UFU welcome proposal for dealing with Unfair Trading Practices

Monday, 16 April, 2018

The UFU is pleased that the European Commission (EC) has this week published a new proposal for a directive with the aim of dealing with the issue of Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) in the food supply chain.  It ensures fairer treatment for farmers and small/medium sized food and farming businesses. The UFU have been campaigning for this in our Brussels office for a number of years.

UFU President Barclay Bell says, “UTPs are unethical business to business practices. They can have devastating effects for producers and can threaten the sustainability of the food supply chain.”

This move also lays a good foundation to ensure that there is a fair trading environment for farmers to operate in. The UFU will aim to build on this and continue to work with farming groups in Europe to take further measures as we see fit.

Mr Bell continues, “Here in the UK, the proposal shouldn’t impinge on the remit of the Grocery Code Adjudicator  and will allow Christine Tacon’s good work to continue.  The GCA plays a critical role in helping to ensure there is fairness in the supply chain. In fact, we would argue that the GCA’s powers should be strengthened and the remit extended to include primary producers.”

“The new proposal only applies to small and medium sized businesses and some farming and processing businesses now operate on a large scale. As the paper identifies, farmers also suffer from UTPs between processors and suppliers, so it feels wrong to exclude these businesses purely based on size,” concludes Mr Bell.

The UFU will continue to monitor the situation.