Green issues in the food and drink industry - February 2008 edition

United Kingdom

With climate change becoming such a hot topic both politically and in consumer culture, and the burgeoning market for green products presenting commercial opportunities for the food and drink sector, we have tailored this edition of the Food & Drink Bulletin to cover some of the environmentally focused legal developments that are influencing the way you do business.

Food and drink businesses in the modern world find themselves between a rock and a hard place: on the one hand they are under pressure to demonstrate their environmental credentials; but on the other they face the threat of censure from the ASA and accusations of‘greenwash’ from pressure groups if their adverts overstate their achievements. Here we present a ‘how to’ guide on avoiding the pitfalls associated with communicating your own eco-initiatives.

In our article on director’s duties, we look at how recent legislative changes have put a burden on directors to consider the impact of the company’s decisions upon the environment (amongst other factors) and the knock-on implications for shareholder activism.

Elsewhere, we analyse how your business will be affected by implementation of ‘The Merton Rule’ - the stipulation by some local authorities that anything up to 10% of the energy of a new building must come from on-site renewable sources.

In our European article, we take a different tack, and explore the implications of Poland’s laws forbidding retailers from charging producers a tariff to stock their products.

Also, turning to an issue that is increasingly gaining importance both nationally and globally, we look at the regulatory changes that are affecting the way water is used in the production process, and how food and drink companies are being squeezed as a result.

Articles this edition:

Going Green: the new advertising environment
Directors' duties: sleepless nights or business as usual?
How will the Merton Rule affect your business?
Listing fees and retailers: Poland and UK
Water usage in food production: is water the new carbon