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Food & Agribusiness

With our footprint in one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the
country, food and agribusiness law is in our blood.

Barley Snyder’s “home” is in southcentral Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s premiere agricultural and food production regions. It is an area long associated with the Amish way of life and Pennsylvania Dutch quality. Lancaster County ranks as the No. 1 county in productivity among non-irrigated farming counties in the United States.

From our beginning, Barley Snyder has worked with food, beverage and agribusiness clients, from family farms to food and beverage production firms of national stature. Our clients face an environment of growing challenges, including changing consumer preferences dictating changes to ingredients and production methods, and greater compliance burdens posed by new legislation and regulations — including the Food Safety Modernization Act. 

While our food, beverage and agribusiness relationships involve an array of businesses, including national and public companies, a substantial amount of our practice involves closely held and family-owned businesses, and we are sensitive to their particular views and business approach.

Examples of Food and Agribusiness Product/Client Experience

  • More than 100 production, processing and distribution business clients, including in protein, poultry, eggs, pork and dairy
  • Animal feed, pet food and crops
  • Snack foods
  • Pastry, desserts and baked goods
  • Frozen foods
  • Produce
  • Chocolate and confections
  • Beverages

Food and Agribusiness Ancillary Business Experience

  • Finance and lending, representing some of the leading agriculture lenders
  • Facility development and construction
  • Supply chain management
  • Processing equipment manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Production, processing and distribution
    • Advice and assistance at all levels – from farm to table, including sales contracts, grower contracts, dealer and distributor issues and supply chain management
  • Regulatory and Quality
    • State and federal regulatory compliance, including assistance with requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act
    • Product safety, government inspections and recalls
    • Product labeling and labeling litigation risks
    • Organic, GRAS (generally accepted as safe), allergen and other content issues
    • Government permitting
  • Business Support
    • Real estate, as well as facility construction and permitting
    • Employment and labor, including wage and hour, EEOC, OSHA and other food and agribusiness specific experience, including audits and best practices for immigration law compliance
    • Environmental and land use, including wastewater projects and waste management and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO)
    • Financing and leasing
    • Mergers and acquisitions, both buy and sell side
    • Corporate and tax planning
    • Insurance and risk management
  • Intellectual Property
    • Product trademarks
    • Licensing
    • Patent prosecution
    • R&D projects
  • Litigation
  • Personal Planning
    • Particularly for family businesses, extensive familiarity with succession planning and estate planning in the context of family-owned businesses

The group also works with beverage companies, such as breweries, wineries, distilleries, and juice, milk and drink producers, in all aspects of their business. The group has advised start-up brewery and winery businesses helping them obtain industry-specific and niche liquor licenses from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, find favorable financing plans and broker real estate transactions. We have also assisted with beverage regulatory, permitting and labeling issues with the FDA, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of U.S. Treasury (TTB), the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. As with all of our food and agriculture clients, we have represented beverage makers in a variety of nonregulatory matters, including real estate, trademark, employment, contracts and the negotiation and litigation of supply, packaging and trademark disputes.

Our Food & Agribusiness Industry Group utilizes client teams, providing each client with the skills and experience best suited to represent them. We also utilize a project management approach to identify client goals and plan an efficient means to timely accomplish those goals.

Tim Dietrich, one of our partners, leads the Food and Agribusiness Industry Group and he can be reached at: (610) 898-7154, (610) 763-3031 (cell) or tdietrich@barley.com.

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