Sector & service specialists

Food and Drink

Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the EU with a turnover of €1.1 trillion, employing 4.6 million people. In half of the EU’s 27 Member States, the food and drink industry is the biggest manufacturing employer. FoodDrinkEurope is the dominant Brussels trade association representing the sector. Overall, the sector is comprised mainly of SMEs with relatively few big spending multinational companies – interestingly not one food and drink company is in the top 50 corporate affairs spenders in Brussels!

However, the sector is highly regulated as society and governments have become more aware of the impact of what we eat and drink.

Beyond this humanitarian crisis, the Ukraine war has unleashed massive challenges in the food supply chain with spiralling input and energy costs, and a scarcity of certain commodities needed to maintain a fully functioning supply chain.  The EU’s response has been swift to safeguard EU food security and reinforce the resilience of food systems.

Specialist Law firms

In the last 10 years, EU food and drink exports have doubled. EU food legislation is highly harmonised and the sector benefits significantly from the opportunities offered by the EU Single Market. At the same time, however, the sector faces certain challenges in both international and European markets. The European Commission is working to improve the competitiveness of the EU food sector and the functioning of the Single Market for Food. It also strives to create new trade opportunities for food and drink products, through various trade negotiations and dialogues with third countries.

European Commission

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