The agri-food industry refers to all companies involved in the processing, development and packaging of products of mainly agricultural and animal origin, for human or animal food consumption.

It brings together ten sectors which include :

  • The processing and preservation of meat and the preparation of meat products ;
  • The processing and preservation of fish, crustaceans and molluscs ;
  • The processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables ;
  • Production of vegetable and animal oils and fats ;
  • The production of dairy products ;
  • Grain work ;
  • The production of starch products, the production of baking products and pasta ;
  • Production of other food products ;
  • Production of animal feed ;
  • Beverage production.

Europe has become the world’s leading exporter of agri-food products, exporting nearly 140 billion euros of goods worldwide in 2018. The agri-food industry generated a trade surplus of 22 billion euros, or 7% of the total value of goods exported by the European Union worldwide.

Faced with numerous issues such as food safety, industrialization, supply security, product protection and traceability, this industry faces ever-increasing challenges in an increasingly complex regulatory and legislative framework.

JUNCA & ASSOCIÉS and its specialists in issues related to intellectual property law, consumer law and contract law, allow you to respond to these challenges thanks to a multidisciplinary team. They support all players in the food industry, from producer to importer, via distributors and traders.

  1. Agri-food, the leading French industrial sector
  2. A sector in the midst of various problems
  3. The lawyers of JUNCA & ASSOCIÉS accompany you every step of the way

Agri-food, the leading French industrial sector

In 2020, the agri-food industry is the leading French industrial sector since it is made up of 15,500 companies which generate a turnover of around 200 billion euros and which employ nearly 450,000 people.

The agri-food industry clearly attests to the great diversity of foodstuffs as well as the richness of French and European terroirs representing a key component of their national heritage.

The main European countries are promoting European gastronomy, so they are experiencing a strong development of PDOs and PGIs. As examples, in 2019, Italy held 307 PDOs and PGIs, followed by France with 249 products, and other southern European countries such as Spain with 192 products, Portugal with 138 products, Greece with 107 products, and finally Germany with 91 products.

The French territory is recognized worldwide as being the first European producer of beef, the second European producer of cow’s milk, butter or cheese, the first European producer and exporter of cereals, and the second world producer of wine.

However, the agri-food industry is marked by significant changes in environmental standards, strong international competition, but also by geopolitical and legal problems directly impacting this sector.


The food industry faces many problems

The agri-food industry is strongly affected by profound transformations due to globalization and growing concerns related to health and the environment.

This phenomenon has many consequences on the activity of players in this industry, who must in particular ensure that they apply the principle of agri-food traceability within the supply and production chain with a view to food safety, and thus control the dangers and lower the risk levels of incurring liability.

Furthermore, this sector is frequently confronted with intellectual property issues hoping to benefit from signs of identification of quality and origin (SIQO) including designations of origin and protected indications, the objective of which is to guarantee consumers a close link between the products and their terroir, such as protected geographical indications (PGI), protected designations of origin (PDO) or controlled designations of origin (AOC).

Players in the French agri-food industry also aim to communicate on the quality of their products by affixing the mention traditional specialty guarantee (TSG), the organic farming mark (AB), the red label (LB), or the certification of compliance, which are signs of quality and which meet consumer expectations.

They are therefore forced to respond in the manufacturing process of their products, whether at the stage of their production, their development or their transformation, to the requirements defined in the specifications to benefit from one of these SIQOs.

The coexistence of PDOs and PGIs with company brands is an issue in which the experts of JUNCA & ASSOCIÉS can support you.

Due to globalization and the exponential growth of competition, players in the agri-food industry are very much affected by globalization and the exponential growth in this sector. They are forced to actively protect and defend the labels such as AOP, AOC or IGP, against any usurpation, imitation, or illicit evocation, or against the marketing under these signs by third parties of products that do not comply with the applicable specifications.

Finally, the agri-food industry is at the heart of innovation since it is constantly changing and evolving thanks to industrial robotics. Thus, the development of intelligent machines, factories of the future or even new collaborative manufacturing processes, constitute a priority for the actors of this sector who seek to integrate ever more efficient technologies which make it possible to guarantee compliance with the standards of food safety and quality while reducing labor costs.


The lawyers of JUNCA & ASSOCIÉS accompany you every step of the way

JUNCA & ASSOCIÉS offers you innovative legal and commercial solutions adapted to your needs, both in consulting and in litigation.

Our firm notably offers to assist you in :

  • Negotiating, reviewing and drafting contracts for each stage of product manufacturing through to distribution ;
  • The valuation of products and the determination of the signs of identification of quality and origin
  • The protection strategy of the innovation and of the distinctive signs ;
  • Trademark registration in the light of quality and origin identification signs ;
  • The verification of the products against the specifications of the quality and origin identification sign envisaged ;
  • The protection and defense of quality and origin identification signs.

In terms of intellectual property and industrial property, JUNCA & ASSOCIÉS supports you in the audit and the pre-project strategy, the protection of your brand, within the framework of industrial and commercial agreements, and if necessary in the event of litigation.