Fairer food supply chain: Agriculture MEPs clamp down on unfair trading

Phil Hogan Romania 2018

Visit of Phil Hogan, Member of the EC in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development, in Bucharest. © European Union , 2018 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

New draft rules to better protect farmers against buyers’ unfair trading practices were approved by the Agriculture Committee on Monday.

MEPs broadened the scope of the draft law to:

  • include all actors in the food supply chain, and not only small and medium-sized producers and big buyers,
  • cover trade of agricultural products and ancillary services, on top of foodstuffs.

The proposed blacklist of unfair trading practices (UTPs), as amended by MEPs, includes:

  • payments made later than 30 days for perishable agricultural and food products and (added by MEPs) later than 60 days for non-perishable products, counting from the last day of the month when the invoice was received or the agreed delivery day,
  • unilateral cancellation of an order of perishable products less than 60 days from the agreed delivery date (Commission proposed no clear deadline).

MEPs also agreed that also the following practices should be outlawed:

  • when a buyer refuses to sign a written contract with the supplier, who would now have a newly established right to request it, or to provide the latter with sufficiently detailed supply terms;
  • when a buyer shares or misuses confidential information, relating to the supply agreement.

No sales below cost, unless agreed in advance

Terms of a supply agreement must never result from the supplier’s economic dependence on the buyer, MEPs say. They also insist that unless pre-agreed, the buyer should not sell products below the purchase price and then ask the supplier to bridge the gap.

Clear complaints procedure

To make life easier for food producers, MEPs propose to allow them to lodge complaints where they are established, even if UTPs occurred elsewhere in the EU. National enforcement authorities would be handling complaints and, following an investigation, imposing sanctions.

Quote

“In this battle of David versus Goliath, we are arming the weakest in the food supply chain to ensure fairness, healthier food and social rights. Small producers, workers, consumers, all of us, will soon stop suffering the consequences of unfair trade practices imposed by big players in the food supply chain”, said rapporteur Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT).

Next steps

The text approved in the Agriculture Committee by 38 votes in favour to four votes against, with two abstentions, will now be submitted to the plenary to seek MEPs’ green light for negotiations with EU ministers.

Background

Parliament called in 2016 for EU action to do away with unfair trading practices. The Agriculture Committee demanded an EU law against UTPs also in its 2017 position on the so-called Omnibus proposal. MEPs also discussed the matter with several EU agriculture ministers and agreed with them that an EU law was necessary.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Those who produce food are among world’s hungriest – UN rights expert

Eurozone close to agreeing on a Banking Union

As many as 330,000 displaced by heavy fighting in south-west Syria – UN agency

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

Scientists have created the world’s ‘first psychopath AI’

To end deforestation, we must protect community land rights

How do we build an ethical framework for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Nagasaki is ‘a global inspiration’ for peace, UN chief says marking 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing

Has Germany rebuffed ECB on the banking union?

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

European Council: Choosing new leaders for the EU betrays efforts for a wider arrangement

Eurozone: Bankers-politicians rig keeps robbing taxpayers

Desires for national independence in Europe bound by economic realities

Millions denied citizenship due to ideas of national, ethnic or racial ‘purity’: UN rights expert

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo conflict zone ‘remains dangerous and unpredictable’ – UN chiefs

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

Exchanges of medical students and the true understanding of global health issues

Out with the old: Young People transforming Humanitarian Action

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

Why schools should teach the curriculum of the future, not the past

A Sting Exclusive: “The Digital Economy and Industry are no longer opposing terms”, Commissioner Oettinger underlines live from European Business Summit 2015

5 charts that explain big challenges facing Italy’s new government

OECD economic scenarios to 2060 illustrate the long-run benefits of structural reforms

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and HFCs

Three myths keeping government procurement stuck in the past

European Energy Union: Integration of markets and need for in-house energy production

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

There’s a new global technology race. It needs better trade rules

The Commission accused of tolerating corruption and fraud in taxation

We must stop a devastating ‘battle to the end’ in southwest Syria, declares UN envoy

Italy’s dilemma after Merkel-Hollande agreed loose banking union

Turkey presents a new strategy for EU accession but foreign policy could be the lucky card

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

Mobile World Congress 2015 first to debate EU’s new stance on Net Neutrality and Roaming Charges

Leading Palestinian legislator calls for ‘new international engagement’ in two-state solution

Summer JADE Meeting 2015: We came curious, we left inspired

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

Migrant children at US border have right to protection and ‘be with their families’: UNICEF chief

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

UN sounds alarm as Venezuelan refugees and migrants passes three million mark

Military escalation will have ‘serious consequences’ for Yemeni civilians, warns UN Special Envoy

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

False promises to Small and Medium Enterprises

UN Security Council welcomes results of Mali’s presidential elections

French full-body veil ban, violated women’s freedom of religion: UN Human Rights Committee

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe must be more ambitious in COP21 and lead on climate finance and sustainable development”, Green UK MEP Jean Lambert points out from Brussels

Conflicting statistics and bad banks haunt the Eurozone

On European immigration: Europe’s Missing Citizens

The ECB must extend its money stimulus beyond 2018: Draghi reckoning

Commission sets moderate greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030

Here are five things to know about the future of being human

ECB’s billions fortify south Eurozone except Greece; everybody rushes to invest in euro area bonds zeroing their yields

A comprehensive strategy for Eurozone’s long term growth gains momentum

MEPs back measures to reconcile career and private life

The untold story of who caused and who pays for the economic crisis

Parliament approves key directive regulating professional qualifications

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s