Food Law in Africa and the Middle East

As food businesses increasingly turn their attention to Africa and the Middle East, it’s important to understand the regulatory complexity presented by these markets. Legislative documents are not always readily available, and ‘grey areas’ are prevalent. A proactive and pragmatic approach is needed to enable seamless trade and avoid penalties.

Africa’s emerging economies present exciting opportunities for the food and beverage industry. Demographic factors and improved commercial practices are driving higher demand for products and services. Seven countries - Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa - will soon hold half of the continent’s population. What’s more, 43% of the population will belong to the middle or upper classes (French and Perkins, 2014). Food businesses are increasingly keen to introduce products to the African continent. However, regulatory complexity is a significant challenge and it’s important to build a thorough understanding of local requirements for individual countries. Entering markets without this knowledge risks reputational damage and could potentially lead to serious legal consequences. This white paper offers a snapshot of local regulations in Africa as well as some neighbouring Middle East countries, recommending tools and approaches that can be used to navigate the complexity.


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