Constantly evolving and increasingly sophisticated, the UK food and drink market is hugely important to the economy and closely watched by an international audience, keen to learn from this country's innovative ideas. The export market continues to grow to meet worldwide demand for UK products.
Food and drink companies operate in a very challenging environment and never more than in the recent Covid-19 pandemic. The sector is highly competitive and regulated, and surges in commodity prices, coupled with pressure from retailers to keep prices low, have resulted in manufacturers being squeezed hard. This has impacted upon product development and innovation, which is a major issue as new products are regarded as the lifeblood of the sector in the UK. It is a volatile market and there have been many acquisitions and much consolidation in recent years. At the same time, UK consumers are becoming a lot more demanding about quality, sustainability and issues of provenance and traceability, and their shopping habits have altered dramatically, with e-commerce and home delivery becoming ever more important.
The pandemic has seen a dramatic fall-off in the food service sector, whilst ordering online and eating at home have soared in popularity. This has caused food companies to have a major rethink about suitability of products, pack sizes, temperature control, methods of distribution and the availability of labour. It has come along with a significant move towards meat-free, sugar/salt/fat reduction and general concerns about the environment.
The conclusion of the Brexit transition period at the end of 2020 has presented a whole range of other challenges for UK farmers and the food industry as a whole. Rollits spend a lot of time talking to farmers, fish processors and senior executives in food manufacture and distribution to understand the issues first-hand and be able to offer informed advice.
The Yorkshire and Humber region, through its rich farming lands, fishing heritage and proximity to major ports, has become a leading location in the food and drink sector, and Rollits is proud to play a part in its success.
Our sector experience
Rollits' experience in the food and drink sector is quite exceptional and extends beyond the basic provision of legal services. The Rollits Food Group works principally in the UK and Irish markets, but also with multinational clients, and has a very strong presence in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Our clients are a broad range of quoted and privately-owned companies that supply the major retailers, the independents, the food service market and other food manufacturers. Many of our clients have national brands and are household names. We are also actively involved with agri businesses from large livestock producers to salad growers.
During our decades of working in this vibrant sector, we have become the first choice in our region for advising on mergers and acquisitions either from the buying or selling side. We can identify suitable buyers to obtain the best valuation for clients and we can select companies that are good targets for clients on the acquisition trail, with a full awareness of the specific issues around buying and selling food businesses. Our work also covers management buy-ins and buy-outs and we are fully involved on the financial side, organising equity finance and debt funding from major banks.
Rollits Food Group clients benefit from our extensive knowledge and contacts - we always have an ear to the ground. We know what is out there and what deals are being made.
Why use Rollits?
Rollits is unique in being the only law firm in the country that provides such a wide range of services to the food sector backed up by practical, hands-on experience in the food industry extending more than 40 years. Our sector intelligence and knowledge are second to none. We place great importance on developing the services we offer and are very proactive in helping our clients so that they keep abreast of all the latest industry developments. We are always very happy to pass on our knowledge and expertise. On a regional level, we are very much involved in supporting the growth of local producers and suppliers, which we demonstrate through our membership of the Regional Food Group, Deliciouslyorkshire, and the East Riding Local Food Network. With offices in Hull and York, we are located in the food centre of the UK, meaning that we are perfectly placed to give specialist, personal service to our clients, many of whom we have worked alongside for many years.
Get in touch
To discuss our services, please contact us.