A Dutch Court considers that the statutes of a farmer association containing an exclusive supply obligation do not breach Art. 81.1 EC (VTN)

The plaintiffs were members of the Coöperatie Voedingstuinbouw Nederland (VTN), a cooperative association of farmers in Holland. Pursuant to an exclusive supply obligation contained in VTN's statutes, VTN's members were compelled to sell their production of vegetables exclusively to the association. Withdrawal from the association was possible under the observance of a notice of between 7 and 19 months. As the plaintiffs were not satisfied with the prices established by VTN, they withdrew in spring 1997 without respecting the terms of notice and ceased immediately from complying with their supply obligations. In reaction to the growers' breach of their exclusive supply obligation, VTN imposed fines according to the rules of its statutes. Before the Rechtbank ‘s-Gravenhage (the Court

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Tristan Baumé, Katelijne Lafleur, A Dutch Court considers that the statutes of a farmer association containing an exclusive supply obligation do not breach Art. 81.1 EC (VTN), 14 October 2005, e-Competitions Bulletin Exclusivity clause, Art. N° 308

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