Milling & Baking News - February 15, 2005 - (Page 1)

Theinewsweeklyiofigrain-basedifoods Fiscal '06 ag budget promises lower outlays, some controversies WASHINGTON - Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns on Feb. 7 released details of President George W. Bush's fiscal 2006 budget for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The budget would increase funding to U.S.D.A. agriculture and food security initiatives, fully fund commodity programs but with some proposed reforms, increase domestic food assistance programs while reducing foreign food aid commitments and tighten other discretionary spending. "The President's agriculture budget is fiscally responsible, ensures a strong safety net for farmers and ranchers and increases resources to help those in need," Mr. Johanns FEBRUARY 15, 2005 / said. "The agriculture budget provides funds to protect America's food supply and agriculture systems, improve nutrition and health, conserve and enhance our natural resources and enhance economic opportunities for agricultural producers." The budget projected fiscal 2006 U.S.D.A. outlays of $94.6 billion, down $300 million from the estimate for the current fiscal year but up from $71.8 billion in 2004 and $72.4 billion in 2003. Protein positives Increase for food/farm security The fiscal 2006 budget requested $376 Continued on Page 13 Major baking changes included in Sara Lee restructuring plan CHICAGO - A major corporate restructuring announced last week by Sara Lee Corp. will result in important changes for the company's baking group, including a change in executive leadership as well as the relocation of the business to Chicago from St. Louis. Plans for the corporate restructuring, first hinted at last month in a quarterly earnings report release, were detailed LATE Feb. 10 by the company's top executives. In connection with what the company called a "comprehensive transformation plan designed to dramatically improve the company's performance," Brenda C. Barnes was named chief executive officer, effective immediately. She has replaced C. Steven McMillan, 60, who will remain with the company as Continued on Page 12 NEWS WASHINGTON - Production of flour by U.S. mills in 2004 totaled 389,865,000 cwts, down 1.6% from 396,215,000 in 2003, according to preliminary estimates by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of the Census. Output was the smallest since 1995, when it was 388,689,000 cwts and was 31,405,000 cwts below the record 421,270,000 cwts set in 2000. The 24-hour capacity at yearend was 1,461,000 cwts, down slightly from 1,512,000 a year ago. Rate of grind in 2004 averaged Continued on Page 8 Flour output off 1.6% from prior year inside Story on Page 21 Meyer's Bakeries selling assets, filing for bankruptcy protection HOPE, ARK. - Meyer's Bakeries, Inc. last week announced several transactions liquidating the assets of the Hope-based baking company. Gerald W. Hanna, president and chief executive officer of Meyer's, said an "overwhelming debt load" necessitated the sales. The majority owner of Meyer's since 1999 has been Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C., a New York-based private equity firm. Meyer's last week entered into an asset purchase agreement with an affiliate of Harlan Bakeries, Inc., for the sale of Meyer's baking business in Hope and in Wichita, Kas. In connection with the sale to Southern Continued on Page 9 THIS WEEK Whole grains summit to convene in May 16 Executive leadership changes at ADM 33 Ingredient Wheat carryover forecast lowered 44 Week sponsored by 35

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Milling & Baking News - February 15, 2005