New proposal on UTPs is a step forward but promoting fairness in the whole chain remains a challenge
Today, the European Commission has published a proposal for a Directive on unfair trading practices (UTPs) in the food supply chain. The European Brands Association AIM, the European Council of Young Farmers Ceja, the Liaison Centre for the Meat Processing Industry in the EU CLITRAVI, Copa-Cogeca representing European Farmers & European Agri-Cooperatives, the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions EFFAT, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office FTAO, FoodDrinkEurope, IFOAM EU and the European craft and SME employers’ organisation UEAPME welcome this move. Such a proposal for a Directive has the potential to create a minimum harmonisation at EU level without endangering well-functioning existing systems already in place in some Member States.
The signatories are nevertheless concerned with the limited scope of the proposal, covering only SMEs suppliers. A successful approach to combating UTPs needs to be applicable to all players in the supply chain, regardless of their size, as it would therefore impact all commercial relations.
Moreover, it is crucial to ensure an effective cooperation between enforcement authorities addressing transnational UTPs that could otherwise be left unchallenged.
Now is the time to act to protect the economic, social and environmental sustainability of our food supply chain, strengthening Europe’s competitiveness and growth to build a stronger and more inclusive Europe.
The signatories call upon the co-legislators – the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament – to jointly work on the Commission’s proposal and ensure its timely adoption.