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MDE News & Memos

At SPARC, we know that you can never find all the information you need in any one place. Below are a number of outside resources you may find useful.

Please note if you cannot find the resources you are looking for, please contact us for assistance.

Click on each date listed below to read about current information, programs, grants, and incentives available to School Nutrition Programs in the state of Michigan. Each newsbrief is written by Howard Leikert, MBA, SNS- Supervisor, School Nutrition Programs, Michigan Department of Education. Be sure to take a few minutes to read the short newsbrief. It is a wealth of information. Enjoy! Price Equity Tool for SY 16-17  For Official MDE Memos, please see the link below.

Attached is the Average Price File for SY2015 – 2016. Please take your time to read the notes below as they pertain to the file, pricing, and USDA forecasts.SY2016 Average Price with Estimated Pricing
1) PAL Reports, SEPDS, EPDS, and all pass through values will be based off of Column C / P / R. This is the official USDA Average Purchase Price. There will be no deviation from using this. 
·         Column C is the official USDA Average Price per lb.
·         Column P is the official USDA Average Price per case.
·         Column R is the official USDA Average Price per whole truck.
The values in the three columns above are to be used in official capacity and will be reflected as the industry standard and will appear in the PAL reports.
Values in Columns D / Q / S are to be used only as a guide for your next year’s procurements and to assist membership with what the likelihood of “real” pass through actually is, as opposed to the value provided by the USDA (and used) across the supply chain. Please do not share this information with processors. We do not want our intentions to be misinterpreted and this being used as the Average Price. This is to be used at the consortium level and at the school level.
·         Column D is the most recent USDA Last Known Average Purchase Price per lb. for the most recent procurement period.
·         Column Q is the most recent USDA Last Known Average Purchase Price per case for the most recent procurement period.
·         Column S is the most recent USDA Last Known Average Purchase Price per whole truck for the most recent procurement period.
The values in the three columns above are to be used only as a guide to help you better spend your entitlement dollars.
2) The USDA’s Average Price per lb. (Column C) is based off of a two year rolling average of individual items purchased in certain procurement periods for this two year period. The Last known price per lb. (Column D) represents the last procurement period in which an item was purchased – this number is an average of purchases for this period only – for this individual product, and reflects the most recent purchase information than the two year average provided by the USDA.
·         If you find values in “Column C” on this report that are zeroed out, this indicates that there is no two year average from the USDA.
·         In some instances there will be a last known purchase price (Column D) for items, while there is no 2 year average (Column C). This indicates the item was purchased only recently with no additional history.
·         If both columns are zeroed out – the item is likely brand new, and there is no purchase history available to forecast.
Please use the above mentioned pricing guide, paired up with the below industry outlook. This will tell you whether or not the Last Known price will increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease.
Dairy: for the year 2014 was at its all-time high – For most cheeses, decreases will be expected due to changes in supply and the overall use of dairy products. The “All Milk” Price forecast has been reduced from the high of 24.00 per hundredweight to 17.75 per hundredweight. As an industry standard, this should give way to greater savings at point of purchase. Analysts are forecasting a protracted period of low prices in international and regional dairy markets and a substantial fall in the U.S. market by early 2015. Dairy markets are in for a bearish ride over the next 12 months with falling prices exacerbated by a pullback in Chinese buying on the international market and Russia’s ban on imports from key suppliers. This should turn out to be a good year to buy cheese.
Eggs: Egg prices are showing a decrease – and this could be a good place to put some entitlement if it will be used accordingly.

 Considerably lower feed prices are to be expected, combined with some downward market pressure, but with the availability of Chicken vs. Beef – there are mixed reviews on where it will go from here. My best guess is that it will stabilize (maybe some marginal increases), and pending any unforeseen circumstances – this will be a good place to invest entitlement.

 Turkey will have marginal increases, but should be stable.
Beef: Not much to say about beef – Analysts are reluctant to field positive news. Even with improving drought conditions and the news that Cattle Feed may be decreasing, imports are up, production is down, and domestic supply is still just as tight. Maybe in a years’ time there might be better news here.
Pork: There is great news in the world of pork. Expect lower prices – by at least 18% compared to the previous year.
Produce: There is no real news for produce – We are coming off of a windfall year for feed / food grade produce, which in no way is an indication of repeat success for producers. By all accounts it looks like marginal increases/decreases and stability.
USDA Forecasts above for the top expenditures (Beef, Dairy, Pork, and Poultry) can be found at this website: ​ under USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.
Please let me know if you have any questions.