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.


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 Zwanenberg Food Group on all competition law related aspects of its acquisition of Struik Foods Europe. Houthoff obtained clearance for the deal from the Dutch ACM and comfort from the CMA with the assistance of Travers Smith. This transaction creates a significant operator in the field of soups, sauces, preserves and convenience meals. Zwanenberg Food Group employs 1,600 people who together achieve net sales of € 420 million. Struik Foods Europe, which achieves annual sales of €120 million, employs 200 people. Houthoff's team was led by Gerrit Oosterhuis.


  • Advised Strik Bedrijven Beheer B.V. on the sale of 75% of the shares in Innovative Taste B.V. to Barentz International B.V.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Key Contact

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

Key Contact

Advocaat | Counsel
+32 2 507 98 10
+32 4 7586 8593
Fleur Tuinzing-Westerhuis

Key Contact

Advocaat | Counsel
+31 20 605 65 28
+31 6 4397 5040