December 6, 2021

Volume XI, Number 340

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December 06, 2021

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In the Agribusiness Industry? Don't Miss These Three Legal Developments to Keep an Eye On

The North Carolina Chamber of Commerce is an avid advocate for the economic health and well-being of agribusiness and agriculture in the State through its lobbying efforts, resources available on its website, and through its "Ag Allies" webinars.

Ray Starling, the Chamber's General Counsel and President of the Chamber's Legal Institute, and others from the Chamber have been at the forefront of highlighting through the Ag Allies webinars key issues that the industry is facing or may soon face.   

The recent "Ag Allies: Landscape-Shifting Legal Developments" webinar covered three developments of interest for North Carolina's agribusiness industry:  

California's Proposition 12, often referred to as "Prop. 12," is California's "Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act."  When implemented on January 1, 2022, it will ban the sale in California of "whole pork meat" products derived from animals born after January 1, 2022, that were not raised in accordance with Prop. 12's exacting requirements.  The impact of Prop. 12 on North Carolina's pork industry is expected to be significant and wide ranging and will likely entail a substantial investment in time and funds to achieve compliance, loss of market share and presence for those who are not compliant, and increased costs for pork consumers.  In short, the price of bacon is (expected to be) going up.  

In Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassidthe United States Supreme Court was tasked with deciding whether a California regulation that required ag employers to give labor organizations the right to access the employer's property to meet and talk with the employer's employees and to solicit their support for unionization constituted a taking by the government that required just compensation.  In a 6-3 decision, the Court determined that the regulation was a taking.  In reaching that result, the Court recognized that the right of a property owner to exclude someone from the owner's property is itself a property right for which just compensation must be paid when that right is taken by the government.  This decision is an important one for property owner employers that could curtail the creation of regulations like the one at issue in the case that require them to make their property available without just compensation.     

North Carolina's Right to Farm law received a boost from the North Carolina General Assembly through amendments in 2017 (capped recoverable damages to the fair market value of a plaintiff's property) and in 2018 (narrowed who can bring a nuisance lawsuit against a farm and the time in which they can bring a nuisance suit).  These changes were enacted by the General Assembly in response to the mass nuisance litigation brought by over 500 plaintiffs against Murphy-Brown/Smithfield and the threat that future litigation like it presented for the State's agribusiness industry.  In 2019, three non-profit organizations challenged these amendments on the grounds that they violated North Carolina's Constitution.  Their challenge was dismissed at the state court level and is currently pending appeal before North Carolina's Court of Appeals. 

© 2021 Ward and Smith, P.A.. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 244
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About this Author

Allen N. Trask III, Litigation Attorney, Ward Smith, Wilmington, North Carolina, business, civil, commercial litigation
Litigation Attorney

Allen focuses his practice on assisting those who own, manage, and invest in real estate and common interest communities.  He regularly works with real estate developers and the residential and commercial community associations that they create to handle all manner of issues, including the preparation, amendment, interpretation, and enforcement of restrictive covenants and governing corporate documents, declarant control transition and disputes, community management, insurance claims and disputes, and collections.  He also frequently represents Real Estate Investment...

910-794-4804
Amy H. Wooten Construction Litigation Attorney Ward and Smith Raleigh, NC
Litigation Attorney

Amy Wooten has a wealth of experience in a wide range of substantive areas. She litigates complex commercial litigation cases; construction disputes; community association matters, and disagreements arising in the HOA context; professional licensing defense; and employment litigation. She represents clients in a broad range of commercial matters, such as breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair and deceptive trade practices claims. 

Amy also has significant experience representing industry professionals and contractors in construction defect disputes in state and...

919.277.9130
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