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Ag Industry Brief: Munchery Board Member Takes Leave For Sexual Misconduct, Pizza Hut Delivers Beer, Organic Certification M&A, more

December 8, 2017

Global ID Acquires Bioagricert for An Undisclosed Amount

The Global ID Group, an Iowa-based company that provides testing, inspection and certification services for natural cosmetics and textiles, green energy, fair trade food and more acquired the Italian company Bioagricert. Bioagricert offers organic and quality certification services in Italy and abroad. Read more.

Calyxt Loses COO

The former COO of Calyxt (CLXT), a Nasdaq-listed gene editing company based in Minnesota, left the company December 1, according to an SEC filing. He intends to pursue a career in academics. Dr. Dan Voytas, the current Chief Science Officer, will take over operations. Read more.

Cannabis Accelerator Deadline Approaches

Canopy, an accelerator and venture fund for the legal cannabis industry, is accepting applications for its Spring 2018 cohort. The deadline is December 10. Canopy seeks projects focused on several aspects of the industry—among them software, events, media, and data. Read more.

Sherpa Capital Cofounder Takes Leave Following Accusations of Sexual Misconduct

Following accusations from multiple women of sexual misconduct, Shervin Pishevar will take a leave of absence from his venture firm Sherpa Capital and transportation startup Virgin Hyperloop One, reports Bloomberg. Pishevar is on the board of the food delivery company Munchery. Read more.

Spensa Technologies Partners with TerrAvion

Spensa, a pest detection technology company, has partnered with TerrAvion, a start-up which provides aerial imagery and maps for farmers, to provide imagery to Spensa’s customers. Spensa makes devices and technologies for pest, weed, and disease management. Read more.

FarmLead Launches Advisory Platform

The online grain marketplace FarmLead launched a new product, GrainCents, which advises farmers about when to sell, hold, or hedge their crops based on analysis of domestic and global grain markets. The platform focuses on market trends for 12 commodity crops, among them corn, soy, canola, and several varieties of wheat. Read more

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Lists on ASX

The Israeli agtech company, Roots Sustainable Agriculture Technologies (ASX:ROO), listed on the Australian Securities Exchange this week, joining the trend of agtech startups listing on the ASX. Shares debuted at A0.35 ($0.26)  on Thursday, a 25% premium to its offer price. Roots develops technology that cools and heats the roots of plants to accelerate crop growth. Read more.

Pizza Hut Adds Beer to Online Delivery Options

In a move to outpace rivals, Pizza Hut has introduced the option to order beer for delivery alongside its pies. The company is test-driving the program in Phoenix, where customers can choose between Budweiser, Shock Top, and a Kilt Lifter, a locally-brewed beer. Come January, the chain will add wine to the Phoenix menu, and plans to expand alcohol delivery to new markets in 2018. Read more.

Campbell’s Soup Test Drives Online Delivery

Campbell’s Soup is testing the waters next month on a new delivery option: packages of soup delivered straight to your doorstep. Customers order from the ‘premium’ selection online featuring ingredients local to the company’s New Jersey production facilities. The soup comes packaged in a glass jar—the effort is a response to slower sales and shifting consumer tastes. Read more

Gates Foundation Reportedly Interfered in U.N. Decision-making over Gene Drives

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid the public relations firm Emerging Ag $1.6 million to convene a group of academics, U.N. committee members, scientists, and government officials to influence conversations at the United Nations over gene drive technology, according to a set of emails obtained through Freedom of Information requests. Gene drives are a controversial “genetic extinction” technology that has been put forward as a solution to invasive species. Read more.

Other News That’s Fit to Chew

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