Publication: No violation of competition law by sustainability initiative in the banana sector
Especially for multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSP) operating in the context of supply chains, antitrust law is relevant. That is why for example stakeholder collaborations in agricultural supply chains are on the radar of competent authorities. The Bundeskartellamt (Germany’s Federal Cartel Office) recently examined whether the collaboration of German retail representatives, cooperating with GIZ to secure livelihoods through fair wages for banana farmers, happens within a framework protected by antitrust law or not. ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD, REWE Group, Lidl, Kaufland, dm-drogerie markt and tegut are participating in the working group. Through jointly defined living wage criteria that are gradually being integrated into their store brands, the stakeholders are striving for sustainable change in the banana sector. In a press release dated January 18 2022, the Bundeskartellamt concluded that there are “no competition concerns about the food retail sector’s voluntary commitment to set common standards for wages in the banana sector”. This is good news for the banana project – in the coming year, the initiative is to be implemented in other countries of supply, following its pilot phase now starting in Ecuador.