Competition Law

Competition Law

This WSRO Competition Law Compliance Policy (the “Competition Law Policy”) governs the conduct of members when acting in their capacity as members of WSRO (such as at WSRO meetings). It also applies to potential members or any other stakeholder (including suppliers and working group participants) in their dealings with WSRO and its members. The Competition Law Policy also forms part of WSRO’s Terms and Conditions governing use of its website. 

It is the policy of WSRO to ensure that in the pursuit of its mission it complies with all competition (antitrust) laws. This Competition Law Policy operates within the framework of WSRO’s mission. It is designed in accordance with best practices set out in the Competition Act 1998, the Enterprise Act 2002 and the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and general competition law principles, which underpin competition law regimes in most other jurisdictions.

Whilst WSRO expects each member and stakeholder to comply with this Competition Law Policy in the course of its dealings with WSRO and other members and stakeholders, it is the responsibility of members and stakeholders to ensure compliance with competition laws in any jurisdiction which is applicable to them, and this Competition Law Policy should not be considered as legal advice.

Joining WSRO

Involvement in WSRO is open to all sugar producers and relevant associations on the basis of non-discriminatory, transparent and objective criteria. Please contact WSRO for further information.

Member and Stakeholder conduct

By joining the WSRO, using the WSRO’s website, or having any dealings with WSRO or its members, you agree to be bound by this Competition Law Policy.

WSRO expects its members and stakeholders to comply with the Competition Law Policy, and not to prejudice any of the aims or activities of WSRO by any departure from it. Failure to adhere to this Competition Law Policy may result in serious consequences for you as an individual, your company and/or WSRO itself which could include heavy fines and, in certain cases under national laws, the imposition of criminal penalties and sentences. WSRO reserves the right to suspend or terminate the membership of any member suspected of (or in any way investigated for) anticompetitive behaviour in any jurisdiction.

The meeting up of members within the context of WSRO’s operations is not prevented by competition law. 

However, all WSRO meetings – formal or informal – must be conducted in accordance with the relevant competition and antitrust laws. WSRO Members must not use the forum provided by WSRO to coordinate their commercial activities or to influence the conduct of a competitor. Please be reminded to refrain from discussing any information which is confidential to your company and/or which discloses, or is likely to affect, its commercial strategy or activities.

Any activity that could create, or appear to create, a restriction or distortion of competition must be strictly avoided. Competition laws prohibit the sharing of commercially sensitive and current market information which competitors normally keep secret. It is impossible to provide an exhaustive list of objectionable discussion topics, as the competitive significance of many issues is dependent upon the context in which they are raised. 

However, WSRO takes a cautious approach in relation to competition law issues. Therefore, no commercial topics should be discussed, acted upon, or even considered, at WSRO meetings or working group meetings. 

As a global organisation, all WSRO members and guests must be careful that their discussions do not violate competition law in any of the jurisdictions in which they operate. It is therefore essential that all communications, both formal and informal, do not disclose information that is not already publicly available and/or may be commercially sensitive.

Examples of legitimate conversation and discussion topics are:

  • Publicly available research.
  • Government or regulatory policy.
  • Regulatory changes and compliance with those changes.
  • Health and safety issues.
  • Industrial employment and training issues.

Examples of issues that must not be discussed, except where information is already in the public domain, are:

  • Individual company manufacturing or development costs.
  • Any information that relates in any way to current or future individual company prices, price changes, operating costs or terms of business.
  • Current or anticipated changes in company or industry production, capacity, or inventory.
  • Plans of companies concerning the design, production, distribution or marketing of particular products, including proposed territories and consumers.
  • Any information concerning actual or potential suppliers or customers that might have the effect of influencing business conduct towards them.
  • Accounts won or lost, particular customers or market share.
  • Any comments on the state of the current or future market, price trends, or production costs trends.
  • Any commercially sensitive information.

By way of illustrative example only, it would not be considered a breach of this Competition Law Policy if members discussed prospective changes to taxes on products that contain sugar, but there would likely be a breach of this Competition Law Policy if members disclosed how they were planning to adapt their commercial strategy to respond to such taxation changes.

All WSRO meetings will be minuted and will strictly follow the agenda announced beforehand. The minutes of a meeting can be made available to non-attending members upon request. If a meeting or discussion involves practices contrary to this Competition Law Policy, WSRO will terminate that meeting or discussion immediately. A member or stakeholder should inform WSRO immediately if the stakeholder feels that the Competition Law Policy has been breached.

This is not a comprehensive record of all possible competition law obligations.

As a member or stakeholder, you agree to indemnify WSRO against all liabilities,  costs, expenses, damages and losses (including but not limited to any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profit, loss of reputation and all interest, penalties and legal costs (calculated on a full indemnity basis) and all other reasonable professional costs and expenses) suffered or incurred by WSRO arising out of or in connection with your breach of any applicable competition law or this Competition Law Policy. 

If you suspect that a member or stakeholder might be in breach of this Competition Law Policy. Please contact WSRO by emailing

Alternatively, if you are in the UK and you feel it is appropriate to do so, you could contact the Competition and Markets Authority. Details can be found on the CMA website (Competition and Markets Authority - GOV.UK (

This policy was last reviewed and updated in February 2024.