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THE LATEST ON EU AGRI-FOOD POLICIES IMPACTING LOW- AND MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES

Guidelines on ensuring producer sustainability agreements are not anti-competitive

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Summary

Since 2021, producers (or associations) may conclude agreements with other producers/operators on sustainability standards that go further than EU or EU Member State law to reach higher standards. Agreements between producers may have an impact on the market, and are normally not allowed under EU competition law. A 2021 derogation (exception) to competition law allows producers to conclude sustainability agreements and contribute to meeting the EU’s Green Deal ambitions. The derogation also applies to sustainability agreements between non-EU suppliers and EU buyers. However, it must be strictly applied, and the European Commission has now published guidelines to help producers assess sustainability agreements and ensure they comply with competition law.