The European Commission has opened infringement procedures against 12 member states after they failed to transpose EU rules banning unfair trading practices in the agri-food sector within the allotted time frame.
Brushing aside pressure from EU retailers, the European Parliament gave Paolo De Castro, a socialist MEP and rapporteur for unfair trade practices, the mandate on Thursday (25 October) to immediately start trilogue negotiations on the issue with the EU Council and Commission.
Next week’s European Parliament vote on the proposed unfair trade practices (UTPs) directive is crucial as there will be no time to pass the bill in this legislature in the event of a non-approval, the MEP piloting the file has warned.
The Visegrad Four, as well as Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia, have warned about “disproportions” in the food supply chain if large suppliers are not covered by the European Commission’s proposal on unfair trade practices (UTPs).
The final scope of the European Commission’s proposals on unfair trade practices (UTPs) in the EU food supply chain has divided stakeholders, as it has not been decided yet if large companies should also be included in the legislation, in addition to small and medium firms.
IItalian farmers say they have been the “weak link” in the country’s fragmented food chain and are seeking ways to effectively organise themselves in order to increase their bargaining power in the agricultural market.