Batista Bros
The legal problems facing Joesley Batista (pictured) and his brother Wesley raise questions about the future of JBS, the world's largest meat packer.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As far as news-making developments and historic events that have already had far-reaching impact, the meat and poultry processing industry provided ample fodder for the news-hungry editors of MEAT+POULTRY and a deluge of daily storylines that were chronicled on

The process of identifying a handful of the industry’s biggest stories over the past year was made easier by looking back at the most-read stories posted on and the amount of ink dedicated to stories that were, in some cases, as surprising as they were devastating, and others that were months and years in development and finally came to fruition in 2017. In the December issue of MEAT+POULTRY, readers will find “Year in Review 2017” stories on many hot topics from the year.

In a story reminiscent of David and Goliath, Eldon Roth, founder of Beef Products Inc., the Dakota Dunes, South Dakota-based manufacturer of lean, finely textured beef, and his family’s years-long legal battle against ABC News came to a head in 2017. Find out more in “Rebuilding a business.”

Companies like Memphis Meats and Impossible Foods have gained momentum in offering plant-based and cultured meat as alternatives to traditionally produced, animal-derived proteins. As a growing number of retailers, foodservice operators and even processors invest in the future of the technologies behind these new products, the future of meat alternatives beyond 2017 looks bright. Read “Substitute sources” to learn more.

At the beginning of the year, few industry observers could have predicted two leaders of JBS SA, Joesley Batista and his brother Wesley would, by the end of the year, be awaiting trial in a São Paulo penitentiary over allegations of insider trading. Read M+P’s Corporate Update in “A dynasty in decline?”

The hurricane season of 2017 proved to be an especially costly one to millions of US residents in the path of several successive tropical storms and hurricanes that devastated the Caribbean and the US southern and eastern coasts. Meat processing companies, including Houston-based Martin Preferred Foods (MPF) found themselves dealing with a natural disaster they dreaded, but fortunately had prepared for. MPF’s story of perseverance and preparation is a tribute to the relentless spirit of some of the industry’s most inspiring and generous leaders. Hear their story, in “Surviving the storm.”

Meanwhile, meal kits have provided another alternative for at-home dining and 2017 has seen a flurry of options and partnerships in this segment flourish. Find out about how they are influencing retail in “Measured approach.”  

Read the complete Year in Review 2017 section in the December issue of MEAT+POULTRY.