, vice president of sales.
Lane and Dudley are savvy and focused businessmen who’ve grown their company from a humble, bacon-focused business to a respected processor of natural, antibiotic free, premium bacon products and other value-added meats. They’re capitalizing on the bacon boom and health-and-wellness focused consumers.
MEAT+POULTRYvisited Pederson’s plant in 2016 and since then the company has evolved to what is now, a thriving and specialized processor that has grown in terms of product offerings, number of employees and especially its marketing approach. The company’s leaders have also learned from some trial-and-error product introductions in the past several years.
In part one of this two-part podcast, M+P caught up with Dudley to get an update on the company, how his role has evolved and how not every new product idea in the meat business turns to gold.
In the last few months, MEAT+POULTRY launched its latest podcast. The weekly audio installment. Weekly installments of the MEAT+POULTRY podcast gives people a chance to hear about different aspects of the industry. The podcast allows editors to share experiences after their reporting is complete from cutting edge facilities around North America.
It also provides people in the industry a chance to further explain the innovations and steps they are taking to move meat into the future. We also track the latest trends in the industry and their short and long term impact.
Look for more exciting stories of the industry to be covered throughout 2020. Subscribe to the meat and poultry podcast on meat poultry. com or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Costco Wholesale has made a poultry processing decision that the entire industry is watching closely. In the last few months, the company continues to push forward with only having one location to produce its famous $4.99 chickens.
That location? Lincoln Premium Poultry in Fremont, Nebraska. In this podcast, features editor Bob Sims overview what he saw in his tour of the state-of-the-art facility.
Sims also discusses the various pieces of technology and logistics used for the plant to run effectively. He also looked at the political will it took from Lincoln Poultry and its executives to get buy in from the Nebraska community around them.
The entire cover story is now available in the December digital edition of MEAT+POULTRY.
The Popeyes-Chick-fil-A rivalry generated plenty of buzz and sales of chicken sandwiches but not without a few helpings of controversy on the side.
Acts of violence committed by customers against each other and restaurant staff marked a low-point in the chicken sandwich war. Conflict driven by high demand and disrupted supplies at Popeyes might have contributed to the problem.
In this episode of the MEAT+POULTRY Podcast, Sol Marketing CEO Deb Gabor shares her insights into crisis management strategies that can help brands survive negative publicity that can tarnish a brand's image. She also explains how this brand battle turned into a win-win for the combatants, and she floats the idea of irrational loyalty and the role it plays in keeping consumers faithful to their favorite brands.
It wasn’t exactly the Summer of Love for Chick-fil-A and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.
A “chicken sandwich war” erupted in August when Popeyes launched — and quickly sold out of — its chicken sandwich followed by a “Ya’ll good” tweet directed at Chick-fil-A. And the rivalry only intensified when Popeyes mocked Chick-fil-A for promoting National Sandwich Day which fell on a Sunday — when Chick-fil-A locations are closed.
After resolving its supply chain issues, Popeyes then used National Sandwich Day to launch the return of its chicken sandwich. This move turned out to be far more than another dig at Chick-fil-A; it was an opportunity to kickstart a conversation about Chick-fil-A’s values, according to Deb Gabor, CEO of brand strategy consultancy, Sol Marketing.
In this podcast, we spoke with Gabor about the real battle — a battle of brands — and the competing values of the customers who love them.
In this episode of the podcast, MEAT+POULTRY welcomes Danny Johnson, owner of Taylor's Market, head of The Butchers Guild, and captain of “Butchers of America” for the World Butchers’ Challenge.
First, Johnson talks about how he got involved with The Butchers Guild. Then Johnson discusses the competition and how he helped bring the growing event to his hometown of Sacramento, California. In 2020, the event will be held at Golden 1 Center where the Sacramento Kings play basketball.
He also explains how the Butchers of America team was developed to face off against its foes across the world and how the 3-hour 15-minute challenge works.
Johnson also emphasizes how the World Butchers’ Challenge will use local, sustainable meats during the event.
Country Archer Jerky Co. is a meat snack success story with an unlikely beginning and a promising future. After stopping at a roadside stand while on vacation almost 10 years ago, Eugene Kang bought some beef jerky that would change his life – it was love at first bite.
At the Animal Welfare and Handling Conference held in Kansas City Oct. 17-18, Eric Mittenthal, vice president of sustainability for the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), announced a new initiative called Trust in Animal Protein.
MEAT+POULTRY spoke with Mittenthal after the conference to get more details about Trust in Animal Protein and to learn why the industry needs this new standard for animal welfare.
In this episode of the podcast, the guest is food writer and web series host Nick Solares. Solares hosted The Meat Show on the Eater YouTube channel, where it exploded over the last few years and into millions of views.
Now Solares has started a new venture Meat Life Media and the Meat Life YouTube channel. In this endeavor, he hopes to celebrate the experience of meat dining, but as you will hear, he’s moved into the role of advocating for meat consumption and production. There’s a reason it says professional carnivore under his title card now.
Ryan McCarthy and Solares and discuss why he decided to take his meat career in this direction. Then, they discuss the different avenues Solares plans to take the YouTube channel and company. Finally, Solares discusses which cities he plans to travel to show off the world of meat.
Dakota Provisions went big after the company chose to create its first line of consumer products under the Dakota 44 brand. MEAT+POULTRY caught up with Renee Robertson, senior marketing manager of Dakota 44, to get up to speed on a brand that aims to bring more than turkey to consumers’ tables.
Managing Editor Kimberlie Clyma details her experience at the Women in Agribusiness Summit she attended Sept. 25-27 in Minneapolis.
Clyma outlines the structure of the summit and how it differs from other agricultural conferences that are held throughout the year. She also discusses the issues state commissioners are keeping their eyes on going into 2020.
Sustainability is a hot-button topic and Clyma describes how the women executives are handling the issue in agriculture.
Read Clyma’s recap from the Summit here.
Randy Blach, CEO of CattleFax, specializes in separating signals from noise — drilling down to the data that matters — to deliver actionable insights to the meat and poultry industry stakeholders who rely on the research, analysis and other information that CattleFax provides to its subscribers.
He was a featured speaker at the Certified Angus Beef Annual Conference held in Asheville, North Carolina this week, and he took a few minutes to share with MEAT+POULTRY his observations of the trends and issues affecting the meat and poultry industry.
SuKarne, a multinational processor based in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, continues to grow its business around Latin America and now is making a big push into the US market. It’s one of the reasons why the company is the subject of MEAT+POULTRY’s September cover story.
Editor Joel Crews traveled to Mexicali, Mexico, a border town near San Diego, to see the operations at one of SuKarne’s beef plants. Crews was struck by the vertically integrated strategy the company has based its expansion on, where feed production, feedlots and processing facilities are combined at the same site. The operations mirror many US plants in terms of processing technology, production volume, food safety interventions and product quality.
In this episode of the podcast, Crews chats about how SuKarne is striving to become a bigger player in the US retail and foodservice market and how its evolution has prepared it for this next step. He also discusses the investments the company has made in technology and resources to produce products that will appeal to more retailers as part of its mission to put “more steaks on more plates.” Crews talks about SuKarne’s next moves in the US market and plans for MEAT+POULTRY to expand its coverage of the Mexican meat market.
Read the entire September cover story here.
Bacon, like butter, makes everything better. But what could make bacon better? Making your own at home. Enter Riverton, Wyoming-based Hi Mountain Seasonings, a leading manufacturer of seasoning kits for homemade jerky and sausage that recently launched do-it-yourself bacon cure kits.
Temple Grandin, Ph.D., the world’s leading authority on livestock handling and professor of animal science at Colorado State Univ., recently visited Cargill Protein’s new Headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, to commemorate the company’s progress in animal handling. After talking with employees about her life and the evolution of animal handling in the meat and poultry industry, Grandin answered some questions from the media including Editor Joel Crews.
Crews asked about how she first got her foot in the door at one of her first, and biggest clients and she went on to recall how she mailed drawings of a livestock handling system for a Cargill beef plant in Canada. The plans were noticed by Cargill’s Bill Fielding in the late 1980s and a working relationship was born.
Crews also asked Grandin and Lacey Alexander, Cargill’s animal welfare lead for beef, about the role of technology in animal handling and welfare, including remote video auditing (RVA), which was implemented by Cargill more than a decade ago. Alexander discussed RVA and steps the company takes to train Cargill employees on the important balance between technology and behavior.
Jeff King’s jerky brand started with some curiosity about the popular meat snack and some subsequent experimentation with a few recipes he stumbled across on the internet.
Seven years later, the professional golf caddie turned his garage-based side hustle, known as Kingmade Jerky, into a full-time endeavor that recently announced a partnership with the largest golf tour in the world: the PGA Tour.
Michael Billings, head of procurement at ButcherBox, strongly believes that people just want to know the truth about where their food comes from.
In the second episode of our conversation with Billings, he talks about communicating claims to consumers and partnering with Niman Ranch. He also has thoughts about what it’s like for a short-time retiree trying to train younger workers to succeed in a business they might not know much about. Billings’ connection to agriculture grew from a childhood spent helping his grandfather on a chicken farm.
Michael Billings retired from BJ’s Wholesale Club in Westborough, Massachusetts, after 25 years as vice president of meat and seafood procurement. Roughly four years in, he had no plans to return to work until one day, Billings recalled, “…I got this interesting note on my LinkedIn account that said, ‘Interesting background; need to talk,’ and it was the owner of ButcherBox.”
Mike Salguero founded ButcherBox in 2015 using $215,000 he’d raised through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The online retailer sells and delivers sustainably raised Certified Humane meat and poultry raised by independent family farms. “I met him,” Billings said, “and he’s just an amazing guy. I thought what he was trying to do was pretty interesting.”
Valley Oaks Steak Company will be featured in the plant tour section of Meat+Poultry this August. It’s a small operation just outside M+P headquarters in Kansas City with the feedlot and processing plant all on campus. A customer can even drive up to the front door and buy the fresh cut meat in their expanding butcher shop.
But like many small operations, they are always looking to innovate. With a strong connection to the Kansas City area they saw a niche with their website: KCCompetitionMeats.com
In this podcast, Ryan talks to Jake Huddleston, Valley Oaks operation manager, about how the company came up with the idea of the KC Competition Meats website. Plus, how people from across the country want to try and replicate the Kansas City taste and flavor in their backyard grilling.
Robert Garlington, a 34-year veteran of the poultry processing industry and senior vice president of operations with Springdale, Arkansas-based George’s Inc was named MEAT+POULTRY’s 2019 Operations Executive of the Year award.
Garlington was featured on the July cover of the magazine and received the 8th annual plaque for his service to the industry.
In this episode, editor Joel Crews discusses his profile of Garlington and how he became such a successful and sought-after figure for poultry producers.
Garlington is a well-traveled veteran of the poultry industry who has humble roots in Texas. There isplenty of in-depth information in the full profile but this quick synopsis from Crews shows why Garlington epitomizes what Meat+Poultry looks for in operations executives every year
Read the full Robert Garlington profile below:
Semi-retired manager of Flight Food Systems at NASA and an Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) board member Vickie Kloeris , had oversight of the contract responsible for producing the food the Space Shuttle program and the International Space Station (ISS). In her role, which she held for 34 years, she worked with crew members to select items to take on their missions, one among a myriad of duties.
In this MEAT+POULTRY Podcast episode, Features Editor Bob Sims provides some insight from his plant tour of Prestage Foods of Iowa.
The 700,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art facility in Eagle Grove, Iowa, mixes new, automated hog processing practices, while also emphasizing employee satisfaction.
Sims takes us through some of the features that stood out to him including the layout of the plant, the treatment, opportunities for employees and the diversity of management at the location.
Sims also discusses what the future of hog processing looks like and how they plan on building off the early success of the plant.
Read the full story here:
In the final episode of the series, social media is the elephant in the room and on the side of the consumer.
Bob Langert, a former vice president over sustainability initiatives at McDonald’s and author of “The Battle to do Good: Inside McDonald’s Sustainability Journey,” discusses the impact of social media on Corporate America’s ability to define its responsibilities to society. And, he shares some “hard-knock nuggets” of advice for businesses trying to navigate the disruption caused by social media.
Next week, Ryan McCarthy, digital media associate editor, sits down with MEAT+POULTRY Features Editor, Bob Sims who visited Prestage Foods of Iowa on assignment.
Prestage Foods of Iowa began hog slaughter under USDA inspection in March of this year. The 700,000-sq.-ft. facility houses some of the most advanced pork processing technology in the industry. MEAT+POULTRY got a first look inside the plant. We hope you’ll listen in to Ryan and Bob’s conversation to learn more about this awesome facility.
Bob Langert, a former vice president over sustainability initiatives at McDonald’s spent more than 20 years at McDonald’s focused on ways for the company to address a range of issues related to sustainability.
For his book,"The Battle to do Good: Inside McDonald’s Sustainability Journey", Langert says he interviewed about 51 people who were part of McDonald’s sustainability journey during his time with company. According to Langert, no company goes it alone when it comes to sustainability. But if sustainability is a team sport, who do you want to play for your side?
Bob Langert has a few thoughts about this subject which kicks off the second installment of our conversation.
Next week, we’re taking a break for the July 4 holiday, but we’re not quite done sharing what we learned from Bob Langert about McDonald’s and sustainability. So, in the third and final installment of our conversation, he answers several questions, including: Who defines the role of companies in society these days and how does social media influence that debate? Does big business have any business addressing social issues? And what’s a “hard knock nugget?”
McDonald’s Canada recently announced the launch of its Green Concept Restaurantsin Vancouver and British Columbia. These restaurants basically are testing sites for a variety of sustainable packaging and utensil solutions.
Customers visiting these special stores will see paper straws, and wooden cutlery and stir sticks. Cold drinks, specifically medium-size ones, will be served in cups that are acceptable in recycling streams.
The Green Concept Restaurant is one in a series of measures McDonald’s has taken to reduce their restaurants’ environmental footprint. But how did McDonald’s get to this point in the first place? To find out, MEAT+POULTRY spoke with Bob Langert, a former McDonald’s vice president over sustainability initiatives and author of The Battle To Do Good: Inside McDonald’s Sustainability Journey.
McDonald’s battle to do good included external and internal skirmishes because, “…getting anything done in a business is hard as anything, and when it comes to sustainability, almost all the issues that I worked on for almost three decades — they’re all new things — implementing a new animal welfare program or fund new packaging policies. So, as you know, human nature when we start something new it’s always a challenge.”