Food law is an extremely extensive, complicated and constantly developing branch of law. It is the food law that regulates all matters related to the production and marketing of agri-food products – that is, everything that OF interest to producers, sellers and consumers.
FAIRLEGAL Law Firm effectively advises on food law, with particular emphasis on the safety of foodstuffs placed on the market in the Polish and the European Union.
As part of the specialization in Food Law, the scope of our consulting includes, m.in, the following activities:
FOOD PRODUCTS LABELLING
We provide support in the process of creating content for newly developed labels, packaging of food products, as well as verify the already existing labelling of foodstuffs in terms of meeting the requirements of Polish and EU laws. We analyze the admissibility of labelling with pictograms, images indicating the flavor of products or indicating other properties of the active substance. We estimate the risks associated with placing individual information and marks on products.
NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS
We verify relevant nutrition and health claims in terms of admissibility, compliance with applicable regulations, as well as the correctness of their use.
PRESENTATION AND ADVERTISING OF FOOD PRODUCTS
We assess the compliance of advertising for food products and marketing texts and messages with applicable law. We support in the creation of marketing communication, m.in on labels, websites, TV advertisements and social media. We develop rules of cooperation with influencers, advertising agencies, rules of product placement. We advise on the concepts and mechanisms of various types of promotional campaigns. We prepare and give opinions on marketing and discount policies, regulations of loyalty programs and competitions.
We represent clients in connection with ongoing proceedings regarding the illegality of advertising before the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection and the Advertising Ethics Committee.
PLACING FOOD ON THE MARKET AND WITHDRAWAL OF FOOD FROM THE MARKET
We assist in the procedure of placing on the market foodstuffs, food supplements, functional foods, including products for special nutritional purposes. We provide all legal assistance in the preparation of documents that must be forwarded to the relevant authorities before the product is placed on the market. We also provide support in the process of product recall from the market.
We advise on the marketing of food supplements. We prepare and submit notifications to the Chief Sanitary Inspector about the intention to introduce or market a food supplement. We help in the classification of products into the group of food supplements. We analyze the qualitative and quantitative composition of products, as well as labels and advertising.
LEGAL QUALIFICATION OF FOOD PRODUCTS (SO-CALLED BORDERLINE PRODUCTS)
We indicate the appropriate product categories:
- foods of general consumption;
- food supplement;
- Food for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP);
- fortified foods.
We also verify the correctness of the legal classification of the product.
MATERIALS AND ARTICLES INTENDED TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH FOOD (FCM)
We help to determine the conditions that must be met by packaging intended for contact with food, we develop declarations of conformity.
COMBATING FOOD WASTE
We advise entrepreneurs on fulfilling their obligations under the Act on Counteracting Food Waste. We indicate the rules of handling food.
CONTRACTS WITH SUPPLIERS AND RECIPIENTS OF FOODSTUFFS
We analyze and create contracts or general terms and conditions of contracts related to the cultivation, production, production and distribution of foodstuffs, agri-food products or animal feed. In particular, we verify legal risks and commercial practices used in contracts.
AUDITS IN THE FIELD OF COMPLIANCE WITH FOOD LAW IN THE ENTERPRISE
We carry out audits aimed at verifying the correctness of the application of food law. We assess the impact of new and planned legal regulations on food products and the company itself. We estimate the risks and determine the scope of necessary actions. We create and verify internal procedures. We assist in the implementation of practices ensuring full compliance with the law of the conducted business (compliance).
OFFICIAL CONTROL OF PRODUCTS
We offer support in preparing for official inspections of food products, as well as in the course of the inspection itself, so as to limit their possible negative effects as much as possible. We prepare companies and employees for hearings and other activities of control bodies. Based on many years of experience, we create effective strategies for control and appeal proceedings. We prepare responses to the post-control objections of the authorities, as well as complaints against the decisions of the authorities to the Voivodship Administrative Courts and to the Supreme Administrative Court.
We represent entrepreneurs in administrative proceedings conducted by the Trade Inspection, the Inspection of Commercial Quality of Agricultural Food Products (IJHARS), the State Sanitary Inspection, the State Inspectorate of Plant Protection and Seeds, the Veterinary Inspection, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection and other bodies of official food control.
We represent clients in disputes proceedings concerning acts of unfair competition, as well as in proceedings initiated by the President of Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in cases of unfair use of contractual advantage. We also provide support in mediation in conflict situations. We carry out audits of compliance with the law of combating unfair competition. We give opinions and analyze the issues of double quality of products (dual quality).
COMPLAINT PROCEEDINGS AND SUPPORT IN CRISIS SITUATIONS
We represent clients in complaint proceedings. We support in crisis situations, e.g. we verify the correctness of the notification to the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).
Selected examples of the Law Firm's practical experience in the field of Food and Regulatory law:
- representing a client in proceedings with a complaint to the Advertising Council concerning a food product enriched with caffeine;
- representation of the client in a complaint to the Advertising Council regarding a food dietary product for special medical purposes
- representation of a leading manufacturer of herbal products before sanitary inspection authorities in the field of irregularities in the marking of herbal raw materials;
- representation of the client before the health inspection authorities in the field of irregularities in the marking of the product with a reduced sugar content;
- representation of the leading manufacturer of the customer's products before the health inspection authorities in the field of irregularities in the labelling of a product containing vegetable milk;
- representation of clients before the court in the scope of acts of unfair competition, consisting in imitation of product packaging;
- representation of the client before the sanitary and pharmaceutical inspection authorities in the scope of criminal charges related to the misclassification of food, herbal products and medicines;
- analysis of the admissibility of the use of health claims for a dietary supplement supporting the improvement of mood;
- analysis of the admissibility of health claims for products containing THC and CBD (cannabinoids);
- a comprehensive analysis of the acceptability of placing on the market food products containing adaptogens;
- audits of websites of online stores offering dietary supplements, functional food, food products for special nutritional purposes;
- analysis of the permissibility of placing hand disinfection gel on the market as a cosmetic product;
- supporting a number of customers in the process of product recalls;
- development and introduction of procedures for dealing with consumer complaints, presence in social media, rules of cooperation with influencers, cooperation with advertising agencies and product placement;
- assessing the legitimacy of criticism on social media in terms of potential allegations of slander.