We are subject to general risks in the food industry, including risks relating to changes in consumer preference and economic conditions, any of which risks, if realized, could negatively impact our operating results and financial position.
The food industry, and the markets within the food industry in which we compete, are subject to various risks, including the following: evolving consumer preferences, nutritional and health-related concerns, federal, state and local food inspection and processing controls, consumer product liability claims, risks of product tampering, and the availability and expense of liability insurance. The meat and poultry industries are subject to scrutiny due to the association of meat and poultry products with recent outbreaks of illness, and on rare occasions even death, caused by food borne pathogens. Product recalls are sometimes required in the food industry to withdraw contaminated or mislabeled products from the market. Additionally, the failure to identify and react appropriately to changes in consumer trends, demands and preferences could lead to, among other things, reduced demand and price reduction for our products. Further, we may be adversely affected by changes in domestic or foreign economic conditions, including inflation or deflation, interest rates, availability of capital markets, consumer spending rates, and energy availability and costs (including fuel surcharges). These and other general risks related to the food industry, if realized by us, could have a significant adverse affect on demand for our products, as well as the costs and availability of raw materials, ingredients and packaging materials, thereby negatively affecting our operating results and financial position.
Fluctuations in the prices that we pay for raw materials could negatively impact our financial results.
We purchase large quantities of commodity pork, beef, and flour. Historically, market prices for products we process have fluctuated in response to a number of factors, including changes in the United States government farm support programs, changes in international agricultural and trading policies, weather, and other conditions during the growing and harvesting seasons.
Our operating results are heavily dependent upon the prices paid for raw materials. The marketing of our value-added products does not lend itself to instantaneous changes in selling prices. Changes in selling prices are relatively infrequent and do not compare with the volatility of commodity markets. While fluctuations in significant cost structure components, such as ingredient commodities and fuel prices, have had a significant impact on profitability over the last two years, the impact of general price inflation on our financial position and results of operations has not been significant. Future volatility of general price inflation or deflation and raw material cost and availability could adversely affect our financial results.
We are subject to extensive government regulations and a failure to comply with such regulations could negatively impact our financial results.
Our operations are subject to extensive inspection and regulation by the United States Department of Agriculture (the “USDA”), the Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”), and by other federal, state, and local authorities regarding the processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution, and labeling of products that are manufactured, produced and processed by us. Our processing facilities and products are subject to continuous inspection by the USDA and/or other federal, state, and local authorities. The USDA has issued strict policies concerning the control of listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products and contamination by food borne pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella, and established a new system of regulation known as the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (“HACCP”) program. The HACCP program requires all meat and poultry processing plants to develop and implement sanitary operating procedures and other program requirements. We believe that we are currently in compliance with governmental laws and regulations and that we maintain necessary permits and licenses relating to our meat operations.
A failure to obtain or a loss of necessary permits and licenses could delay or prevent us from meeting current product demand and could adversely affect our operating performance. Furthermore, we are routinely subject to new or modified laws, regulations and accounting standards. If found to be out of compliance with applicable laws and regulations in these or other areas, we could be subject to civil remedies, including fines, injunctions, recalls, or asset seizures, as well as potential criminal sanctions, any of which could have a significant adverse effect on our financial results.
We depend on our key management, the loss of which could negatively impact our operations.
Our executive officers and certain other key employees have been primarily responsible for the development and expansion of our business, and the loss of the services of one or more of these individuals could adversely effect us. Our success will be dependent in part upon our continued ability to recruit, motivate, and retain qualified personnel. We can not assure you that we will be successful in this regard. We have no employment or non-competition agreements with key personnel.
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