Tree-Friendly Commodities, A Dairy Success Story, and Other Legal News
E.U. Law to Require Tree-Friendly Commodities
The European Union has proposed a new deforestation law that will require companies selling 6 major commodities to prove that the products were not produced on deforested land. While the new law still has to be approved by E.U. member nations, it will have a major impact on commodity traders and agricultural companies. The targeted commodities include: soy, beef, coca, coffee, palm oil, and wood. It will also cover some processed products such as leather and furniture. The law will require companies to collect, verify, and report the origins of the commodities to ensure they were not produced on deforested land. Commodities produced on deforested land will be prohibited and companies will be subject to fines for violations.
Gourmet Farm Ice Cream
Southern Craft Creamery is another great example of a commodity producer recognizing the value of branding and capturing added value of their milk commodity through their own gourmet farm ice cream business. Their story is the subject of a recent DTN write-up, which tells the all-too-common challenge commodity producers face – the product is just another addition to a sea of the same commodity which gets precious little of the consumer’s attention or revenue. The idea for an ice cream business began to grow when the owners of Cindale Dairy couldn’t tell folks in their community where to buy their Cindale Dairy milk – it was simply being sold on the commodity market. When one of the owner’s children told them about an Atlanta ice cream shop that was struggling to source local milk, the ice cream idea blossomed. After taking an ice cream short course at Penn State and doing testing with flavors and processing, they launched their own ice cream brand using their own nonhomogenized milk. Since then, other family members have joined the operation and Southern Craft Creamery opened a ice cream shop in Marianna, Florida. The ice cream business brought a value-added business to Cindale Dairy, and they’ve added bottled milk and grain-finished beef to the product line. And just in case you were wondering, yes, they’ve registered a trademark for Southern Craft Creamery.
EPA fines Nutrien for illegal dicamba applications
Nutrien, one of the world’s largest crop input suppliers, was fined $668,100 by the EPA for 60 applications of dicamba that were either off-label or “in a manner inconsistent with the label.” The EPA’s enforcement action and fine is notable for various reasons, but a few tend to stand out: (i) dicamba-specific training has been required for dicamba applications for a number of years, and (ii) the spraying was done by professional applicators. And so continues the long-running saga of dicamba damage in farm country.
I recently had the great privilege of discussing a handful of agriculture’s current legal issues with Class 17 of LSU’s Agricultural Leadership Development Program. The Ag Leadership Program is a two-year course led by Dr. Bobby Soileau that trains Louisiana’s agricultural stakeholders to become advocates for rural and agricultural interests. The seminar session featured some great discussion on future challenges in ag and engagement opportunities for Class participants to meet those challenges.