EC to get tough with unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

European Commission (EC) moves to tackle unfair trading practices in the food supply chain are being stepped up with the “UK standard” being used as a model for further action at EU level, according the National Farmers Union (NFU).

The NFU’s latest Brussels briefing report reveals that EU farm commissioner, Phil Hogan, is looking to the UK as an example of “best practice” in dealing with unfair food supply trading practices.

“The UK system of a legislative code of practice and an independent Groceries Code Adjudicator, enshrined in law, is unique in Europe, and has recently become the subject of great interest in the EU as member states attempt to make their food supply chains fairer and more equitable,” said the NFU.

Discussions on food chain issues in the EU have accelerated since the turn of the year, with a report on unfair trading practices due before both the European Parliament’s agriculture and internal market committees in coming weeks. This follows on from a communication published by the EC in 2014.

“Whilst the commission did not propose any new legislation, it committed itself to studying the different approaches taken by other member states towards tackling unfairness in the supply chain,” said the NFU. 

Irish MEP, Mairead McGuiness, is due to present a report on the current situation, as well as proposals for future action, to the European parliament on April 16.

Commissioner Hogan, meanwhile, has confirmed his officials will produce a report on the state of play in the supply chain before the end of the year.

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