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California Expands Legal Definition of Beer
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

California Assembly Bill No. 205 was approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 9, 2019. Assembly Member Tom Daly, who represents California’s 69th district of Orange County cities Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Garden Grove, introduced AB-205 to expand the definition of “beer” under Business & Professions Code §23006, which is part of the Alcohol Beverage Control Act. The new law is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020...

Protecting Your Brand and Trademarks in the Cannabis Space Following the 2018 Farm Bill
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

As seen on Law360: The 2018 Farm Bill[1] relaxed restrictions covering hemp-based cannabis products, and it is causing a shift in business strategies in the industry. Instead of a full prohibition of trademark registrations covering cannabis goods or services, a narrow range of filings is now permitted, so long as they conform to the requirements of the Farm Bill and the latest USPTO guidelines...

Uncertainty Abounds Despite Clean Water Act Update
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, July 2019

Last month marked the 50-year anniversary of one of the more infamous and impactful environmental disasters to occur in the United States. On June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga River, which runs through the heart of Cleveland before emptying into Lake Erie, caught fire for the 13th time. Time magazine ran a story that highlighted the river’s severe pollution...

Michigan Opens the Door for Expanded Solar Development on Farmland
Dykema, June 2019

On Monday, June 3, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced MDARD’s decision to allow for commercial solar energy development on land currently enrolled in the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, commonly known as PA 116. PA 116 was established in 1975 and is designed to preserve farmland and open space in Michigan...

Fake Meat Good, Fake News Bad
TSMP Law Corporation, June 2019

For businesses who care about their brands, Pofma may be not be such a bad idea after all.Beyond Meat Inc. makes cows happy and cardiologists sad. Its Beyond Burger uses no meat and has no cholesterol, and contains less fat, fewer calories and more protein than a typical burger...

Marine Finfish Aquaculture: A New Environmental Framework
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, May 2019

The Scottish Government, SEPA and industry have identified significant opportunities for the growth of the finfish aquaculture sector in Scotland. This expansion is an express policy objective of the Scottish Government, and was confirmed through the National Marine Plan published in 2015. Nevertheless, whilst there has been some growth in the sector since the plan’s publication, the sector has yet to realise its full potential...

Brexit Breathing Space for Food Business Operators
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, May 2019

Whatever your views on Brexit, the deferment of the UK’s leaving date from the EU provided British industry some welcome breathing space to prepare for Brexit. Given the issues that still divide the two main political parties, the UK may yet leave the EU without a deal on 31 October...

Five Things a Buyer of a Rural Property Needs to Know
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, May 2019

Scotland’s countryside offers a vast range of property investment options, from houses and cottages to farms and country estates. However, when buying a rural property it is important to consider various issues that may be taken for granted in the purchase of a property in an urban area. 1...

Diligence: Early Involvement Pays
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, April 2019

Coordinating cross-border due diligence is a key skill that more often than not underpins complex, multi-jurisdictional merger and acquisitions (M&A) and private equity (PE)-led transactions. Where due diligence really adds value is in the early stages of the transaction, when local knowledge and expertise are vital to understanding the context of data room information...

Stopping Issues from Becoming Crises: Best Practice for Food Business Operators
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, April 2019

The presence of a small amount of undeclared sesame in a particular product may seem trivial but, for those who are allergic, it can provoke a major reaction. Such was the predicament faced by Pret a Manger in July 2016, following the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse that same month due to the undeclared presence of sesame in a Pret baguette...

Change is Coming to the Landed Estates in Scotland
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, April 2019

TheScottish Land Commission recently published their reportinto what it describes as the issues associated with largescale and concentrated land ownership in Scotland. The report draws a number of conclusions and makes recommendations to the Scottish Government about potential future legislative change that might have far-reaching consequences for rural land ownership...

Rights of Access vs Right to Privacy
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, February 2019

The public rights of access on and over land, enshrined in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, have now been around for almost 14 years. They allow all members of the public a responsible right of access on and across land and inland water throughout the country, often informally referred to as the right to roam. Certain parts of land may be excluded from the rights of access under the Act: restrictions may be allowed, for example, due to planned forestry operations...

It's Still Gray: The 2018 Farm Bill and the Legality of CBD Under Federal Law
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2019

President Trump recently signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the 2018 Farm Bill) and the cannabis industry quickly and widely celebrated passage as clearing the way to sell products containing cannabidiol (better known as CBD). But is it really? As one might expect, this lawyer’s answer is that “it depends.”CBD has become known for its purported health benefits in relation to a wide range of conditions...

Covered by the Clean Water Act and WOTUS? Maybe Not Anymore.
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, December 2018

In December of 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released their much-anticipated draft proposed rule to re-write the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) (“2018 Rule”). The definition of WOTUS establishes the scope of agency jurisdiction over waters and wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA)...

The NFUS Joint Venture Hub: Match-Making for a New Agricultural Future
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, December 2018

The National Farmers Union, Scotland (NFUS) Joint Venture Hub is designed to act as a match-maker, bringing together enterprising individuals – some of whom have land and some of whom don’t – with a view to pooling their resources to farm together for profit. The Hub can be accessed online via this link. One of the possible vehicles for pursuing a joint venture is by entering into a share farming agreement...

Supreme Court Ruling on Critical Habitat in Dusky Gopher Frog Case
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, December 2018

The Supreme Court has handed down one of the most anticipated Endangered Species Act (ESA) rulings in recent years. In Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv., the Supreme Court unanimously overruled the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, holding that the Fish and Wildlife Service can only designate property that is “habitat” as critical habitat under the ESA...

Scotland in 2050: Rural and Agriculture - Navigating Uncertainties to Realize Opportunities
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, October 2018

To coincide with its 250th anniversary, Shepherd and Wedderburn commissioned the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute to consider the future challenges and, more importantly, opportunities for Scotland’s economy...

Acquiring Rights of Way by Prescription
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, October 2018

In Scots law, it is possible to acquire certain rights to land – access, for instance – simply by the passage of time. This process is known as “prescription” and is outlined in the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973. There are two forms of prescription: positive and negative. Negative prescription extinguishes certain rights after a period of time...

Essential Freshwater. Essential Changes?
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, October 2018

The Minister for the Environment and Minister for Agriculture have released a freshwater work programme called Essential Freshwater: Healthy Water, Fairly Allocated that is designed to get results before the next election. The freshwater programme sets out the Government’s three main objectives: - stopping further degradation and loss of New Zealand’s freshwater resources, waterways and ecosystems;- reversing past damage; and- addressing water allocation issues...

Cabin Fever: Return of the Hut
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, September 2018

Not-for-profit Reforesting Scotland’s "Thousand Huts" campaign has spearheaded the regrowth of the hutting community, previously almost entirely eradicated by increasingly strict building regulations. The new Building (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 sets out the framework for ecologically sustainable hut development. What is a Hut? A hut must be a single storey building used as recreational accommodation...

Retail Industry on High Alert After $289 Million Glyphosate Verdict Against Monsanto
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, September 2018

Weeks after a federal judge called the science behind the alleged carcinogenicity of glyphosate “shaky,” a California state court jury hammered Monsanto with a $289 million verdict, connecting a former groundskeeper’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to his exposure to the Roundup® chemical. Earlier this year the verdict in Johnson v. Monsanto Co., No...

New Zealand's Largest Forestry Acquisition Goes Ahead
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, September 2018

Australian sustainable forestry company, OneFortyOne Plantation’s (OFO) purchase of Nelson Forests completed this week, following approval by the Overseas Investment Office. Nelson Forests, was owned by investment funds advised by Global Forest Partners LP (GFP), and is a vertically-integrated plantation and sawmill business in the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough regions of New Zealand...

Enforcing Give-and-Take Arrangements
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, August 2018

The difficulty surrounding the enforcement of unwritten give-and-take arrangements was recently demonstrated in the case of Hikurangi Forest Farms Limited v Negara Developments Limited [2018] NZHC 607 (the Hikurangi case). Give-and-take arrangements Give-and-take arrangements are a response to situations where the rugged topography of rural land makes it impractical to erect a fence along the legal title boundary between two properties...

Blockchain in The Agri Sector
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, July 2018

Operators in the New Zealand agricultural sector are likely to have heard of blockchain, the technology that underpins Bitcoin, and will be starting to see the very real application for blockchain in supply chain management.  As the interest in blockchain technology increases in numerous sectors, it is agri-business which is one of the sectors that seems set to see significant transformational benefits from its adoption...

The Halal Market and Agribusiness Investment
Veirano Advogados, July 2018

The international trading market is currently quite favorable to commodity-producing countries such as Brazil. In recent months, the Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks daily the performance of main commodities, closed at US$89.49, 1.5% higher than it was at lhe end of 2017 and 6.73% higher than it was 12 months ago...

Protection of Geographical Indications of Spirit Drinks Under EU Law
A&L Goodbody, July 2018

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CoJ) handed down an important judgment last week on the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks in a preliminary ruling under Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) v Michael Klotz (Case C-44/17)). Facts: Mr Klotz markets a whisky under the designation ‘Glen Buchenbach’, which is produced by a distillery located in Berglen in the Buchenbach valley in Germany...

Supreme Court to Evaluate Critical Habitat Limits as Services Ramp up ESA Reform Efforts
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, July 2018

As the Trump administration is pushing forward on its deregulatory agenda and, in particular, its efforts to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its implementation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (together, the Services), the Supreme Court is poised to hear a landmark case on designation of critical habitat under the ESA that could provide some guideposts for the Services’ new regulations...

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, June 2018

The Corps Struggles to Balance Competing Constitutional and Statutory Duties Federal agencies must often balance competing policy concerns and legal requirements. This process may be difficult and fraught with intense public feedback, and frequently results in litigation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) has found itself in the hot seat over how it manages the nation’s rivers, pitting its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) against private property rights...

Geographical Indications Of Origin In Serbia: Where The Past Fuels The Future
Karanovic & Partners, June 2018

Geographical indication of origin, this very peculiar form of industrial property protection, has undergone a revival phase over the past few years, thus becoming more omnipresent not only within the circles of interest, but also amongst the Serbian public at large. Although, up to this day, there are only a few dozen geographical indications of origin registered before the Serbian Intellectual Property office, for a country of little over 7 million spread over 80...

Maine DEP Proposes Changes to Wetlands Rules
Verrill, June 2018

The Maine DEP is proposing changes to its wetlands rules that clarify the definition of wetlands of special significance. Wetlands of special significance (WOSS) include coastal wetlands and great ponds, as well as other freshwater wetlands. Certain qualifying attributes for Wetlands are, the presence of critical or imperiled plant communities, or location within significant wildlife habitat or a peatland...

Feel the Buzz - Modernising the Business of Bees
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, March 2018

Beekeeping. Once predominantly a home craft and hobby, it has transformed into a multi-million-dollar industry in recent years as the world discovers an appetite for New Zealand honey, and the highly valued manuka variety in particular. The industry has seen stellar growth over the last few years. Bee products currently bring in $300 million annually – a rapid rise from $98 million in 2010 – and the Government is targeting $1...

Transparent Insurance in Agribusiness - Road to a Civilized Land Market
Asters, August 2017

While the Ukrainian Parliament continues heated debates over the open market for agricultural land, one thing remains clear - the lifting of the moratorium on sale of agricultural land is an inevitable process, which is largely driven by globalization and the expansion of influence of major world corporate groups in Ukraine. However, for the land market and agribusiness to become transparent and efficient, the relevant risk management systems have to be implemented...

Do the Proceeds From the Sale of Farmland Constitute Income From Farming?
Stout, August 2017

  In 2009, the members (Mark Rutkoske and Felix Rutkoske) of an LLC holding 355 acres of farmland conveyed a conservation easement to a public charity for $1,504,960. The Rutkoske brothers believed that the sale of the conservation easement was for a bargain purchase price and claimed $1,335,040 for the bargain element of the transaction based on an appraisal...

Uncertainty Ahead for the Contaminated Land Regime?
Shoosmiths LLP, July 2017

  A successful appeal against a remediation notice has highlighted the difficulties faced by local authorities when trying to secure the remediation of contaminated land. The appeal is only the second appeal to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (SoS) since the contaminated land regime in Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 was implemented in 2000...

Australian Food and Agribusiness 2017
MinterEllison, July 2017

 2017 is a year of opportunity and challenge for the Australian food and agribusiness sector. We anticipate an uplift in food and agribusiness M&A activity, and have identified 6 key themes that are likely to play out in the remainder of 2017. Opportunities and Challenges – 6 key themes Three Key Opportunities 1...

Brazil: The IDB and Halal food
Veirano Advogados, July 2017

Brazil has a very small Muslim community. In any event, this is a country which, despite economic and/or political crises, foreign investors are always looking at. At this moment, one can see foreign investors acquiring assets in Brazil because of their low prices...

Tell ME About....Preparing To Sell Farm Land.
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, June 2017

Backbone talks to Jennifer Campbell, Senior Associate at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, about the questions she would like to ask you when preparing for a land sale, and why she recommends considering the advertising requirements of the Overseas Investment Act early. What Land are you Selling? The Act applies to most farm land that is sold to an overseas person, or is deemed sensitive, so it is likely it will apply to the farm land you are selling...

Australian Food and Agribusiness 2017: Key Themes
MinterEllison, March 2017

2017 is a year of opportunity and challenge for the Australian food and agribusiness sector.  We anticipate an uplift in food and agribusiness M&A activity, and have identified 6 key themes  that are likely to play out in the remainder of 2017. Download our report: Australian Food and Agribusiness 2017: Key themes Opportunities and Challenges – 6 key themes Three key opportunities 1...

Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2017
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, February 2017

The World Bank Group has released Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2017. The report presents data on legal barriers for farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses operating in agriculture in 62 countries and across the topics of land, seed, fertilizer, machinery, water, livestock, finance, markets, transport, and information and communication technology (ICT). SyCipLaw's Rose Marie M. King-Dominguez, Alan C. Fontanosa, Franco Aristotle G. Larcina and Ruben P...

Dangro Invest Sold to American Pension Fund
Plesner, September 2016

Dangro Invest A/S that has farm land investments in Poland has just been sold to an American pension fund. Plesner has advised Dangro Invest A/S's board of directors with respect to the transaction.Dangro Invest A/S was previously owned by 416 private shareholders, primarily Danish farmers, and over a number of years the company has built up a commercial plant cultivation business in Poland...

Farming Partnerships and the Importance of Succession Planning
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, September 2016

Farms run as a family business tend to follow a partnership structure. However there is often a reluctance to commit the terms of the partnership to paper or else to keep the terms of an existing agreement up to date. However ensuring that your Partnership Agreement is up to date and reflects your wishes is essential for succession and tax planning purposes.Partnership Agreements Farming businesses can use different business structures...

Sale of Serbian Agricultural Land to Foreigners: What Does the Agreement With the EU Really Say?
Karanovic & Partners, September 2016

Ever since Serbia’s Stabilisation andAssociation Agreement with the EU (‘SAA’) entered into force in September 2013, Serbian media have paidsignificant attention to the country’s obligations concerning the acquisitionof agricultural land by foreigners. The fear of one part of the public appearsto be that, due to the application of the SAA, large portions of Serbianagricultural land will be sold out to foreigners...

Sweet Smell Of Success - Serbian Sugar Industry Consolidates Its Forces
Karanovic & Partners, August 2016

After more than a four months and a Phase II (in-depth) investigation, the Competition Commission gave conditional approval, to Sunoko's acquisition of the Star Šecer company and its subsidiary Te-To - the owner of the sugar factory in Senta. No divestments have been required from Sunoko. The ruling presents the finale of one of the most complicated merger cases in Serbia thus far and Karanovic & Nikolic is proud to have been advising MK Group throughout the process...

World Bank Group’s Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2016: Comparing regulatory good practices
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, April 2016

SyCipLaw Partners Rose Marie M. King-Dominguez and Franco Aristotle G. Larcina, with support from Senior Associate Ruben P. Acebedo II, participated in the World Bank Group’s Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2016: Comparing regulatory good practices. The report examines regulations that impact private enterprise in the agriculture and agribusiness sectors...

Assignation of Agricultural Tenancies in Scotland: Changes Afoot
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, March 2016

The word ‘radical’ has been used by both supporters and critics alike when commenting on the various proposals set out by the Scottish Government in the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. This gives a flavour of the tone of the debate. Both sides have also been particularly vocal on the previously little discussed topic of succession and assignation of secure agricultural tenancies. The implications of the proposals are discussed in this briefing...

IFLR: “Philippines: Conversion of agricultural land”
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan, March 2016

The February 2016 issue of the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) included an international briefing article entitled “Conversion of agricultural land.” The article was contributed by SyCipLaw partner Benedicto P. Panigbatan. Read the article online at the IFLR website...

Proposals for New Rules Concerning Agricultural Land Leasing
Delphi, June 2015

The Swedish Association of Landowners has called for a modernisation of the rules concerning agricultural land leasing. As a result, the work to renew the legislation, which is over forty years old, is now underway. Above all, two issues have come into focus: the lateral leaseholder’s security of tenure and the possibility of a “results-based rent”...

Do You Need the Minister’s Consent to Take an Option to Purchase Agricultural Land?
ENSafrica, June 2014

Section 3(e)(i) of the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act (the Act) provides that agricultural land shall not be sold or advertised unless the Minister has consented to it in writing. There are currently conflicting judgements as to whether this provision applies to an option to purchase agricultural land...

China Farm and Land Grab not the Reality – Australia Needs an Educated Debate in Order to Seize the Opportunity
MinterEllison, May 2014

With food and nutrition key issues for growing markets such as China, investment in Agribusiness is about supporting Asian partner objectives to grow "safe food" and "harvest protein", according to Adam Handley, President of the Australia China Business Council (WA) and a senior partner at law firm Minter Ellison...

Difficulties for Non-Residents to Acquire Agriculturally Zoned Lands Suitable for the Cultivation of the Soil or the Raising of Livestock in Quebec
Lavery Lawyers, November 2013

THE 1979 STATUTE It is well known that, under the legal regime for the protection of agricultural lands, the acquisition of agriculturally zoned lands with a surface area of four hectares or more by a person not residing in Quebec is subject to the authorization of the Commission de protection des terres agricoles. This is the object of the Act respecting the acquisition of farm land by non-residents (CQLR chapter A-4.1) (the “Act”), which has been in force since December 21, 1979...

 

 

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