From farm to fork and all stages of the supply chain, TDS recognizes the vital role that our food producers and the companies that add value upstream and downstream play. TDS supports both family and corporate farms, food processors and retailers, agricultural equipment manufacturers, agribusiness service providers, grain companies and crop input manufacturers.
Clients expect that our lawyers know the law, that is a given. While many lawyers know the law, TDS lawyers make an extra effort to not only know our clients’ business, but also to understand their industry and the nuances that go along with each unique sector. In order to better understand the evolving needs of agribusiness and agrifood companies, we are members of Food & Beverage Manitoba, have participated in events with the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers (CAAR) and the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists, and have spoken at industry conferences, including Ag Days. In addition, TDS agribusiness lawyers have written timely client alerts on recent industry developments and articles on agricultural matters for leading publications such as Country Guide Magazine. In addition, lawyers from our agribusiness group have been sessional lecturers of the Agricultural Law course at the University of Manitoba. This elective course is available through the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and covers legal issues that owners and managers of farm businesses will encounter in their farming careers. Our agribusiness lawyers work as part of our clients’ team to develop strategies and solve problems, including:
- Business Immigration – When our clients need to look outside Canada for labour, we assist with navigating the immigration bureaucracy to ensure that applications are processed and the people they need to run their operation are able to work in Canada.
- Corporate and Commercial – Our business law group helps clients with a wide range of corporate and commercial matters including financing, restructuring, partnerships, joint ventures, corporate governance, taxation, securities, intellectual property and shareholder agreements.
- Corporate Development – TDS has direct access to innovative services offered through our strategic partner, Acumen Corporate Development Inc. Acumen provides clients with a full suite of strategic business services which helps clients with both their growth and exit strategies.
- Environmental Compliance – Environmental sustainability, safety and compliance are another top concern of agribusiness and agrifood companies. Lawyers in our firm assist our clients by providing advice concerning environmental assessment processes, environmental issues in real property transactions, contaminated site issues caused by fertilizer and other chemicals, environmental management systems (EMS), and regulatory compliance.
- Financing – Financing agribusiness operations can be critical to the future of a business and its growth strategy. Our lawyers have relationships with many leading financial institutions and government agencies. Our strategic connections can help in assisting clients with grant applications and lease/loan negotiations and applications. TDS is a member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association (CVCA), and our lawyers are also very connected in the venture capital and private equity circles.
- Intellectual Property (IP) Protection – Agribusiness companies can generate a large amount of intellectual property that can be complex, valuable and difficult to protect. Our team assists clients with copywriting and trademarking and work closely with patent agents to ensure valuable IP assets are protected. Once our clients’ intellectual property is protected, we assist them in negotiating and licensing their technology to their strategic partners, clients and suppliers.
- Labour & Employment – Labour and employment law in the ag industry has some unique characteristics. Whether with respect to terminology or cultural norms, TDS agribusiness lawyers have experience with matters specific to the ag sector. Workplace Health & Safety Regulations and employee handbooks are areas of interest for many employers. Our lawyers work with our clients to develop comprehensive agreements, policies and documentation to protect both the worker and the company.
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution – Litigation and dispute resolution in the ag industry has some unique characteristics. Amongst those unique characteristics is the ability of ag producers in some situations to impose a stay of proceedings upon creditors and a mediation process under the federal legislation. Whether with respect to unique statutory processes, terminology or cultural, TDS agribusiness lawyers have experience with matters specific to the ag sector. With the largest litigation and dispute resolution practice in Manitoba, we are able to work collaboratively with clients to ensure that they receive innovative, cost-effective representation. Whether it is contractual disputes, bankruptcy, class actions, intellectual property disputes, tax litigation, or commercial litigation, we can help.
- Mergers & Acquisitions – Our lawyers regularly assist local, national and international clients with leveraged and management buy-outs, joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures, cross-border transactions, public company transactions, reorganizations and recapitalizations, transactions involving divisions, subsidiaries and spinoffs, and restructurings. Today’s M&A transactions are often global in reach. TDS is a founding member (and the exclusive Manitoba member) of Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms, with in-depth experience in 100+ countries worldwide. Our global connections to top law firms can make a world of difference to clients when it comes to M&A.
- Real Estate Transactions – TDS provides counsel and services to lenders and borrowers in financing transactions, and to a wide number and variety of clients in the acquisition and sale of property including commercial, industrial and retail properties.
- Tax Credits for Research & Development – Agribusiness and Agrifood companies may benefit from applying for Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits with assistance from their accounting firms. However, the claims are sometimes denied by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). When appropriate, our tax dispute resolution lawyers advocate on behalf of our clients, helping them receive the tax credits which are valuable to the growth and success of their business.
- Transportation – Our firm has helped with the development of several short-line railroads in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta which support farming communities, investors and stakeholders in the grain supply chain and their ability to quickly and efficiently transport products to distribution facilities. Our latest projects involved the creation of the Lake Line Railroad Inc. from Gimli to Selkirk and the Long Creek Railroad Company Inc.
While you focus on the operation of your business, we will work on solving your legal problems and protecting your interests. Whatever your challenge, we’re ready to support you. TDS is proud to be external counsel for some leading agribusiness and agrifood companies, including:
- HyLife Inc.
- Farmers Edge
- Primary Producers
- Grain companies and crop input suppliers (including seed, crop protection and fertilizer)
- Buhler Industries Inc.
- Delmar Commodities
- Several shortline railroads including Long Creek Railroad Company Inc. and Lake Line Railroad Inc.
- Wolftrax Inc.
- Shape Foods, Inc.
- Country Meat and Sausage Inc.