Let’s be clear from the start. There is no such thing as artisan food law. This may come as a surprise, though probably not, the reality is that law relevant to the big industrial food processors is the very same as that which applies to the artisan and small scale food producer. It is simply the context which changes and the way in which food law is viewed and applied.
There is no getting away from the fact that artisan and small scale producers face two significant disadvantages just for starters. First, the weight of regulation that may reasonably be justified in the case of industrial and commodity food production inevitably feels like an unreasonable burden on the artisan and small scale producer. Second, the big processors have the resources and capacity to seek advice from lawyers who charge rates that are quite unthinkable to the artisan and small scale producer.
Artisan Food Law will look at relevant law from the perspective of artisan and small scale food producers. It aims to help redress the balance by providing easy access to important law and practical help in solving problems. We aim to provide a comprehensive and authoritative food law resource which caters for those who may simply be interested to explore food law as well as those with a real need to know, and for the latter in particular the flexibility is offered to subscribers to focus on content which really matters and which, most importantly, is kept up to date in a timely, proactive and informative way. This is all provided in a straightforward low-cost way.
Artisan Food Law aims to be authorative and up to date. The Library contains all the serious stuff and some may find it a hard read. This is where the Blog and the Forums come into play. You can comment on the Blog, raise issues and maybe get a response. Subscribers also get access to a special ‘Ask a Question?’ forum where Artisan Food Law will answer your question and you can post in other forums to get help in solving the problem with which you are grappling. You can also engage with @artisanfoodlaw on Twitter and Facebook!
Artisan Food Law provides information, practical tips and sign posts to other recognised sources of information. All reasonable efforts are made to keep Artisan Food Law accurate and up to date but no guarantee or warranty is provided that the content on this website is either accurate or up to date. Furthermore, nothing on this website constitutes legal advice. You must satisfy yourself that information provided on this website is accurate and up to date before acting in reliance on any information provided and take qualified legal advice on how it applies to you and any particular set of circumstances in which you find yourself.
2 Categories of Food Law
Food law falls into three main categories. There is specialist food law which is divided into two categories, namely that which applies to all food businesses (horizontal law) and that which is specific to the nature of the food business (vertical law). The third category is more general law, such as the law of contract, employment law, intellectual property law, etc., which applies to undertakings and businesses of all descriptions.
Initially Artisan Food Law will, with a small number of exceptions, focus on horizontal and vertical food law. In the coming months, the depth and breadth of subjects covered will be expanded. This extended coverage will reflect the priorities of subscribers and users from feedback received, whether directly or indirectly in being highlighted in questions raised in the subscriber forum. In this way Artisan Food Law will grow in keeping with the priorities and interests of its subscribers and users.
The expansion of food law has been considerable over the last 20 years. The overwhelming majority now comes from Europe, some is directly applicable in EU Member States and some must be implemented by means of domestic legislation approved by Parliament here in the UK, the Scottish Parliament in Scotland, Welsh Assembly for Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly in Northern Ireland. Whilst, at first sight, the arrangements in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may all appear to differ, in practice food law rules are unlikely to diverge much because since they are made to implement common EU obligations. It helps to have a basic grasp of how Brussels law-making works and how it is given effect in the UK.
3 Access to Artisan Food Law
You can access the information provided here in a number of ways. Search by simple keyword, browse by content, subject area or special area of interest, such as ‘Bread & Bakery’ or ‘Street Food’.
All of the information contained in the Artisan Food Law Library can be accessed free of charge, but for a modest subscription you gain access to many more useful features to personalise the content most useful and relevant to you and your needs. You can maintain your own library of documents, have access to practical checklists and templates, receive timely updates on changes in the law, specific updates on any changes to documents held in your personal library, access to ‘Ask a Question?’ and the subscriber forum plus other useful tools.
Finally, while we work hard to ensure everything is up to date and working, please let us know if you find anything amiss, use the contact form or drop a brief note to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.