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Womble Carlyle’s multidisciplinary Food, Beverage & Agriculture Team counsels companies that make, distribute, sell and prepare the food, beverages and nutrients we consume, helping them overcome regulatory hurdles, resolve food and biofood disputes, protect intellectual property and build thriving businesses.
Our clients include food producers, consumer product goods manufacturers, growers, food distribution companies, bottling companies, restaurants and restaurant chains, alcoholic beverage producers, dietary supplement companies as well as service providers and agencies offering advertising, packaging and other services to customers in the hospitality, supermarket, bakery and restaurant sectors.
Food, beverage and agriculture industry companies look to Womble Carlyle for solutions relating to:
We also guide clients in the food, beverage and agriculture sectors in developing and executing marketing and advertising campaigns that meet FTC, FDA and state law requirements. We provide practical advice on compliance issues arising in connection with integrated campaigns across digital, mobile and social media platforms including contests and sweepstakes, incentive and loyalty programs, socially responsible marketing and celebrity endorsements. Our team regularly advises clients on marketing products as “all natural”, “organic”, “sustainable” and on substantiating advertising claims with adequate studies, data and other evidence supporting the claims, displaying nutrient and other nutritional information, developing social media policies for employees, bloggers and fans, and current trends and enforcement priorities in connection with marketing products to children, and marketing supplements and beverages, including energy and caffeine drinks.
In addition, team members serve companies that produce seeds as well as manufacturers of agricultural chemicals and additives in food. This includes representation of clients focused on GMO crops and GMO labeling.
We offer client service at every point in the chain from farm to consumer.
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Litigation Risks and Exposures: "All Natural" Claims
Food and Intellectual Property
Food industry companies rely on Womble Carlyle’s Food, Beverage & Agriculture Team to help them develop and protect innovations in ingredients, recycling, processing and manufacturing technologies, genetic engineering and brand development. We:
Our multidisciplinary work also includes intellectual property litigation. We have resolved conflicts related to food packaging and competitors’ disputes over comparative advertising claims. We have represented clients in nutraceutical patent litigation related to baby formula additives.
For decades, we have counseled food industry clients in a wide array of cases, such as contract disputes, personal injury litigation, white collar criminal/government investigations and employment issues.
In addition, we help clients resolve disputes specific to the food industry, such as:
Food safety is a prime concern for food and beverage manufacturers. Our team helps companies ensure product safety and meet regulatory standards. Food companies look to Womble Carlyle’s Food, Beverage & Agriculture Team for guidance in complying with regulations from the FDA and USDA governing how food is produced, packaged and sold. We assist with:
In addition, team members work extensively with food companies on federal and state employment law compliance, as well as providing federal and state political law compliance (lobbying, political action committees (PACs), expenditures, ethics).