IN MEAT PROCESSINGKANSAS CITY, Kan. - ConAgra Inc. and an Australian company, D.R. Johnston Group, have formed a joint meat processing and trading venture in Australia, ConAgra announced in a news release.

ConAgra owns 50 percent of the new company, called D.R. Johnston Group Pty. Ltd., headquartered in Sydney. The company processes beef, mutton and lamb for Australian and export markets. The company also trades meat and meat byproducts and livestock feeds. Annual sales are about US$100 million.

Kenneth Dunnett and Peter Johnston are continuing with the company as joint managing directors of the new firm. ConAgra's representatives on the joint venture's board are Kenneth Monfort and Kenneth Davis. Mr. Monfort serves on ConAgra's board of directors, and was formerly president and chief operating officer of ConAgra Red Meat Companies. Mr. Davis is executive vice president, Far East, for ConAgra International.

The new company will build on existing trading and marketing ties between the Johnston Group and ConAgra International offices in Singapore and Hong Kong. The joint venture also expects to work closely with ConAgra's red meat business.

ConAgra is a diversified food company headquartered in Omaha, Neb., with annual sales of more than $15 billion.



WASHINGTON - Secretary of Agriculture Clayton Yeutter has told the National Pork Producers Council that an export bonus initiative to combat European Community pork sales to Japan "is not appropriate at this time."

Mr. Yeutter informed the pork industry group through a letter dated March 22.

In recent weeks, the pork council has been pushing for export bonus subsidies for pork, claiming EC countries such as Denmark have increased their subsidies of the meat to enhance their market share in Japan.