Agrifood

Agrifood

The innovative agrifood sector presents excellent opportunities for national and international investors. Increasing numbers of non-European parties are getting involved in the Dutch agrifood sector. Automation, robotics and biotechnology developments are contributing to improved efficiency in the sector, creating a demand for new strategies and changes to corporate structures. Houthoff’s comprehensive knowledge and vision of the sector are incomparable and facilitate these changes in a way that no one else can. As market leader, our multidisciplinary Agrifood Team represents national and international clients in virtually every link of the supply chain. The team’s work includes monitoring the increasingly intensive strategic partnerships developing between different supply chain parties.

EXAMPLES OF OUR EXPERTISE WITHIN THE AGRIFOOD SECTOR

M&A transactions within the agrifood sector are often complex and require comprehensive legal assistance. Our Agrifood Team advises both investors and strategic partners from home and abroad on transactions on the Dutch market. We also assist Dutch companies on cross-border transactions by partnering with the best lawyers from our international Lex Mundi network. Innovative agriculture companies have benefited from the proper protection of their varieties and innovations via breeders’ rights, patents, and other intellectual property rights. Houthoff is one of the few firms that specialises in this field.

Agrifood producers often find themselves facing complex and wide-ranging requirements when it comes to aspects such as their production processes and putting their products on the market. This makes it vital for them to satisfy competition regulations and the conditions for market access, as well as acquire proper certification. Agrifood producers recognise our broad experience and expertise in these areas. They engage us to assess their contracts or proposed partnership structures, to find solutions for combating unfair trade practices or false competition, and to apply for such certifications as the MPS-Florimark Production label.
  • Houthoff advised Strik Bedrijven Beheer B.V. on the sale of 75% of the shares in Innovative Taste B.V. to Barentz International B.V.

  • Houthoff acted as Dutch counsel in connection with the preparation and implementation of the settlement plan relating to the  Agrokor group. Agrokor entered into an insolvency process in 2017 under  'Lex Agrokor', a law passed in Croatia aimed at the restructuring of Agrokor in view of its systemic importance for the Croatian economy. The business has been transferred to the Fortenova Group. 
  • Houthoff represented Klaas Puul in its merger with Foppen Groep. Both Foppen and Klaas Puul are well known business in the salmon and shrimp processing industry and have long histories as family owned businesses in the food industry. The businesses have been in existence for respectively 100 and 50 years.

  • Represented a.o. Alcodis S.A. in an agrifood product liability matter involving product recalls in several countries worldwide.
  • Advising H2 Equity partners on the sale of its majority stake in its portfolio company Dümmen Orange to BC Partners. Dümmen Orange is a leading breeder of cut flowers and potted plants with production in Europe, Central America and East Africa. The transaction is a subject to regulatory approvals and it is expected to be closed in the coming months.
  • Houthoff advised Oerlemans Foods Nederland B.V./H2 on the sale of its frozen potato processing division to Lamb-Weston/Meijer V.O.F. through a sale of all shares in Oerlemans Foods Nederland B.V. to Lamb-Weston/Meijer V.O.F.

Our specialists know the agrifood sector inside and out, and use this knowledge to develop practical, thoroughly considered solutions. They combine their knowledge of subjects such as food safety, intellectual property law, competition law, agricultural law, and product liability law to formulate future-proof solutions that will help you now, and continue to help you in the future. Whenever necessary, Houthoff can rely on its excellent relationships with national and European authorities, such as the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets [Autoriteit Consument en Markt], the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority [Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit] (NVWA), Naktuinbouw, the Plant Varieties Board [Raad voor Plantenrassen], the Dutch Customs Administration [Nederlandse douane], industry organisations, the European Commission, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Thanks to these cooperative relationships and the Agrifood Team’s comprehensive knowledge of the sector, the solutions that Houthoff offers go the extra mile.

Publications

Gerrit Oosterhuis

Key Contact

Brussels
Advocaat | Partner
+32 2 507 98 13
+32 4 7394 8686
Greetje van Heezik

Key Contact

Brussels
Advocaat | Counsel
+32 2 507 98 10
+32 4 7586 8593