Don't Miss a Beet

Podcast episode
07/26/2022
Guests
Chris Hetherington
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with Chris Hetherington, founder, chairman and CEO of Peels, a health and wellness company that markets CBD products from orange peels. Chris describes his career path from NFL player and hedge fund managing director to startup founder with a mission to make the holistic benefits of CBD available to more people. He discusses the company’s strategic choice of orange peels, rather than hemp, to source the CBD in the company’s products. Chris and Jonathan also consider the regulatory and advertising challenges of operating in the CBD space. Finally, Chris shares his plans for the future of the company.
Industries Cannabis Law, Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
Podcast episode
06/28/2022
Guests
Spencer Ware
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, and colleague Stephen Ravin, a partner in the firm’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice, speak with Spencer Ware, Managing Director and Retail Practice Leader of national business advisory firm Riveron. They consider the challenges facing the food and beverage industry in the post-COVID world, from labor shortages and turnover to the effects of inflation on the prices of food, gasoline, and fertilizer. They explore how restaurants need to be flexible with their offerings, pricing and operations to thrive, for example by trimming portion sizes, maintaining flexible hours, and/or adapting menu items as the availability of certain proteins change. Finally, noting that restaurants and food suppliers have more negotiating power than ever before, the group discusses how it is imperative to work out arrangements with landlords and lenders at the earliest sign of trouble in order to remain financially sound. 
Industries Food, Beverage and Agribusiness, Hospitality
Podcast episode
05/26/2022
Guests
Brian Berger
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with Brian Berger, principal and founding partner of JBH Advisory Group, which provides a variety of advisory services to stakeholders involved in scalable food service throughout the hospitality industry. They discuss the challenge of trying to maintain consistency in an industry where the product experience can never be the same twice, and how tools such as data analytics and strategic purchasing can be leveraged to that end. They also examine how innovations developed years ago, such as ghost kitchens and ventless cooking methodologies, have helped operators in the food and beverage industry adapt to pandemic-related challenges, particularly labor shortages and supply chain issues.
Industries Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
Podcast episode
04/05/2022
Guests
Jennifer L. Beidel
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with colleague Jennifer Beidel, co-chair of the firm’s White Collar and Government Enforcement Practice and a former federal prosecutor, about internal investigations. Jen and Jonathan discuss that, given the heavily regulated nature of the food, beverage, and agribusiness industries, internal investigations regarding potential regulatory violations are common. The two further discuss that internal investigations in the space could also involve allegations of misconduct or criminal issues. Jen guides listeners through the goals of the investigation at the outset, looking for potential conflicts between the group running the investigation and the witnesses to be interviewed, how best to keep the information being investigated privileged, and deciding how and when to report findings to the appropriate regulatory body. Jen and Jonathan emphasize the importance of having a robust compliance program in place and thinking through a preliminary investigative plan before it is needed to understand compliance trends and help reduce risk. 
Practice areas White Collar and Government Enforcement
Industries Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
Podcast episode
01/06/2022
Guests
Mark Haraburda
In this episode, host Kermit Nash, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, and colleague Casey Grabenstein, a partner in the firm’s Litigation Practice, speak with Mark Haraburda, CEO of Barchart, a leading provider of commodities and exchange data. They discuss how the digital age has not only impacted boards of trade going from the open-outcry days of traders shouting and giving hand signals on the trading floor to a two-way electronic trading environment, but also how today’s technology has leveled the playing field for all sizes of farmers, cooperatives and agriculture companies to easily and quickly access real-time data and seamlessly conduct business. For example, the traditional way of farmers selling grain has evolved from face-to-face interactions at the co-op or grain elevator to transactions being conducted over mobile apps that connect farmers to merchandisers instantly.
Industries Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
Podcast episode
12/01/2021
Guests
Alexander R. Bilus
In this episode, host Kermit Nash, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with colleague Sandy Bilus, co-chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Practice, about how cyber criminals are targeting agribusiness and food companies and the ways these companies are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks, such as ransomware attacks that significantly disrupt operations. They discuss three key steps that companies should be taking right now to help handle and prepare for cyber threats, including having comprehensive information security programs, viable data backups, and written incident response plans in place, as well as cyber insurance.
Practice areas Cybersecurity and Privacy
Industries Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
Podcast episode
09/13/2021
Guests
Kenneth VandeVrede
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Cannabis Law Practice and of the firm’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with Ken VandeVrede, CEO of Hillview, a New Jersey-based cannabis company that has developed a portfolio of ethical, forward-thinking cannabis brands, including fast-growing hemp-infused seltzer product Kaló. Ken talks about his family’s commercial agricultural background that led him to first get involved in the cannabis space in 2010 and how he seized on the hemp product opportunities coming out of the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill. Ken addresses the challenges of the federal and state regulatory framework and how, because the landscape is always evolving, he wants his products and company to be very nimble, specifically with their product labels. Jonathan and Ken also discuss the upcoming launch of Hillview’s new Kaló THC product in certain markets and how, in some ways, specific state-based regulations make it easier to produce a THC-infused beverage than a hemp-infused or a CBD-infused beverage.
Podcast episode
06/02/2021
Guests
Paul Schiefer
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with Paul Schiefer, senior director of sustainability at Amy’s Kitchen, which started in a home kitchen in Santa Rosa, California and now serves millions of consumers globally with organic ready-made canned and frozen meals. Paul discusses with Jonathan how Amy’s Kitchen last year became a Certified B Corporation®, a designation which means that the company has met the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Paul outlines for listeners the B Corporation® certification process that took several months to complete and analyzes the company’s operations and performance across several areas, such as governance, supply chain, adjacent and internal communities, and environment. Finally, Jonathan and Paul talk about how the B Corporation® principles mirror the company’s ethos and align with its sustainability goals, including scaling organic agriculture, investing in research to make it more productive, and decreasing the cost of organic food so it is affordable and accessible to everybody.
Podcast episode
02/18/2021
Guests
Justin C. Danilewitz
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with colleague Justin Danilewitz, a litigator in the Firm’s White Collar and Government Enforcement Practice and a former federal prosecutor, about the Responsible Corporate Officer (RCO) doctrine, also known as the Park doctrine, and how it impacts the FBA industry. Justin addresses how under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), the RCO doctrine can result in strict criminal liability for an individual who stands in a position of responsibility with respect to lower-level employees as a result of the conduct of those employees, even without knowledge of that conduct. Although strict liability for a criminal offense – without knowing participation in the conduct – is rare, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized this exceptional approach in the public welfare context, since public health and safety is paramount in the FBA industry. Jonathan and Justin discuss the practical applications of the doctrine, how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) partners with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on enforcement of the RCO doctrine, how federal prosecutors tend to look for evidence, and how companies can implement rigorous policies, procedures and training programs to help maintain compliance.
Industries Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
Podcast episode
01/12/2021
Guests
Tony Pavel
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with Tony Pavel, Senior Food Lawyer and Global Food Law Team Leader at Cargill, a global food, agricultural, financial and industrial products company. These former colleagues discuss how food law has grown more complicated over the years, particularly in relation to FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), traceability, the increasing globalization of supply chains, and consumers demanding labeling transparency and vast product information. They also discuss potential regulatory changes on the horizon given both technological advances in data-driven areas, such as rapid testing, and the beginning of the Biden Administration. 
Industries Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
Podcast episode
12/15/2020
Guests
Anthony Sepich
Host Kermit Nash, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with Anthony Sepich, CEO of Firm client Pipeline Foods, a supplier of organic and non-GMO food and feed ingredients for the consumer packaged goods and livestock industries. They discuss Anthony’s long career in the food industry and how trends have changed over the past several decades, particularly with organic food and clean labels. Anthony addresses how consumer demand for organic products is on the rise, a trend which is only expected to grow. He also addresses topics such as mislabeling of foods imported into the U.S. (e.g., “organic” products that don’t meet USDA’s organic standard), and how communication about disruptions in the supply chain has recently gotten much better. Finally, Anthony explains how a global database that does a quick mass balance and is shared across the supply chain would go a long way in reducing fraudulent product.
Industries Food, Beverage and Agribusiness
Podcast episode
11/18/2020
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens speaks with Kermit Nash, both of whom are co-chairs of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, about how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the production and distribution of food and beverage products—from dairy farms having to dump milk that would spoil before it reached its destination to disruptions with food supply going to schools, conventions and restaurants. Kermit addresses some positive impacts on the industry, such as how sourcing local food and organic/better-for-you food products have really flourished during the pandemic and how we saw direct interaction among those on the regulatory, production and consumption sides in pivoting from large bulk packaging to smaller packaging.
Industries Food, Beverage and Agribusiness

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