EYE ON OPERATIONS

Although it reported a net loss during its first quarter ended March 28, 2010, poultry giant Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Pittsburg, Texas, believes in a brighter future. Noted President and CEO Don Jackson, "... Feed costs appear to have stabilized and there are growing signs that the economy is improving. With many retailers and foodservice operators planning to feature chicken in the months ahead, demand is strengthening."
Pilgrim's Pride announced plans to re-open its chicken processing plant in Douglas, Ga., by January 2011. The company also plans to re-open two other idled facilities, one by mid-2011 and the other by spring 2012. The re-opening of these three plants will result in a production increase of 10 percent, or approximately 3.5 million birds per week.

TheQuad-City Times, Davenport, Iowa, reported that pork processorTriumph Foods, St. Joseph, Mo., is revisiting plans to build a hog-processing plant in East Moline, Ill. Chief Administrative Officer R. Pat Lilly told the paper that Triumph contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to secure a loan guarantee for the project, which is expected to cost at least $150 million. With funding and the necessary approvals the Triumph could begin site development this fall and construction next year.

TheBennington (Vt.) Bannerreported thatCommonwealth Dairy LLC-- a new U.S.-European joint venture -- broke ground for a 40,000-square-foot refrigerated yogurt plant in Brattleboro, Vt. Scheduled for start-up next year, the operation will annually produce about 50 million pounds (or 130 million cups) of yogurt for retail branded and private label sales. Commonweath is a joint venture betweenCommonwealth YogurtandEhrmann USA Holding, Inc., a division ofEhrmann AG, a family-run German company with dairy operations throughout Europe and Russia.