Agribusiness and Food

Home Expertise Agribusiness and Food

Innovative legal solutions from farm to table

From providing quality corporate advisory, to managing government relations and guiding clients through litigation, we are focused on helping our clients achieve their strategic goals.

We advise businesses, individuals, iwi and government entities with specialist teams who have industry specific knowledge across dairy, fisheries and aquaculture, and food and beverage. Our clients include Fonterra, Lion, Hancock Natural Resources, Pacific Equity Partners and Sealord, and we work with them to navigate a wide variety of regulatory issues and environment and planning concerns.

We are the only New Zealand firm to have represented Fonterra since its inception and are proud to advise New Zealand's largest export industry. Our Banking and Finance, Tax and Competition and Antitrust teams worked together on Fonterra’s capital restructure and the introduction of its ‘Trading Among Farmers’ scheme.

Both industry and iwi clients in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors work with us and our Public Law and Policy team’s close involvement with legal reforms in fisheries enables us to provide a unique perspective.

Our teams also provide expert advice and advocacy across the diverse range of issues facing New Zealand’s food and beverage producers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

With particular expertise in liquor licensing, our work has focused on acting for major off-licence retailers in respect of applications for new licences and renewals, as well as being involved with submissions and appeals on Local Alcohol Policies. We provide fresh, strategic advice on the reputational and regulatory risks associated with the sale and promotion of liquor, compliance with the liquor licensing laws and relevant advertising controls, including the ASA's Code for Advertising Promotion of Alcohol and discounting of liquor pricing.

With extensive international investment and trade experience as well as domestic expertise, we bring together a number of perspectives to provide comprehensible, commercially focused advice to clients.

Our experience includes advising:

  • Advising Woolworths/Progressive on regulatory issues of strategic importance.
  • Aquaculture New Zealand on aquaculture reforms and commodity levies.
  • Lion on regulatory issues and consumer and marketing law concerns.
  • Leading The New Zealand King Salmon Co.'s proposal of national significance (for two private plan changes and nine resource consents) lodged with the Environment Protection Authority, and referred to a Board of Inquiry by the Minister of Conservation.
  • A leading New Zealand exporter on reporting obligations relating to non-conformances with food safety obligations.
  • Biomarine on its successful application for an oyster farm in the Kaipara Harbour.
  • An infant formula manufacturer on applicable production, composition and labelling standards in New Zealand and the scope for favourable regulatory reform.
  • A starch manufacturer on labelling rules for 'gluten-free' products and their administrative and judicial interpretation in multiple jurisdictions.
  • A food ingredients company on the appropriateness of using phrases such as 'natural', 'naturally sweetened with' and '100% natural' on their product labels.
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