The European Parliament has voted on new rules that will ensure the protection of European farmers against unfair trading practices (UTPS) in the food supply chain.
The new European law builds on a proposal tabled by the European Commission and will cover agricultural and food products traded in the food supply chain, banning for the first time up to 16 unfair trading practices imposed unilaterally by one trading partner on another. The COPA and COGECA Group on the Food Supply Chain, chaired by IFA President Joe Healy in his capacity as a COPA Vice President, drove the campaign on behalf of European farmers on retail dominance and Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs).
“This is a positive result for farmers who have always been subjected to the whims of large retailers. The unfair trading practices to be banned include: late payments for perishable food products; last minute order cancellations; unilateral or retroactive changes to contracts; forcing the supplier to pay for wasted products and refusing written contracts,” said Joe Healy. The IFA President also acknowledged the work Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development has done to achieve this result. “IFA has campaigned for many years, nationally and in Europe, for a re-balancing of power in the food supply chain. This is crucial to deliver a viable price for farmers, and a return on their work and investment. Many retailers were behaving like modern-day dictatorships, abusing their power to accumulate vast profits. The new rules announced today will re-balance the scale, which is all farmers ever wanted. Another important measure that IFA has called for is the appointment of an independent retail regulator for the food sector.” said Joe Healy.
The Irish Government must now transpose the Directive into Irish Law.