Innovation and Market Power in the Food Supply Chain: Challenges for Competition Policy and Regulation

The European University Institute and Assonime are jointly organising a workshop in the context of the activities of the Florence Competition Programme (FCP) and the Florence School of Regulation, Comms & Media (FSR C&M). The event aims at gathering academics, practitioners, officials from National Competition Authorities (NCAs) as well as industry representatives to discuss the challenges for competition policy and regulation resulting from innovation and recent market developments in the food supply chain.

When: 20 September 2019

Where: European University Institute in Florence

Agriculture 4.0 is bringing a revolution to the methods used by farmers to produce agricultural products: via increasing data collection by IoT sensors and big data analytics, farmers can maximize their crops, while reducing waste water and pesticides use. Innovation has an impact on the entire food supply chain: machine-to-machine communication improves the logistics and speeds up the food production chain. Finally, e-commerce is playing an important role in the distribution of food products, challenging traditional retail channels.

Additionally, the food supply chain has been affected by changes to the market structure. The entry of new players, the increasing degree of market concentration and vertical integration are changing bargaining power and market power at the different levels of the supply chain. These changes call into question the role of competition and regulation in the food supply chain. The workshop provides the opportunity to better understand how we should apply competition rules to agreements, unilateral conduct and concentrations in the food and retail sector in this evolving context.

Secondly, the role of regulation will also be discussed, with reference to the recent Directive (EU) 2019/633 concerning the B2B relationships in the food supply chain. Finally, the workshop will focus on the impact of e-commerce on the evolution of the sector, the role of platforms in this context and the related challenges for public policy.

See the policy brief, summarising the main points discussed during the workshop.

Roberto specialises in competition economics and market regulation. He has advised competition authorities and companies in the context of competition and market investigations, mergers, cartel and abuse of dominance cases, disputes, and retrospective evaluation studies, in both the UK and Italy.Before joining Oxera, Roberto worked for over five years in KPMG’s Economics team in London, where he managed large and complex engagements with private sector clients and their legal advisers. Before that, he worked at the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and at an Italian economics consultancy based in Rome. During his professional career, Roberto has advised clients across a wide range of industries, including financial services, healthcare and energy.

Senior Partner of Netcomm, the Italian Digital Commerce Consortium. Advisor for several companies. Lecturer in e-commerce and strategic marketing for various institutions and business schools. Author/co-author of “Web Management” (2001, Apogeo), “E commerce B2B” (2016, F. Angeli), “Logistics & Packaging for E commerce” (2017, Netcomm), “Digital Marketing per l’e-commerce e il new Retail” (Hoepli, 2019).

Ginevra Bruzzone is an economist specialized in competition law. Currently, she is Deputy Director General of Assonime, in Rome. Assonime is a private think tank active in corporate law, tax law, competition law and regulatory policies. At Assonime, which she joined in December 2000, she is in charge of EU and Italian competition law, consumer protection, IP law, regulation and the digital agenda. She holds a course in Competition Policy at the LUISS Master on European Economic Governance (MEEG). Ginevra is also: Senior Fellow at the School of European Political Economy (SEP), LUISS; Co-chair of the Advisory Board of the Italian Transport Regulation Authority; Member of the Italian Association for Transport Policy (Sipotrà); Member of the Advisory Committee of the 4iP Council; Member of the Steering Council of the Italian Section of the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce).

She has published extensively in the field of law and economics, in national and international publications.

Bio coming soon

Piero Cardile is Head of Legislation and Studies Office at Ancd-Conad. He graduated in Law from Rome ‘Sapienza’ University, obtaining the license to practise as a lawyer. His professional experience began in the association of construction cooperatives of Legacoop and then later in the Legacoop National Legislative Office. Since 2002, he has been head of the Legislation and Studies Office of Ancd-Conad. Member of several boards of directors, and is currently Vice President of Ortofrutta Italia.

After graduating from ELTE School of Law of Budapest, Paul Csiszár studied international comparative law and earned a second Juris Doctorate at Loyola Law School in the United States. Following his admission to the Bar in 1986 in California he practiced as a corporate, securities and M&A lawyer in the US and then from 1997 in Central Europe with the international law firm of Squire Sanders until 2003 when he joined the public sector. Currently Mr Csiszár serves as Director of “Basic Industries, Manufacturing and Agriculture” at the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission.

Catherine Del Cont is Vice Dean of International Affairs, Law and Political Sciences at the University of Nantes, France, where she is also member of the Laboratoire Droit et Changement Social. She is a consultant to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) of the European Parliament and member of CEDR (European Committee of Rural Law), AFDR (French Association of Rural Law) and UMAU (World Association of Rural Law). Catherine Del Cont holds a PhD cum laude in Private Law (Price Best Phd in Law of the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France).

Koen Deconinck is an Agricultural Policy Analyst at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. Before joining the OECD, he was a management consultant with Bain & Company. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium and has published research in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, the European Review of Agricultural Economics, Food Policy, and Business History. He is also the co-author (with Johan Swinnen, Thijs Vandemoortele and Anneleen Vandeplas) of Quality Standards, Value Chains, and International Development: Economic and Political Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He is also the author of the OECD report “Concentration in Seed Markets: Potential Effects and Policy Options” (2018).

Luciano Di Via is the Head of the Italian Antitrust Practice and is considered one of the primary experts in antitrust in Italy. Luciano splits his time between Rome and Brussels and has more than 20 years’ experience specialising in all aspects of EU and Italian antitrust law, including merger control, cartels, abuse of market power and market investigations/sector inquires. Luciano works across a wide range of sectors, including food and beverage, retail, insurance, energy and telecommunications. Luciano is also Co-Chair of the ICC Task Force on Cartels and Leniency.

Before joining Clifford Chance in 2013, Luciano spent 10 years at the Italian Competition Authority — two of which he was the ICA’s seconded national expert at the European Commission’s Directorate General of Competition. During his time with the ICA, amongst other activities, he led teams conducting dawn raids at company premises.

After graduating in Law from LUISS, Marco Gervasio started his professional experience in a law firm based in Rome and Milan, focused on M&A transactions. In 2009 he joined the legal department of Ferrero Italia and in 2015 moved to the Group headquarter focusing its activity on the legal matters related to the business in Africa, Middle East and Turkey. Currently Marco Gervasio is the Head of Legal & Corporate Governance Department of Ferrero Italia.

Tassos Haniotis is Director for “Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis” in the DG for Agriculture and Rural development of the European Commission. He has also held posts as Acting Director for Direct Payments, as Head of Unit in the Units for Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives, and for Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis in DG AGRI, as Deputy Head of Cabinet of former European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler, and as Agricultural Counsellor in the European Commission’s Delegation in the US. Tassos holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia in the U.S., and a B.A. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business in his native Greece, and was a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College, University of London

Bio coming soon

Born in Rome on 12 May 1965, he graduated from the Liceo Luciano Manara in Rome. He graduated with honors in Economics and Business from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (1989) and obtained a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom (1991). From 1991 to 1994, he worked as an economist at the Studies Office of the Istituto Mobiliare Italiano (IMI); in 1994, he won the competition for permanent official at the Competition Authority and the Market (AGCM); in the period 1994 – 2006, he carried out activities in various investigative directions. In 2006, he was appointed Executive Director and was Deputy Director of the Agribusiness, Pharmaceutical and Transportation Department between 2006 and 2008; in 2008, he was appointed Head of the Energy Department; in 2014, he moved to assume the role of Head of the Agri-food, Pharmaceutical and Transportation Department (office he currently holds). He has written numerous articles on the subject of competition and has given lectures and participated in conferences on topics of interest to AGCM.

Pier Luigi Parcu is part-time Professor at the European University Institute (EUI) from 2010. He is currently Area Director of the FSR Communications & Media, Director of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom and Director of the Florence Competition Programme in Law and Economics. From 2004 he is the Chairman of a consultancy company specialized in antitrust and regulatory issues. From 2000 to 2003, he has been CEO of the Independent System Operator running the Italian Electricity Grid (GRTN). From 1991 to 2000 he was the Director of Investigation at the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) in charge of several regulated sectors. Previously, he served as Chief Economist at the Italian Security and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) and as Economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).His research in the area of industrial organization and law and economics focuses on the interaction between regulation and antitrust in shaping firms’ behaviour. As regards research in the media and Internet areas, Professor Parcu’s interests focus on the effects of ownership concentration and internal governance of the media enterprise on pluralism and freedom of expression and on the influence of offline business models on new economic developments related to online platforms, smart cities and artificial intelligence.

Bio coming soon

Nicole Reynolds is an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) working on issues in sustainability and innovation. She is currently collaborating on “Food Tech for the Earth: Leveraging Digital Technology to Achieve a Sustainable AgriFood Chain,” examining how digital technologies can optimize the agrifood chain, reducing agriculture’s impact on the environment, while improving yields to provide adequate food for all.

Nicole has over 20 years of experience in the private sector and global development as an investment adviser, policy analyst, and technical adviser for corporations, international donors, and investor groups globally. She is the Managing Partner of Acadia Development Group, which specializes in creating scalable solutions for sustainable social impact in agribusiness, ICT, and power. Clients include USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the US Department of Defense. Nicole serves on the Investment Committee of LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub, supporting African women in agriculture. Previously she was an investment banker at Salomon Smith Barney in New York and London and has held positions at NBC/General Electric and Primedia Software-onDemand in corporate and business development. Nicole holds a Master of International Affairs in International Finance from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.