Sugar – An opportunity for the food industry

June 27, 2014

Sugar has been demonised and vilified in the press. A recent series of Government backed reports and research have recommended legislation to curb the sugar content in food.

The “sugar revolution” is a key issue for our food manufacturing and retailing clients. This presents both a golden opportunity and a challenge for the food industry in Northern Ireland.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin has worked closely with a number of manufacturers who are developing new products to meet the consumer demand for low sugar alternatives. However, it is imperative that manufacturers take steps to protect their investment in developing such products by taking out appropriate patents, copyrights and trademarks. The investment in research and development is huge and all too often, businesses fail to take the appropriate legal steps to protect that investment.

Furthermore, specialist legal advice will be required when making health claims and ensuring that food labelling meets not only consumer demands but a raft of upcoming European Legislation on labelling and health claims. Food labelling requirements are likely to get more complex as and when legislative controls are put on the sugar content of food.

The increased emphasis on the health aspects of food presents numerous opportunities for the Agrifood sector. There is a need for the development of new processing mechanisms to reduce the sugar levels in food stuffs. In the farming sector there is an opportunity to market natural unprocessed foodstuffs. Retailers have the opportunity to sell and promote, at a higher profit margin, added value, healthy products.

Northern Ireland has some of the best food processors and manufacturers in the world and has a golden opportunity to be at the forefront of the sugar revolution. However, this needs both public sector and private investment to ensure we are at the forefront of research and development. Furthermore, the right legal advice and mechanisms must be in place to protect that investment.

Please note; the content of this article is for information purposes only and further advice should be sought from a professional legal advisor before any action is taken.
Please contact Cleaver Fulton Rankin on 028 9024 3141 or alternatively visit www.cfrlaw.co.uk