On May 16, 2018 and June 13, 2018, we blogged about Gerawan Farms, a California agricultural company whose members wanted to decertify the United Farm Workers. The employees voted in 2013 but the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) impounded the ballots and refused to count them. The ALRB held that Gerawan had committed unfair labor practices that nullified the election. Last summer, the California court of appeals reversed that ruling and remanded the case to the ALRB.

Now, five years after the fact, the ballots were finally counted. By a margin of well over five to one, the employees voted to decertify the union. But the union intends to keep pressing its objections. The court of appeals had held that the union would have to prove that the unfair practices affected the outcome and, with a five to one margin of victory, that would be an upward battle.

The ALRB has now endorsed the election. The Board adhered to its previous ruling that Gerawan had committed unfair labor practices.  In light of the overwhelming margin of the election, however, the ALRB also held that those practices could not have affected the outcome.

This result likely moots Gerawan’s pending petition for certiorari.

 

The Washington Post reported on gene editing technology.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Brazilian efforts to deregulate pesticides.

Food Safety News discussed FDA review of link between pet diet and heart disease.

Food Dive discussed a study on the cost of eliminating antibiotics in the beef industry.

Fresh Plaza reported on a USDA study estimating the costs to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act.

 

AgWeb discussed current U.S. drought conditions.

The New York Times reported on the development of self-destructing plastic.

CNBC reported on rideshare technology aimed at reducing food waste.

The Economic Times discussed efforts by India and China to reduce farm subsidies of developed nations.

Reuters reported on the lifting of GMO ban for U.S. wildlife refuges.

 

Inside Retail discussed McDonald’s phase out of plastic straws.

Fortune reported on McDonalds and Starbucks joining to create a sustainable cup.

Food Business News discussed drought and hail impact on Kansas wheat crop.

Food Dive discussed a survey on consumer concern for animal welfare.

The New York Times reported on a new EPA rule on the use of scientific studies in rulemaking.

 

The Calgary Herald discussed McDonald’s decision to use certified sustainable beef.

The Seattle Times reported on a program to gather excess produce for those in need.

Forbes reported on the use of blockchain to track the global food supply chain.

AgCanada discussed hog and cattle future declines over trade war concerns.

Bloomberg discussed the impact of climate change on coffee beans.

 

On July 10, our Technology, Manufacturing and Transportation group blogged about the FAA approving a new UAS device for agricultural operations.

Agribusiness professionals are already proficient with a variety of federal regulations (USDA, EPA, etc.) but adding an unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”) into the business brings another agency into the mix – the Federal Aviation Administration – with its own set of regulations. In some scenarios this added regulatory burden may be worthwhile because UAS can be used to perform crop protection product (“CPP”) spraying operations (“spraying”) on crops more efficiently than manned aircraft, saving money for both farmers and consumers. Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (“Yamaha”) recently announced it has been granted an FAA exemption for its FAZER unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”) to be used for agricultural spraying. To read the full blog post please click here.