We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
On 4-5 November 2019, the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and the JRC co-organised a two-day technical workshop in Brussels on the role of national and international retail alliances in the agricultural and food supply chains.
The European retail sector has been rapidly adapting and evolving in recent decades, with retailers increasingly engaging in cooperation through national and international retail alliances.
Through these alliances, retailers cooperate in terms of procurement, private label sourcing, innovation and so forth. However, the precise role and implications of such retail alliances are still not well understood by policymakers.
The workshop brought together economic and legal experts and stakeholders from the retail and manufacturing industries to shed light on what retail alliances are and how they function, the efficiencies or challenges they may create, implications they might have on consumers and upstream actors in the food supply chain, and the legal context in which they operate.
Staff from DGs AGRI, COMP, GROW, the JRC and the European Parliament, together with stakeholders from the retail, food manufacturing and agricultural sectors and experts from both the EU and national competition authorities participated in the workshop and engaged in a lively and interesting debate on the topic.
A report summarising the content of the workshop is currently being prepared by the JRC and two independent experts and is due to be published at the end of February.
In the meantime, the workshop agenda and the presentations are available below:
SESSION I - Introduction
SESSION II – The economic efficiency of retail alliances and their impact on the agri-food supply chain
SESSION III – The functioning of retail alliances, economic and legal challenges
SESSION IV – Retail alliances under EU and national law