The food and agribusiness sector is a vital part of Canada’s economy and society. Recent global trends have propelled this sector to the forefront of the public consciousness. Complex and evolving food and agricultural sector regulation, food security, changing international supply frameworks, a growing global population, technology and innovation and challenging economic conditions continue to accelerate the pace of change.
Our clients in this sector, from early stage companies to multinational organizations, rely on our underlying knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the unique issues facing Canada’s food and agribusiness sector.
Our lawyers share food and agribusiness sector knowledge, experience and expertise across provincial and national borders, enabling us to support our clients anywhere in the world. Our recognized experience in other key industry sectors, including life sciences and healthcare, mining and commodities, and technology and innovation, allow us to identify and address the critical business issues that face industry participants.
Our Canadian Food and Agribusiness team advises on issues on a broad range and variety of issues including:
- management of farms and processing facilities (including on environmental standards);
- regulation of agricultural products (including supply-managed commodities), seeds, feeds, fertilizers, and veterinary drugs;
- regulation of foods, including: novel foods approvals and temporary marketing authorizations for non-compliant foods; food compositional standards and packaging and labelling requirements; food import procedures and inspection requirements; regulatory investigations and enforcement; preparations for national and international food facility inspections and audits; international harmonization of food related security, inspection and customs requirements; and competition requirements (including operational restrictions, advertising and marketing practices, and health claims);
- transportation and sale of food and agricultural products (interprovincial and international);
- recall and crisis management, preparedness planning and training, and post-crisis analysis;
- communications and interactions with: regulatory authorities, including Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Office of Food Safety and Recall; and industry association and trade associations;
- protection of intellectual property (patents, trade-marks, licensing);
- business acquisitions and sales, and debt and equity financings;
- labour and employment;
- infrastructure development;
- dispute resolution; and
- corporate governance and shareholder disputes.
We represent clients at all points within the food and agribusiness sector – from suppliers and producers through to retailers and regulators. Our clients include agricultural and food industry associations, agricultural input manufacturers and suppliers (seed, feed, veterinary medicine and animal health, equipment, fertilizer, and crop protection companies), farming businesses, commodity handling and trading companies, biomass processors, pet food manufacturers, food manufacturers and co-packers, food processors, distribution companies, retailers, restaurants, financial lending institutions, investment firms, and pension funds.
Food and agribusiness sector clients come to us for several reasons:
Awareness of sector issues – Our team has built its experience and expertise “from the ground up”. We have deep expertise and unrivalled experience in the critical and unique issues facing the food and agribusiness sectors in Canada. We are able to provide timely advice on not only on on-going business matters, but also in connection with the commercial transactions that regularly occur within these sectors.
Full service support – Our lawyers are known for finding innovative and practical solutions to the complex issues that arise in commercial transactions and in the ordinary course of business pertaining to many areas of law. From corporate finance and securities, to labour and employment; from intellectual property to litigation; from technology to tax; from environmental to export and trade, our lawyers work together across legal service areas to provide on-going advice to and produce results for our clients.
Global seamless service – Our international presence reflects the increasingly global nature of the food and agribusiness sector. We have a comprehensive understanding of the food and agribusiness sectors in many jurisdictions throughout the world and our team collaborates with our global colleagues seamlessly to deliver the highest calibre of services worldwide. Our truly global network of professionals is unparalleled among law firms in Canada and our team has the experience of acting for businesses in many countries around the world.