EU Science Hub

The role of national and international retail alliances in the agricultural and food supply chain

Nov 20 2019

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.

The JRC report summarising the insights and views presented at the workshop can be found here: Retail alliances in the agricultural and food supply chain

The workshop agenda and the presentations are available below:

/jrc/en/file/document/181930Workshop Agenda

SESSION I - Introduction

/jrc/en/file/document/181916What challenges do retail alliances raise and what opportunities do they offer?

Paul Dobson – University of East Anglia

SESSION II – The economic efficiency of retail alliances and their impact on the agri-food supply chain

/jrc/en/file/document/181917The economics of buyer power and retail alliances

Christian Wey – DICE, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf

/jrc/en/file/document/181918The impact of retail alliances on prices and product variety

Claire Chambolle - INRA

/jrc/en/file/document/181919A cocktail of "fresh" issues on the role of retail alliances

  Stéphane Caprice – TSE, INRA

/jrc/en/file/document/181920Economic impact of retail alliances on upstream operators in the food supply chain

Steve McCorriston – University of Exeter

SESSION III – The functioning of retail alliances, economic and legal challenges

/jrc/en/file/document/181921What are European retail alliances (ERAs), what do they do, and how do they function?

Pierre Bouchut - former retail executive

/jrc/en/file/document/181922What are national cooperative buying groups and how do they differentiate from ERAs?

Dirk Eßmann - EDEKA

/jrc/en/file/document/181923A manufacturer’s perspective on retail alliances

Ignacio Larracoechea – Industry Expert

/jrc/en/file/document/181924Retail alliances, private labels and their impact on producers – experiences from the dairy sector

Alexander Anton – European Dairy Association

SESSION IV – Retail alliances under EU and national law

/jrc/en/file/document/181925Retail alliances under EU competition law

Philippe Chauve - DG COMP

/jrc/en/file/document/181926Theories of harm in assessing retail alliances

Michael Bauer - CMS Law

/jrc/en/file/document/181927Retail alliances: overview of the Italian experience and case study

 Lorenzo Clementi - AGCM

/jrc/en/file/document/181928Competition aspects of retail alliances: experiences from Germany

Felix Engelsing - Bundeskartellamt