The International Seed Federation (ISF) pursues its vision, mission and objectives in a non-political, objective and scientific manner based primarily on the adoption of common positions on important strategic issues through healthy debate, mutual respect and consensus amongst its members. ISF works to enhance the contribution of the seed industry worldwide to meeting the growing global needs for food, feed, fibre, fuel, industrial, ornamental and amenity crop applications.
Anti-trust Guidelines for Participants at ISF Meetings
ISF meetings bring together competitors in the seed trade to discuss industry concerns and therefore it is absolutely necessary to comply with the national and regional anti-trust laws. Although some activities among competitors are both legal and beneficial to the industry, such gatherings of competitors are inherently suspect under most anti-trust laws. Agreements or combinations among competitors do not have to be formal to raise questions under anti-trust laws, but may include any kind of formal or informal understanding, secretive or public, under which each of the participants can reasonably expect that another will follow a particular course of action.
All participants in ISF meetings are responsible to see that topics, which may give an appearance of an agreement that would violate any anti-trust law, are not discussed at ISF meetings. It is the responsibility of each participant to avoid raising improper subjects for discussion.
The “Dos” and “Don’ts” presented below highlight only the most basic anti-trust principles. Each participant in an ISF meeting should be thoroughly familiar with his/her responsibilities under anti-trust laws and should consult counsel in all cases involving specific situations, interpretations or advice.
- Do not, in fact or appearance, discuss or exchange information regarding:
- individual company prices, price changes, price differentials, mark-ups, discounts, allowances, credit terms, etc., or data that bear on price, such as costs, production, capacity, inventories and sales
- industry pricing policies, price levels, price changes, price differentials, etc.
- changes in industry production, capacity or inventories
- bids on contracts for particular products, procedures for responding to bid invitations
- plans of individual companies concerning the design, production, distribution or marketing of particular products, including proposed territories or customers
- matters relating to actual or potential individual customers or suppliers that might have the effect of excluding them from any market or of influencing the business conduct of firms toward such suppliers or customers
- Do not discuss or exchange information regarding the above matters during social gatherings incidental to meetings, even in jest.
- Have a written agenda and adhere to the prepared agenda for all meetings.
- Prepare minutes of all meetings and object if they do not accurately reflect the discussions and actions taken.
- Consult with legal counsel on all antitrust questions relating to meetings.
- Protest against any discussions or meeting activities which appear to violate the antitrust laws; disassociate yourself from any such discussions or activities and leave any meeting in which they continue.