Food Contract Manufacturing Agreement: The Key Considerations

The food industry is highly competitive, and businesses operating in this sector need to stay ahead of the curve to remain relevant and profitable. One way to gain a competitive edge is through food contract manufacturing, which allows food companies to outsource the production of products to a third-party manufacturer. If you are considering embarking on such a venture, it is imperative to enter into a well-crafted food contract manufacturing agreement that protects your interests and ensures a smooth partnership. In this article, we will explore the key considerations to keep in mind when entering into a food contract manufacturing agreement.

Scope of Work

The scope of work outlines the specific products or services to be provided by the third-party manufacturer. It should be detailed and include information such as ingredients, packaging, labeling, and delivery timelines. It is crucial to ensure that the scope of work aligns with your business goals and requirements.


Pricing is an essential aspect of any contract manufacturing agreement. It is crucial to establish a pricing model that is fair, transparent, and aligns with your budget. The pricing should also reflect the scope of work and any additional costs that may arise during production.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) rights can be a complicated issue when it comes to contract manufacturing. It is critical to ensure that your IP rights are protected, especially if you have developed a recipe or a unique branding strategy. The agreement should spell out the ownership of the recipe, branding, and any other proprietary information.

Quality Control

Maintaining product quality is essential for the success of any food business. The agreement should specify the quality standards and testing methods that the third-party manufacturer should adhere to. The manufacturer should also allow for regular quality checks to ensure that the products meet the required standards.


Confidentiality is crucial when it comes to contract manufacturing. The agreement should include confidentiality clauses that prevent the third-party manufacturer from disclosing your confidential information to any third party. This includes but is not limited to product recipes, manufacturing processes, and any proprietary information.

Insurance and Liability

The agreement should also outline the insurance and liability responsibilities of each party. The third-party manufacturer should have adequate insurance to cover any damages or losses that may arise during production. The agreement should also specify the liability in case of any disputes or product recalls.


Entering into a food contract manufacturing agreement can be a significant move for a food business. However, it is essential to ensure that the agreement is well-crafted and aligns with your business goals. The agreement should outline the scope of work, pricing, intellectual property, quality control, confidentiality, and insurance and liability considerations. By keeping these key considerations in mind, you can protect your interests and ensure a successful partnership with the third-party manufacturer.