… Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world, already has a presence in this region, operating numerous facilities in Beaver County with an eye toward expanding into Millard County…
The Big Stink
Public hearings air industrial hog farm concerns
by Matthew Ward, Millard County Chronicle Progress (UT)
10 July 2019
Water. Odors. Heritage. And pigs.
Those were among the main subjects participants sounded off about at two town hall-style public hearings hosted by Millard County commissioners in Delta last week.
Commissioners were collecting information and absorbing public feedback ahead of a likely July 16 commission decision to amend the county’s animal feeding operations ordinance.
A six-month moratorium on new concentrated animal feeding operations in the county was put in place in February, officials intending to study the subject and weigh restrictions on any new confined, industrial-sized operations before new applications are made for any.
Commissioners and other county officials were aware of at least one new proposed operation with the likelihood of many more when the moratorium was enacted.
The county’s planning commission, after months of deliberations, agreed June 26 to submit proposed changes to the ordinance favoring a maximum 10-mile setback between confined concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and such community assets as churches, schools, parks and residential subdivisions.
Delta City elected officials submitted a letter raising some concerns about the draft changes, but ultimately calling for an ordinance that balances the area’s agricultural heritage with the need to preserve Delta City’s quality of life.
City councilman Nick Killpack read the letter, signed by the city’s elected officials, and then contributed his own comments.
“The adverse effects of an animal feeding operation placed too close to Delta City could deter business from considering Delta as a site for relocation,” he said. “The last thing we want is to have a reputation for having foul smells common in our town.”
Opponents of the ordinance changes cited the draft’s setback distance as the most onerous among the proposed changes, saying if it were adopted, it would amount to the longest setback adopted by any legislative body in the entire country. Opponents repeatedly said they also consider the distance an effective ban on such operations, since the costs associated with acquiring power and other utilities would likely stymie such developments.
Commissioners have repeatedly said they do not intend to ban industrial feeding operations, but merely to regulate them so a balance is struck between quality of life and economic development within the county’s various communities.
“There’s not an intent to ban them from the county,” Commission Chair Dean Draper told audience members at the July 2 public hearing at the county fairgrounds building in Delta. “There is an intent to regulate it so that they are occurring in the right place. So that there is a peaceful co-existence between the residents and those people engaged in the industry.”
CAFOs are defined by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality as any facility with more than 1,000 animal units. Confined CAFOs meet the same definition but specify that animals are placed inside facilities for a large part of their lifespan. Operations of any size can be classified a CAFO “if pollutants are discharged into water passing across, through, or adjacent to the facility,” state regulations say. Water that comes into contact with animals or manure must be contained on site, according to the regulations.
While a draft ordinance of the proposed changes does not specify any particular animals to be regulated—besides exempting chicken operations—it is clear from the discussions being hosted that officials are concerned in particular about industrial hog operations sprouting up across the county, particularly in areas already zoned for existing industrial agriculture.
“Agriculture in this county has not been practiced on an industrial scale before,” Draper said. “We have large feed lots with cattle. We have several people that have a lot of horses. We have folks with the egg farm… but the type of agriculture proposed, in a confined setting, where all the activity takes place inside a building doesn’t mean things don’t emanate out of that building.”
Industrial hog farms are notorious for their odors and other nuisances. And Draper opened one public hearing last week by qualifying to the audience that the proposed ordinance changes were not in any way meant to impact cattle operations or dairy producers.
According to state regulations, any operation with 2,500 hogs or more is classified a CAFO, one animal unit defined as 2.5 hogs.
Numerous examples abound of clashes between hog producers and residents in communities across the United States, friction caused by the emanation of foul odors and water pollution associated with industrial-sized pig farms.
Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world, already has a presence in this region, operating numerous facilities in Beaver County with an eye toward expanding into Millard County.
Steve Styler, a local attorney who represents the company in this region, was on hand at both public hearings in Delta, urging the public and elected officials to embrace the county’s agricultural heritage.
“There are farmers who would love to raise pigs. Dozens and dozens have called me and said what do I need to do because it would be a benefit to my family, to our farm, and we think we have a spot where we can do it without injuring others,” he told commissioners.
Styler said Smithfield is two years into a new arrangement whereby local farmers raise the company’s pork for them, sharing in the profits. He said at least a dozen local farmers had picked up investment packages from his office in order to look into the opportunities the company offers.
“Their (Smithfield’s) current model, started about two years ago, is to allow existing farmers to put a site on their own farm if they wanted to,” he said.
Styler shot down rumors circulating that Smithfield was planning to produce some quarter million hogs in Millard County.
“We have no plans on behalf of Smithfield to bring a company farm to Millard County. There are discussions that have happened with a number of private individuals who now understand there is an opportunity to own their own barn and raise pigs that belong to Smithfield,” the attorney said. “It’s completely different. As far as wages, we’re not hiring people to run farms for Smithfield in Millard County. That’s not been discussed, that’s not what is being done.”
Styler said only one application was under consideration and one other person had inquired periodically over a three-year period to establish a Smithfield operation in Millard County.
Apart from those, a previously approved CAFO is already in the construction phase at a farm about four miles north of Flowell.
The sow farm will host about 5,000 head and is purportedly meant to supply piglets to other feeding operations.
Its owners, Jason Christensen and his wife Jennifer, extolled the benefits of pig farming on an industrial scale. The two spoke on behalf of themselves and the opportunity afforded them by Smithfield.
“This is not Smithfield’s farm. This is my farm,” Jason Christensen said...
WH Group Named to the 2019 'Fortune China 500' List Top Placed Chinese Company in Food Industry
Source: EQS Group
via Yahoo Finance - 11 July 2019
(Hong Kong, July 11, 2019) - WH Group Limited ("WH Group" or the "Company"; HKEX stock code: 288) announced that the Company has ranked 66th on the 2019 "Fortune China 500" list with a revenue of RMB149.6 billion, making it the highest-ranked Chinese company in the food industry. Besides, WH Group has ranked 17th on the "FMCG (Fast-moving Consumer Goods) Global 50" list published by OC&C Strategy Consultants. The Company ranked top among the five Chinese companies on the list.
Wan Long, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WH Group, said, "WH Group ranked top among its Chinese peers on both the 'Fortune China Top 500' and 'OC&C FMCG Global 50' lists, which fully demonstrates the market's recognition of WH Group's strength and brand value. As the world's largest pork company, we will continue to adopt innovative marketing strategies in response to changing consumer trends and optimize our product mix to enhance the brand value and profitability of our well-known brands, with a view to achieving long-term sustainable growth. In addition, we will leverage our global presence in the industrial value chain and resource advantages to improve synergies, focus on the expansion and integration of the global market, to further strengthen our leading position in the industry."
Fortune China 500, compiled by Fortune (China) and the Wealth Management Department of CICC, assesses the financial results and business performance of the biggest Chinese listed companies in 2018. The 500 Chinese companies on the list generated RMB45.5 trillion in revenue, up 14.8% year-on-year, hitting another record high. Net profit rose 4.21% year-on-year to RMB3.625 trillion. The annual revenue threshold for companies on the list this year is RMB16.238 billion, an increase of 17% year-on-year. The total revenue of the 500 companies in 2018 once again accounted for more than a half of China's GDP.
Now in its 17th year, OC&C Global 50 examines the financial performance of the world's largest consumer goods companies. It explores and discusses the main themes and trends that drive the FMCG sector. OC&C Strategy Consultants is a leading global strategy consulting firm whose client roster includes companies throughout the retail, consumer goods, leisure, media, technology and communication, industrial products, and private equity funds.
About WH Group Limited (HKEX stock code: 288)
WH Group Limited is the largest pork company in the world with the top market share in China, the U.S. and some markets in Europe. It owns many well-recognized and trusted brands and stands above the rest with global market leadership in all key segments of the pork value chain, including packaged meats, fresh pork and hog production. The Group conducts its operations through Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co., Ltd., the largest animal protein company in Asia, and Smithfield Foods, the largest pork company in the U.S. For more information, visit www.wh-group.com.
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