Few industries in Denmark are as highly regulated as the agricultural and food industry. We have practical insight into the operational and structural aspects of agriculture, and our commercial understanding helps us create solutions for our clients.
Agriculture and food
From farm to table
Businesses in the agricultural and food industry are facing increasingly complex regulation, the opening of new global markets, increasingly complex supply chains, growing retail consolidation as well as health and safety concerns.
We assist businesses in operating in the agricultural and food industry, which is both competitive and highly regulated. Our knowledge of industry regulation and the constantly changing commercial dynamics enable us to design viable business strategies and to assess and advise on legal risks and challenges.
We have experience of dealing with public authorities and are often able to find a pragmatic solution to cover risks. We understand the "from farm to table" principle and the journey from the individual farm through production, packaging, distribution, marketing and sale – also outside Denmark. We keep track of the national and global measures in the areas affecting businesses in this industry, such as food safety, animal welfare, inspections, use of innovative ingredients and processes as well as public subsidy schemes. As a global law firm, DLA Piper can help our clients in international cases.
Just like other businesses, Danish agricultural businesses are subject to strict environmental regulation. We have extensive expertise in the field of environmental law and planning law and other public regulation of real estate, and we advise on:
- municipal and local plans
- environmental approvals and permits, including environmental impact assessments (EIAs)
- extraction permits
- rural zone permits for buildings in the open landscape
- nature protection and conservation, e.g. the habitat protection rules
- environmental damage, e.g. soil contamination and groundwater pollution
- environmental liability insurance
Succession, ownership transfer and ownership structure
Traditionally, farms have passed from one generation to the next within the family. Less restrictive rules on acquisition and increasingly large and professionally managed farms open up for new alternatives to the traditional family farm transfer. The trend is towards an increasing number of business combinations and interest from other industries, which regard the agricultural industry as an interesting investment opportunity.
Many issues need to be taken into account when planning and implementing an ownership transfer, and many interested parties are involved, e.g. the older and younger generations, other family members who are not going to be part of the ownership transfer, employees and financial institutions.
Investment, sale and purchase in the agricultural industry
As the structure of the agricultural and food industry has evolved, many agricultural businesses have grown in size and complexity. The trend has gone from single agricultural properties to large-scale agricultural businesses/groups.
Our legal services to sellers and buyers of agricultural businesses include:
- due diligence investigations of agricultural businesses
- drafting of contracts and transfer agreements
- financing, terms and conditions of contracts and guarantees as well as new structure
- cross-border transactions
- external investments in agricultural and food businesses
Contract law in the agricultural industry
With the increasing internationalisation and complexity of agricultural businesses, the management of partner and supplier relationships has become an important management tool. Our profound knowledge of the industry, combined with our legal expertise and commercial understanding, enables us to provide advice on legal issues and the commercial applicability and understanding.
We advise clients on all types of contract, including:
- lease and tenancy agreements
- financing and leasing agreements
- partnership agreements/cooperation agreements
- sale and purchase agreements
- supplier agreements
- compliance with employment law