Ahead of the upcoming SCA of the Council (10 September) and EU Parliament discussions on the Proposal for a directive on Unfair Trading Practices, the signatories would like to draw your attention to the following crucial principles for a fair and well-functioning food supply chain:
Unfair is unfair, regardless of the size of businesses: all actors in the food supply chain should be protected from unfair trading practices. Without this basic principle enshrined in EU law, any actor may be faced, directly or indirectly, with the effects of unfair trading practices.
We call for a clear definition of what is an unfair trading practice: the essence of an unfair trading practice is the transfer, unilaterally, of excessive risk and unexpected costs on a supplier, by taking advantage of the buyer’s position as market gatekeeper. Without such a definition the Directive risks leaving significant gaps which will be exploited by those who intend to obtain unfair advantages at the expense of the others in the food supply chain.
The Directive has to be revised in no more than 3 years after its implementation: the market evolves quickly and policy makers should remain open to assess the effects and apply corrections to the framework in time.