The role of the food lawyer in Italy depends on food law evolution and has changed over time. In order to understand it, therefore, it is essential to analyze its origins.
The origins of food law in Italy – the food lawyer in Italy
Two distinct circumstances affected the evolutionary process of matter. The first of these is the need to protect the consumer.
The role of consumers in food law
This attention to the consumer has had to relate, over time, also with the change of preferences and choices. Consumers are increasingly attentive to issues such as health, sustainability and organic, and how these have influenced the food market and related regulatory production.
The needs of companies in the sector have also been involved in the change. It is the second stakeholder of the food chain, whose interests, however, relate to the production and marketing of food products.
The approximation of regulatory systems and the role of the food lawyer in Italy
Food law is born in the European context. The European courts have affirmed some of the most important principles for the creation of the single market. One example of this is the well-known Dassonville judgment, in which the Court ruled that Member States were prohibited from imposing customs duties and measures having equivalent effect on trade.
The definition of food
In Italy, an initial definition of food was provided by Art. 2 of Ministerial Decree 21.03.1973 on food packaging. For the purposes of that provision, all edible substances, solid or liquid, of animal, vegetable or mineral origin, which may be ingested by humans in the natural state, or processed or processed, are covered by the definition of food, or mixed, including chewing preparations such as “chewing gum” and similar products.
Regulation (EC) 178/2002 clarified this definition.
Article 2 of the above provision can be divided into two parts: the first provides a generic definition and the second regulates specific cases.
The definition of food business
A first definition of food business can be found, in the national law, in the Law n. 283 of 30 April 1962, on the hygienic discipline of the production and sale of food substances and beverages. This, in particular, in Article 2, when defining its scope, limited it to establishments, laboratories for production, preparation and packaging, as well as wholesale stores of food substances.
The role of the food lawyer in Italy
The food lawyer in Italy offers the following services:
1) research and consultancy on project validation;
2) protection of intellectual property in the food and beverage sector;
3) assistance in the authorisation activities for the placing on the market of agri-food products or for the start-up of activities in the sector (e.g. food supplements)
4) verification of compliance of the label and communication of the food;
5) drafting of contracts and management of contractual relations, including with suppliers and distribution;
6) personnel training activities;
7) judicial activity.