A Food, Beverage and Agribusiness Podcast
Shining a Light on Greek Cuisine with Chef Doug Psaltis
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with Doug Psaltis, chef and owner of Andros Taverna in Chicago and owner of Eat Well Hospitality. Doug reminisces about his life, from growing up in a Greek household and spending time at his grandfather’s diner in Queens to working with some of the best chefs in the world and opening several new restaurants. He discusses the impetus behind Andros Taverna – to start a small company with his wife focusing on heritage projects while creating a healthy, affordable restaurant that showcases Greek cuisine in a setting reminiscent of Athens, Greece. Doug also touches on how the pandemic has changed his perspective, offers advice for aspiring chefs and restaurateurs and shares a few details about his next project.
Exploring ESG in the Food, Beverage and Agribusiness Sectors
In this episode, host Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness (FBA) Practice, speaks with Stewart Lindsay, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Campbell Soup Company. They explore Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) trends, from consumer interest in the sustainability of food and agriculture, to the availability of technology to measure and monitor value chains, to the development of environmental markets, and beyond. Stewart discusses Campbell’s ESG framework, noting key initiatives such as emissions reduction goals in its own operations, sourcing key commodities from farmers engaged in sustainable agriculture programs, and engaging with local communities on school nutrition. He also provides a glimpse into Campbell’s Corporate Responsibility Report, and offers some best practices for agribusiness and food companies creating and deploying an ESG framework for the first time.
A Look at Non-Cannabis Derived CBD Products
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.
How Restaurants Are Adapting to the Post-COVID World
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.
Leveraging Data and Technology to Achieve Scalable Food Service
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.
Internal Investigations and the Food, Beverage and Agribusiness Industry
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.