Eversheds’ Annual Food and Drink Conference 2015


21 September 2015

It has been an interesting year so far for the food and drink sector with media headlines picking up on a number of challenges facing the industry including increased competition, food integrity, increased scrutiny on global labour relations, as well as the need to produce quality products at reasonable prices.

Our keynote speaker Clive Black, Head of Research at Shore Capital, will provide an overview of the key issues for the sector, looking back at the past 12 months and the year ahead. Our team of global sector experts will also provide you with practical tips on some of the key legal issues facing the sector currently.

 

Programme

 

Outlook for the food and drink industry Keynote presentation by Clive Black
Food integrity – a panel discussion The integrity of the food and drink products being placed on supermarket shelves remains firmly under the spotlight, with media headlines quick to report on the latest issues to raise consumer concern. Our panel, which includes Rod Ainsworth Director of Regulatory and Legal Strategy at the Food Standards Agency, will discuss food integrity a year on from the publication of the final Elliott report.
Brexit – what should businesses be considering? A key part of the Conservative Party’s election manifesto was a pledge that a referendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the EU would be held before the end of 2017. The renegotiation and the possibility of the UK leaving the EU raises many questions, none of which can be answered definitively at this stage, though educated assumptions can be made in some areas. What is clear, is that we are entering a period of uncertainty and one where businesses should be considering the possible implications of an UK exit from the EU and in some cases planning and acting accordingly. What is less well known is that a Brexit may take a number of forms, each of which would have very different consequences for UK businesses. This session will look at the potential models for the UK’s relationship with the EU if it leaves and the impact each model may have on businesses.
M&A activity in the food and drink sector  Despite various challenges, there have been a number of very significant M&A deals announced already in 2015; with demand for brands remaining high and further consolidation anticipated the outlook for M&A in the sector looks positive. In this session we will focus on the key factors influencing M&A activity in the food and drink sector, issues encountered when streamlining businesses and post-acquisition integration.
Litigation: be prepared for disputes – a caselaw updateWhen commercial relationships start to deteriorate and the parties start discussing how best to resolve problems, it’s important to have up to date knowledge of how courts view issues around interpretation of key terms, assessing damages and enforceability of limitation and penalty clauses. This update on recent caselaw will provide a practical summary of some key judgments that businesses in this sector should be aware of.
Global complianceFood businesses are under increasing pressure to have robust due diligence systems that can cope with a globalised supply chain, increased traceability and more informed consumers. This interactive session is built around a case study that considers what is an effective modern due diligence system that will protect the company from enforcement action and reputation damage; how different stakeholders in a business can monitor and contribute to that system and, when things go wrong, how to deal with a regulatory investigation particularly in light of the forthcoming changes to the sentencing guidelines for food safety.
Employment law update The food and drink industry continues to be one of the largest employers in the UK and as businesses look to expand internationally labour practices and working conditions are coming under large scale scrutiny. There are pressures to ensure labour laws and procedures are being enforced rigorously and that employees are treated equally by their employers. This session will focus on the newly enforced Modern Slavery Act and the introduction of gender pay gap reporting.

 

Date: Thursday 15th October
Time: Registration: 9.30am
  Conference: 10.00am – 4.45pm
  Networking drinks: 4.45pm – 7.00pm
Venue: One Wood Street, London, EC2V 7WS
Attendance: Free
CPD points: 4

 

We would be delighted if you could join us as our guest at this year’s conference. To register your attendance please click here.

For further information about the event please contact Melanie Waggett.

James Batham
James Batham, Partner
e: jamesbatham@eversheds.com
t: +44 161 831 8131
m: +44 797 972 4959