The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the period 2023-2027 supports efforts to increase sustainability in the production and supply of agricultural products through amended support mechanisms and market rules. Collective initiatives leading to agreements between actors in the agri-food supply chain have the potential to make a significant contribution to a sustainable food system, ensuring that actors in the food value chain (vertically or horizontally) collaborate effectively to deliver agreed outcomes and ultimately contribute to the achievement of the desired goals. For this reason, the new CAP contains an antitrust derogation to the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements. This derogation does not encompass all possible areas of collective sustainability initiatives and stakeholders have the possibility to cooperate on other aspects of sustainability outside of the derogation’s scope of application under the regime of general competition rules.
Whatever their objectives, collective sustainability initiatives raise a number of challenges in terms of governance, design of objectives and standards, possible public support, etc. The future development of such initiatives depends on the knowledge and ability of stakeholders to manage these challenges.
This was the first meeting of the ENRD Thematic Group (TG) on Sustainability Agreements, which was launched with the ambition to provide the space for exchanges on good practices around collective actions on sustainability agreements and sustainable actions more generally.
Aims of the meeting
- To take stock of the new regulatory framework for sustainability agreements and implications for business, the environment, and the consumer.
- To understand how sustainability agreements/collective actions on sustainability are pursued through the food value chain.
- Begin to identify the key enabling conditions and barriers to the development and implementation of sustainability agreements.
Stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the following consultations: