The report on unfair trading practices in the food supply chain was adopted by the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (AGRI) on the 1st of October 2018 in Strasbourg with 38 votes in favor.

These practices are represented by unjust actions taken by some operators in the food supply chain against others. They include last minute cancellations of orders, late payments, modifications of contracts without the consent of all parties, return of the products to supplier without a prior mutual agreement, constraining the provider to pay the wasted products, etc.

Unfair practices lead to imbalances in the supply chain and affect all its elements, in particular, small operators and farmers. The latter have less bargaining power and fewer resources than large operators and are often compelled to comply with the requirements of large operators with whom they cooperate even when their demands are inequitable. According to a study by Copa-Cogeca, only 21% of the value associated with agricultural products reaches the farmers, most of the value going to the distributors.

The report proposes the implementation of instruments meant to improve the position and the negotiating power of small operators, and the introduction of uniform rules across the EU banning the most serious forms of unfair practices, as the ones mentioned above. 20 of the Member States already have national regulations covering this issue, but the rest do not.

I welcome the adoption of this report. Producers must be protected and rules need to be set objectively, taking into account the realities of each element in the supply chain.

After the vote yesterday, on October 22, the Plenary Session will validate the significant improvements COMAGRI has brought to Commissioner Hogan’s proposal. Inter-institutional negotiations between the European Commission and the EU Council of Ministers will then lead to the final approval of the report.

More details can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/market-measures/unfair-trading-practices-food-chain_ro and http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=%2f%2fEP%2f%2fNONSGML%2bCOMPARL%2bPE-623.672%2b01%2bDOC%2bPDF%2bV0%2f%2fRO