Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.
Biden has appointed of Tom Vilsack, who served for eight years under the Obama administration, as Ag Secretary. His nomination comes with deep reservations from the civil rights community, who were hoping he would choose Rep. Marcia Fudge. She will instead be tapped to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
DoorDash’s stock rose 86 percent above its initial public offering price of $102 to close the day at $190. The company raised $3.4 billion at a $72 billion valuation, making it one of the largest I.P.O.s of the year.
Last but not least, the French Ag Minister tweeted that France would not be supporting cell-cultured meat despite rising consumer acceptance, following news of Singapore’s regulatory approval of cultured chicken last week.
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Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.
Progressives and civil rights groups hoped for the appointment of Marcia Judge. Instead, they’ll get Tom Vilsack, who delivered centrist, corporate-friendly policies at the USDA during the Obama administration.
The delivery company’s shares closed at $190 each, 86% above its initial public offering price of $102. The company raised $3.4b at a $72b valuation.
It’s time the secretary of agriculture leverages the department’s impact for more than the benefit of agribusiness.
The soaring IPO has pushed Xu’s net worth above $3b, as shares have surged to $186 per share. Cofounders Andy Fang and Stanley Tang have stakes valued at more than $2b.
The tweet came in response to Singapore’s regulatory approval for cell-based food products.
Investors in the round include Manna Tree and The Silverman Group, bringing total raised to $130m. Funding will be used to develop more greenhouses across the US and bring new vegetables to market.
Blue Horizon Ventures led the round. Funding will be used to expand its team and build an industrial production line towards commercialization.
Oxford Finance and Trinity Capital led the round. Funding will allow the company to accelerate its go-to-market strategies, introduce products and be more efficient with large purchases.
The food and agtech sectors saw an influx of $11.6b in the first three quarters of 2020.
The bill represents a course attempt to add Black people to an already broken agricultural system, largely at the expense of Indigenous people, while opening up a bonanza of cash to Black nonprofits built into the legislation as power brokers.
Restaurants and bars lost over 17k jobs in November. Unemployment in leisure and hospitality is 134% higher than the national average. Jobs are still 2.1m fewer than the start of the pandemic.
International Finance Corporation led the round. Funding will go towards expanding globally, with the aim of having a billion trees in its care by 2023.
He raised more than $21.5m in seven weeks to assist unemployed restaurant workers.
He is the first Black lawmaker to hold the position and plans to address issues on climate change and racial inequities in agriculture. Scott’s appointment represents the growing importance the party places on food stamps and the school lunch program.
The final coronavirus aid package of the year would direct 3% of its $900b in funding to food assistance and relief for agricultural producers.
Check out our list of resources to learn about systemic racism in the food and agriculture industries. We also highlight Black food and farm businesses and organizations to support.