European Union - Fair food prices: new legislation needed, say MEPs

In a report drafted by José Bové (Greens/EFA, FR) and approved by a show of hands, MEPs suggest ways to tackle abuse of dominant positions, unfair commercial and contractual practices and late payments, and to improve producers' position in the food market. The report, a response a Commission communication, sets out MEPs' ideas on to improve the functioning of the food supply chain for the benefit of producers and citizens.
Wednesday 8 September 2010 (8 years 11 days ago)
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In a report drafted by José Bové (Greens/EFA, FR) and approved by a show of hands, MEPs suggest ways to tackle abuse of dominant positions, unfair commercial and contractual practices and late payments, and to improve producers' position in the food market. The report, a response a Commission communication, sets out MEPs' ideas on to improve the functioning of the food supply chain for the benefit of producers and citizens.

To monitor trading relations between producers and retailers and if necessary rebalance them, an EU-wide instrument could be implemented through specialised bodies in the Member States, they add. Measures to be taken should include an analysis of possible misuse of private labels, i.e. retailers' "own brand" products and a pilot project to create an EU farm prices and margins observatory.

Parliament urges the Commission to table legislative proposals to limit dominant market positions at all stages of the supply chain, from the input sector, through the food processing industry to retailers, says the text, adding that companies committing unfair practices should be "named and shamed".

The Commission is urged to propose that top European traders, processors, wholesalers and retailers be required to report on their market shares in key food items annually, so as to allow all market players to estimate demand and supply trends.

Standard contracts could be useful in preventing practices such as altering contract terms, late payments, resale at a loss and unjustified listing fees, say MEPs. In some sectors, these contracts could be even made compulsory.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/expert/infopress_page/032-81455-249-09-37-904-20100907IPR81454-06-09-2010-2010-false/default_en.htm

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