Vital Farm’s Blockbuster IPO, Explosion Destroys Lebanon’s Grain Reserves + More

Source: Arab News

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.

Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut destroyed Lebanon’s main grain silo at the port, which held tons of Lebanon’s food stocks. The nation is now left with just six weeks worth of grain reserves.

In other news, Vital Farms raised $200 million in its public offering last Friday, valuing it at $1.3 billion.

One-third of U.S. restaurants, or 231, 000, are expected to permanently close this year as a result of the hardships caused by COVID-19. In New York alone, 80% of restaurants weren’t able to make rent in July and 40% didn’t pay rent at all.

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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.


1. Lebanon: Fear of Food Shortages After Beirut Explosion Hits Grain ReservesArab News

Lebanon’s main grain silo at Beirut port was destroyed in a blast, leaving the nation with less than a month’s reserves of grain. Beirut port silos had capacity for 120k tons.


2. Vital Farms’ Blockbuster IPO Proves Wall Street Has an Appetite for Sustainable Farming – Forbes

The company raised $200m in its public offering on Friday, valuing it at $1.3b. Its shares soared 60%, closing at $35. The company’s success proves that more ethical standards are appealing to consumers and investors.


3. One Third of US Restaurants Face Permanent Closure This Year – Bloomberg

As many as 231k of the nation’s roughly 660k eateries will likely shut down this year.


4. Getting Covid Gets You Fired When You’re a Food Worker on a Visa – Bloomberg

As coronavirus cases explode at US farms and food factories, foreign migrants who pick fruit, clean seafood and sort vegetables are getting trapped in tightly packed bunkhouses where illness spreads like wildfire. Often, they can’t leave – unless they’re willing to risk deportation.


5. Farmers Business Network Raises Funds at $1.75B Valuation – Bloomberg

The $250m round was led by BlackRock. FBN plans to expand its agritech platform with new funds.


6. The US Food System Is Killing Americans – CNN

Among the most significant risk factors for hospitalization and death in Covid-19 are the presence of diet-related chronic diseases. Nearly three out of four American adults are overweight or obese. Half have diabetes or pre-diabetes.


7. In Trying Times, Americans Look to Our True Leaders — Chain Restaurants — for GuidanceEater

Starbucks, McDonald’s and Chipotle all have in-store mask policies and guidance, which is more than the federal government can say.


8. Nearly 40% of NYC Restaurants Didn’t Pay Any Rent in JulyEater

The NYC Hospitality Alliance recently surveyed 471 establishments in the city and found more than 80% did not pay full rent.


9. A Few Farmers Get Huge USDA Relief Payments While Many Struggle for PenniesThe Counter

While a handful of farmers received hundreds of thousands of dollars, more than 300 received less than $10.


10. How Essential Food Workers Are Fighting Back – Civil Eats

With lawsuits and the civil rights complaints, advocates are taking concrete steps to prevent risking workers’ lives for the sake of company profits.


11. Food & Ag Anti-Racism Resources + Black Food & Farm Businesses to Support

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.


12. Beyond Meat’s US Grocery Sales Nearly Triple, Offsetting Restaurant LossesCNBC

Sales soared 194.9% during the quarter ended June 27.


13. DoorDash Launches a Convenience StoreTechCrunch

The digital storefronts are available in eight cities throughout the US and plans to launch in additional cities over the next few months. They are essentially micro-fulfillment centers for delivery workers.


14. Trader Joe’s Defends Product Labels Criticized as Racist – New York Times

Weeks after admitting that some of its international-themed product labels might have fallen short of an “attempt at inclusiveness,” the grocery store chain is rejecting criticism of the labels.



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The post Vital Farm’s Blockbuster IPO, Explosion Destroys Lebanon’s Grain Reserves + More appeared first on Food+Tech Connect.

Vital Farm’s Blockbuster IPO, Explosion Destroys Lebanon’s Grain Reserves + More