(Brussels, 18 November 2019) The European Supply Chain Initiative (SCI), which was officially launched in 2013 to promote fair business practices in the food supply chain as a basis for commercial dealings, winds down its activities at the end of 2019. The Principles of Good Practice, which were widely endorsed along the food supply chain and the European Commission, remain an important standard for all sectors. National dialogue platforms and registered companies remain free to continue to apply and promote the Principles of good practice on a voluntary basis.
“The Principles of Good Practice were not only the foundation of the SCI, but are and should be at the heart of all commercials dealings. The Principles were signed-up to by over 1,200 companies in Europe who registered with the SCI, they have been integrated in contractual agreements and have even served as a source of inspiration in both the Unfair Trading Practices Directive and some national legislations. They therefore remain important and the organisations who were involved in the SCI will continue to promote them in the future” says Michael Hutchings, Chair of the SCI.
Over its years of operation, the SCI has promoted sector dialogue and mediation as a means to solve disputes among trading partners. These efforts are now reflected in the recently adopted Unfair Trading Practices Directive which encourages mediation to resolve disputes. “Many excellent national mechanisms are now in place that offer companies support to resolve conflicts by means of dialogue. I am proud to see that the European SCI contributed to the establishment of several platforms and initiatives across Europe that are highly effective and offer companies many options to resolve disputes in a fair and transparent manner” says Mr Hutchings.
With a view to the future, interaction between sector organisations and the exchange of good practices between national platforms remain important. Relevant workshops and events may continue to be organised by the organisations who were involved with the SCI to promote this dialogue moving forward.
The SCI leaves a legacy of initiatives, mechanisms and tools which have made a positive impact in the sector and which will continue to be useful for all stakeholders in the future, via the SCI website (www.supplychaininitiative.eu).