Indiana Forage Council Annual Meeting & Seminar Presentation
Thursday, February 16, 2006
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Senior Japanese official rejects U.S. demands to ease beef import terms
TOKYO (AP) _ Japan’s agriculture minister on Wednesday rejected U.S. demands that Tokyo accept beef from cows older than 20 months, one of the conditions under which the ban on U.S. beef imports was lifted last December.
“From the American point of view, I understand the request,” Agriculture Minister Shoichi Nakagawa told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo. “However, Japan cannot accept it.”
Japan lifted a nearly two-year old embargo on U.S. beef on Dec. 12, 2005. The country had been the most lucrative export market for American ranchers before they were shut out in December 2003 when the first case of mad cow disease was found in the U.S. herd.
After months of negotiation, the two sides agreed to allow the importation of meat from younger cows, which so far have been free of the disease.
However, U.S. lawmakers have been pressing Japan to allow beef from cattle that has been slaughtered at up to 30 months of age, as called for under international animal health guidelines.
Despite its return to local supermarket shelves and restaurant menus, U.S. beef still faces an uphill struggle in Japan, where consumers are particularly sensitive to safety concerns.
Tyson adds two natural beef product lines
by Deborah Silver on 1/18/2006 for Meatingplace.com
Tyson Foods Inc. and Certified Angus Beef have teamed up to produce CAB brand natural beef. In addition, Tyson will soon add natural beef to its Star Ranch Angus Beef line. “Consumer demand for natural beef is increasing, and we believe there’s an opportunity for us to grow with it,” said Noel White, group vice president of Tyson Fresh meats. “While we have every confidence in our traditional beef products, we also believe in giving our customers a choice.” The beef products will come from cattle that have never received antibiotics or hormones and have been given a 100 percent grass and grain diet. They will be black Angus, source verified to birth and fed in “natural” designated feed yards. The Beef Marketing Group, a cooperative of Kansas and Nebraska feed yards, is the first cattle feeding organization to participate in the initiative.Tyson Fresh Meats became a licensed CAB packer in 1992 and is the leading supplier of CAB products to the foodservice and retail industries both nationally and abroad. According to Tyson, it was a natural progression for the two companies to jointly enter the natural beef marketplace. The joint commitment raises the bar for production standards and product quality for all natural beef brands, according to Jim Riemann, CAB president.
Group Formed to Manage Livestock Data
JANUARY 16, 2006
The newly formed U.S. Animal Identification Organization (USAIO) has assumed oversight of a database that will store information on all livestock in the U.S.
The agribusiness-sponsored group was established last week to speed the implementation of the comprehensive database, which the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) started building last July. The latter group supports the change in ownership.
A pilot database, which uses tracing software from ViaTrace LLC, will be rolled out by the USAIO later this month, said Rick Stott, a member of the NCBA’s animal identification commission and a USAIO director. Stott is an Idaho-based beef producer.
He said the system will allow ranchers to enter relevant data via a spreadsheet or through XML formatting to the system’s Web site. Data on the animals will be gathered using RFID and bar-code technology.
The database will initially be housed at ViaTrace’s South Burlington, Vt., headquarters, until the USAIO finds an alternate host site, said Stott. The new group plans to hire a CEO and a CIO within six months to manage the project.