14-08-2019 | 14:54

The key points in a discussion of BRICS Working Group on global food value chains and its deep transformation


BRICS Working Group on global food value chains was formed in 2016. Representatives of BRICS competition authorities have discussed many issues related to competition development on a socially essential food products market.


One of the important issues, which was in the focus of several sessions of the Working Group, concerns the modern structure of the food products market and its deep transformation that increased market concentration considerably. The discussions results were used by BRICS competition authorities, including FAS, to analyze global mergers, particularly, “Bayer/Monsanto” merger. FAS summarizes the key points of the Working Group discussion.


The food industry is experiencing an important shift in competitive development trends. The balance of competition law and the norms of intellectual property protection are advancing to the forefront to ensure fair and non-discriminatory access to the achievements in selection and new technologies. Competition authorities continue discussing the social-and-economic consequences of mergers and unfair conduct of participants of global food chains.


Violating the rules of competition on the food markets is crucial not only for performance of the economies but also for national security of any state. It is necessary to remember that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa account for around half of the Earth’s population, so studies of the state of competition on the food markets in BRICS economies are of considerable practical importance.


The Working Group on global food value chains is actively discussing aspects of collaboration between BRICS antimonopoly bodies in considering cross-border mergers on food products markets and violations of the competition law.


Recently, the seeds market has been experiencing serious transformations due to a technological growth and market consolidation. It became an oligopoly in the 1980s, while three mega-mergers – “Dow/DuPont”, “Bayer/Monsanto” and “Syngenta/ChemChina” – led to formation of corporations with huge innovative and technological potential. BRICS Working Group on global food value chains chains reached a conclusion that apart from traditional approaches to mega-mergers on the seeds market, competition authorities should take into account:


1) The need for an integrated approach to evaluating the market environment (impact of joint ventures, licensing agreements, agreements on cooperation, various patent agreement, etc.);


2) Impact of each stage of global food value chains on subsequent stages (production, treatment, growing and multiplication, retail, etc.);


3) “Informal economy” – seeds remaining at farms for further cultivation;


4) The need to develop new approaches to market definition, and set thresholds enabling adequate assessment of the influence on competition; the significance of possessing patents and possibility to operate big data.


Today’s model of market regulation puts national state systems in the conditions when efficient mechanisms for control over exterritorial risks are absent. Thus, competition authorities must consider the food sector through the prism of global value chain performance rather than a set of separate markets.



On 16 - 19 September 2019, Moscow hosts the VI BRICS International Competition Conference – “10 years of successful cooperation: results and prospects”. For the event announcement, see https://brics-icc-2019.org/en/.


The “Competition issues in the BRICS food markets” session is scheduled on 17 September 2019 at 09:00-10:30 a.m.

Site Map

News & Events Press Releases Media Releases Image Library About the FAS Russia What We Do General Information Mission, Goals, Values Priority Setting Institutional Memory Stakeholders Engagement Center for Education and Methodics Our History Our Structure Powers of Head and Deputy Heads Our Ratings GCR Using our website International Cooperation Treaties & Agreements International Working Groups Working Group on Research of Competition Issues in the Market of International Telecommunications (Roaming) Meetings Working Group for Studying Competition Problems in the Pharmaceutical Sector Concept Note Meetings OECD Competition Committee OECD meetings 2013 OECD meetings 2014 OECD meetings 2015 OECD meetings 2016 OECD meetings 2017 OECD meetings 2018 FAS Annual Reports OECD-GVH RCC RCC Newsletter ICAP Council on Advertising Headquarters for Joint Investigations UNCTAD 13th session IGE UNCTAD Resolution Russian contributions 14th session IGE UNCTAD Resolution Russian contributions 15th session IGE UNCTAD 16th session IGE UNCTAD 17th session IGE UNCTAD EEU Model Law on Competition ICN BRICS BRICS Conferences Documents BRICS Coordination Committee on antimonopoly policy BRICS Working Groups for the research of competition issues in socially important markets Cooperation within the BRICS BRICS Coordination Committee on antimonopoly policy EU APEC Competition Policy and Law Group Annual meetings Projects ERRA Full Members Organizational Structure Archive Working Group on Investigating Issues on Pricing in the Oil and Oil Product Markets and Methods of their Functioning Meetings Document Library Legislation Reports & Analytics Cases & decisions Contacts Give feedback Contact us Links Authorities Worldwide