EU Commission set to tackle unfair trading in food sector
Greater transparency in the food supply chain is on the cards after the European Commission published a long-awaited impact assessment report on unfair trading practices in the sector.
The assessment flags the possibility of introducing EU-wide legislation for the agri-food supply chain and suggests increased price transparency is required.
Such a move could see more clarity introduced in sectors such as the beef and lamb industries, where farmers want a more open breakdown of what share processors and retailers receive from the final retail price.
The Commission is opening a public consultation on the assessment and will then decide if new legislation is needed to tackle alleged unfair trading practices.
Last June a sizeable majority of MEPs voted for EU regulation on unfair trading practices. However, member states have been divided on whether or not they want binding EU legislation.
The report says the food supply chain is "particularly prone to trading practices that deviate from fair commercial conduct".
Small operators in the chain, including farmers, usually have little bargaining power and are more likely to be victims of unfair practices, it asserts.
The Commission has identified four possible policy options: