Big Beef Targets Virginia Ranchers With Bigger Checkoff Tax

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from unitedsoybean on Flickr. Virginia State Senator A. Benton Chafin last week introduced a bill that would significantly hike “checkoff” taxes that cattle growers in the state must pay. The move follows efforts in other states—including recently in Oklahoma—to increase or introduce state-level checkoff taxes, which are charged in addition to the $1 per head tax collected […]

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Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Idaho’s Ag-gag Law

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Wikipedia. On January 4, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s “ag-gag” law, finding it an unconstitutional violation of free speech. The decision marks the first time a federal appeals court has ruled against an ag-gag law. Opponents of the law, which had been in effect since 2014, hope that the […]

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Restaurant Mergers, USDA Regulation Repeal, and the Year Ahead

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user jeepersmedia.  This week, we’re bringing you a holiday edition of Food & Power. Here are a couple of trends we’ve watched over the past few months, and some stories we’ll be following at the start of 2018. Private Equity Expands in Restaurants There have been at least 33 acquisitions of restaurant brands with more […]

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After Latest Merger, Two Companies Control Majority of Wine and Spirits Distribution

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Mergers & Acquisitions, Newsletter

Photo from richardsummers on Flickr.  On November 20, wine and spirits distributors Breakthru Beverage and Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) announced that they plan to merge. The two companies are the second- and third-largest distributors, and would together have nearly a 60% market share. Experts say continued consolidation in distribution means less leverage for small retailers, and an […]

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Montana Senator Helps Chinese Giant Lock Up $200 Million of Cattle in Sweetheart Deal

Posted Leah Douglas Beef, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from usdagov on Flickr. During President Donald Trump’s recent trip to China, Montana Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) negotiated a $300 million beef cattle deal between the Montana Stockgrowers Association and the Chinese e-retailer JD.com. The deal calls for the retailer to buy $200 million of cattle between 2018 and 2020, and invest $100 million in a new […]

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ABI’s Venture Capital Fund Quietly Expanding the Mega-Brewer’s Reach

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from quinnanya on Flickr. Anheuser-Busch InBev was consistently in the news last year as it closed its blockbuster $100 billion acquisition of SABMiller. But beyond headline-generating deals, the brewer is finding new ways to expand its reach, particularly in the craft sector. The company’s wholly-owned venture capital firm has been quietly investing in beer ratings websites, delivery […]

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In Wisconsin, Farmers Fight Effort to Weaken Cooperatives; GIPSA Rules Killed by USDA

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from chefranden on Flickr.  In Wisconsin, some of the state’s biggest agricultural cooperatives want to weaken farmers’ control over their own cooperatives. Farmers in the state argue that the changes–in the form of amendments to the state agricultural laws–are simply meant to enhance the power of larger-scale cooperatives, and stray from the true intent and […]

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Big Beef Seeks to Expand its Tax on Oklahoma Ranchers​

Posted Leah Douglas Beef, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from oskarlin on Flickr.  Big Ag is back on the offensive in Oklahoma, less than a year after voters defeated a bill that would have stripped the state’s residents of their ability to regulate corporate farming. The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association wants ranchers to pay an additional $1 tax per head of cattle sold in the […]

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Broad Coalition Wins Key Fights Against Ag-Gag Laws

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user williamhook. A coalition of animal rights groups, environmentalists, food safety advocates, farmers, and media organizations won two major victories against ag-gag laws early this month. On September 6th, the state of Utah announced it would not challenge a federal judge’s July order to strike down the state’s 5-year-old ag-gag law. And on September 7th, the 10th […]

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