Milling & Baking News - July 31, 2007 - (Page 1)

THE NEWS WEEKLY OF GRAIN-BASED FOODS JULY 31, 2007 / FEATURE Farm bill passed by House despite dispute over tax measure Positioning for a push Pasta makers look to acquisition, expansions to spur growth Story on Page 20 LATE NEWS Bimbo's U.S. sales rise, but profit falls MEXICO CITY - U.S. sales increased more than 3% to NP4,077 million ($372 million) in the second quarter ended June 30 for Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., which compared with NP3,942 million ($360 million) in the previous year 's second quarter. Sales volume grew in the entire U.S. portfolio and across all sales channels. U.S. operating profit, however, fell to NP85 million from NP97 million. Companywide, Mexico City-based Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. posted a second-quarter sales increase of more than 7% to NP16,967 million from NP15,791 million. Net income Continued on Page 10 WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives last Friday afternoon passed the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419) by a vote of 231 in favor to 191 opposed. The farm bill was approved by unanimous consent by members of the House Committee on Agriculture on July 20. But the legislation was imperiled on the House floor because of a tax measure inserted early last week that raised the ire of the Bush administration and Republican House members committed to opposing tax increases in general. The latter included Republican members of the agriculture committee itself who were strongly in favor of the farm bill as written but opposed any tax increase to fund expan- sion of nutrition and other programs under the bill's wide purview. Democratic leaders pointed to "pay-go" rules to which Congress was committed that required any increase in spending to be offset by program cuts in other areas or increased revenues. They disputed the characterization of the tax measure they sought to employ as an offset for increased spending in the farm bill as a tax increase, instead asserting they sought to close a tax loophole they said was abused by certain foreign companies with subsidiaries in the United States, a loophole to which the Bush administration itself objected in the past. Earlier in the week, Secretary of Continued on Page 28 'Full plate' of regulatory and legislative issues face bakers WASHINGTON - A robust and diverse lineup of legislative and regulatory issues ranging from farm policy to the inclusion of coconuts as a tree nut was reviewed recently by the government relations team of the American Bakers Association. While the A.B.A. for the past couple of years has dealt with an agenda comprising 30 to 35 issues of importance to the baking industry, the group's staff distilled the list to a "Top Ten" for a June legislative and regulatory update presented to the A.B.A. board of directors. "Even though there are another 20 or 25 issues of considerable concern that keep the board and staff busy, it is important to come up with a top 10," said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer. Together with Lee Sanders, A.B.A. senior vice-president of government relations and public affairs, Mr. MacKie recapped the association's Washington agenda in a recent interview with Milling & Baking News. A one-by-one overview of the A.B.A.'s list follows: 1 Card Check Heading the baker's list was an issue Continued on Page 25

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Milling & Baking News - July 31, 2007