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Food and agriculture manufacturing summit held this week

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The U.S. beef industry is looking to package steaks for low pricing.
The U.S. beef industry is looking to package steaks for low pricing.

Senior executives from across the food and agriculture industry are gathering this week in Chicago for the Reuters Food and Agriculture Manufacturing Summit, which opened Monday.

The talk of the opening day of the summit was the poor economy, which has boosted low-cost food retailers like Wal-Mart and budget-savvy items like Campbell's Soup.

Beef producers are looking for ways through packaging to keep prices low. "You're seeing a lot of features for rib-eyes and T-bones at below $5 a pound," said Gregg Doud, chief economist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, according to Reuters.

"You are seeing some of the best value in grocery stores for steaks than what you have seen in an awfully long time," he added.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced its final rule to prohibit the processing of cattle that become non-ambulatory after they pass federal veterinary inspection (downer cattle).

The American Meat Institute was pleased that USDA "acted favorably on a petition submitted by AMI and other industry organizations in April 2008," AMI president J. Patrick Boyle said.

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