Trading between partners

Q: Beneficiary A is beneficiary of a project and is a grower and supplier of plant seeds. There are only a few of these companies in Europe. Because of their knowledge and the seeds we need for our test fields, we’ve asked them to join the project. Can we make use of their product, what should the price be, and do we have to tender for it?

A: The project can and should make use of skills and competences already available in the project consortium. The flower seeds can be sold within the project partnership without having to tender for it, if the cost of the product is restricted to the real cost of the supplying beneficiary. This means that no profit of the products can be made by beneficiary A when selling the product to the consortium.  Beneficiary A must be able to prove and explain how the costs were calculated.

This answer is in line with Fact Sheet 5 (Contracting external expertise and Services), stating that: "If as part of a project, a beneficiary provides a service to another beneficiary for payment, all such transactions must be based on non-profit and can only reflect the actual costs incurred by the service provider").