Skip to main content

Food & Alcohol Regulatory

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


From farm to table, distillery to bottle, every aspect of the agribusiness, food and beverage 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, respond to challenges, and capitalize on new opportunities, while safeguarding your interests and ensuring that all your legal needs are being met. We offer a unique one-stop shop solution for food and beverage companies.

We advise many of the top Canadian, US and international corporations in the industry, as well as small and mid-size companies. We represent leading food and beverage processors, importers, distributors, and retailers, as well as distillers, breweries and wineries, on issues such as licensing, permitting, production, product formulation, taxation, trade practices, transportation, distribution, labelling, advertising and marketing.

The marketplace for Canadian food products is unique, among other things, due to the concurrent powers of federal and provincial governments. For example, provincial governments regulate the distribution and retailing of food, whereas the federal government has the power to regulate interprovincial trade in food. Similarly, the country is home to a diverse, mature alcoholic beverages sector, which is regulated at both the federal and provincial levels. As a result, legal, regulatory and transactional advice must be combined with focus and sophistication and must be dispensed by lawyers with in-depth experience in this sector. Fasken’s lawyers have an enviable depth and breadth of experience.

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

We notably advise our clients on:

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

  • Permitting and licensing: We possess first-hand knowledge in obtaining licenses and permits, maintaining them through ownership changes and reorganizations, and defending against threatened suspension and revocation actions.

  • Product formulation: We advise our clients on a wide range of food and alcoholic beverage products, including flavoured malt beverages, wines, distilled spirit specialties and other non-traditional products. Our staff routinely submits formula applications, statements of process and pre-import analysis requests in order to facilitate timely approvals.

  • Food safety requirements, product recalls and traceability issues, and environmental law issues: We assist our clients in navigating provincial and federal laws involving safety and assisting in all stages of the recall process for food and alcoholic beverage products.

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

  • Distribution: We offer a broad array of services, including contract negotiation, establishing and managing distribution networks and assisting clients in assessing the legal and monetary effects of mergers.

  • Regulatory matters: We advocate before legislative bodies and regulatory agencies at the federal and provincial levels. Moreover, we have extensive experience working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Canada, Canada’s Competition Bureau, the Quebec Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ), the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ), the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission and other agencies.




    Receive email updates from our team