Boycott Smithfield Foods

Why Boycott Smithfield Foods? The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, commonly known as Cfius has approved the sale of Smithfield Foods to China’s Shuanghui International. (NYTIMES)Boycott Smithfield Foods

We believe that CFIUS has made a grave error in judgment and as consumers the only way our voices can be heard beyond legislative action which will most likely never take place is through the use of our wallets.

Smithfield is a large processor and they do employ lots of Americans, however, we cannot and will not condone China buying US food companies.

Brands controlled by Smithfield Foods include (Smithfield,Eckrich,Farmland Foods,Armour,Cooks,Gwaltney,John Morrell,Kretschmar,Curlys,Carando,Margherita and Healthy Ones.)

Sign the Petition and tell Smithfield Foods you will not be buying any of their products.

 

S.B. 12 Sells out cattle farmers, creates land loophole

April 29, 2015

On April 10, Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 12, a pro-corporate agriculture bill that allows for the implementation of a new beef checkoff tax on cattle producers and creates a huge loophole for foreign corporations to buy and control more Missouri farmland while by-passing state laws that limit foreign corporate ownership.
Since 1978, Missourians and our elected representatives have not thought it was a good idea to open up hundreds of thousands of acres of Missouri farmland to unaccountable, foreign corporations — until now. Nixon and the legislature are clearly on the wrong side of history.

In 2013, the legislature passed a bill that opened up 289,000 acres (1 percent) of Missouri farmland to foreign ownership, and two weeks later, the largest meat packer in China bought out Smithfield Foods and now owns 50,000 acres of Missouri farmland. This buyout was funded by a $4 billion loan by the Bank of China, owned by the Chinese government.

So, who will they be accountable to — Missouri citizens and farmers or the Chinese government bank that holds their note?

Now, Nixon’s signature on S.B. 12 creates a colossal loophole that allows foreign entities to purchase and control even more farmland in addition to the current 1 percent cap.

S.B. 12 also allows the Missouri Beef Council to hold a referendum and implement a new state beef checkoff tax. Missouri producers are already paying over $2 million in beef checkoff fees each year into the federal checkoff program, and now we could be paying up to $8 million per year with new state and federal beef checkoff fees.
The last thing Missouri cattle farmers need is another tax and another government program. The current beef checkoff is an obsolete, unsuccessful program that was put in place 30 years ago. Since the checkoff started in the 1980s, beef consumption has plummeted by 28 percent and Missouri has lost 40 percent of our beef producers. Throwing more money at the same failed strategy doesn’t make economic sense. The legislature and governor should have sided with Missouri’s independent cattle farmers instead of corporate ag special interests.

Unfortunately, the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, a lead organization lobbying for S.B. 12, is increasingly out-of-touch with the vast majority of Missouri’s cattle producers. They not only supported the increased beef checkoff tax, but also lobbied for allowing foreign corporations to own more Missouri farmland.

The legislature needs to lower the amount of farmland that can be owned by foreign entities and close the loophole created by S.B. 12 before the end of the legislative session.

read more here…

The challenges of world food demand and rising prices

April 20, 2015

When it comes to global food consumption, there’s one trend Vikram Mansharamani is willing to bank on.

“As the world gets more money in its pocket, it’s putting more meat in its mouth,” Mansharamani told attendees at the Canola Council of Canada’s conference in Banff last March. Mansharamani is a global equity investor and Yale lecturer.

Global protein consumption has been rising steadily — 450 per cent over the last 50 years, he told delegates. Meat consumption per capita generally stays flat until it hits a tipping point, Mansharamani said. “And that tipping point is somewhere around $5,000 GDP per capita.”

More than half the world’s population is nearing that tipping point, with population-weighted gross domestic product (GDP) of $4,100 per capita as of 2013, Mansharamani said. That population resides in a group of countries he tagged the “Future 15”: Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Vietnam, the Philippines, Egypt, Indonesia, Ukraine, Algeria, Thailand, Iran, China, Peru, Columbia and South Africa.
People wondering what will happen when the Future 15 hit their tipping point only need look at their recent predecessors. China is one.

“It shouldn’t surprise any of us that they acquired Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor,” said Mansharamani of China’s growth. The fact that canola seed exports to China are “going through the roof” is part of this story of China reaching the tipping point, he added.
Implications 
of more demand

Mansharamani believes rising meat consumption will push food prices higher. “The transmission mechanism is feed.”

High food prices hit hardest in regions where workers spend a big chunk of their wages on food because they simply can’t afford the price jump, he explained. Once the UN Food Price Index stays at 210 or above, people riot virtually every time, he said.
In 2013, the index averaged 209.9 for the year, and unrest bubbled up in Pakistan, Thailand and other regions. “We were on the edge,” he said.

“It gets scary when food prices go up. Social systems break down. Political systems can break down,” said Mansharamani.

Political unrest isn’t the only potential consequence of a growing global population. As farmers grow more grain, they’ll need to source fertilizer for those crops.

Read more here…

Crate controversy: Pig farmers face growing pressure

Crate controversy: Pig farmers face growing pressure

February 26, 2015

It’s a Sunday morning and there’s little doubt what Matt Golden and his family are eating for breakfast.

In fact, you can smell it from the driveway – long before you hit their kitchen door.

“Yay! I love bacon,” said 12-year-old Madison, arriving home from church.

“It’s one of our favorites,” said Matt, pulling a large pan of sizzling thick-cut bacon from the oven. “We buy about three pounds a week.”

As the family sat down to pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon in their Speedway home, 13 Investigates asked more questions about that bacon. Specifically, where does it come from and how is it raised?

“It’s from pigs on a farm,” confidently explained 10-yr-old Jack, pausing before offering a more detailed picture. “They’re all in one big pen together, rolling around in mud, I guess. That’s what pigs do, right?”

For millions of pigs, the reality is much different than the picture described by Jack Golden.

2 feet wide

Pembroke Oaks sow farm granted WTHR full access to its facility in northwest Indiana to show how it raises its animals. Unlike other farms contacted by Eyewitness News, the farm allowed 13 Investigates to document a common farming practice that has triggered both controversy and outrage.

The farm has no big pens. No mud. Instead, the massive indoor barn is lined with concrete floors and long rows of steel cages.

Like most large-scale sow farms, Pembroke Oaks relies on a device called a gestation crate. Each steel crate is approximately seven feet long and two feet wide. It is large enough for a pregnant sow to stand up or lie down. But at 24-inches wide, it is too small for a 400-pound pig to turn around.

For most sows, the only time they will leave the gestation crate is about twice each year to deliver a litter of piglets. That happens in a larger stall called a farrowing crate, which confines the mother pig in a way that prevents her from accidentally crushing her newborn babies. Otherwise, a sow’s whole life is usually spent in a gestation crate — until she’s about 3 years old and sent to slaughter.

Intense debate

“When you look at this picture and you see what a gestation crate is, it is the definition of animal cruelty,” said Matt Dominguez, a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s most vocal opponent of gestation crates.

“Pigs are highly intelligent and highly social. When you put them in a gestation crate, they can’t turn around. They are unable to socialize with each other. They are unable to act like animals and engage in natural behavior,” Dominguez said. “The day they are taken out of a gestation crate and the day they are finally killed is a godsend to them because every day for them is a day of torture.”

Gestation crates gained widespread use throughout the pork industry in the 1980s and 1990s, as farmers looked to move their hogs from harsher outdoor conditions to temperature-controlled indoor facilities. At the same time, smaller family farms gave way to larger commercial operations, and gestation crates provided an opportunity to increase efficiency.

But critics believe the transition to gestation crates was misguided, largely focusing on profits – not animal welfare.

“When you put an animal – any animal — in a space where they can’t even turn around for their entire life, they are driven insane,” Dominguez said. “It is inhumane to treat an animal in this manner.”

Pembroke Oaks and other commercial sow farms vehemently disagree.

“Inhumane? Absolutely not,” said Kurt Nagel, sow production director for Belstra Milling Company, which owns Pembroke Oaks and five other hog farms in northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois.

Nagel says gestation crates give each sow individual care and individual feeding. That’s important because pigs tend to form social hierarchies, and in open spaces, stronger sows often bully the weaker ones out of food.

“The more timid sows or smaller sows can get beat up pretty bad,” he explained, while giving WTHR a tour of Pembroke Oaks. “The advantage to the individual stalls is it gives each and every sow protection from the other and she’s never fighting for her next meal with somebody who’s more dominant.”

Nagel says keeping the animals safe and well fed makes for “comfortable” pigs — even if they are in gestation crates. At the same time, he is quick to recognize the criticism.

“There is a downside that they don’t get to turn around and move around freely or associate with other animals, but in our experience, it hasn’t been that big of a deal. It’s not as critical as what most people would think. The misconception is [pigs] feel it’s more like a jail cell than what it actually is,” Nagel said.

Weighing the evidence

Determining who’s right – the pig farmers who defend gestation crates as best for animal welfare or the animal rights activists who condemn them as animal torture – is not exactly easy.

Both sides claim to have medical science in their corner.

The National Pork Producers Council points to a review by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) that highlights some benefits of gestation stalls – minimized aggression and injury, reduced competition, individual feeding and control of body condition – as evidence that the crates are a legitimate and responsible farming practice. (The AVMA study also points out detrimental aspects of gestation stalls, as well.)

The Humane Society of the United States cites other studies that suggest animal welfare is greatly lowered for sows placed in gestation crates and that farm productivity related to the reproductive performance of sows is equally high on farms that use alternatives to gestation stalls.

A more recent review by the AVMA lists the benefits and limitations of various types of sow housing methods.

“If we were to stack up all the papers written about sow housing, you’d have one pile that was three feet high that says gestation stalls are OK, and you’d have another equally as high that would say there’s big problems with gestation stalls,” said Dr. Thomas Parsons, director of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s Swine Teaching and Research Center. “One of the challenges we face is we don’t have an accepted single measure of animal welfare. There’s many different competing agendas.”

While the science may be inconclusive, it’s important to understand the controversy surrounding gestation crates actually has nothing to do with science and everything to do with public perception.

Read more here…

They Said a Boycott Would Have No Effect

We have heard it all before, the naysayers, the doubters and those who just do not understand the American Spirit.

We understand, we all just want our lives to go smoothly without making waves. Government regulators allowed fro our food to be put in the hands of a foreign country that has been known for quality issues for decades.

Americans are standing up and saying enough already. We want safe food and we want to support local farmers. They are finding alternatives to Smithfield brands and shopping locally.

Thousands have singed our petition and it is growing on a daily basis.

If our boycott is not having an effect, then why all the commercials, why all the sales? Shy because product is stacking up on store shelves.

We say thank you to those Americans who are in the know and are taking a stand against China’s ownership of Smithfield foods.

Ham for the Holidays? No Smithfield Hams due to China’s Ownership

This year make sure your that the only ham to adorn your Thanksgiving and Christmas tables are by an American Owned Company.

Ham for the Holidays? No Smithfield Hams due to China’s Ownership

November 21, 2013
Boycott Smithfiled Foods Hams

Yes, that’s right Smithfield was purchased earlier this year by the People’s Republic of China’s Shuanghui International. While the US has seen an increase of iconic brands being purchased by foreign interests, it seems that our food supply isn’t protected as we would like it.

Protectionism, one of those words some like to throw out when someone supports American Owned and American made of imports. Why would the US allow for such ownership of our food supply?

Beyond being a possible security and health threat to US consumers, this move will also drive up food prices as more pork products are shipped to China.

Profits all go back to China, they don’t stay here, yes Americans are working for China and sending our hard earned dollars out of the USA.

When this deal went through China, didn’t just buy Smithfield, they bought the brands owned by them as well. The following brands should be avoided:

Smithfield
Eckrich Frams
Farmland Foods
Roegelein Brand
Ohse
Ember Farms
Armour
Cooks
Gwaltney
John Morrell
Kretchmar
Curleys
Carando
Margerita
Healthy Ones

Be sure to avoid these brands until ownership of them are returned to a US business.

This year make sure your that the only ham to adorn your Thanksgiving and Christmas tables are by an American Owned Company. To Contact in your area, visit our BoyCottSmithfieldFoods.com website to find true American brands.