On 12 December 2016 the Council, led by the Slovak Presidency, adopted conclusions on strengthening the position of farmers in the food supply chain and tackling unfair trading practices.
The Council acknowledges the importance of a well-functioning food supply chain and expresses concern about the vulnerability of farmers in this context, despite multiple efforts to improve their situation. The conclusions suggest solutions that the Commission and member states could put in place to guarantee, among others, that risks are shared more equally along the supply chain, contractualisation is enhanced, and market transparency and risk management improved.
The Council underlined the importance of a level-playing field for all those involved in the supply chain that could be achieved by a common European legislative framework.
The conclusions also call on the Commission to undertake an impact assessment with a view to proposing an EU legislative framework or other non-legislative measures to addressunfair trading practices which respects the principle of subsidiarity and safeguards well-functioning national systems.
“Fairness is the new rule of the game. The fight against unfair trading practices has entered a new era. Today we have stepped up our fight against unfair trading practices. The unanimous support from the Council means that trading practices will be closely scrutinized at the European level. The Slovak Presidency has fully achieved its aim of securing for European farmers a transparent and fair business environment,” said Gabriela Matečná, minister for agriculture and rural development of Slovakia and President of the Council.
Monday December 12, 2016/ Consilium/ European Union.