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Certificate in Agribusiness & Food Law

Start Date
Saturday 22 October 2022 at 6:00 PM
2,500-word written assignment.
Delivery Method
Online live Saturday lectures with occasional supplementary lectures released online. All lectures available to view on-demand
CPD Hours
The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to this course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions.  For further information and the booklet, see CPD scheme.
Course Leader
Megan Murphy Byrne, Solicitor, Course Leader: M.MurphyByrne@LawSociety.ie.
This item is not available to book online
The course has commenced but we are still accepting late applications. Please contact us if you wish to apply.


Application information

The closing date for applications for this course was Friday 7 October 2022. We are happy to announce that the deadline has been extended. Late applications are accepted but confirmation of course registration may take a number of days as the deadline has passed. Thank you for bearing with us. To apply please follow the instructions below.  

Solicitors and Trainees

To pay online click on the 'Register Now' button. For all other methods of payment including, draft, cheque and EFT please see our methods of payment .

Other Professionals

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified professionals. Your application must be approved before you can formally register on the course. To apply please email the following documents to diplomateam@lawsociety.ie :

  1. A completed application form (see below)
  2. Your Curriculum Vitae
  3. A short cover letter setting out your relevant experience

Please note, for non-members this course is subject to a supplemental fee of €100 bringing the total course fee to €1,750. No fees are required prior to approval.


If you are interested in applying for a future offering of the course please register for our Interested List . 

Further information on this course including course structure, module scheme, faculty and workshop dates are set out below. Clicking on the links will bring you directly to that section or simply scroll through to read all the content. 

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will have:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the legislative structures that apply to the agribusiness and food law sector in Ireland;
  • An in-depth knowledge of the EU and Irish regulatory structures that apply;
  • Knowledge of recent case law and procedural developments relevant to the agri-food sector;
  • An ability to understand the business environments in which agri-food clients operate;
  • A knowledge of the relevant commercial contract and personal injuries issues that arise in the agri-food sector;
  • An appreciation of the pertinent land law issues that apply in the farming sector;
  • A knowledge of the particular application of family law and inheritance law in the farming sector;
  • An understanding of the key employment law issues that apply in agri-food sector.

Programme structure and approach to learning

The agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, providing 7.1% of total employment in 2020. The sector accounts for 38% of total indigenous exports and over 60% of indigenous manufactured exports. In 2019 Ireland’s food and Agri-foods products were exported to over 180 markets worldwide and valued at €14.5 billion, a 63% increase from €8.9 billion in 2010. The sector is thriving and continues to evolve both domestically and internationally. Providing legal services to this fast moving and dynamic sector requires not only a comprehensive understanding of the law but also of the business environment that applies. 

This certificate will provide you with the legal knowledge required to advise agri-food clients, together with a practical understanding of the business environments in which such clients operate. You will be provided with an insight into the legislative and regulatory structures that apply to the sector, together with an analysis of recent case law. The syllabus is designed to give comprehensive coverage of the “farm-to-fork”-related legal issues that apply in this vibrant part of our economy. The rules and regulations that apply to more specialised and growing areas of farming, such as organic food and farming, will be dealt with in later modules.


The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: The overall framework

  • Evolution of farming and food law/regulation,
  • Government agencies and bodies,
  • EU and international policy,
  • The Common Agricultural Policy,
  • Food Wise 2025,
  • Agri-tax review.

Module 2: The regulatory framework

  • Dry stock (beef, sheep and goats),
  • Tillage (crops and horticulture),
  • Poultry and fish,
  • Rural development,
  • Environmental regulation.

Module 3: Food regulation

  • Traceability,
  • Factory (animal processing),
  • Packaging (retail),
  • Food Safety Authority of Ireland,
  • Food labelling,
  • Meat labelling,
  • Food technology. 

Module 4: Organic food and farming

  • Relevant regulations and SIs,
  • Rules on organic production and labelling of organic products,
  • Rules on organic aquaculture animal and seaweed production,
  • Importing of products from outside the EU,
  • Farmers’ markets and direct farm sales. 

Module 5: Enforcement and audit

  • Department of Agriculture notices/prosecutions,
  • Appeals to the Agriculture Appeals Office,
  • Prosecutions by the Inland Fisheries,
  • Environmental Protection Agency prosecutions.
  • Farm level and processors,
  • Retailers and exporters.

Module 6: Farming and the law (part 1)

  • Commercial contract issues,
  • Solar and wind farms,
  • Collaborative farming models,
  • Boundary disputes,
  • Livestock disputes,
  • Rights of way and trespass.

Module 7: Farming and the law (part 2)

  • Health and safety,
  • Legal separation/divorce,
  • Succession planning and will drafting,
  • Agri-tax.


    Workshops are a key feature of this course. These are designed to be interactive and involve working in groups on selected case-study problems and analysis, with an emphasis on the application of the law to common scenarios encountered in practice. 

    1The evolution of farming and food law/regulationSaturday 21 January 202310.00am – 12.30pm
    2Succession Rights and Planning; Contract Law; Land LawSaturday 21 January 202312.30pm – 2.30pm


    2,500-word written assignment.

    Who should attend?

    This course will appeal to seasoned professionals who are looking for a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to the practical issues that arise when advising clients from the agribusiness and food sector. It will also appeal to:

    • Farmers wishing to get a more in-depth knowledge of the legal and regulatory framework that applies;
    • Those working with relevant lobbying and representative organisations;
    • Those working in relevant government departments and state bodies;
    • Those advising on the export of Irish produce;
    • Advisors to the processing sector;
    • Advisors and liaison officers to the cooperative sector.

    We welcome applications from suitably qualified non-members. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €100. 


    Lecturers and tutors consist of practitioners with in-depth knowledge of the agri-food business. 

    Previous lecturers have included:

    • Sarah-Jane Clifford, European Refreshments (Coca-Cola),
    • Helen Coughlan, Patrick J Farrell and Company,
    • Ciaran Dolan BL, agricultural consultant,
    • Alan Doyle BL,
    • Dr Richard Hackett, agricultural consultant,
    • Randal Hill BL,
    • Dr John McNamara, health and safety specialist, Teagasc,
    • Aisling Meehan, Agricultural Solicitors,
    • Paul Murphy, food safety and quality specialist,
    • Hilda-Clare O’Shea, St John Solicitors,
    • James Staines, Staines Law,
    • Oliver Ryan-Purcell, Solicitor. 


    We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. Please note that the limit for e-learning has been removed for the 2022 CPD cycle. For further information, visit the CPD scheme and download the CPD booklet. 

    The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2022. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year. 


    Megan Murphy Byrne, Solicitor, Course Leader: M.MurphyByrne@LawSociety.ie.

    *Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in these pages is accurate and up to date. However timetables and course content are subject to change and date and time changes may occur due to factors beyond our control.

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