Category: Food

JBS to Save the Day in the XL Foods Beef Recall Plant ShutDown

Never say never will be the theme of this story. In a deal announced today, JBS (a Brazilian Packer) will take over the operation of the plant with the option to purchase the plant, the feedyard and the farm. A source informed us that XL Foods employees were told at 5 PM. According to the… Read more »

Canfax Cattle on Feed Report Confirms a Slow Fall Feeder Cattle Run

The 2012 fall feeder run seems to be moving at a very slow pace. Last weeks Canfax Cattle on Feed report would definitely confirm that. All things considered, the slow feeder run may be a blessing in disguise as many of the cattle liners are busy shipping cattle south due to the XL Foods closure… Read more »

Beef Market Update – XL Foods Plant Shutdown Creates Significant Basis Risk

With less cattle slaughter capacity in Canada, many ranchers and feedyards are concerned about the possibility for the feeder cattle and live basis to significantly widen.  A basis that gets too wide makes the current Canadian model unworkable. Currently the live cattle basis sites at 16-18 which is the same as last year at this… Read more »

Pulse School – CIGI & Partners Look For Greater Inclusion of Pulses In Canadian Food Products

The feel-good message about how healthy pulses are for us isn’t new, but those who struggle to eat beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas in their whole form may be able to include more of them in their diet without changing the foods they already eat. That’s the scope of a four-year pulse flour milling and… Read more »

You’re Fired……Well Maybe Not – XL Foods Brings Back 800 Workers a Day Later

In the a story that seems to be getting stranger and more unpredictable with every passing day, XL Foods has decided to bring back 800 of the 2,000 laid-off workers.  If you are saying to yourself, “huh?” Don’t feel bad, I think everyone is.  XL foods released the 2,000 workers just yesterday. In a report by… Read more »

XL Foods Lays of 2000 Employees While CFIA Provides No Timelines for Re-Opening the Plant

With an uncertain timeline for the re-opening of the packing plant, XL Foods had made the decision to temporarily layoff 2000 of its union workers. Up until this point XL Foods has been honoring the contract of the workers during the shut down but that has stopped immediately. This layoff does not mean that the… Read more »

Agriculture In-Fighting: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Here’s what I’ve been stewing about for the past few weeks. Why is it that organic farmers or producer organizations (and random celebrities, but that’s another post) vilify conventional agriculture? Ever notice that conventional-management farmers don’t do the same? Case in point: I’m sure by now you’ve heard or read about the completely de-bunked GMO/lab… Read more »

Where Does Urban Canada Get Its Information About Farming?

Do you remember the time before the world was saturated with information? Do you remember having to wait to get it? We have so many avenues to get our information by now that our biggest issue is where we get our information from. When we look at consumer attitudes toward agriculture, good or bad, we… Read more »

Ted Haney – The Realities of XL Foods Selling Beef after the Plant Re-Opens

Assuming that CFIA will eventually allow the Lakeside plant to re-open, many producers and industry insiders are discussing some of the challenges that XL Foods faces in re-establishing sales with customers around Canada, the United States and the rest of the world. There are few that know more than Ted Haney about selling beef around… Read more »

Two (Imperfect) Tools in the Fight Against E. Coli

Did you know there is a cattle vaccine that “aids in the reduction of shedding of E. coli O157”? If your first thought is, “Then why do we still have E. coli contamination?” you’re not alone. The fact is, although Canadian beef producers have been instrumental in supporting work to find a solution to E…. Read more »

XL Foods: “We Take Full Responsibility for our Plant Operations”

XL Foods has broken their silence by releasing a statement today to address the E. Coli outbreak at it’s Brooks, Alberta packing plant.  For many inside the industry this statement is about 7-10 days too late but nevertheless they have finally spoken. SEE MORE COVERAGE OF THE XL FOODS E. COLI OUTBREAK For some communications experts we… Read more »

XL Foods: Food Safety Remains the Focus of the Industry

The XL Foods situation has left beef producers and consumers wading in unknowns and unanswered questions. The question is, who will buy this beef? Many of us are wondering what really happened at the XL Foods plant, who is more to blame between XL Foods and CFIA and when the plant will re-open. There are… Read more »

Your Burger is Done at 71: Food Safety on the Homefront

I had a Twitter conversation yesterday, regarding E. coli contamination, that got me rather riled up. Because Twitter allows me to interact with so many people, it really does open my eyes to some of the major knowledge gaps the public has on food safety. As we discussed the XL Foods beef recall, some tweeted… Read more »

What Does the Expiration of the U.S. Farm Bill Mean for Farmers?

I’ll be the first to admit that the U.S. political system with its two houses, governors and senators and congressmen sets my head spinning. I also find it fascinating, as wrangling rules and regulations for so many people just seems like an overly daunting task. It would appear that our friends to the south also… Read more »

McDonald’s Tackles the Toughest Questions About Its Food

In a month where E. coli has become the number one story on the nightly news and criticism is growing for how XL Foods has kept incredibly silent on the topic, a company is showcasing how to handle public relations. McDonald’s Canada has launched a website to address consumer questions about its food.  The site tagline is “Our Food,… Read more »