Food and Alcohol Regulation | Industries


From farm to table, distillery to bottle, every aspect of the food, beverage and food industry involves applying business strategy in a complex legal and regulatory environment.

Our regulatory team has exceptional insight and hands-on experience with regulators. We can help you mitigate risk, meet challenges and take advantage of new opportunities, while protecting your interests and ensuring that all your legal needs are met. We offer a unique one-stop-shop solution for food and beverage businesses.

We advise many of the largest Canadian, US and international companies in the industry, as well as small and medium-sized businesses. We represent major food and beverage processors, importers, distributors and retailers, as well as distillers, breweries and wineries, on matters such as licensing, permits, production, product formulation, taxation, business practices, transportation, distribution, labelling, advertising and marketing.

The market for Canadian food products is unique, among other things, because of the competing powers of the federal and provincial governments. For example, provincial governments regulate the distribution and retail sale of food, while the federal government has the power to regulate interprovincial trade in food. Likewise, the country is home to a diverse and mature alcoholic beverage industry, which is regulated at the federal and provincial levels. Therefore, legal, regulatory and transactional advice must be combined with focus and sophistication and must be provided by lawyers with deep experience in this sector. Fasken lawyers have an enviable depth and breadth of experience.

Through firm-wide collaboration and our knowledge of agribusiness, food and beverage law, we create multi-disciplinary solutions to help our clients overcome obstacles they may face, including navigate the unique regulatory landscape.

In particular, we advise our clients on:

  • Advertising, Marketing and Labeling: Our regulatory team regularly works with companies to develop labels and marketing strategies to convey their message and comply with all federal and provincial requirements.

  • Permits and licenses: We have first-hand knowledge in obtaining licenses and permits, maintaining them through ownership changes and reorganizations, and defending against threats of suspension and revocation.

  • Product formulation: We advise our clients on a wide range of food and alcoholic beverages, including flavored malt beverages, wines, specialty distilled spirits and other non-traditional products. Our staff regularly submits formula requests, process statements and pre-import analysis requests to facilitate timely approvals.

  • Food safety requirements, product recalls and traceability issues, and environmental law issues: We assist our clients in navigate provincial and federal laws regarding safety and assist with all stages of the food and alcoholic beverage recall process.

  • Customs and border protection: We assist international and domestic clients with a wide range of customs issues that affect the importation of food and alcoholic beverages into and into Canada. These issues include country of origin and marking, tariff classification and durability, valuation and pricing, and storage.

  • Distribution: We offer a wide range of services, including negotiating contracts, establishing and managing distribution networks, and assisting clients in assessing the legal and monetary effects of mergers..

  • Regulatory issues: We work with legislative bodies and regulatory bodies at the federal and provincial levels. Additionally, we have extensive experience working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Canada, the Competition Bureau of Canada, Quebec Régie des alcools, les courses et des jeux (RACJ), the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec (MAPAQ), Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, BC Liquor Distribution Branch, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission and other organizations.


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