EU regulatory: Food in Belgium

DALDEWOLF

DALDEWOLF has a strong record in  regulatory and consumer protection work within the food sector, advising food, feed, and beverage operators on market practices, advertising, intellectual property and data considerations, and distribution issues, alongside representing clients before domestic and European authorities in liability, DOP, and crisis management proceedings. The team is led by food law specialist Aude Mahy, who represents operators across the full range of matters, ranging from advisory and commercial issues through to litigation against regulatory authorities and before European courts.

Practice head(s):

Aude Mahy

Testimonials

‘Aude Mahy is very approachable and provides top notch advice. Not formalistic at all and also fun to work with. I can trust that my clients are in good hands with her.’

‘Great expertise, effective cooperation, team spirit. Thorough knowledge of all aspects of food regulation.’

‘Top experts, excellent soft skills, perfect combination of practical and theoretical knowledge. Very experienced, committed and hardworking.’

‘Aude Mahy is exceptional. Few lawyers are available in food and safety law with such a knowledge of the market.’

‘Aude Mahy is clear, precise and reactive. She always makes herself available to answer our urgent demands.’

‘Aude Mahy and her team have a dual expertise in EU regulatory and Belgian law. This is what makes the firm unique and special.’

‘Aude Mahy is very sharp and focused. She has a talent for raising the questions that should not be left behind.’

‘We worked primarily with Aude Mahy – she was incredibly insightful and collaborated as a true partner for navigating the Belgian authorities and providing feedback. Provided really expert guidance throughout and helped in navigating the authorities.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a Belgian retailer on the development and related risk assessment of an innovative marketing project consisting of ranking food categories and food products according to their environmental footprint.
  • Representing a German-based manufacturer of food supplements before FOD Public Health in proceedings relating to the classification of a product containing the word “Regeneration” in its name.
  • Representing a market leader and international conservation specialist in the seafood industry, in a dispute with the Belgian Food Safety Agency regarding the legality of a cold smoking treatment process in tuna.

Keller and Heckman LLP

Keller and Heckman LLP offers broad expertise across a wide range of specialised food areas, including feed, novel foods, food tech, baby food, and food decontamination. The team handles European authorisations for new and existing foods, health claims, and food additives, and is also scientific counsel to a diverse range of major brands and food suppliers, including European and multinational names, as well as maintaining an active litigation capability at EU level. The team is led by food and drug regulatory specialist Rachida Semail. Katia Merten-Lentz left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Rachida Semail

Testimonials

The team has extensive scientific and legal knowledge, is very friendly, punctual with deadlines, and always ensures that the advice and strategy provided fits in with our goals.’

The combined scientific and legal knowledge makes the difference combined with a clear and friendly communication.

Rachida Semail has been able to translate the company strategy to the necessary steps within Europe but also able to translate the information through the different offices of Keller and Heckman. This support in and outside Europe has been crucial to allow business coherence, which is key for global food grades.

‘Strong competence, wide scope, comfortable client relationships.’

‘Deep knowledge, fresh data, practical application, value recommendations, flexible approaches.’

Key clients

International Chewing Gum Association (ICGA)

Sushi Shop

Mondelez

COSUCRA

Carbiolice

The Dallas Group of America, Inc. (DGA)

Avantium Renewable Polymers

Neenah Technical Materials

Sibur LLC

Ingevity

Microban

SABIC Innovative Plastics B.V. (SABIC)

Work highlights

  • Advised Avantium on a compliance assessment for the manufacture of a beverage bottle – part of the Paper Bottle Project – containing a polyethylene furanoate (PEF) resin as a liner.
  • Advising Sibur on assessing the regulatory compliance of various plastic and rubber intermediate materials.

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL

Combining Belgian and EU regulatory expertise, Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL works with national and international clients across product denomination issues, food safety and contamination, advertising, and distribution, with particular strengths in trade practice and litigation before regulatory authorities, and against competitors. The team also has expertise in food regulatory aspects of M&A transactions, advising on cross-border deals within the sector. Practice head Geert Bovy has a strong focus on commercial and consumer protection issues.

Practice head(s):

Geert Bovy

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird advises food and beverage producers, distributors and retailers, and biotech companies on food production, labelling, R&D, and distribution issues, offering an integrated global service in collaboration with its international offices, alongside in-house life sciences regulatory expertise. Clients range from start-ups through to multinationals, including major global food and beverage players. The team is led by counsel Nicolas Carbonnelle, who has expertise across the life cycle of food products, from initial development through to distribution and marketing, with Francine Cunningham also involved in public affairs advice and lobbying.

Practice head(s):

Nicolas Carbonnelle

Other key lawyers:

Francine Cunningham

Key clients

IPIFF

Work highlights

  • Advised the IPIFF on the drafting of industry guidance on the preparation of novel food application dossiers and the implementation of the EU regulation on food information to consumers (FIC Regulation) in relation to insect-based food products.

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP works seamlessly with its European offices on an array of matters relating to product launches, food safety reviews, advertising, and supply chain issues, regularly engaging with European regulatory agencies and courts on behalf of multinational food sector clients. The team, led by Bart Van Vooren, has challenged national governments and the European Commission in litigation relating to food safety, labelling, and safety processes, with a particular focus on acting for disruptors.

Practice head(s):

Bart Van Vooren

Testimonials

‘Very professional, supportive team with excellent deployment of internal specialization on specific areas . Taking the lead in complex matters and can think both at a high level as well into the details. Grasp the issues and do not let go.’

‘Very helpful in making complex legal matters understandable which makes it easy to make decisions based on legal implications. Approachable, supportive and helpful professionals which are very committed to our interests.’

Key clients

Aboca

Aloe Vera Europe

Beyond Meat

PrecisionBiotics

Health Food Manufacturers Association

Holland & Barrett

Optibac Probiotics

Raisio Group

Reckitt Benckiser

Science in Sport

Vitabiotics

Work highlights

  • Representing Aloe Vera of Europe BV in litigation against the EU ban on hydroxyanthracene derivatives HADs.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises a number of multinationals within food and food retail, handling pan-European manufacturing, labelling, packaging, and supply issues, with additional expertise in data privacy, intellectual property, and consumer protection law. The team is led by Bob Martens, who specialises in complex cross-border projects, with counsel Lieven Annaert offering expertise in both contentious and non-contentious regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Bob Martens

Other key lawyers:

Lieven Annaert

Key clients

Mondelez (formerly Kraft)

Sodexo

Bacardi-Martini

Coca-Cola

Hard Rock Café

Philip Morris

Colruyt

Lotus Bakeries

Sodastream

Amazon

Work highlights

  • Advising Bacardi on marketing and labelling issues.
  • Advising a US-based food supplements producer on marketing and labelling issues.
  • Advising Sodastream on EU packaging and labelling requirements.

Jones Day

Jones Day advises multinationals and consortia on product authorisations, labelling, and recall issues, including the submission of information to the European Food Safety Authority. The team, led by Ursula Schliessner, has expertise in domestic European and EU law, and collaborates with the firm's wider corporate, competition, and disputes teams.

Practice head(s):

Ursula Schliessner

Key clients

E 172 Consortium

LycoRed Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising the E-172 Consortium on submission of scientific data to the European Food Safety Authority in connection with the re-evaluation of iron oxides and hydroxides (E 172) as food and feed additives.