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La régulation du secteur agroalimentaire par le contrat. Vers un droit agroalimentaire des contrats

Abstract : The food supply chain brings together a group of stakeholders, agricultural producers, agri-food manufacturers and distributors, whose successive activities enable production, the processing and distribution of food products to consumers, ultimate stakeholders located at the far end of the food supply chain. Other economic operators, brokers, transporters, restaurateurs, as well as public authorities, are also linked to the food supply chain.All of these stakeholders are bound by successive sales contracts, forming a chain of contracts that structure the food supply chain. and is subject to special constraints. The common denominator of these contracts of sale, food, is a perishable commodity, vital, and subject to strong and unpredictable price changes. The economic environment in which the contract chains are integrated is characterised by a significant structural imbalance between the various economic phases which make up it, making it conducive to risks of hold-up and asymmetry of information between stakeholders. The contractual imbalance and insecurity resulting from this de facto situation complicate the transmission of prices from one contract to another, from upstream to downstream of the contract chain, creating blocking points that extract value for certain stakeholders, and thereby threaten the sustainability of the supplu chain food, the investment that can be made there, and therefore food security. Starting from a state where the common law of contracts applied, without taking into account the specificities of the agri-food sector, the public authorities, European and national, have gradually developed a set of provisions, dispersed within the Rural and Maritime Fisheries Code, the Commercial Code and the Consumer Code, leading to a draft special contract law specific to the food supply chain, and whose common denominator is the food product. Sectoral contract engineering developed and deployed within the food supply chain, failing to be a proven effort to build a special contract law, an agri-food contract law, is at least a demonstration of the public authorities' consideration of the negative externalities created by an application of the common law of contracts without integrating the characteristics specific to the sector of activity concerned. It is also a regulatory experiment whose contract is the pivot, the contractualization. The particularities of the agri-food sector make it a laboratory for analysing the appropriate level of specialisation of contract law, as well as the potential of the contract as such as a tool for regulating a sector of activity.
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Nicolas Volpi. La régulation du secteur agroalimentaire par le contrat. Vers un droit agroalimentaire des contrats. Droit. Université Côte d'Azur, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019AZUR0024⟩. ⟨tel-02497634⟩

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