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Ag Industry Brief: First Ag Data Lawsuit in Poultry Industry, Agribusinesses Write to Trump, AgriProtein to Roll Out 100 Insect Farms, more

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Poultry Growers File AgData Lawsuit against Tyson, Perdue, More

A group of poultry integrators have filed suit against major poultry producers alleging that the companies collected and shared data from farmers through a third-party resource called Agri Stats with the intention of depressing grower payments. Tyson and other large poultry integrators purchase birds from producers that own poultry houses. The integrator retains possession of the bird and pays the grower depending on how quickly the grower can get the chicks up to weight using as little feed as possible. Agri Stats collect data like these purportedly anonymously, but the growers are arguing that it’s at such a granularity that it’s easy to determine the identity of farms. Read more about this lawsuit, which appears to be the first major lawsuit involving ag data, here.

Food Producers Call on Trump to Promote Asia-Pacific Trade

A long list of major food producer interest groups penned a letter to President Trump asking the executive to foster good trade relations with their neighbors in the Asia-Pacific realm in advance of his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. View the letter here.

AgriProtein and Christof Industries in $10m Deal to Roll out 100 Fly Farms

Waste-to-nutrient solutions provider AgriProtein has partnered with international engineering group Christof Industries to build up to 25 fly farms a year that will up-cycle organic waste into insect protein for animal feeds.

Paine & Partners Changes Name to Paine Schwartz Partners

Dexter Paine, chairman and CEO of Paine & Partners, a global private equity firm focused on on the food chain, has renamed the firm to Paine Schwartz Partners, effective immediately, adding the surname of founding partner Kevin Schwartz. Schwartz will now be CEO and Dexter Paine will continue in the role of chairman.

Barrix Wins TIME India Startup Innovator for 2017

Selected from 18 finalists, non-chemical pest control company Barrix was named TIME India Startup Innovator for 2017. The company uses inexpensive devices that emit a pheromone that deters pests. Read more about the accolade here.

Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition 2017 YES! Research Grant Competition Now Open

The 2017 BCFN YES! (Young Earth Solutions) Research Grant Competition is now accepting proposals. Emerging experts are encouraged to submit studies that are innovative, have a promise of significant impact, and can meet global research needs. Project submissions can be related to new or ongoing research. Completed proposals must be submitted online through the BCFN website by June 28, 2017, 11:59 pm CET. Winners receive a $21,367 research grant applied to a one-year investigation.

Starbucks To Source Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics

Starbucks has joined a growing list of companies that are phasing out poultry products grown using antibiotics which are medically important to humans. According to a statement from the company, it hopes to phase out these products by 2020. The company is also making a transition to cage-free eggs.

SproutX Opens Co-Working Space for AgTech Startups

Australian agtech accelerator SproutX has opened a free co-working space for eligible startups. The new space is aimed at positioning SproutX as the center of agtech innovation in Australia. Read more here.

FoodBytes! San Francisco Unveils the Finalists Headed to Pitch Day

Rabobank, a global food and agribusiness bank, has chosen 20 companies to pitch at FoodBytes! San Francisco, the pitch competition created to connect food and agriculture thought leaders and investors with the most disruptive startups in the industry. The sixth event of its kind will give 10 of the finalist companies a three minute pitch on March 16. Learn more about the companies here.

AgroFresh Joins New Food + Agriculture Tech Accelerator Terra

AgroFresh Solutions, a freshness solutions provider, has teamed up with Terra as a corporate member. The Terra program is designed to bring together the food and agriculture industry’s most disruptive startups and progressive corporations to work together to fuel cross-industry innovation and transformation. Read more about the new partnership here.

Indiana Wants to Get High School Kids Hyped on Farming

In Indiana, where the average age of farmers is 58 and climbing, a legislator has introduced a bill that would require high schools to put farming on the curriculum to generate interest among the youth. Read more here.

Two States Introduce Bills Proposing COOL Labeling for Beef

The cattle-centric states of Wyoming and South Dakota have introduced respective state bills that would require beef products produced and sold within the state to list the country of origin on the label. Not too long ago, the United States found itself in a trade battle with Canada and Mexico, which challenged COOL before the WTO as an unfair trade discrimination. Read up on COOL and the two proposed state measures here.

Other News That’s Fit to Chew

  • The Human Society is threatening legal action against the USDA after the agency removed information about animal welfare from its website, reports Science Mag.
  • Farmers and ranchers in Nebraska have expressed concern about Trump’s potential plan to end NAFTA, which has quadrupled US ag exports, reports Omaha World Herald.
  • South Korea confirmed cases of food-and-mouth disease at one of its dairy farms, an infectious and sometime fatal disease affecting livestock, reports Reuters.
  • Whole Foods is shutting down some of its stores and rethinking its expansion, reports Meating Place.
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