Food & Beverage

Refrigerated foods in store.

The food and beverage industry has long been a vital contributor to the Canadian economy. It’s our country’s largest manufacturing employer and is an essential part of our daily lives.  In addition to traditional food and beverage products, natural health products such as vitamins, minerals and homeopathic medicines are surging in popularity. 

While this may be a decades-old sector, it’s also full of opportunities. Artificial intelligence is making manufacturing more efficient and productive, emerging companies are bringing fresh ideas and game-changing technologies to consumers and to the industry’s established players. Increasing consolidation through M&A activity could bring even greater economies of scale to this industry, which could deliver value and allow for more investments in R&D.

Of course, businesses in an industry of this size will also have challenges to deal with, including high regulatory and administrative costs and intricate and overlapping regulations at various levels of government. As we’ve seen during the pandemic, supply and demand shocks, processing limitations and lockdowns can also disrupt supply chain efforts, while changing customer behaviours, such as disruptions to in-restaurant dining and consuming meals at home, is putting pressures on old ways of doing business.

Work highlight

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. in its acquisition of select poultry assets from Cericola Farms

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1688782 Ontario Inc. v. Maple Leaf Foods Inc.: Implications for product liability and franchise law (Webinar)

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How we can help

Osler’s food and beverage law practice provides effective legal solutions covering the issues that matter to you. Our team works with a wide variety of clients in the food, beverage and natural health product sectors, helping them expand into new markets, navigate regulatory requirements,  identify and mitigate potential risks and, when necessary, defend against claims. We can help you develop procedures to reduce risk and exposure, engage with regulators including Health Canada, and vigorously defend claims in an increasingly litigious consumer market.

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