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EU Parliament calls for action on unfair food trading

Staff writer ▼ | June 9, 2016
MEPs urged the European Commission to put forward proposals against unfair trading practices in the food supply chain, in order to ensure fair earnings for farmers and a wide choice for consumers.
European farmer
Europe   To ensure fair earnings for farmers
The Parliament agreed to a resolution on fair and transparent trade relations between food producers, suppliers and distributors. The ongoing price crisis affecting several agricultural sectors has led to demonstrations across Europe in recent months and farmers’ relationships with processors and retailers have come under increasing scrutiny as a result.

MEPs called for income and power imbalances in the food supply chain to be tackled “as a matter of urgency” to improve farmers’ bargaining power. They said selling below the cost of production, and the serious misuse of dairy products, fruit and vegetables as “loss leaders” by large-scale retailers, threaten the long-term sustainability of EU production.

The resolution also posits that fairer trading would help prevent overproduction and tackle food waste.

Polish MEP Edward Czesak, who was acting as the parliament’s rapporteur on the issue commented, ”The initiatives taken so far have not been effective... More work should be done to improve relations between suppliers and supermarkets and hypermarkets, especially when it comes to minimising the so-called ‘fear factor’.

“We also call on the European Commission to do more when it comes to new tools that should help us to counteract unfair trading practices. All players in the food supply chain should enjoy the same rights.”