With a thorough understanding of the food industry, laws and regulations and close connections with the regulatory bodies, our cross-practice team of experts helps our clients navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the fast-moving, intensely competitive and increasingly regulated food sector.
In an increasingly competitive sector, businesses need legal advisors who understand the issues companies face – whether those are driven by regulation or commercial pressures. Food business operators face a tremendous pressure today to ensure strict compliance with food safety and food hygiene for example
It is therefore important to protect your business and reputation with advice from dedicated specialists in food law.
Our team is able to guide our clients through the entire food supply chain, from the farm stage through production, packaging and distribution, to marketing and retailing. Lawyers from our Commercial & Litigation and Regulatory practice groups offer integrated advice on food safety compliance and regulatory issues, product recall, product liability claims, crisis management, supply chain contracts and related dispute resolution.
Our Trade Practice and Consumer law specialists advise clients in the areas of food labelling and advertising, brand protection and exploitation, unfair commercial practices and consumer protection regulations, and imports and exports. We also have expertise in relation to the pan-European implementation of the EU REACH, WEEE and RoHS Regulations. We often work in close collaboration with trusted foreign law firms on cross-border matters.
Our team has a thorough understanding of the industry, laws and regulations and close connections with the regulatory bodies, at Belgian and EU level, helping us to identify and stay abreast of trends and proposals that may have an impact on our clients' operations. We have considerable experience working, in particular, with FEVIA, the Belgian federation of the food industry, and FAFSC, the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain.
We can advise and assist you with:
Supply chain contracts (including procurement, facilities/property management, logistics, manufacturing, supply of goods, licensing and distribution agreements, and franchising)
Food safety and product liability (presence of pesticides in food, presence of substances in animal feed, GMO contaminated products, and recall of products)
Brand protection and advertising (advertising of alcoholic beverages, protection of trade secrets and intellectual property)
Packaging, storage and transport legislation (defective packaging and use of specific materials in packaging);
Imports and exports
Unfair trade practices
Mergers and Acquisitions
Crisis management and planning
Regulatory compliance and policy management
Our Relevant Experience
Representing a food and beverages company in cease-and-desist proceedings initiated by a competitor for unlawful comparative advertising on the packaging of their products
Advising a sugar producing company on a regular basis in relation to marketing campaigns B2C
Assisting a major multinational food company in several recall campaigns and problems concerning food safety
Advising a major sugar producer in relation to its compliance with relevant regulations further to the identification of microparticles of glass in certain batches of imported cane sugar
Advising a Belgian business in an enforcement action by the FAFSC concerning raised levels of pesticides identified in geranium stems used in the production of chocolate
Assisting a leading sugar producer in Belgium in a EUR 2.5M recall and product liability insurance claim against AXA-AIG (CHARTIS), as well as the underlying litigation against it by several farmers
Assisting a Finnish insurer and its insured against the Belgian-based distributor of genetically modified flaxseed and his Belgian product liability insurer
Setting up a consortium to study the environmental and health impacts of nanomaterials in food and drink products
Assisting a Belgian food manufacturer in negotiating the settlement of a major product liability claim with its liability insurer
Assisting a leading global supplier of lactic acid and lactates in relation to an extensive recall campaign by one of its clients who wanted to recall batches of its products because of their inappropriate odour, allegedly caused by the lactic acid.
Set-up of a consortium to study the environmental and health impacts of nano-materials in food and drink products
Advising manufacturers of food and household products on product information issues
Assisting food manufacturers regarding the insolvency risk of commercial intermediaries distributing the products to supermarkets
Assisting a distributor of seeds and oils in its relation to potential recall or other safety measures imposed by the Food Safety authorities
Assisting a major egg-powder manufacturer supplying many European industrial bakeries and cookies and cakes manufacturers with a product recall and organising our clients’ defence against its own clients in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
Advising a major sugar producer and its sister company, both part of a European leader in sugar production, on several issues relating to labelling, food components and the addition of nutrients;
Assisting a major sugar producer in the review of labelling requirements for its products in several non-European countries (including the USA, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Oman, Libya and Algeria);
advising the coffee division of a large multinational group on various matters directly or indirectly related to consumer safety
In general, advising clients on mandatory information required on food labels, plus information on ingredients, nutrition and health claims.