Antitrust Guidelines for International Wineries for Climate Action (“IWCA”)

IWCA management, staff and member wineries should:

  • Comply fully with antitrust laws in the conduct of its activities.

  • Deal fairly with their customers, suppliers, competitors, employees and agents.

  • Take actions and make decisions that promote fair and open competition in the industry for members and non-members.

  • Refrain from discussing any non-IWCA matters during IWCA meetings.

  • Exercise care when sharing and developing best practices for mitigating climate change impacts in vineyard and winery operations.  Before exchanging any information in the context of IWCA meetings, conduct a review to make sure that no competitively sensitive material of any member (e.g., pricing, output, customers, business strategies) is shared with other members. 

  • Consult legal counsel before launching any new IWCA programs that may have antitrust implications and/or should any issues requiring legal advice arise during the course of IWCA meetings.

  • Observe the following protocols for meetings:

    • Set an agenda that (i) should be reviewed by legal counsel in advance and (ii) calls for review of these guidelines at the outset.

    • Maintain a complete list of all attendees.

    • Keep minutes, which should be archived, noting review of these guidelines and listing every topic of discussion.

IWCA management, staff and member wineries should not:

  • Enter into any agreements, understandings, or arrangements between competitors, whether formal or informal, on pricing, costs, output, contract terms, inventory, customers, geographic or product areas, or business strategies.

  • Discuss non-public, competitively-sensitive information, including, but not limited to, member wineries’ product pricing, profit margins, current or prospective customer lists, current or future marketing or production strategies, geographic areas where wine is (or could be) sold, costs, capacity, output, or trade secrets. 

  • Engage in bans or exclusion of competitors and/or non-members in any way. 

  • Make decisions or take actions for the purpose of giving an industry participant or group of participants an unfair advantage over other participants.  Enact or enforce any best practice, rule, or protocol to restrict, limit, or interfere with any members’ or non-members’ business relationships or ability to conduct their businesses.

  • Prohibit or discourage cooperation between member wineries and wineries that do not participate in IWCA.

 

This is a complex area.  IWCA’s management, staff, and members should stay familiar with the competition laws that impact your business conduct and consult the legal department with any questions or concerns you may have about compliance with antitrust and competition laws.  Report any situation that may implicate antitrust and competition laws to legal counsel.  It is your responsibility to report any inappropriate topics that arise in a discussion with a competitor.