There is little in the lives of consumers that affects their well-being as directly as nutrition. For you as an entrepreneur in the food industry, that’s a piece of cake. The markets around our food and health are among the most regulated markets in the EU. Consumers have the right to healthy food, to correct and complete labelling of food and to food safety. This, of course, requires government regulation. The same applies to all other aspects that affect our health, such as medicines, medical devices and production resources.
The quality of our food is increasingly in the spotlight. Major food scandals such as contaminated salmon and insufficiently labelled horse meat are still fresh in our minds. The government has intervened strongly in these incidents and has not been reticent with the measures it has imposed on companies. The government is increasingly present in these markets. That’s understandable, but where is the boundary and is it always clear? This is where our team’s lawyers can advise and assist you.
At the same time, the food and agriculture markets are characterised by free competition. A lot of responsibility is placed on the entrepreneurs. An increasingly active government may, for example, require adjustments to be made to your business operations, the contracting method or insuring risks in the event of recalls. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you are aware of the regulations, can interpret things legally and understand the implications of your activities.
The Food & Agriculture team provides one-stop legal services in all areas of food and health law. We are aware of everything that’s going on in the field of food (safety) and health and can advise you on questions such as: What can you claim about nutrition and health? What to do if a product needs to be recalled from store shelves? Can you simply use a regional name in your brand? What if you receive an unsafe or even harmful product from another company? But you can also contact us if, for example, you want to enter into a merger or collaboration, or if you want to know more about international regulations. We are active throughout the food and feed chain: from farmer to fast food giant (catering), from agriculture multinational to supermarket (retail) and from meat processor to caterer (food service).
We are a member of the international Food Lawyers Network, a group of lawyers specialised in food law around the world. This network enables us to quickly find a lawyer for you if you are confronted with issues that arise outside the Netherlands. The lawyers within this network also share their knowledge and experience. We use the knowledge and experience of others, for example, with regard to the application of European directives and regulations, when handling your case here in the Netherlands.
Kneppelhout also supports the United Nations World Food programme on a pro bono basis with advice, legal support, training and information about legal issues. The WFP is the largest international humanitarian organisation fighting hunger worldwide. The international nature of the activities, as well as the focus on food and logistics, makes us a particularly suitable partner. We are well aware that as a humanitarian organisation on this scale – no matter how honourable the mission and how much prestige you have – you will be dealing with resistance and complex legal issues that require a high degree of specialisation and expertise. That is exactly where we add value to the WFP.