Raue advised the German sugar industry association and the four sugar companies operating in Germany, Nordzucker, Suedzucker, Pfeifer & Langen and Cosun Beet, on the design of a crisis cooperation for the mutual processing of sugar beet. The companies can fall back on this cooperation as an alternative if they are unable to compensate for a shortage of gas due to regulatory measures following cuts in gas supplies from Russia. As many plans are currently still dependent on gas, without this cross-company assistance there is a risk of sugar beet spoilage, supply bottlenecks and price peaks along the value chain of the food industry.
The cooperation was developed in strict compliance with antitrust law and agreed with the Federal Cartel Office in advance (cf. press release of the Federal Cartel Office of 6 September 2022). The cooperation agreement is based on a compliance concept which safeguards the advantages of the cooperation against potentially restrictive effects on competition. It is also limited in time to the current beet campaign which will end in spring next year (see press release of the Association of the German Sugar Industry).
Raue has been advising the German sugar industry associations on competition and state aid law as well as compliance issues for many years. In addition to antitrust law, Raue’s advice to the crisis cooperation also included the firm’s contract drafting practice.
(6. September 2022)