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RPC Bites #12

08 July 2020. Published by Ciara Cullen, Partner and Ben Mark, Partner

Welcome to RPC Bites. Our aim in the next 2 minutes is to provide you with a flavour of some key legal, regulatory and commercial developments in the Food & Drink sector over the last fortnight… with the occasional bit of industry gossip thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

No Way, 'Nosecco' says the High Court

French wine producer, Les Grands Chais de France (LGC), has lost its appeal against the decision to uphold the opposition of its trade mark application for "Nosecco", in class 32, for "non-alcoholic wines". Nosecco is an alcohol-free sparkling wine, which LGC launched at the 2017 London Wine Fair. Read more

The data protection implications of NHS Test and Trace for restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars

Many food and drink retailers in England reopened their doors on 4 July. To assist with NHS Test and Trace (if it is required), the UK Government has recommended that businesses keep a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days. This raises data protection questions for establishments, many of whom will become data controllers overnight. Read more

Cheers to that - $100M global drinks fund launched

Diageo, the owner of various major drinks brands including Smirnoff, Baileys and Guinness, has announced the launch of a $100m global fund, dubbed 'Raising the Bar'. The aim of the fund is to ease the financial pressure that the COVID-19 outbreak has caused, by allowing pubs and bars in various cities across the world, to acquire technology, equipment and other resources that are needed to implement social distancing measures. If successful, the fund will be mutually beneficial, in the sense that business for the hospitality sector should in turn mean business for Diageo.  

Along with others, Diageo has called on the Government to offer rescue packages to the industry. As reported in previous issues of RPC Bites, similar measures have been implemented for both the fishing and dairy sectors. With the Government already paying huge sums of money under particularly its furlough scheme, it remains to be seen whether relief for the hospitality sector will be forthcoming, particularly with many venues now allowed to reopen.  

The ASA's top tips on "how not to hash up"

As reported in Issue 9 of RPC Bites, sales of Cannabidiol (or 'CBD') products have boomed in recent years. This trend has only gained popularity during lockdown: during the first four months of 2020 alone, UK spending on CBD products exceeded £150M. With this in mind, on 26 June, the ASA published a tip sheet for marketers seeking to advertise CBD products. Read more

Poor conditions responsible for the spread of COVID-19 across the meat industry 

In recent weeks, there have been a number of high profile COVID-19 outbreaks at food factories: 200 at a chicken processing plant in Anglesey (which only employs 500, in total) and various other reported cases. A similar phenomenon wreaked havoc amongst meat packing plants in the US. The outbreaks have been widely attributed to the nature of factories and their production lines, which make it very difficult for staff (who typically operate in close quarters) to practice social distancing. Read more