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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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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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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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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Food & Power Newsletter: Obama Targets Monopoly, But is He Too Late to Help Farmers and Animals?

Posted Leah Douglas Newsletter

After largely ignoring one of the most extreme periods of concentration in U.S. history, President Obama on April 15 acknowledged that America has a monopoly problem. He did so by signing an Executive Order that pushes executive departments and agencies to use their rule-making authority to promote competition wherever possible. “It’s a public acknowledgement that […]

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