Backers Look for Quick Action – October 31, 2019

Backers aim for quick action on farm labor reform


Dozens of farm groups stood with 44 lawmakers — one-tenth of the U.S. House membership — on Wednesday in support of bipartisan legislation to provide legal status to undocumented farmworkers and to modernize the H-2A agricultural guestworker program. Lead sponsor Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, said “we have hope” of moving the bill quickly as a show of comity in a polarized Congress.


APEC gone, ‘phase one’ still on track


The “phase one” agreement that calls for China to purchase vast amounts of U.S. farm exports should be ready for signature by mid-November, regardless of the cancellation of the summit meeting where President Trump and President Xi Jinping were expected to sign it, said the White House on Wednesday.


Reflecting on co-op consolidation (New Food Economy): A new report from the Government Accountability Office found that consolidation among dairy cooperatives can create power imbalances between farms of different sizes.


Dark money takes on fake meat (Food Navigator): A series of ads demonizing plant-based meat products is funded by mostly anonymous donors from the food industry.


Merger creates farmers’ market leader in mid-Atlantic (Washington Post):  Nonprofits FreshFarm and Community Foodworks said they were merging, creating the largest farmers’ market organization in the mid-Atlantic region and the third largest in the nation.


NYC to ban foie gras (New York Times): Concerns about animal cruelty led New York City to ban the sale of foie gras, which is currently served in about a thousand restaurants in the city. The ban takes effect in 2022.


Lobbying group forms for industrial hemp (Hemp Federation): A new trade group composed of growers, processors, and related businesses will advocate for industrial hemp before Congress and federal agencies, said the group’s founders.


Farm bankruptcies surge (AFBF): Producers filed 580 Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies in the 12 months ending in September, up 24 percent from the prior year and highest since 676 filings in 2011 during the commodity boom, according to federal court data.

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