Opinion Factsheet  

Prácticas comerciales desleales en la cadena de suministro alimentario

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Opinion Number: CDR 2906/2018
Rapporteur: 
Group: EPP (European People's Party)
Commission: NAT
Status: Adopted
Date: 04/07/2018
 
welcomes the Commission's initiative of establishing European legislation designed to combat unfair trading practices
believes that this proposal provides a good foundation but that it is necessary to go further to protect farmers more effectively
considers it necessary to include in this proposal for a directive a prohibition in principle of unfair trading practices
considers it necessary to broaden the scope of the proposal to cover all products and all operators
considers it necessary to extend the list of prohibited unfair practices to include resale at a loss, and to punish purchases below production costs
believes that this directive will not be enough to improve the situation of farmers unless the overall framework in which they operate is changed
considers that, alongside this directive, it will also be necessary to make contractualisation attractive for producers, to introduce additional measures on price transparency, to tackle over-concentration of the distribution, agri-food and agri-supply sectors, and to develop fairer international trade relations in agriculture
On the 19 December the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached today a political agreement on a new set of rules that will ensure protection of 100% of EU farmers and of a very large majority of EU agri-food companies against practices contrary to good faith and fair dealing.

The new European law 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. Other practices will only be permitted if subject to a clear and unambiguous upfront agreement between the parties involved.

The agreement reached will apply to anyone involved in the food supply chain with a turnover of €350 million with differentiated levels of protection provided below that threshold. The new rules will cover retailers, food processors, wholesalers, cooperatives or producers' organisations, or a single producer who would be engaging in any of the unfair trade practices identified.

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.

Other practices will only be permitted if subject to a clear and unambiguous upfront agreement between the parties: a buyer returning unsold food products to a supplier; a buyer charging a supplier payment to secure or maintain a supply agreement on food products; a supplier paying for a buyer's promotion, advertising or marketing campaign.

An important element of the directive is that Member States can introduce a higher scope above €350 million in their national legislation or take further measures, should they so wish. The agreement also includes a review clause set at 4 years, which means that the provisions of the legislative text will have to be evaluated and possibly reviewed during the course of the next parliamentary mandate.

Member States will designate authorities in charge of enforcing the new rules, including the ability to impose fines and initiate investigations based on complaints. Confidentiality can be requested by parties filing a complaint, to address concerns about possible retaliation. The Commission will set up a coordination mechanism between enforcement authorities to enable the exchange of best practice.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

- welcomes the Commission's initiative of establishing European legislation designed to combat unfair trading practices

- believes that this proposal provides a good foundation but that it is necessary to go further to protect farmers more effectively

- considers it necessary to include in this proposal for a directive a prohibition in principle of unfair trading practices

- considers it necessary to broaden the scope of the proposal to cover all products and all operators

- considers it necessary to extend the list of prohibited unfair practices to include resale at a loss, and to punish purchases below production costs

- believes that this directive will not be enough to improve the situation of farmers unless the overall framework in which they operate is changed

- considers that, alongside this directive, it will also be necessary to make contractualisation attractive for producers, to introduce additional measures on price transparency, to tackle over-concentration of the distribution, agri-food and agri-supply sectors, and to develop fairer international trade relations in agriculture

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

EU Agricultural Outlook conference

The EU Agricultural Outlook conference has now become the key annual gathering of European stakeholders willing to engage and discuss the future of agriculture in Europe and the challenges which lie ahead.

The fourth edition of the conference will be opened by Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, Phil Hogan.

Discussion on day one will involve high level panellists and will focus on digitisation and innovation in the farming sector but also on Africa.

The second day will focus on the outlook for EU agricultural markets (crops, biofuels, meat and dairy), presenting the latest report produced with the support of the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The outlook and the changes to be expected will be debated by a panel of experts.

Participants will include EU institutions, governments and international organisations, those involved in the food supply chain, market experts, academics, think tanks and civil society.

Mr Jacques Blanc, rapporteur of the opinion "Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain" will be participating.

 
06 Dec