Our expertise in the food and beverage sector runs from the farm to the consumer and is truly global.

We have advised grain farmers on joint venture arrangements and compliance with EU environmental rules. We assist importers and processors with the EU’s customs code.  We advise food manufacturers on corporate, IP and commercial issues.  We have helped suppliers of food supplements and novel foods to prepare their products for the EU and to market them in the EU.  And we support food and beverage retailers in developing their operations internationally and protecting their brands. 

We have advised clients and completed innumerable food and beverage deals throughout the UK, EU, Eastern Europe (including Russia, the Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus) and internationally including in China, Japan and the USA.

We guide our clients through the EU’s complex and ever-changing regulatory environment.  We help them to understand and comply with food labelling requirements, making health and nutrition claims, product safety and recall, and environmental issues.  We lobby on behalf of clients and where appropriate, challenge rules before the EU courts. 

Expertise

Regulatory:

  • Competition advice
  • Groceries Code Adjudicator Act
  • Data protection and privacy
  • Employer obligations
  • IP: patents, trademarks, designs and know-how
  • Novel foods
  • Contaminants and supplements

Supply chain:

  • Research and development
  • Commercialisation / product launches
  • Procurement
  • Distribution, franchising and licensing
  • Imports and exports
  • Brand protection and development
  • Corporate mergers and acquisition

Consumer:

  • Product liability and recall
  • Food safety and hygiene
  • Nutrition and health claims
  • Labelling and information
  • Packaging and food contact materials
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Environmental

 

 

Notable deals / highlights

  • Supporting the Quadram Institute Bioscience (formerly Institute of Food Research (IFR)) to develop a business and go-to-market strategy, create the company structure and provide financial, regulatory and IP advice in order to commercialise a range of enhanced food products with medical benefits.
  • Managing a European demand for authorisation of new additives and novel foods.
  • Supporting a leading global rice supplier on customs classification and sanctions compliance.
  • Advising on label requirements for food supplements, along with suitability of formulations and possible health/beauty claims, allowing the strongest possible marketing proposition.
  • Acting in a substantial arbitration dispute concerning exclusivity and plant variety rights in relation to table grapes.
  • Advising a US-based supplier of supplements on the legal and commercial aspects of claims made on their products as part of a wider product ingredient and labelling review.
  • Conducting a risk assessment for a household brand on use of the word "Pure" to describe a product that is not made up of a single ingredient.
  • Conducting labelling reviews for a number of other clients and products to assess compliance with European and national laws and national guidance from advisory trade groups.
  • Conducting an EU-wide risk audit for a leading coffee company in order to better position the company to conduct business operations consistently, without hindering effective decision-making, and to enable executives to capitalise on commercial opportunities in a way which reflects the company's risk appetite. 
  • Defending a German sausage manufacturer in relation to the Bundeskartellamt's investigation into illegal price-fixing agreements.
  • Advising a global supplier of cereal on risk management strategy in relation to a potential product recall issue concerning celery contamination. 
  • Advising the Groceries Code Adjudicator in relation to her investigation into delayed payments by Tesco to its suppliers.  This was the Adjudicator's first investigation since her establishment in 2013, so it was an important milestone in establishing the credibility of her new office.   We guided the GCA and her team through the enquiry and information gathering process and assisted with the drafting of the report and recommendations.

 

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Expertise activity stream