Blog: Bad week for goats

Catherine Sleep | 3 February 2005

Not a good week for goats, or farmers. The word BSE is enough to strike fear into any livestock farmer’s heart, as we in the UK are only too well placed to know. This week confirmation came that a goat in France did indeed die of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). We know this goat did not enter the food or feed chain, and that the other animals in its herd all tested negative. But still, the news sends shivers down the spine of the European farming sector and prompted calls for more sophisticated testing.

Meanwhile, another big story in the food industry this week broke when food processor Dean Foods said it plans to spin off its specialty foods group to Dean shareholders in order to enable the company to focus on its core dairy and branded businesses. The planned debt-free spin-off of the specialty foods group will create a consumer packaged goods company with about 1,700 employees and estimated 2005 revenue of more than US$700m.

Analysts seem enthused by the fact that Sam Reed, who presided over Keebler in 2001 when Kellogg acquired the cookie maker in a deal valued at $4.4bn, will be steering the new company. Instant management credibility is clearly the name of the game.

Dean Foods to spin off specialty foods group


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