2017 World-Grain.com year in review

by World Grain Staff
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Gavilon launches 2018 Producers’ Edge Program

Gavilon Grain, LLC in mid-November launched its 2018 Producers’ Edge Program, Gavilon’s proprietary grain marketing solution for farmers and producers, with a newly expanded team of analysts. Producers’ Edge is an ag risk management program that helps producers reduce the worry in grain marketing by moving the complexity of marketing and price movement to the company’s analysts.

Handling more than 350 million bushels of grain per year, Gavilon leverages its in-depth knowledge and experience in developing this program to help farmers diversify risk. The Producers’ Edge program is backed by Gavilon’s local representatives, experienced market analysts and operations team to provide support and information.

Additionally, Producers’ Edge program customers have access to the web app, myGavilon, which provides transparency in performance and pricing. The app allows users to review Gavilon’s past performance before getting started, and monitor current performance and pricing in the myGavilon app.

E. coli outbreak linked to flour in Canada

US Flour Recall
J.M Smucker Co. recalled certain lots of Golden Temple, Swad and Maya flour products.

An outbreak of Escherichia coli, called E. coli 0121, was linked to Robin Hood all-purpose flour, original, the Public Health Agency of Canada said March 28. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a food recall warning advising Canadians of the recalled product, which has been distributed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

By March 28, 25 cases of E. coli 0121 with a matching genetic fingerprint were reported in the four Canadian provinces of British Columbia (12), Saskatchewan (4), Alberta (4), and Newfoundland and Labrador (5). Six people were hospitalized. The illness onset dates range from November 2016 to late February 2017.

In May, the recall had been expanded to include Smucker Foods of Canada Corp., a subsidiary of The J.M. Smucker Co.

Smucker said the affected product was packaged in 20-pound paper bags and was distributed across the United States to 19 distributors and 2 small retailers. No other Smucker Foods of Canada products distributed in the United States were affected by the recall, the company said.

CHS closes three facilities

CHS Kansas
CHS will close its soy processing plant in Hutchinson, Kansas, U.S

CHS, Inc. on Dec. 1 said it has closedthree U.S. facilities as part of its effort to restore financial flexibility. The closings include soy processing plants in Hutchinson, Kansas, U.S., and Creston, Iowa, U.S., as well as an Innovation and Technology Center in Eagan, Minnesota, U.S.

“CHS will continue to focus on operations which are more closely aligned with other CHS commodity-based core businesses,” the company said. “CHS remains committed to helping its owners strengthen and grow their operations.”

CHS’s statement echoes comments made in July by chief executive officer Jay Debertin, who outlined five key areas of focus for the cooperative. One of the areas of focus is to fine-tune existing businesses and processes.

Checkoff program in consideration

In what could lead to an unprecedented expansion in product promotion activity for grain-based foods, millers and bakers in mid-November initiated a feasibility study to consider the launch of a checkoff program.

If approved such a program could elevate industry spending from $2.7 million a year, the current annual budget of the Grain Foods Foundation, to $18 million or even significantly more (judging by other existing checkoff programs). The feasibility study is being conducted by the GFF and is expected to last for several months.

Funded by industry, checkoff programs are designed to expand market share and increase revenue. The programs are overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as authorized by Congress, and once approved, require industry-wide contributions for activities aimed at promoting the industry.