The food, beverage and primary production industries are fast moving.
Social and cultural change affects consumer behavior which has a direct impact on business models. Animal welfare and sustainable production considerations, for example, are increasingly influencing buyer decisions.
More regulation around quality and labelling means no let-up in food safety and product recalls and, at the same time, the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act have necessitated whole-supply-chain reviews. The ACCC’s increasing focus on the Horticulture Code, Dairy Code and Unfair Contract Terms has seen producers review their approach to ensure compliance and the removal of the IP exemption to Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act has reduced protections for many operators in these sectors.
Of course, this means nothing if it doesn’t equate to solutions that help your business.
Here are some examples of where our specialist knowledge has been invaluable in delivering results:
- acting for Fonterra in the sale of Riverina Fresh to Blue River Group
- acting for Kin Group in the acquisition of Modern Baking
- preparing and negotiating co-manufacturing agreements and supply agreements
- preparing and negotiating a long-term agreement with Seqirus (CSL) for the supply of fertilised eggs for the manufacture of flu vaccines
- advising several clients on product recalls, including contractual disputes between suppliers and retailers
- advising on the commercialisation of proprietary fruit varieties including Head Licence Agreements, Growers Agreements, Horticulture Product Agreements (Merchant and Agent) and Packing and Marketing Agreements
- creating a Product Development Agreement for development of a new product incorporating an iconic Australian brand
- enforcing Plant Breeders Rights in relation to growers breaching non-propagation obligations
working on retainer with Mansfields to advise on a wide range of issues, from commercial contracts and regulatory matters, to IP and employment. Liam Creedon, Mansfields’ CFO commented, “The model is good – we know CIE Legal well – we have one consistent point of engagement and one simple way of working plus the consistency of one bill per month, even though the work will ebb and flow. It’s very valuable to be able to spread out the cost. It also makes us a little less gun-shy to pick up the phone – we can get advice when we need it and that’s really useful.”
We advise clients in food, beverage and primary production on the full range of issues that any large or complex organization needs, but we advise on the specialist issues too.
Here’s a overview of the industry-specific issues we address and case studies of how we address them:
- ACCC s155 notices
- ACL compliance
- acquisitions and divestments
- plant breeders’ rights
- growers’ agreements
- head licence agreements
- horticulture product agreements (merchant and agent)
- manufacturing and co-manufacturing agreements
- packing and marketing agreements
- product development agreements
- product recalls
- supply agreements