We've been watching the avian influenza outbreak pretty closely here at the Food Institute. Although most people understood that poultry prices would rise in the wake of the flu, government efforts were focused specifically on stopping the spread of the disease when it was first encountered in April. Luckily, it appears those efforts worked: by most accounts, the outbreak is over, and life is reverting to normal for producers in the affected regions.
That doesn't mean USDA is taking any chances. The agency's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service noted on Oct. 13 that it would award contracts to Harrisvaccines and Ceva to produce sufficient numbers of the vaccine to establish an emergency stockpile in case the virus spreads to the south as birds migrate during the fall.
So, the avian flu epidemic may be stalled for now, but that isn't helping consumers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price for a dozen eggs in September rose to almost $2.97, representing a 3-cent increase from August. More notably, it also represented a 50.6% jump over the prices most consumers encountered in September 2014.
Rising egg prices may hurt the industry that received a huge, ringing endorsement from changes in the dietary advice recommended earlier this year. Instead of being the posterchild of the anti-cholesterol movement, eggs were poised to become a superfood in 2015 with a fresh marketing campaign by the American Egg Board featuring Kevin Bacon.
To be fair, a dozen eggs for $3 still remains a pretty good deal when you look at the price of other protein options in your local supermarket. However, customers noticing rising prices may be more inclined to try egg substitutes or pay a smaller premium for beef or fish, and that's not great news for an industry that was ready to reclaim its status as an American dietary staple less than a year ago.
Italy will not ratify the EU's free trade agreement with Canada because it does not ensure sufficient protection for the country's specialty foods, according to the country's agriculture minister. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will abolish some 98% of customs duties and allow the EU to export more cheese and wine and Canada more pork and beef in quotas that expand over the next six years, reported
Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) will not be reinstated in the U.S., according to a judgment from the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington issued June 5, despite the court's acknowledgement that the removal of the labeling law caused red meat producers in the U.S. harm.read more
Chris focuses on fresh, canned and frozen fruit and fresh and dried vegetables for the Food Institute Report. In addition, he assists in compiling data for various Food Institute publications throughout the year. He is a proud Rutgers University alumnus with a degree in English, and has a background in web writing for a variety of industries, including legal, foodservice and small-to-medium sized businesses. In his downtime you can find him watching New York Yankees baseball, hiking, enjoying live music and spending time with his dog Kaiden. He invites you to contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about anything food-related.
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