Food & Agriculture

Food & Agriculture

Downey Brand’s Food and Agriculture Group helps clients thrive in one of California’s most regulated industries.

Our attorneys have extensive practical experience with the issues of daily importance to farmers, ranchers, input suppliers, packers, processors and grocers allowing our clients to focus on the demands of their operations.

Downey Brand provides a range of services to our Food and Ag clients that is unmatched in the region and covers the spectrum of industry issues from air quality compliance to tax issues and from pesticide regulation to succession planning. However, our advantages aren’t confined to knowing the law—we are active participants, as well as advisors, to the industry trade groups, associations and their members who must deal each and every day with specific concerns of specialized industries. We are also involved with the legislative committees and agencies that determine that regulatory environment in which the Food and Ag industry will operate.

Our comprehensive approach reflects the reality of today’s Food and Ag industry—a thriving, highly-regulated industry with complex business needs. Our litigators have worked extensively at the federal, state and  local levels, on issues that include:

  • Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act
  • Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Food Labeling
  • Hazardous Waste Handling
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Supply Contract Disputes
  • Pesticide Regulations
  • Land Use and Permitting
  • Lease Disputes
  • Real Estate Disputes
  • Regulatory and Administrative Disputes, Including Writ Proceedings
  • License Suspension and Revocation Hearings
  • Crop Damage
  • Water Supply and Water Rights
  • Wastewater Regulation
  • Liquor Wholesale Contract Dispute Negotiations

We understand that many of our clients are family businesses both large and small and we work with them to address the particular issues of a family owned enterprise including estate planning and succession.

Experience

  • Drafted production and supply contracts for many growers, packers, and processors
  • Represented large farming operations in the development of innovative conservation easements
  • Represented large dairy processor in a major wastewater discharge dispute with the Regional Water Board
  • Represented canning companies in major wastewater discharge disputes with the Regional Water Board
  • Represented farmers and processors in contract and other commercial disputes
  • Represented both farmers and applicators in pesticide spraying and drift cases
  • Represented major grocer in significant acquisition and joint venture transactions
  • Represented major agricultural lender in a lender liability dispute
  • Represent grape growers regarding a proposed conditional waiver for agricultural and storm water runoff from vineyards and roads
  • Represented major fruit processor in intellectual property licensing case
  • Represented major fruit processor in bond and debt financing
  • Represented food industry clients in food labeling, false advertising, product liability and Prop 65 cases, including class actions
  • Represented major packer in real estate acquisition and buy-out of multistate competitor
  • Served as lead trial and appellate counsel for ten major Sacramento River Settlement Contractors in their successful defense against an Endangered Species Act challenge to their Central Valley Project water supplies.
  • Represented egg producers in seeking clarification and/or invalidation of Proposition 2
  • Represented livestock and egg farmers in actions filed by animal welfare advocacy groups
  • Resolved problems with small wind turbine program run by the California Energy Commission for systems designed to be used on farms to reduce water pumping and other electrical loads
  • Represented large canning company in class action defense
  • Represented fertilizer manufacturer in product liability action
  • Represented large forest products company in action by federal and state agencies to recover costs of fire suppression
  • Represent grape growers in action to collect from wineries that delay or refuse payments for crop
  • Represent industry associations in drafting, negotiating and passage of key statutes and regulations
  • Represent grocery stores in actions to evict trespassing solicitors
  • Represent grocery stores in compliance with environmental regulations

Selected Experience
  • Drafted production and supply contracts for many growers, packers, and processors
  • Represented large farming operations in the development of innovative conservation easements
  • Represented large dairy processor in a major wastewater discharge dispute with the Regional Water Board

The Downey Brand Story

With deep experience in our clients' industries, Downey Brand provides the vision and coverage you need.

Advancing your interests