Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

EU laws set to curtail retailers' buying clout

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

EU legislation could in future dictate the buying power of retailers and the returns paid to producers.

Ireland East MEP Mairead McGuinness said she had received confirmation from Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos that issues concerning the food supply chain would be addressed through legislation at EU level.

However, a spokesman for Mr Ciolos warned it was too soon to speculate on what proposals would be accepted.

"The commissioner also said he will work closely with the Commissioner for Competition, [Joaquin] Almunia, to ensure that concerns are addressed," Ms McGuinness said.

However, the Commission spokesman said it was still at the "thinking and listening" stage and was a long way off drafting any formal proposals.

"The commissioner has acknowledged that this is an issue we have to address but, as far as legislative proposals, I'm sure it will be an element in the CAP reform package," he said.

"Next June or July we'll have formal legislative proposals.

"The commissioner is aware that the producer's position in the supply chain is one of the problems we need to address."

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Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith said there was need for "considerable improvement" in the functioning of the food chain so that all players received fair treatment.

Irish Independent