Chairing a meeting of the COPA Working Party on the Food Chain in Brussels this week, IFA President Joe Healy said that last week’s vote in the European Parliament adopting a report calling for more action to tackle Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) in the food supply chain was welcomed by all member state farmer representatives.
Mr Healy said that “The report, which recognises the negative impact of UTPs on producers and seeks to address the impact on farmers of late payments, food over-production, wastage and difficult trading relationships, must now be taken on board by the European Commission and immediate steps must be taken to provide for an EU framework, including legislation, which will tackle the dominance of retailers and wholesalers in the food supply chain”.
Mr Healy welcomed the recognition in the report of the limitations of the voluntary EU Supply Chain Initiative (SCI), including not being able to lodge confidential complaints and having no penalties for non-compliance.
The IFA President said COPA will now contribute towards the Agricultural Markets Task Force which was set up by Commissioner Hogan to review the proper functioning of the agricultural market and whose final recommendations are due in the autumn.
In addition, the IFA President will ensure that the concerns of producers in the Member Associations are communicated to the High Level Forum Group for the Food Chain whose first meeting is scheduled to take place on 27th September.