Industry focus: Food in Netherlands


Specialist in commercial contracting and litigation Barbara Mutsaers leads AKD‘s food law practice. Mutsaers focuses on recall cases, product liability matters and assists clients with drafting contracts with food suppliers. Huib Berendschot is the key contact for IP representation, advising food manufacturers on brand protection, parallel trade and enforcement litigation. Martin Hemmer and Roderick Chalmers Hoynck van Papendrecht are also key names in the food-related IP team. Administrative food law expert Erik Dans assists food processing companies with complying with food and consumer legislation, defending them in enforcement cases concerning penalties and administrative fines.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Mutsaers; Huib Berendschot

Other key lawyers:

Martin Hemmer; Roderick Chalmers Hoynck van Papendrecht; Erik Dans


‘AKD has team leaders with specialised knowledge and resources for research.’

‘The team is fine-tuned. They keep each other informed and have experts in many areas that support each other when necessary.’

‘AKD communicates clearly and is familiar in the environment it works in.’

‘AKD has been our partner in the field of legal issues for many years with its wide range of lawyers, short lines of communication and up-to-date knowledge, making them a very suitable partner for us. What is really unique, however, is that this is done in a friendly, yet efficient manner.’

‘The collaboration with Barbara Mutsaers was excellent. Friendly, knowledgeable and always ready for us with a short response time. Not only advising within her own field and knowledge, but also thinking more broadly on the rest of the playing field. She is open, honest and transparent in her responses and advice. In the unlikely event that we once again need legal assistance, there will be no doubt that we will then contact her immediately!’

‘Barbara Mutsaers is fast to respond when we have a crisis situation, and is very good with the details. She is really hands on, and patient.’

‘Barbara Mutsaers is very knowledgeable on the food sector, relevant legislation and is hands on. She provides us timely and excellent legal advice. Strong negotiator in court.’

Key clients

Perfetti Van Melle



Plukon Food Group

The Greenery

Yili Innovation Center Europe

Hoogwegt International

Van den Borne Aardappelen

Sligro Food Group Nederland

Interfood Holding

Esro Seafood


CBD Consultancy Group


B&S International



Andean Life B.V.

Flink B.V.

Work highlights

  • Represented industry organisation NEPLUVI and its members in court proceedings against the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.
  • Advising a global market leader in vitamins, enzymes, food additives, flavourings and ingredients, on the interpretation and application of various food legislating in specific cases, including GMOs.
  • Represented an importer and distributor or organic foods in an objection proceeding.

Hoogenraad & Haak

Hoogenraad & Haak is a boutique law firm, specialising in food law and food matters related to advertising and IP law. Led by the experienced and knowledgeable Ebba Hoogenraad, the food team advises on all aspects of food law, including ingredients and allergies labelling claims, as well as more technical and complex matters related to food safety including the coordination of recalls. Hoogenraad advises food associations and bodies, including litigating in principal cases. Maarten Haak represents clients in the food industry in contracts and IP issues. Associate Lisanne Steenbergen acts for clients before the Netherlands Food and Consumer Safety Authority. The firm is regularly sought out by the likes of Yakult, FrieslandCampina, Lidl, Heineken International, Ahold Delhaize and other law firms who refer their clients to the team for their specialised knowledge of the food industry.

Practice head(s):

Ebba Hoogenraad; Maarten Haak

Other key lawyers:

Lisanne Steenbergen


‘Hoogenraad & Haak is a boutique law firm with very experienced lawyers. They combine a high professionality with an informal, down-to-earth, and solution-oriented approach.’

‘The lawyers are straightforward in their appreciation of your legal chances and pragmatic and sensible in their approach.’

‘Ebba Hoogenraad is a highly specialized niche-lawyer with an open, no nonsense and down-to-earth attitude and a pragmatic approach, based on years of experience, a broad knowledge and a good sense of what’s going on in the legal arena.’

‘Ebba Hoogenraaad combines professionality with straightforwardness and friendliness. A magical and likeable combination, which is hard to find.’

‘Fantastic and highly dedicated team.’

‘Each partner knows everything about the area they work in.’

‘H&H has extensive knowledge of the food sector and expertise in this particular field of law’

‘Great expertise; easily accessible; practical approach’

Key clients



Ahold Delhaize




Perrigo/Omega Pharma



Royal Wessanen

Kenniscentrum Suiker & Voeding


Koninklijke Vereniging Homeopathie

Jumbo supermarket



Cantina Mexicana

Atida Pure

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Super Nature Products in a principal case against the Dutch Minister of Medical Care, following a high fine for a food supplement, wrongly based on the Medical Act.
  • Defending Albert Heijn from misleading advertising complaints regarding Nutri-Score, a pilot supported by the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport.
  • Representing Cantina Mexicana in a principal case against McIlhenny Company about its use of ‘tabasco’, the generic name of a red pepper variant.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff‘s leverages its cross-disciplinary tax and legal approach to work on a wide range of mandates in the food and beverages sector. Gert-Wim van de Meent advises clients on EU regulation in the food and biotech sectors; co-head of the food and beverages team and head of the environmental planning team Guido Koop is a key contact for operational and compliance issues; tax specialists Gerard Blokland and Tim van Straaten and corporate adviser Harmen Holtrop handle food-related transactions and investments. Regulatory experts Kim Lucassen and attorney-at-law Jacobine van Beijeren advise food business operators on key regulations pertaining to food, healthcare and life sciences.

Practice head(s):

Guido Koop; Gert-Wim van de Meent

Other key lawyers:

Gerard Blokland; Tim van Straaten;Harmen Holtrop; Jacobine van Beijeren


‘In general Loyens has highly skilled professionals. So if you need technical advice, this is the place to go.’

‘Kim Lucassen, partner, leads a strong team of highly skilled lawyers who are all committed to provide the best possible service to its clients. The support is hands-on, solution-oriented and, very importantly, actionable, translating into recommended business decisions.’

‘Kim Lucassen is very responsive and very good at understanding our business and our challenges to resolve. She sees the bigger picture and anticipates challenges before they arise. She is very open to feedback and discusses ways to further improve the collaboration putting the client at the center.’

‘Jacobine van Beijeren has very broad knowledge which enables her to provide support in a broad range of legal topics. Jacobine couples this with a deep understanding of the business environment.’

‘Jacobine van Beijeren’s advice is of high-quality and is at the same time actionable. She is smart, responsive, and continuously trying to seek solutions.’

Key clients



Bayer Crop Science

B&S Group

Cargill B.V.


Collins Foods Ltd

Cornelis Vrolijk

Danish Crown


Dawn Foods

Emmi Italy

Exal Corporation



FitForMe B.V.

Fleury Michon


Glencore Grain




Illovo Sugar

Kerry Group

Kettle Foods Ltd.


Koninklijke Zeelandia

Krynica Vitamin S.A.




Rembrandt Foods


Samson & Surrey

Sligro Food Group

Struik Foods

Yara Sluiskil



H.I.G. European Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised PAI Partners and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”) on the sale of a majority stake in Refresco to KKR.
  • Advised Hendrix Genetics and its shareholders (including NPM Capital) on the transaction whereby Paine Schwartz Partners, a US based private equity investor with a focus on food chain investing, acquired a 50% stake.
  • Assisting Gorillas Technologies, a flash delivery start-up, in their expansion in the Netherlands.

Van Doorne

Van Doorne is called upon by international law firms to advise high-profile clients in the food industry on cross-border matters such as pan-European product recalls, takeovers and mergers, and contract negotiations concerning distributorships and sourcing agreements. Head of the commercial contracts and litigation team Lisette Bieleveld represents domestic and international companies in disputes concerning food safety, consumer law, product liability and commercial contracts. Head of the privacy team Elisabeth Thole often works on food-related privacy matters and IP specialist Kriek Wille further bolsters the food team, working on design protection and complex transactions involving IP portfolios. Senior associate Florence Verbeek works alongside Bieleveld on commercial contracts and litigation matters regarding consumer, product liability, e-commerce and food law as well as product recall issues. Senior associate Alexandra Weidner is a key contact for drafting and negotiating commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Lisette Bieleveld


‘The lawyers we worked with are very accurate, capable and responsive.’

‘The legal coverage is useful, well thought through and extremely well summarized. They are a “go to” firm in the Netherlands’

‘Lisette Bieleveld and Florence Verbeek’s opinions were extremely helpful.’

‘The firm’s approach is fast and personal in a professional way.’

‘The lawyers invest in your business and work together on a personal level in a really good way.’

‘Very professional assessment. Very helpful and proactive advice. Excellent team. Worked with Lisette and she is an excellent lawyer with a great team. Billing process is very transparent.’

‘Lisette Bieleveld is a very good communicator and straight to the point.

‘Willem van der Ven is very professional.’

Key clients

ABP Food Group Unlimited

Agrico B.V.

Ahold Europe Real Estate & Construction B.V.

AMC Grupo Alimentacion Fresco y Zumos S.

Baarsma Wine Group Nederland

Barentz N.V.

Bedo Imex B.V.

Bergbanket B.V.

Bio Detection Systems B.V.

BrunchCo 21


Carbonell Nederland B.V.

Coöperatieve Inkoopcombinatie Dranken Compagnie U.A.e

Cott Corporation

Crisp B.V.

Deen Holding Hoorn B.V.

Detailresult Services B.V.

De Banketgroep B.V.

Distilleries Group Toorank B.V.

Drie Mollen International B.V.

Dutch Bakery Holding B.V.

Eden Springs

Emmi Benelux B.V.


Euro-Caps B.V.

Europastry SA


FrieslandCampina Riedel B.V.


General Mills

Getir B.V.

Giorgi Global

Go Tan

Healthspan Ltd.


H. van Wijnen


ISK Bioscience Europe N.V.

JDE Peet’s


KFC Holdings B.V.

Klaas Puul B.V.

Koninklijke Agrifirm Group

Koninkijke Ahold Delhaize N.V.

Lenger Seafoods


Marine Harvest ASA


MCO Health B.V.

Meatless B.V.

Moët & Chandon

New York Pizza

Nutreco N.V.

Nutricia Export B.V.

Padifood Service B.V.

Pandriks Holding B.V.

Paterson Arran Ltd.

Plukon Food Group

PLUS Retail B.V.

PortionPack Europe Holding B.V.

Prins & Dingemanse B.V.

Prinsen Food

PV Industries B.V.

Rainforrest Alliance

Refresco Group B.V.

Royal Sanders

Santé Group

Sonion Nederland B.V.

Starbucks Coffee Netherlands B.V.

Stichting Albert Schweitzer

Stichting de Zorgcirkel

Struik Holding N.V. and Struik Europe N.V.


Supergoods UG

Texelse Bierbrouwerij B.V.

The Green Happiness

Tony’s Factory B.V.

Trioplast Industries AB

United Coffee Services Schweiz AG

United Softdrinks B.V.

Van Oers United

Vaessen-Schoemaker B.V.

Vita Square B.V.


Work highlights

  • Advised DEEN on all commercial contract related issues and disputes in relation to the sale of its 80 supermarkets.
  • Advised New York Pizza on GDPR related compliance gaps.
  • Advised Santé Group on Danone Group tender documentation.

Van Traa Advocaten

International food business companies entrust Van Traa Advocaten with logistics, trade and insurance matters. Head of the international trade team Marc van Maanen leads the food industry team alongside administrative law specialist Silvia Gawronski. Maanen advises major logistics service providers and their insurers, commodity traders and trade financiers in litigation involving security documentation issues. He works with commercial and transport law expert Steven Oude Alink and Gawronski on trade disputes pertaining to the decertification of organic foods. Transport, shipping and logistics team head Leendert van Hee is a name to note for food-related disputes concerning dry shipping, road transport and logistics.

Practice head(s):

Marc van Maanen; Silvia Gawronski

Other key lawyers:

Steven Oude Alink; Leendert van Hee; Arian Lengton


‘Van Traa has provided us with very thorough and well-considered advice. Knowledge about organic legislation and about the organic sector is an absolute advantage.’

‘Our contact person is very involved and knowledgeable about organic legislation.’

‘The team is very experienced and nice to work with. They are very accessible with an eye for the strategic elements of the case.’

‘Van Traa is for us the perfect partner. This is because the firm has highly specialized and experienced lawyers in various areas of law within the food sector.’

‘What made working with Silvia very pleasant was the easy and quick communication, proactive approach and thought given to solutions. We highly recommend working with her.’

‘This practice, in particular the team head Marc Van Maanen, shows commitment and ingenuity in handling our interests. During the last 20 years they have handled all cases for us to our full satisfaction.’

‘The way the team head Marc Van Maanen communicates is outstanding and very helpful.’

Key clients






Olam Europe

Steinweg Handelsveem

Louis Dreyfus Company


Glencore Grain





Dutch Organic International Trade (DO-IT)



Regional Grain Trading Group

Tradin Organic

Doens Food Ingredients


Spack Trading

Van Schelven

HAP Foods

Bakker Seeds



Dutch Bakery Group


Pacha de Cacao




Favorite Foods

Bio Next


Work highlights

  • Assisting KLM Cargo on a regular basis in cases in which KLM Cargo is confronted with cargo containing foodstuffs with ingredients of protected plants or animals under CITES.
  • Assisting BioNederland, a trade association for the organic industry with the interpretation and implementation of The New Organic Regulation (EU) 2018/848 in The Netherlands.
  • Advised a cold storage and logistics company on the regulatory situation in the Netherlands.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird‘s IP focused retail and consumer group provides contentious and non-contentious advice to producers, biotech companies and manufacturers of food packaging. Team head Manon Rieger-Jansen assists clients in all aspects of brand and product design protection and portfolio management. Armand Killan is sought after by international clients for cross-border patent litigation. Associate Raoul Grifoni Waterman advises clients on labelling requirements and associate Hester Borgers works on food-related patent litigation.

Practice head(s):

Manon Rieger-Jansen

Other key lawyers:

Armand Killan; Raoul Grifoni Waterman; Hester Borgers

Key clients

Taco Bell

Treasury Wine Estates



Blossom Hill


Hello Fresh

Mikel Coffee


Steak Ranches

La Fourchette

Dawn Meats




Kraft Heinz

Anheuser Busch InBev

Dominos Pizza’s

Groupe Avril

Reef Technology

Kanonkop Wine Estate


Swartland Winery


Work highlights

  • Providing on-going data protection advice to Domino’s Pizza for the Netherlands and other European jurisdictions.
  • Supporting KFC in a wide variety of commercial matters, including franchise, marketing, e-commerce and lease related questions, which is a testament to our retail expertise.
  • Litigating for Mead Johnson Nutrition in 3 trademark cases against the a2 Milk Company at the Benelux Court of Justice.


CMS‘ multidisciplinary consumer products team assists a range of clients, including producers, retailers, investors and regulators with matters concerning product liability, contamination, recalls, IP and data protection. Aukje Haan and Mark Ziekman are the key names for corporate and commercial matters and Rogier de Vrey handles patent and trademark disputes. Head of the antitrust, competition and trade team Edmon Oude Elferink focuses on cartel, abuse of dominance and merger control matters.

Practice head(s):

Aukje Haan; Mark Ziekman; Rogier de Vrey; Edmon Oude Elferink

Other key lawyers:

Marcoline van der Dussen; Akin Aslan


‘Business oriented, experienced on the specificities of the sector’

‘Aukje Haan is a very pragmatic lawyer, solution oriented, permanent availability and with great willingness to offer the client the best possible approach to solve the matters in time.’

‘Long-standing relationship, diverse and knowledgeable team.’

‘Aukje Haan is a specialist in labour law, supporting complex restructures and HR topics.’

‘Marcoline van der Dussen is a specialist in brand law.’

Key clients

Associated British Food

Amarant Bakeries

Bake Five

Coca Cola European Partners


Friesland Campina

Fishflow Innovations


Hero Group



La Bouteille d’Or

Mars GmbH

Mars Wrigley



Mosa Meat



Viscon Fresh Produce

Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods

Westmill Foods

Work highlights

  • Advised Infarm, a Berlin-based food start-up, on their series D funding round, which raised USD 200 million. The start-up is now valued at well over one billion US dollars, giving it the Unicorn status.
  • Represented McCain, the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato products, in interim relief proceedings against J.R. Simplot Company in a dispute regarding the enforcement of a judgment.
  • Advised the Royal Friesland Campina on regulatory questions relating to market access.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright‘s Amsterdam-based food and agribusiness team advises clients on a broad range of mandates. M&A, joint ventures and restructuring specialist Saskia Blokland assists producers, processors, traders, private equity funds and financial institutions with food-related domestic and international transactions. Experienced corporate practitioner Heimon Smits focuses on complex cross-border transactions and corporate restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Saskia Blokland

Other key lawyers:

Heimon Smits

Key clients

Crisp Sensation Holding B.V.

Darling Ingredients


Emerald Kalama Chemical


Gate Group (deSter)

Kerry Group

Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Monaghan Mushrooms

Plus Retail (Plus Holding B.V.)

Roo Foods


Reckitt Benckiser (ena) b.v.



Danone / Nutricia

Coca Cola European Partners

Coca Cola Hellenic AG

Fresh Trading Manufacturing B.V.

Work highlights

  • Advising Fresh Trading Ltd in respect of the realisation of a new integrated juice terminal, blending and filling business (for the “innocent” juices and smoothies) in the port area of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Assisting DeltaMilk on various governance matters, including amendment of their current articles and regulations to cater for changes in the market and further funding requirements in view of new activities.
  • Advising Deliveroo on GDPR compliance, including assisting with GDPR related queries, drafting appropriate internal- and external policies and notices and third-party contracts.


Ploum leverages its Rotterdam base to support clients in compliance issues surrounding the import and manufacture of food and animal feed, including pesticide residues, veterinary import controls, microbiology and contamination issues. Marijn van Tuijl represents clients in contractual and liability disputes concerning the manufacture and international trade of goods. Jikke Biermasz focuses on customs and export control matters, and has strong knowledge of customs, anti-dumping and trade-regulatory laws. Dorine ten Brink draws up and negotiates various commercial contracts involving agency, distribution, purchasing and general conditions. Willem Leppink is the key contact for soft IP mandates and Alexandra Danopoulos specialises in environmental law.

Practice head(s):

Marijn van Tuijl

Other key lawyers:

Jikke Biermasz; Willem Leppink; Alexandra Danopoulos; Mirjam Louws


‘We work with Ploum in the fields of IP, trade, contracts, manufacturing and logistics. The firm’s down to earth and hands-on approach makes it unique. Ploum is so important for our business because it is exceptionally skilful in its area of expertise and brings complex problems back to workable solutions for companies like us.’

‘The way Ploum’s IP team restructured our branding teams and the way they are protecting our IP is impressive to say the least. They changed the way our global company is looking at branding and the way we should take care of our brands. Legal matters are handled very professionally. I can say with certainty that Ploum’s IP team became invaluable to our business.’ 

‘Marijn van Tuijl and Mirjam Louws professionalized the way we are contracting our suppliers and pointed out some risks in the area of liability, food safety and financial matters that we were able to avert with their help.’

‘We reached out to Marijn van Tuijl and his team to guide us through setting up a manufacturing division. We are convinced that Ploum is giving us the best advice we can get in the area of trade and production of food. They are trusted partners for a very important part of our business.’

Key clients


Pernod Ricard Chivas Regal

LT Foods Europe


United Biscuits/ Verkade




Omega Pharma (Perrigo)

Van Sillevoldt Rijst (VSR Rice)

Vergeer Holland

Doens Food International

Royal Zeelandia Group

Nature’s Pride


Schouten Europe

Jacobs Douwe Egberts

Vernof (Association of Dutch Producers of Edible Oils and Fats)

BayWa Agri Supply & Trade


NZV (Netherlands Subtropical Fruits Association)


United Dutch Breweries


Suiker Unie

Work highlights

  • Successfully challenged a very high fine imposed by the Netherlands Food and Product Safety Authority (NVWA) in the amount of EUR 3.5 million on behalf of an importer of food and feed commodities.
  • Assisted Gorillas in various matters after the conversion of their German topholding into a Dutch company, including advice on Dutch corporate law.
  • Representing H. van Wijnen both in administrative proceedings against the Dutch regulator NVWA and in civil litigation against a major German retailer.

Say Legal

Known in the Netherlands for its dedication and specialism in food law, Say Legal is sought out by clients looking for assistance with labelling, recall assistance and composition requirements. Food and advertising law expert Sarah Arayess is at the centre of the practice, advising clients, who work in the niche segment of sustainable food productions, and top-tier firms in other European jurisdictions on Dutch food laws. Arayess’ standing in the industry is evident in her industry appointments, with board roles on both the the European Food Law Association and the Dutch Law Association.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Arayess


‘Sarah is very committed to food law and does an excellent job.’

‘Whilst Say has a small team they are constantly dependable and efficient – They are also not afraid to work collaboratively with other advisors where it would be to the benefit of the client.’

‘Sarah is our long-standing, go to advisor in the Netherlands – We have depended on Sarah at key points in the last few years, and she has always delivered where needed.’

Key clients

Solgar Holland (Vitamins) BV

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a company in a landmark procedure against the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports.
  • Defended a company before the Advertising Code Committee after a complaint filed related to alleged unlawful kids marketing.
  • Acted on behalf of an internationally operating client in the appeal procedure for a principal case regarding mutual recognition against the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.