REPONSE Question E-004487/18 d’Ignazio Corrao (EFDD) -Italie, monopole sur la production de semences blé dur Senatore Cappelli

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

  • Texte de la question en date du 4-09-2018

With a negotiated contract in 2016, the public body CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economic Analysis) awarded the Italian Seed Society (SIS) an exclusive 15-year licence to grow and sell the Senatore Cappelli variety of durum wheat, owned by the Italian state, which is among the most popular varieties on the market and constitutes a collective heritage for farmers in southern Italy.

The award was made despite awareness of the intention to establish an exclusive production chain, which would favour a monopoly.

The SIS has introduced some conditions enabling it to choose whether to sell the seeds, and to whom, thus preventing companies from growing and selling the wheat freely and forcing them to resell it to the SIS.

The monopoly has distorted free competition throughout the sector and had a serious economic impact on producers, as the organic variety of Senatore Cappelli wheat is almost 4 times more expensive on the market than conventional wheat.Such a monopoly may also set a dangerous precedent for other varieties of cereal.

Can the Commission:

1. Give its opinion in light of the regulations on free competition?

2. Clarify its measures to stop this monopoly?

  • Texte de la réponse, en date du 30-10-2018

The Commission is aware of the issue at hand since the Italian Competition Authority has informed the Commission that it is currently looking into the matter after having received several complaints.

The Commission therefore invites the parties with an interest in this matter to approach the Italian Competition Authority, which is in a better position to reply in the matter at hand.