LAW FIRM CRIPPS IS THE MAIN SPONSOR OF THE TASTE OF KENT AWARDS AND HERE , ERICA DENNETT , PARTNER AND MEMBER OF ITS FOOD AND DRINK SECTOR TEAM , EXPLAINS SOME OF THE ISSUES PRODUCERS FACE .
Not many counties can boast the sheer range of food and drink we have in Kent . With such a diverse landscape it is hardly surprising the area is known as the Garden of England , with vineyards and hop gardens , orchards , farms and fisheries dotting the countryside .
At Cripps we are stalwart supporters of the local food and drink industry , which is why this is the sixth year running we have been the main sponsor of the Taste of Kent Awards . We have been very impressed by the quality of this year ’ s finalists .
Kent has long been known for its entrepreneurial culture and the excellence of its produce – whether hops , cherries , oysters , apples , cobnuts or the fabulous lamb that comes from Romney Marsh . But food is a sector that is continually evolving and adapting to new challenges and opportunities . New crops are being planted and industries emerging to process , distribute , sell and add value to the food the county grows and harvests .
At the same time , there is a move towards local sourcing and a relentless upwards drive in standards as people who are passionate about food make use of Kentish produce in their pubs , restaurants , farmers ’ markets and shops .
As a law firm with more than 350 employees we can draw on the expertise of colleagues to provide expert advice on issues as diverse as buying and selling property , acquisitions and mergers , branding and intellectual property , commercial contracts , dispute resolution , trading agreements and employment advice .
Our legal advice helps ensure compliance with changing regulatory obligations – something that will come to the fore as Brexit takes shape .
We are so fortunate to have such a variety of produce on our doorstep – food and drink that is nationally acclaimed and much sought after . Our climate has enabled enterprising farmers , companies and individuals to capitalise on this and produce crops that would not thrive so well elsewhere , such as asparagus , lavender , olives and cobnuts .
Wine is another great story and our vineyards now produce still and sparkling wines that regularly beat off stiff competition from France and elsewhere in taste tests .
We have much to be proud of and the Taste of Kent Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the finest food and drink Kent has to offer . We are delighted to give them our support .
As these innovative businesses grow and develop , they expand from start-up operations – that need signposting as to the legal issues they may face – to flourishing enterprises that employ multiple staff , acquire larger premises and expand into new markets . On this journey they need trusted advisers who can help them make the most of their opportunities and avoid legal pitfalls .
Regulations are becoming increasingly complex as the food and drink sectors change and more people take an interest in what they consume . Producers must comply with new obligations and meet the demand for greater transparency and quality . For this it is very important to seek legal advice .
We have a dedicated team to help food and drink businesses of all sizes – from start-ups to small family-run businesses and large corporate manufacturers . Our team guides clients through the complexities by providing succinct , strategic and commercial advice . www . cripps . co . uk @ crippslaw
Cripps is a key regional law firm serving clients nationally and internationally from offices in Kent and London . Recognised countrywide for both its commercial and private client work , Cripps focuses on wealthier families , entrepreneurial businesses and the real estate sector .