Unfair Trading Practices: IFOAM EU is working on a position on the European Commission’s legislative proposal

On 12 April the European Commission published a legislative proposal for a directive on Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) in business-to-business relationships in the food supply chain. This legislative proposal was years in the making and was welcomed by decision-makers as well as most European associations involved on the topic. The timeline for amending the proposal is rather strict as the rapporteur for this dossier, MEP Paolo de Castro (S&D), foresees to present his draft report in European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on 10 July. A vote on the draft report is foreseen by the end of September.

IFOAM EU is working on a position paper, as well as carrying out advocacy activities towards the rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs of the dossier. Our main goal is to highlight that, although IFOAM EU welcomes this Commission’s proposal as a first step towards ensuring fair prices for producers and fairness in the supply chain, there are several points that could be strengthened. These are:

  • The narrow scope of application in terms of actors covered under this proposal;
  • The restricted list of UTPs which are explicitly prohibited, which allows for other UTPs to not be covered under this legislation; and

The weak articles with regards to designating the enforcement authority, filing complaints and detailing the mechanism of cooperation between competent authorities.

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