Food & Beverage

The food and beverage sector is fast moving, fiercely competitive and highly regulated.

Whether your business is focused on growing crops or the processing, transportation, distribution, brand, promotion or sale of food, alcohol or natural health products, food and beverage law requires a legal team with exceptional insight and hands-on experience with government regulators.

Gowling WLG will help you achieve your commercial objectives against the backdrop of a challenging business environment.

With increasing regulation and compliance requirements, you need to know what changes are around the corner and how they could affect your business. We're actively engaged with critical regulatory departments and industry organisations across the globe. Gowling WLG professionals regularly work and represent clients and leading trade associations to engage regulators on proposed regulatory amendments.

Comprehensive solutions

Working together as an international network of business law professionals, we provide comprehensive solutions in financing, franchising, licensing and distribution, packaging and labelling, risk management and product liability for the food, beverage and natural health products industry.

You can rely on us to provide commercial insight and sensitivity to operational challenges. We understand the pressures associated with evolving supply chain regulation, the need for speed and accuracy of advice and that margins are under pressure - all of which puts pressure on food manufacturers to improve productivity and processes without compromising food safety standards and quality control.

Highlights of our recent work include:

  • Advising Weetabix, a global breakfast cereal brand with a presence in more than 80 countries, on its global intellectual property mandate
  • Advising United Biscuits, owner of worldwide brands such as McVitie's and Carrs, on issues such as the purchase of a West African biscuit manufacturer and distributor
  • Acting as virtual in-house counsel to some of the largest multi-national food, beverage and supplement brands in Canada
  • Advising Nomad Foods (previously Birds Eye Iglo) on its multi-million pound logistics contract with DHL, as well as its frozen food warehousing arrangements with Partner Logistics
  • Serving as counsel to a global food and confection company in multiple class actions commenced across Canada alleging price-fixing
  • Counsel to some of the world's leading pet food brands
  • Counsel to many leading food and alcohol manufacturers operating globally in product regulation, advertising, brand protection and recalls
  • Acting for leading restaurants and restaurant chains, giving strategic advice on franchising, advertising, contests, privacy and social media
  • Counsel to a number of the leading fitness, sports nutrition and supplements companies in Canada

Advice where you need it

Your business doesn't stop at borders - and neither do we. Around the world, our clients look to us for advice on all of their issues concerning food, beverage and natural health product production and manufacturing, including:

  • Brand promotion and protection, including trademarks and other intellectual property
  • Clinical trial agreements
  • Counterfeit and grey market
  • Distribution and franchising
  • Employment, labour and health & safety laws
  • Food and supplement importing
  • Food safety
  • Health, nutrient content, and other claims support
  • Misleading advertising and class action defence
  • Product formulation and ingredient review
  • Product labelling, packaging and marketing
  • Product liability issues and recalls
  • Regulatory approvals, licensing and reforms
  • Representation before government departments and agencies
  • Site licence submissions for natural health products
  • Social media, contests, and promotions

Whether your challenges are on advertising to children, cannabis, front of package labelling, nutrient disclosure requirements, or the self-care framework, we're always up to speed on market developments, helping you to respond to changing regulations and the latest legislation. With substantial experience, we can provide you with innovative, pragmatic solutions - from field to fork. With Gowling WLG, you're in safe hands.

Learn more

To learn more about how we can help you succeed, please contact any member of our team.

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