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New European guidelines on joint selling of agricultural products

Staff writer ▼ | November 30, 2015
The Guidelines aim to support European farmers by clarifying how they can, under certain conditions, cooperate to jointly sell olive oil, beef and veal, and arable crops without breaching EU competition rules.
European agriculture   Markets that are worth more than €80 billion annually
These markets are worth more than €80 billion annually.

The European Commission has adopted new Guidelines on how specific agricultural derogations from EU antitrust rules apply to the sale of certain agricultural products.

The Guidelines will help explain to farmers how, if certain conditions are fulfilled, they can jointly sell olive oil, beef and veal, and arable crops in compliance with EU competition rules. The European markets for these three products are worth more than €80 billion annually. An explanatory factsheet is available here.

The new Guidelines complement the 2013 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform that introduced a number of changes to the rules on how EU farmers can cooperate.

The aim of the CAP reform measures is to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of EU farmers and strengthen their bargaining power vis-à-vis buyers, while still preserving a market-oriented approach.

The EU's standard competition rules ban agreements to set prices or other trading conditions or to share markets unless the agreements improve production or distribution while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit.