IFA President Eddie Downey has criticised the European Commission for its lack of urgency in dealing with the dominance of the retail sector in the food chain and failing to tackle the unfair trading practices which exist in the food chain.
Mr. Downey, who is also Chairman of the COPA-COGECA Working Party on the Food Chain, said the European Commission set up the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain in 2010 and four years later we are no further on. “The Commission’s proposal to have a voluntary code of conduct will not work.”
The European Commission has this week published a directive on “Tackling unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain”, which needs real teeth and a statutory code of practice for the food supply chain. Unfair trading practices such as below-cost selling, ‘hello money’ and ‘pay to play’ continue in the sector and producers/suppliers are being put out of business by such unfair dealings.
Eddie Downey said, “The Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2014 is being introduced by our Government, which is progress and a first step in Ireland that goes somewhat to address the regulation of certain practices in grocery goods sector”.
IFA has lobbied for many years on the need for regulation of the retail sector, a rebalancing of power in the food supply chain and greater transparency on prices and margins for all actors in the supply chain.