(Brussels, 19 December 2018) FoodDrinkEurope and AIM acknowledge the agreement reached today between the European Commission, Parliament and the Member States on the proposed Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) Directive. After decades of discussions, and many months of intensive debate, we appreciate the efforts made in taking the first step towards a legal framework that is aimed at eradicating unfair dealings. The debate revealed that unfair trading practices are imposed, regardless of the size of the producer or the products.
The agreed Directive is the first time in the EU’s history that we have legislation providing for a minimum harmonisation to combat unfair trading practices in the food supply chain. The Directive will complement the rules currently in place across over 20 Member States, reinforcing the Single Market and serving the EU’s 500 million consumers.
Unfair trading practices affecting farmers and food processors were widely debated and for the first time, it has been publicly recognised that there is no place for unfair trading practices in our food supply chain. Many policy makers supported the call from across the supply chain that “unfair is unfair!” – FoodDrinkEurope and AIM appreciate their endorsement of this principle. Whilst a political agreement was not possible to ensure all actors are protected from the direct or indirect effects of unfair trading practices, we recognise that the first steps have been taken in the right direction.
FoodDrinkEurope and AIM consider that the Commission and Council should have supported a more ambitious list of unfair practices and would urge the Institutions to establish a system to monitor unintended consequences of protecting some, and not others.
Therefore, we welcome the firm commitments of the EU Institutions to continue their efforts to build the foundations for a fairer and more sustainable EU agricultural and food supply chain. On this basis, together with our members, we will continue to advocate for fairness in the food chain aspiring for a prosperous and sustainable agriculture and food supply chain.