Will Warren Buffett Take Over Texas’s Wine Industry?​

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user MissMessie.  McLane Distributors, a subsidiary of multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, is suing to overturn a Texas regulation that prevents monopolization in the liquor industry. The company, which serves numerous retailers, is seeking a wine distribution license. But because their owner, Warren Buffett, is also invested in Walmart, which sells beer and wine […]

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Farm Credit Mergers the Latest Threat to Independent Farmers

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Mergers & Acquisitions, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user cjuneau. The latest in a series of mergers that are remaking the business of farm credit in America will, in early July, bring together three lenders in the upper Midwest, AgStar Financial Services, Badgerland Financial, and 1st Farm Credit Services. The new Wisconsin-based institution, to be called Compeer Financial, will hold over $18 billion […]

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ABI Aims at Craft Brewers Again, This Time Targeting their Hops​

Posted Leah Douglas Beer, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user paulmiller. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest beer producer in the world, is taking another shot at the American craft brewing industry, this time by cornering the market on some key ingredients independent brewers need to make quality beer. The company last week announced that they would no longer be exporting hops from their […]

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Congressmen Move To Protect Big Ag from Water Protection Law​

Posted Leah Douglas Dairy, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from usdagov on Flickr.  Residents of rural communities near large-scale farms may soon find it harder to protect their drinking water from pollution from agriculture, thanks to a bill introduced recently by Representative Dan Newhouse, a Republican from Washington’s 4th district. Newhouse’s bill, H.R. 848 introduced in February with 43 co-sponsors, aims to amend the […]

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In South Carolina, Liquor Giant Targets Independent Stores​

Posted Leah Douglas Beer, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo by Flickr user jamescridland. A recent decision by the South Carolina Supreme Court will overturn a 72-year-old restriction on how many licenses a liquor retailer in the state can hold. The case was brought by Total Wine & More, a Maryland-based liquor retailer with over 150 “big box” stores in 20 states. Now, small retailers […]

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Meat Giant JBS Continues to Grow in US Despite Contamination Scandal in Brazil​

Posted Leah Douglas Beef, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user rheinitz. Over the past month, health authorities in Europe, China, and Brazil have all temporarily pulled beef from the Brazilian meat giant JBS off of grocery store shelves, in response to evidence that the company was involved in a massive corruption scandal to export rotten and contaminated meat. Yet here at home, […]

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North Carolina Craft Brewers Fight for Freedom from ABI-Controlled Distributors​

Posted Leah Douglas Beer, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user criminalintent. North Carolina is home to a booming craft beer industry, including Highland Brewing Company and Olde Mecklenberg. But the growing power of the independent breweries has put them at odds with an increasingly consolidated distribution and wholesale industry in the state. In response, the brewers are backing a bill that would […]

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China’s Smithfield Consolidates Supply Chain with Grain Elevator Acquisitions​

Posted Leah Douglas Commodities, Foreign Ownership, Grains, Leah Douglas, Mergers & Acquisitions, Newsletter, Pork

Photo from Flickr user wilsonhui. Since it was acquired in 2013 by the Chinese company WH Group, pork giant Smithfield has moved steadily to consolidate power over its supply chain. The company’s most recent purchase targeted grain elevators in Harpster and Morral, Ohio. This means Smithfield can now ship grains directly from Ohio to its […]

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Milk Monopolist Moves to Increase Power Over Dairy Farmers​

Posted Leah Douglas Dairy, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user katesheets.  Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy processor in the country, recently threatened to terminate its contracts with around 900 independent dairy farmers in the Northeast. Farmers in the region say this move is yet another step from DFA to undermine independent producers and to suppress earnings for farmers in […]

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Bayer’s Empty Promise: Jobs in Exchange for Approval to Take Over Monsanto

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user andrepierre. Days before entering office, President Donald Trump held a meeting with executives from agrochemical giants Bayer and Monsanto. The companies sought Trump’s blessing for their $66 billion merger, promising to create thousands of jobs if the merger is approved. But the companies’ track records, as well as evidence from past mergers, suggest the […]

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