Industry focus: Food in Netherlands

AKD

AKD’s team of ‘knowledgeable professionals who are willing to go the extra mile’ is well-versed in food legislation and regulations, commercial contracts, and EU, procurement and competition law. It handles product recalls, labelling requirements, claims, liability issues and supplier contracts. The team is headed by food law specialist Barbara Mutsaers, who handles contentious and non-contentious work in the sector, and has ‘a good network’. Erik Dans focuses on administrative food law and advises food processing companies on complex EU legislation. Huib Berendschot handles IP matters.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Mutsaers

Other key lawyers:

Huib Berendschot; Martin Hemmer; Roderick Chalmers Hoynck van Papendrecht; Erik Dans

Testimonials

‘Barbara Mutsaers’ network gives her the ability to play a key role and give good advice’.

‘Barbara Mutsears has a lot of knowledge and experience in this particular field.’

‘The team has a very good knowledge of the situations that we are dealing with. ’

‘A very good knowledge of our business and knows how it works in practice’.

‘Hands-on approach, actual interest in the case and communicated with us clearly and in a timely fashion’.

‘Very knowledgeable, willing to give their opinion while still maintaining friendliness and having patience’.

‘Knowledgeable professionals who are willing to go the extra mile. Worked especially well with Barbara Mutsaers in our cases.’

‘Very flexible, pragmatic and fast reacting with good industry background’.

Key clients

Perfetti Van Melle

Nestlé

Herballife

Plukon Food Group B.V.

The Greenery

Yili Innovation Center Europe B.V.

Hoogwegt International B.V.

Van den Borne Aardappelen VOF

Sligro Food Group Nederland B.V.

Interfood Holding B.V.

Work highlights

  • Acted for a number of leading food companies in complex and important discussions with the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority regarding sector specific regulations that fundamentally impacted the whole operation of their business.
  • Advised a large and international food supplement producer with regards to a recall of its products, discussions with its customer, which happens to be one of the leading wholesalers in the Netherlands, and on the new packaging of the food supplement.
  • Acting for NEPLUVI and Dutch poultry slaughterhouses in numerous court proceedings including the Trade and Industries Appeal Tribunal and the European Court of Justice.

Hoogenraad & Haak

With a focus on IP, advertising and food law, boutique Hoogenraad & Haak handles a broad range of contentious and non-contentious matters. It represents clients before the courts and self-regulatory bodies in matters often at the forefront of food law. The team advises on ingredients, labelling, claims, recalls and other food safety matters. Ebba Hoogenraad is well known in the industry and is a member of the editorial board of the Dutch food journal Waar&Wet. Associate Lisanne Steenbergen provides a supporting role and counts multinationals among her client base.

Practice head(s):

Ebba Hoogenraad

Other key lawyers:

Lisanne Steenbergen

Testimonials

‘Highly accessible, very professional niche office for advertisement and food law-related matters’.

‘Always hands-on and pragmatic and very accurate’.

‘Would highly recommend them’.

‘Ebba Hoogenraad knows all there is to know about advertisement and food law’.

‘Ebba Hoogenraad is a front runner on this topic, giving sound advice and thinking in possibilities’.

‘They are aware of all relevant jurisprudence, which they used to strengthen the case I hired them for’.

‘The people that work there are easy to reach and can translate technical articles into layman terms, so that non-experts like myself can follow it’.

‘They really helped us in an outstanding way during the whole process and delivered excellent work’.

Key clients

Heineken

Lidl

Ahold Delhaize

Yakult

Barilla/WASA

Haribo

Omega Pharma

Coca-Cola

FrieslandCampina

Illy

Wessanen

Kenniscentrum Suiker & Voeding

Katjes

Koninklijke Vereniging Homeopathie

European Palm Oil Alliance

Work highlights

  • Started proceedings for European Palm Oil Alliance against the new margarine packaging and marketing of the Flower Farm that was found to bear misleading claims in relation to palm oil.
  • Defended Lidl against the renowned Dutch consumer organisation “Consumentenbond” in proceedings before the Advertising Code Committee about a self-designed “best tested” logo and the use of test results in marketing materials.
  • Acted for Royal Ahold Delhaize in several product claims and advertising campaigns.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff fields a ‘broad team with diverse specialisms’, which excels in providing high-level multi-jurisdictional legal and tax advice to food and beverage clients. Drawing on expertise from the firm's healthcare and life sciences group, the practice is well equipped to handle food sector regulatory developments. The team leverages expertise in relation to food safety, labelling, food hygiene, food ingredients, and food contact materials. Gert-Wim van de Meent has a core focus on regulated industries; he jointly heads the team with senior associates Natasja Brusik and Victor van Ahee.

Practice head(s):

Gert-Wim van de Meent; Natasja Brusik; Victor van Ahee

Testimonials

‘The team is a pleasure to work with’.

‘They provide to-the-point and practical advice on a high legal level’.

‘The firm and team can handle any job you throw at them.’

‘A good legal advisor I regularly work with is Victor van Ahee, he is a sharp and knowledgeable food lawyer.’

‘Victor van Ahee delivers swiftly and satisfactorily, and is responsive.’

‘Their food regulatory expertise is very high and they are aware of the developments in the food sector.’

‘Their capabilities exceed those of competitors that usually end at the legal perspective.’

‘We have found out Loyens & Loeff looks further, which is a big help.’

Key clients

Amswha

Bacardi

Bayer Crop Science

B&S Group

Cargill B.V.

Celanese

Collins Foods Ltd (KFC)

Cornelis Vrolijk

Danish Crown

Danone

Dawn Foods

Emmi Italy

Exal Corporation

Farmboy

Femsa

FitForMe B.V.

Fleury Michon

Givaudan

Glencore Grain

Hoogtweg

Illovo Sugar

Kerry Group

Kettle Foods Ltd.

Kloosterboer

Koninklijke Zeelandia

Krynica Vitamin S.A.

Levarht

McCain

Nutreco

Rembrandt Foods

RemyCointreau

Samson & Surrey

Sligro Food Group

Struik Foods

Yara Sluiskil

Vomar

Wessanen

Norton Rose Fulbright

The food and agribusiness team at Norton Rose Fulbright handles a broad range of food law and tangential matters, including soft commodities, food safety, labelling, M&A, investigations and employment work. On the agribusiness side, the practice handles large multi-jurisdictional transactions against the backdrop of an increasingly volatile market. Corporate lawyer Saskia Blokland heads the team and is well-regarded for advising producers and processors, traders and financial institutions on transactional matters in the food and beverage industry. Bart Vis was promoted to counsel.

Practice head(s):

Saskia Blokland

Other key lawyers:

Bart Vis

Key clients

ARLA

AIG

Anterra

Aweta

Corbion N.V.

Coca-Cola Hellenic

Danone/Nutricia

Darling Ingredients

Deliveroo

DeltaMilk

deSter / Gategroup

Emerald Kalama Chemical

FMO

Helios Market

ING

IFC (International Finance Corporation)

Kerry Group

KWS

Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Milarex

Monaghan Mushrooms

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies

Plus Retail B.V.

Rabobank

Royal A-ware

Score Company B.V.

Stichting AGRI3

Unilever

WCSG

Fresh Trading Manufacturing B.V. (Innocent Drinks)

Work highlights

  • Representing Deliveroo in a high-court case against trade union FNV.
  • Advised Kerry Group, the Irish taste and nutrition company, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Ojah BV, the market-leading pioneer in the production of plant-based meat alternatives based in the Netherlands.
  • Advising Fresh Trading Ltd in respect of a new integrated juice terminal, blending and filling business which will be constructed in the port area of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Van Doorne

Van Doorne’s multidisciplinary food team focuses on corporate matters and disputes, with ancillary expertise in commercial, IT, IP, real estate and employment law. Acting for domestic and international clients, the firm handles cross-border product recalls, takeovers and mergers, and contract negotiations concerning distributorships and sourcing agreements. Key practitioner Lisette Bieleveld handles commercial matters, consumer and liability law, and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Lisette Bieleveld

Other key lawyers:

Bart van Reeken; Kriek Wille

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable in the specific field of distribution and agency contracts’.

‘Enormous diversity of expertise’.

‘They are friendly people and knowledgeable’.

Key clients

Agrico B.V. (potatoes)

Ahold Europe Real Estate & Construction B.V. (Albert Heijn and Gall&Gall)

AMC Grupo Alimentacion Fresco y Zumos S.

Baarsma Wine Group Nederland

Barentz N.V.

Bedo Imex B.V. (Akdos)

Bergbanket B.V.

Bio Detection Systems B.V.

Carbonell Nederland B.V.

C.I.V. Superunie B.A.

Coöperatieve Inkoopcombinatie Dranken Compagnie U.A.e

Cott Corporation (private label producer of non-alcoholics)

Detailresult Services B.V. (Dirk van den Broek and DekaMarkt)

De Banketgroep B.V. (waffles, cookies and cakes)

Distilleries Group Toorank B.V.

Drie Mollen International B.V.

Dutch Bakery Holding B.V.

Eden Springs

Emmi Benelux B.V.

Enkco

Euro-Caps B.V. (coffee and coffee pads)

Europastry SA

Fernandez

FrieslandCampina Riedel B.V.

General Mills

Giorgi Global

Healthspan Ltd.

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 (sea

Work highlights

  • Advised Eden Springs Nederland B.V. on the acquisition of (i) all shares in the capital of Viteau International B.V. and thus indirectly of all shares in Viteau B.V., one of the leading water suppliers in the Netherlands and (ii) the watercooler business of Leylinex B.V. (trading as Water Cooler Gigant) through an asset sale and transfer.
  • Advised Superunie on contract dealings, litigation and settlement negotiations.
  • Advised General Mills on various distribution-related matters in the Benelux (including contract negotiations, competition law matters and termination-related queries in relation to different distributorships) and negotiating a settlement agreement in respect of one of its distributors.

Bird & Bird

With a focus on IP, the food and beverage team at Bird & Bird has strong expertise in trade marks, designs, copyright and patents, and contentious IP issues. It also provides support in corporate, commercial, tax and regulatory matters and related litigation. The team is a popular choice for producers of food and beverage products, biotech companies and manufacturers of packaging. Manon Rieger-Jansen heads the retail and consumer group and specialises in all aspects of brand and product design protection and portfolio management.

Practice head(s):

Manon Rieger-Jansen

Other key lawyers:

Armand Killian

Key clients

Taco Bell

Treasury Wine Estates

Just-Eat

Nespresso

Blossom Hill

Chiquita

Hello Fresh

Mikel Coffee

Nutreco

Steak Ranches

La Fourchette

Dawn Meats

Vivino

Asolo

Flügel

Kraft Heinz

Anheuser Busch InBev

Dominos Pizza’s

Groupe Avril

Reef Technolopgy

KFC

Work highlights

  • Supporting Dominos Pizza’s with its Privacy and Data Protection compliance.
  • Advising KFC in the Netherlands on a wide array of commercial matters, including franchise agreements, lease agreements as well as various advertising and marketing and privacy related issues.
  • Representing Chiquita in litigation concerning alleged trade mark infringement claims made by Fyffes.

CMS

CMS is able to utilise its global network to provide legal and tax support to international food and beverage clients. Its broad practice covers matters concerning regulatory and compliance, IP and corporate, and commercial contracts. Mark Ziekman handles cross-border M&A and joint ventures. Aukje Haan advises clients in the sector on corporate and commercial issues.

Practice head(s):

Aukje Haan; Mark Ziekman

Other key lawyers:

Marcoline van der Dussen; Rogier de Very

Key clients

McCain

Colgate-Palmolive

McDonald’s

Coca Cola European Partners

Strik Ingredients

La Bouteille d’Or

Kiremko

Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods

Viscon Group

Westmill Foods (part of ABT Food)

Bakkerij De Paauw

Work highlights

  • Assisted McCain in a number of Dutch design infringement cases against competitor Simplot, in relation to potato products.
  • Assisted McDonald’s Nederland B.V. with the purchase of six restaurant locations in Meerkerk, Bodegraven, Oosterhout, Holten, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht and Leiderdorp. The properties were purchased from an investor.
  • Assisted Mosa Meat B.V. with the accession by Nutreco and Lowercarbon Capital as further investors, acquiring undisclosed stakes in the company’s share capital.

Ploum

The food and product safety team at Ploum advises a range of clients on regulatory requirements, compliance, insurance, liability issues and litigation. As part of the Food Lawyers Network and the Greenlane network of law firms specialising in international trade law, the firm is well placed to provide food safety advice inside and outside the EU. Head of practice Marijn van Tuijl litigates on matters concerning the manufacture and international trade of goods.

Practice head(s):

Marijn van Tuijl

Other key lawyers:

Jikke Biermasz; Dorine ten Brink; Willem Leppink

Testimonials

‘They have 25 years’ experience in leading food issues in the Netherlands’.

‘In-depth knowledge of the food industry and compliance issues’.

‘Marijn Van Tuijl is a pro, his integration in one of the best customs team in the Netherlands makes Ploum’s practice unique’.

‘They are the best at assisting clients in complex investigations by regulatory and customs authorities’.

‘They are also fierce litigators and will get clients out of trouble when others would give up’.

‘Marijn van Tuijl is excellent and he understands business and the law better than most’.

Key clients

Unilever

United Biscuits/ Verkade

Bidfood

ADM International (Archer Daniels Midland)

AIG

Omega Pharma (Perrigo)

Van Sillevoldt Rijst (VSR Rice)

Vergeer Holland

Doens Food International

AVH Dairy Trade

H. van Wijnen

Schouten Europe

Jacobs Douwe Egberts

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

BayWa Agri Supply & Trade B.V.

NZV (Netherlands Subtropical Fruits Association)

Van Genugten Groep

United Dutch Breweries

QAssurance

Suiker Unie

Work highlights

  • After successfully appealing a decision of the North of Holland District Court, presently litigating in proceedings at the Dutch Supreme Court level on behalf of prominent members of the Dutch pork industry against pharmaceutical manufacturer Wyeth (currently Pfizer).
  • Representing the members of Vernof against Dutch regulator NVWA in relation to pesticide residues in soy imports.
  • Representing H. van Wijnen both in administrative proceedings against the Dutch regulator NVWA and in civil litigation against a major German retailer.

Say Legal

Founded in 2019 by former Hoogenraad & Haak counsel Sarah Arayess, boutique food and consumer goods specialist Say Legal acts for an impressive roster of large enterprises and multinationals clients. With the food industry as its core focus, the team handles food safety matters, labelling, recalls, compliance and advertising matters. The firm offers valuable knowledge transfer, from in-house workshops to education and articles, through its educational platform Say legal academy.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Arayess

Testimonials

‘I use this expert firm when clients need cross-jurisdiction advice for The Netherlands’.

‘Sarah Arayess is technically sharp and explains complex legal issues clearly and efficiently’.

‘Sarah Arayess has a lot of valuable international contacts’.

‘The point of view of Say Legal was crystal clear and very practical’.

‘Sarah Arayess is a very lively and positive person and does not shy away from a challenge’. 

‘Sarah Arayess has excellent expertise, especially when it comes to food marketing in The Netherlands’. 

‘Sarah Arayess combines deep knowledge and understanding of food law with a contagious positive energy and problem-solving skills’.

‘After your first meeting with Sarah Arayess you know she is a food lawyer that helps you get where you need to go’.

Key clients

Tony’s Chocolonely

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a large multinational in a proceeding before the Dutch Advertising Code Committee regarding an alleged breach of the Claims Regulation (1924/2006).
  • Serving as local adviser in the Netherlands for clients of specialised food law firms in other jurisdictions and assisting such clients in various local food law related matters.
  • Defending a multinational in a litigation procedure against the supervising authority NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority), involving one of the cornerstone principles of the EU: the free movement of goods and mutual recognition.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons focuses on the transactional, employment and disputes aspects of the food sector. Acting for blue-chip clients, the firm is well regarded for M&A, and related matters. Joris Oster heads the employment and benefits team, and acts as a litigator in contentious matters. Leo Verhoeff heads the private equity group and is adept at handling joint ventures and corporate governance in the food sector.

Practice head(s):

Leo Verhoeff; Joris Oster

Other key lawyers:

Robbert Jansen

Key clients

Agrifirm

Biscuit International

OranginaSchweppes

Plukon Food Group

Spirits International

Koninklijke Peijnenburg

Lamb Weston/Meijer

Gilde Equity Management (Societa Boboli and Bakker Bart)

Coca-Cola European Partners

Bavaria

Qualium Investissement (Biscuit International and De Banketgroep)

Coroos Conserven

Zwanenberg Food Group

Work highlights

  • Advising (management of) De Banketgroep International in connection with the sale of Biscuit Holding SA by Qualium Investissement to Platinum Equity.
  • Advised Gilde Equity Management in connection with the sale of Bakker Bart (Bart’s Retail B.v.) to Vital Food Group B.V.
  • Advising OranginaSchweppes’ on employment matters.

Van Traa Advocaten

Van Traa Advocaten is well regarded for its transport and logistics expertise, and its international trade practice. It acts for national and international food business operators on logistics and storage, commodities trade, production and packaging, arbitration and insurance issues. Silvia Gawronski joined as associate partner from NautaDutilh and now heads the team alongside Marc van Maanen. Gawronski brings expertise in administrative procedures, regulation and enforcement. Van Maanen handles high-end litigation.

Practice head(s):

Marc van Maanen; Silvia Gawronski

Other key lawyers:

Leendert van Hee

Testimonials

‘Good atmosphere at the office, enthusiastic and highly skilled lawyers’.

‘Practical and down to earth’.

‘Partners and employees are easy to approach and always accessible’.

‘In legal proceedings they are very sharp and have a great sense of humour’.

‘This team has proved to be highly engaged’.

‘They assisted us in negotiating a very important contract and helped us to maintain our contractual liability within acceptable limits’.

‘They assisted us in settling a very high claim in an acceptable manner.’

‘Mr Marc van Maanen has never lost a case for us’.

Key clients

Olam Europe B.V.

Spack Trading

Tradin Organic

Doens Food Ingredients

Intersnack

Glencore Grain

Van Marcke Food Group

Heineken

Van den Bosch

HAP Foods

Bakker Seeds

Fruitfactor

The Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)

FeedValid

Spicemasters

Staay Food

Nouryon

NGM international

Olenex Edible Oils

Argentrade

Campofrio Food Group

Steinweg Handelsveem

Louis Dreyfus Company

Cofco

Arc International (Luminarc / Arcoroc)

Van Schelven

Work highlights

  • Advised a producer of baking products regarding handling so-called Oral mite anaphylaxis (OMA), also known as pancake syndrome.
  • Acting for various meat traders, such as HAP FOODS and Argentrade, in public and private liability cases related to the salmonella outbreak in 2019.
  • Assisted longstanding client Steinweg Handelsveem – a large importer of food ingredients and commodities for the food production industry worldwide – with a contract with a large candy bar producer for the import, handling and delivery of a coconut-ingredient used for famous coconut candy-bars.