The European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee voted on October 1, on measures to stop Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) in the food supply chain.

“The EPP Group has been asking the Commission for this initiative to stop UTPs for a number of years and this is a first step in recognising that the food supply chain is unbalanced,” said MEP Mairead McGuinness, EPP Group spokesperson on the issue.

This is a first step in recognising that the food supply chain is unbalanced.

The proposal distinguishes between two kinds of trading practices. While many are simply unfair in nature, others may be acceptable if clearly agreed by the parties, and become unfair only when applied without agreement.

“Many of the practices engaged in by the powerful, harm farmers and others who lack power. The Directive will allow farmers to complain – in confidence – where they believe that buyers are engaging in unfair trading practices. The vote this evening will guide the Parliament’s work in its negotiations with Member States on the legislation. Several Member States already have national legislation on UTPs in the food supply chain. Our aim is to ensure that there is EU-wide legislation and that it is effectively implemented,” added Mairead McGuinness.