The purpose of the conference was to engage in intensive cooperation across the antitrust authorities of the BRICS countries and with representatives of the scientific community working on issues of law, economics, and the sociology of food markets. The conference was held spanning May 18 and 20, during which was organised seven plenary meetings with the participation of students and postgraduates of the Higher school of Economics, guests of the St. Petersburg Forum, international experts and researchers in the field of antitrust from the United States, Europe, and primarily the BRICS countries. An important role was given to the representatives of the antitrust bodies of BRICS, including those at the top management level of regulators. In addition to the head of FAS Igor Artemyev, meeting in St. Petersburg was Marcio de Oliveira Junior, of the Commission of the Administrative Council for the Economic Defense of Brazil (CADE).
The May 18 discussion, held by the HSE, was organized in the format of an academic workshop on the "global food chain: prospects of development of competition law and policy." On May 20 the Forum convened for the whole day, indeed with experts advancing the discussion in the session "Protection and development of competition in the food sector of the BRICS countries".
The session was devoted to discussion of the terms and dynamics of competition in the food sector, as well as the challenges faced by BRICS countries in the context of the globalisation of the chains of production and supply in the food sector. The participants analysed the problems of accelerating economic concentration in global food markets, monopolisation and abuse of market power in the global chains of production and supply of food, as well as the impact of the processes on consumers and the market structure in the BRICS countries. Special emphasis was placed on new technological and legal forms of organisation of the production and distribution of food, the nature of the relationship between the supply chain members - particularly between producers of biotech seeds and fertilizers, and farmers, and among food manufacturers and retailers etc., where the aim of the workshop was to develop approaches to antitrust regulation of socially important and innovative markets across the BRICS countries.
Also presented at the meeting of the Forum was the beta version of a web platform - a joint research platform in the field of competition law and policy for the BRICS countries. Info stemming from the conference will be published in a peer-reviewed publication "Global food chains and competition law", by Cambridge University Press.
The discussions continued the tradition of the spring and summer seasons of antitrust for BRICS in Saint-Petersburg, for indeed, last year in June, the Institute organised the International BRICS competition law and policy conference.