Global Food Value Chains and Competition Law: Book Launch

Global Food Value Chains and Competition Law: Book Launch

Worldwide launch of the book «Global Food Value Chains and Competition Law” (Cambridge University Press, January 2022) took place on December 13, 2021 as part of the meeting of the BRICS Working Group for Research on Food Value Chains. The topic of this Working Group meeting was “Price Volatility in Global Food Markets: How Could Competition Authorities Respond?”

The book written by a large international group of authors (edited by Ioannis Lianos, Alexey Ivanov, and Dennis Davis) was prepared under the guidance of the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre as a part of the Centre’s research project on global food value chains. The book explores potential responses to the challenges posed by the transition to the green economy and sustainable production. We expect it to have a significant impact on the public debate in the times of intense market change and surging food prices. 

This volume introduces the global value chain approach as a useful way to analyse competition law and applies it to the operations of food chains and the challenges of their regulation. Together, the chapters not only provide a comprehensive mapping of a vast comparative field, but also shed light on the intricacies of the various policies and legal fields in operation. The book offers a conceptual and theoretical framework for competition authorities, companies and academics, and fills a massive gap in the competition policy literature dealing with global value chains and food.

The world is transitioning from a period of food abundance to that of food scarcity. While the world population has doubled in recent decades, the volume of food trade has increased sixfold. This means that many countries are becoming less self-sufficient in grain supplies. The price spikes cause governments to raise export barriers to prevent food shortages in domestic markets. By disrupting global food supplies, price volatility undermines regional food security and contributes to social and political instability. The panellists will discuss how healthy competition in global food markets can contribute to food security and what role competition authorities may play in bringing about a more stable market environment.

The discussion aimed to explore a new framework of analysis for competition law and policy, but also the broader field of regulation of the food economy, drawing on the concept of global value chains (GVCs) which now prevail in the global economy.

The discussion was moderated by Andrey Tsyganov, Deputy Head, Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia). 

The discussion was also be attended by: 

  • Ioannis Lianos, President, Hellenic Competition Commission, (Greece); 
  • Alexey Ivanov, Director, HSE-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development; BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre; 
  • Larisa Vovkivskaya, Head, Department for Control over Agro-Industrial Complex, Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia); 
  • Qi Shuanglin, Deputy Director, Department of the Anti-monopoly Enforcement, State Administration for Market Regulation of the People’s Republic of China;
  • Jason Aproskie, Expert, Competition Commission of South Africa; 
  • Noman Laiq, Director General Cartels and Trade Abuse Department, Competition Commission of Pakistan; 
  • Dennis Davis, Hon. Professor of law, Department of Commercial Law, University of Cape Town; 
  • Claudio Lombardi, Lecturer, University of Aberdeen School of Law; 
  • Svetlana Avdasheva, Professor, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Higher School of Economics;
  • Pierre Regibeau, Chief Competition Economist, DG Comp, European Commission. 

Ettore Maria Lombardi, Professor of private law and international business law, University of Florence School of Law; expert, BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre; Elena Rovenskaya, Systems Analysis (ASA) Program Director, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Björn Lundqvist, Associate professor of Competition Law, University of Stockholm; Serik Zhumangarin, Chairman of the Agency for Protection and Development of Competition of the Republic of Kazakhstan;  Marat Omarov, Deputy Chairman of the Agency for Protection and Development of Competition of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Georg Seper, Expert, Austrian Federal Competition Authority; Kambar Omarov, Director General, International Center for Competition Law, Innovation and Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan will be commentators in the discussion. 

Main questions for discussion:

  • What are the new challenges in the global food markets that could be effectively tackled by competition authorities?
  • What role do competition issues play in food security?
  • Relevant international experience: national responses to the food crisis to ensure fair competition.
  • Possible ways to prevent anticompetitive practices and negative effects in global food markets.
  • How should competition authorities deal with public commitments for biodiversity, sustainability, green economy, etc.?

The event was held in a hybrid format and will be streamed live online on several media platforms in the Russian, English and Chinese languages. 

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