BEEF bits

Jan 27, 2012
by WLJ

Burger King tests delivery

Burger King, the No. 2 burger chain, has quietly begun testing home delivery from four of its restaurants in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Burger King has been providing delivery service internationally for many years and has had great success with it across the globe, including in Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Columbia and Peru, according to the statement. This, however, would be a first for a major quick service restaurant chain in the U.S. The company said it is using new delivery packaging technology, in conjunction with thermal bags, to keep the food hot and fresh.

Orders can be placed from a toll free number or online. Burger King is charging a $2 delivery fee, with an $8 to $10 minimum order, depending on the store location.

NY to open meat plant

More than a year after securing a federal grant covering most of its construction costs, a meat processing plant in Sullivan County, NY, will break ground this summer. The Southern Catskills Red Meat Processing Facility has won final site plan approval from officials in the town of Liberty and construction will begin in early summer, Allan Scott, CEO of the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency, told Meatingplace. A search for a meat processing firm to run the 5,000-sq.ft. plant will begin once an official request for proposals is issued, he added. Scott expects the plant to open for business sometime in 2012. The federal government agreed to provide $800,000 toward the $1.7 million facility in September of 2010, with an additional $150,000 coming from Sullivan County.

McDonald’s sees record year

McDonald’s Corp. posted record results for the full year 2011, with worldwide revenues topping a record $27 billion and earnings per share of $5.27, up 15 percent over 2010’s results. Adjusting for currency shifts, revenues were up 8 percent over 2010. Comparablestore sales rose 5.6 percent, “with positive comparable sales across all geographic segments for every quarter,” the company said in a news release. In the U.S., same-store sales in the fourth quarter 2011 posted the largest increase—up 7.1 percent—since 2006. Furthermore, Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner said the company plans to open 1,300 new McDonald’s restaurants across the globe, and refurbish another 2,400 locations, using a total capital budget of $2.9 billion.

New meat association planned

The North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) announced its membership has voted overwhelmingly to join forces with the National Meat Association (NMA) to create a new meat industry association. NMA members voted unanimously to join forces with NAMP at a meeting on Dec. 21, 2011. NAMP members, including regular, associate and allied members, have now also voted overwhelmingly for the new association. The two organizations have been working on this project since May 2011.

South Korea taking Canadian beef

South Korea has approved the resumption of imports of Canadian beef products derived from cattle less than 30 months of age, Canadian officials announced last week in a news release. Seoul published import rules and notified Ottawa that all certification conditions are in place, meaning exports can begin from eligible Canadian beef plants. “For the first time in nearly a decade, Canadian beef can be exported again to what was our fourth-largest market, South Korea,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The Canadian beef industry estimates resuming exports to South Korea could garner more than $30 million for Canadian producers by 2015. South Korea is the last significant Asian market to lift the ban after the 2003 BSE outbreak.

Tyson plans FL plant

Tyson Foods announced its steak-cutting subsidiary, The Bruss Company, plans to open a plant in Jacksonville, FL, that will employ up to 200 workers. The Chicago-based company will spend more than $11 million to buy and renovate a 47,000-square-foot meat processing facility in an industrial park in northwest Jacksonville. Once operational, the plant will age and portion cuts of beef and pork, shipped in from meatpacking plants, into steaks and chops for the company’s restaurant customers.

Yahoo causes stir in ag circles

Yahoo Education last week released an article “College Majors That Are Useless” which ranked Agriculture, Animal Science and Horticulture as the first, fourth and fifth most useless college majors, respectively. The article sent waves of indignation through the ag communities which encountered the article. By the following day, there were several response editorials in agricultural publications, like Drovers, complete with long lists of reader comments. The Facebook group, “I Studied Agriculture & I Have a Job,” sprung into being shortly after the Yahoo article was published and already has more than 4,200 followers.