When you sit down to a meal, whether at home or at a restaurant, the food and drink on the table has taken an interesting journey to reach you.
Farris represents businesses at each step of the process—from farm to table, advising on a wide array of activities. Our clients include growers, wineries, distilleries, restaurants, processors, retailers, and industry organizations.
Just as food starts with the land so does a business. Our lawyers can assist in the purchase of land for farming, wineries, processing or warehouse facilities, hotels or restaurants. We have experience with BC Agricultural Land Reserve applications, and can assist with negotiating the financing for food and beverage related businesses. We can also help enterprises grow through other commercial transactions such as mergers and acquisitions.
As an agribusiness is likely a link in the industry supply chain, Farris lawyers can help draft supply chain agreements including distribution, franchise, retail and licensing contracts, and facilitate strategic partnerships with co-packers and distributors. Assisting in the internal structure of a business is one of our strengths; advising on incorporations, partnership and shareholders’ agreements, and joint ventures, as well as reorganizations and restructurings for tax optimization.
The regulations surrounding food production and distribution can be difficult to navigate. Our lawyers can provide advice to help ensure your business is compliant with this legislation, including the Canada Food and Drugs Act, the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Act and the Canada Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.
The licencing and regulatory obligations of the wine industry are complex and extensive. Farris can help organize and complete the documentation required to ensure compliance in areas as varied as land zoning and environmental law to industry specific details such as content labelling regulations.
Branding is particularly important to a winery where success is often driven by reputation and name recognition. From choosing and protecting a winery’s name and label design to internet sales, Farris can advise you on how best to protect your brand, touching on intellectual property issues such as trademarks, certification marks, geographic indications, trade dress and vineyard descriptions.
The unique employment requirement of both vineyards and wineries can be challenging to the business owner. Whether trying to hire a vintner from abroad, setting up a seasonal worker program or dealing with union negotiations, Farris can provide the guidance to help keep the work moving smoothly.
Although a winery may have similar business concerns to other endeavors, such as distribution agreements and tax strategies, our lawyers are familiar with the agreements and documents specific to the industry. We can help with vineyard leasing or fruit supply and purchase agreements, custom crush agreements and inter-provincial shipments.
We have extensive knowledge of the unique liability issues faced by wineries and can assist in obtaining the adequate insurance, and, if necessary, support our client in the case of litigation.