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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The Walmart of Organics? Whole Foods Moves to Centralized Purchasing

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter, Organics

Photo from Flickr user forever5yearsold. Whole Foods’ recent decision to centralize buying for its U.S. stores will likely make it much harder for smaller producers of organic and natural foods to get to market. The move could thus further solidify the control of the corporate food giants currently dominating the organic and natural foods sector. Zach […]

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Secretary Vilsack’s Chicken Rules May Come Too Late to Help Farmers

Posted Leah Douglas Chicken, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user scrap_pile. The Department of Agriculture last week finally proposed rules to protect poultry farmers from abusive and discriminatory practices by giant chicken processing companies. Called the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, the new rules come 6 years after the Obama Administration first attempted to regulate the industry, then retreated under heavy pressure from […]

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Ranchers, Facing Record Low Prices, Confront Surge of Brazilian Imports​

Posted Leah Douglas Beef, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo by unitedsoybean on Flickr. Cattle prices hit historic lows in some parts of the country in November, even as the first shipments of Brazilian beef arrived in U.S. ports after the USDA’s recent decision to lift a 13-year-old ban on that country. Ranchers say the combination will likely drive many American ranchers out of business. […]

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Independent Ranchers Take New Tack in Fight Against Pro-Big Beef Checkoff​

Posted Leah Douglas Checkoff Programs, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from flickr user nicholas_t. The most recent attack by American ranchers on the Department of Agriculture’s beef checkoff tax reached a federal court two weeks ago. The suit, filed by the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF), challenges how the checkoff program operates in Montana. But the outcome of the case could reshape how the […]

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Amazon Expands into Liquor Delivery and Retail in Ohio​

Posted Leah Douglas Beer, Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from Flickr user jamescridland. Amazon has applied for licenses to open liquor warehouses in Columbus and Cincinnati that would allow the company to sell beer, wine, and liquor for delivery as well as carryout. This move is the latest in the company’s increasingly aggressive attempts to position itself as a dominant player in brick-and-mortar food […]

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Big Ag Uses “Right to Farm” to Target the Rights of Oklahoma Citizens

Posted Leah Douglas Leah Douglas, Newsletter

Photo from usdagov on Flickr. Oklahomans vote November 8 on a Big Ag-backed proposal to limit the ability of citizens to regulate agricultural activity within the state. If passed, State Question 777 would add language to the state constitution requiring any new agricultural legislation to undergo strict scrutiny in the courts, making it harder for residents […]

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