The Food Industry

The world's demand for quality food products with stable traceability is on the rise, and export is therefore an important growth area for Danish food firms. The key ongoing challenge is to develop international activities responsibly.
Our specialists advise leading and newly formed businesses in the food industry on all of the legal and strategic issues important to both new and well-established businesses in and around the industry.

The starting point for our advice is specialist knowledge of the general commercial law issues combined with industry insight. In this way, we ensure expert advice across a full range of legal subjects - whether your business is in the production, wholesale or retail.

Today, we advise around 150 food businesses within the following fields:

  • Food
  • Ingredients
  • Food Technology
  • Food supplements, herbal remedies and functional foods
  • Feed, grain, fertilizers, seed and horticulture

FOOD

Export growth and ever-increasing globalisation feature high on the agenda for many Danish food entities. Along with an escalating focus on food safety, strong food brands and ethics, the demands made by existing consumers and public authorities continue to grow proportionately.


The industry is therefore becoming increasingly dependent on sustainable and efficient production and vigilant brand protection.

We have in-depth knowledge of the overall commercial law requirements as well as the special rules and commercial challenges unique to the industry.

And notably, our specialists have accompanied clients abroad for a number of years, serving as a legal link to local advisers - including in relation to mergers and acquisitions, cooperation agreements and joint ventures.


We advise Danish and foreign food businesses on the full range of legal issues and challenges faced by the industry.


Our areas of advice includes:


  • Mergers and acquisitions, and cooperation
  • Competition law matters
  • Tax Law
  • Joint ventures, production and licences
  • Trademarks and patents
  • Advertising, "green" marketing, e-commerce and defining the cross-line to pharmaceuticals and herbal medicinal products
  • Crisis management in the event of e.g. product contamination, including handling of product recall and contact to authorities, media and customers
  • Special rules on animal welfare and health
  • Regulatory matters in relation to product and business-related approvals
  • Product packaging, including food labelling including voluntary labelling schemes
  • Matters concerning agreements on sale, delivery, importation and procurement

INGREDIENTS

Danish businesses have a significant 14% market share of the ingredients market in the global food industry. To stay on top, this strong position must be capitalised on through activities like continuing consolidation, research and commercialisation.

As a full-service law firm, we have put together a practice group that can handle all of the commercial legal issues - whether general or specific - encountered in the day-to-day operations of businesses in the ingredients market.

Our industry expertise ensures that our clients maintain their competitiveness, can respond to commercial opportunities and are therefore in a position to expand their share of the global ingredients market.

Our areas of advice include:


  • Licences, open cooperation and other commercial agreements
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Intellectual property rights, including patent agreements and trade marks and patent litigation
  • Drafting and entering into agreements, especially for production, sale and delivery
  • Investment opportunities
  • The borderland between ingredients and pharmaceutical companies
  • Competition law matters, including disputes and compulsory licensing
  • Regulatory and strategic issues in relation to research and production

FOOD TECHNOLOGY

The demand for food is expected to increase markedly over the coming years and create pressure to increase strain resource efficiency and technological development. The regulation of food safety, technical compliance and the internationalisation of businesses will similarly intensify. Such factors influence the operation of food technology businesses and how contracts should be worded, on both the supply and delivery side. This applies irrespective of whether products are supplied to neighbouring markets or on a global scale.


We have in-depth experience with the Danish, EU and international rules in this area, which means that our team of specialists across various business law areas is well-equipped to advise all types of food technology business.

Thus, we assist large and small entities in the supplying of production and processing equipment for food processing, filleting/sorting, weighing, cooling/freezing, and packing equipment and related businesses.


For each individual case, we can draw on the skills needed to address the unique situation. 

We can provide both general business advice and specialist knowledge, including for regulatory matters, CE marking and product safety, product development and IPR as well as CSR.

Our advice also includes:

  • Sales agreements, terms of sale and delivery, agency and distribution agreements
  • Purchase agreements, imports, sub-supplier contracts
  • Development agreements and confidentiality agreements
  • Production, licensing, partnership and other commercial agreements
  • Compensation, insurance, product liability, recall
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Capital raising and financing
  • Competition law and public procurement
  • Export and activities abroad
  • Working conditions and employment relationships
  • Real property, including construction projects, leases, purchase and sale

FOOD SUPPLEMENTS, HERBAL MEDICAL REMEDIES AND FUNCTIONAL FOOD

The market for food supplements and functional foods is growing rapidly. Increasing interest in the area has resulted in the Danish and European authorities making tougher demands regarding both product manufacturing and marketing and increased their focus on the boundaries between products governed by pharmaceutical regulations and food regulations.

We have been involved with the market since the start of the current and growing wave of food supplements, herbal medicinal products and functional foods making us well-placed to assist all types of producers, distributors and suppliers with a high degree of specialist industry knowledge. This also applies to the products that approach the intersection between food and pharmaceuticals.

Our areas of advice include:

  • Danish and EU law requirements
  • Approval of new products - including securing licences 
  • Marketing and labelling of existing and new products
  • Questions regarding the distinction between food, food supplements and pharmaceuticals
  • Sales agreements, terms of sale and delivery, agency, distribution and private label agreements
  • Purchase, importation, and supply agreements
  • Agreements on licensing, partnerships and contract work, and other commercial agreements
  • Research, development, clinical trials, and non-disclosure agreements
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Exports and activities abroad
  • Product safety, recall, and contact with the authorities

FEED, GRAIN, FERTILIZERS, SEED AND HORTICULTURE

Successful presence in the market for feed, grain, fertilizers, seed and horticulture calls for superior knowledge of products, customers and their trading practices. In this area, technological developments in particular provide opportunities for more efficient and sustainable production and distribution. At the same time, considerable structural development has occurred - especially in the market for grain and feed - and an understanding of the commercial drivers is essential.


Our advice is based on strong professional expertise within general commercial law areas, in combination with special insight into the food industry - the products, players, producers and customers and the special mechanisms that apply. Mergers and acquisitions, international cooperation agreements and competition law advice are among our core competencies.


Industry expertise and inter-disciplinary advice give our clients a sound commercial basis for their existing and anticipated market positions within the feed, seed and horticulture segment.

Our areas of advice include:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Ownership structure and corporate set-up
  • Rules governing cooperatives, and taxes
  • Competition law regulation, including merger control and abuse of a dominant position
  • International cooperation, including exports to foreign markets
  • Approvals, permits and other regulatory matters
  • Agreements on research, development, sales and other commercial agreements
  • Rules on specifically regulated products, including GM crops
  • Contact with the relevant authorities
  • Marketing new products and ingredients, including labelling requirements
  • Patents, plant variety rights, trademarks

COSMETICS

Regulation of the cosmetics industry is becoming increasingly strict. Navigating this market calls for in-depth knowledge of EU legislation - including for product contents, labelling and marketing.


We have some of Denmark's leading experts in cosmetics industry regulation, and we advise a number of Danish and internationally recognised brands on the special statutory requirements applying to cosmetics. The labelling and marketing aspects in particular are core specialty areas for several of the lawyers in our practice group.

Our team draws on knowledge from different important specialist fields, and together we assist clients with overcoming difficulties encountered in a tightly regulated market.

We offer advice on:

  • Strategic and practical interpretation and implementation of cosmetics legislation and its requirements within Denmark, the EU and internationally
  • Requirements for marketing and product claims
  • Packaging and labelling requirements
  • Patents and trademarks
  • Drafting and entering into agreements on production, licensing and other commercial agreements
  • Handling product recall and contact with the relevant authorities, media and customers

Read more about trade mark protection under our practice area IP.