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Food & Agriculture Consulting

Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting engages directly in both legislative and regulatory processes. Our professionals, many of whom previously worked at federal agencies or as congressional committee staff, work directly with congressional committees that oversee food safety, agriculture, environment, and health and nutrition. Of particular significance, we frequently work with both agencies that have regulatory oversight of the food and agriculture industries, and those industries' stakeholders.

We have a regular presence with:

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on new health policy, food safety and regulatory trends, working with FDA leadership, policy staff and food center program staff.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on issues relating to food safety, the country of origin labeling (COOL) program, due process rights for producers, and risk management and farm support programs.
  • The U.S. Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency on water and air policy and other environmental issues, including concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) regulation.

FDA and USDA play complementary roles on food safety and related issues. We have experience working directly with USDA, as well as with USDA as a part of the regulatory interplay with FDA, particularly on the issue of food safety.

FDA Expertise

  • FDA regulatory and guidance advocacy, early policy development and influence, and formal comments on agency regulations and policy.
  • Congressional advocacy, including engagement with clients' congressional representatives, relevant committees of jurisdiction and other key policymakers.
  • Assistance in preparing for or responding to congressional oversight and investigations.
  • All aspects of crisis management, including strategic and tactical preparedness and response.
  • Public and media relations advice and services.

USDA Expertise

  • Analysis of Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) policies affecting producers' ability to manage risk.
  • Collaboration with officials at the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) to ensure open export markets for American producers.
  • Collaboration with Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on policies affecting due process rights for organic and conventional producers.
  • Engagement with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on issues relating to invasive species.

EPA Expertise

  • Develop comprehensive regulatory strategies, including meetings with agency officials, submission of formal correspondence, attracting third-party stakeholder support, activating grassroots networks and identifying congressional allies.
  • Assist clients by developing a congressional strategy, including core messages and targets to address objections in the implementation of federal environmental regulation.
  • Analyze, draft and submit public comments for clients who have specific concerns with complex federal environmental regulations.

Farm Bill Expertise

The five-year Farm Bill is the keystone piece of legislation for American agricultural policy, and FaegreBD Consulting has significant experience engaging in the process of its drafting and passage. With the passage of the Farm Bill in February 2014, FaegreBDC continues to work with clients on various USDA-related legislative and regulatory issues, including Farm Bill implementation. At the onset of the Farm Bill debate in 2012, our professionals were able to engage immediately with numerous staff from both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, on behalf of clients. We successfully leveraged our relationships with key legislators on the committees, and key committee staff and legislative staff for key non-leadership committee members, to negotiate changes to the Farm Bill to benefit our clients and the agriculture industry in its entirety.

Food Safety Modernization Act

With passage in 2011 of the landmark food safety law, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the industry is currently undergoing a sea of change in how it manages the food safety aspects of its business. New requirements from FDA regarding preventive controls for human food and animal feed, foreign supplier verification and third-party accreditation have highlighted the need to understand the regulations being promulgated by FDA, to provide productive feedback to the agency and to implement the appropriate measures in order to ensure compliance.

Our firm has had high-level congressional and administration negotiators among its professionals, who were engaged even prior to the law's enactment. We have helped clients interpret the regulations, respond with formal comments and meet with high-level FDA officials to express the needs and policy objectives of our clients. We have provided counsel to a host of clients on FSMA issues, from businesses providing verification services to associations working to ensure their product can be verifiably imported into the United States without affecting trade. FaegreBD Consulting professionals continue to engage FDA officials, fellow industry stakeholders and key trade associations on behalf of our clients.

Agricultural Labor & Immigration Expertise

The debate over immigration reform in 2013 has focused on several main components, including agricultural labor. Working on behalf of clients who will clearly benefit from a permanent and future agricultural workforce, FaegreBD Consulting engaged with the Agricultural Workforce Coalition (AWC), the leading coalition of major agricultural stakeholders. AWC united the agricultural interests and developed a compromise with the United Farm Workers (UFW) labor union to contribute to the landmark legislation currently being debated in Congress. Through our engagement on this critical issue in American agriculture, we have honed our immigration expertise to the benefit of clients and potential clients.

Food & Agriculture Industry Group

Our food and agriculture consulting team is supported by Faegre Baker Daniels' national food and agriculture industry focus. We have represented many of the world's leading food and agriculture companies since 1912, with more than 150 attorneys and consultants currently dedicated to serving them. We understand the science, economics, markets, government regulation and public relations aspects of the field-to-plate cycles, and we address food and agriculture clients' full range of business, consulting and legal needs.



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