After banning unfair trading practices and improving producer cooperation, the European Commission has presented its most recent element to improve fairness in the food supply chain.
Going forward, the Commission wants to introduce greater transparency in the way prices are reported throughout the chain.
The move came as the bloc feels that there is already a large amount of information available about developments in agricultural markets, but there is almost no information about other key markets in the agri-food supply chain, namely those that operate between farmers and consumers at the food processing and the retail level.
Yesterday (22 May), the Commission tabled a proposal that will make ‘available crucial information on how prices are determined as agri-food products move along the food supply chain’.
The proposed measures will cover the meat, eggs, dairy, fruit and vegetables, arable crops, sugar, and olive oil sectors.
The Commission believes that buying and selling price differences can provide information about intermediary costs, such as transport, insurance, storage, etc, between seller and buyer.
This, in turn, will lead to greater transparency which can better support business decisions, as well as improving trust in fair dealings within the supply chain.
“Strengthening the position of farmers in the food supply chain has been a priority for the Commission. Enhancing market transparency will allow equal access to and greater clarity about price information, making our food chain fairer and better balanced,” Agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan said.
“These new rules will complement the recently adopted directive banning unfair trading practices in empowering weaker and smaller actors of the food supply chain and their introduction reflects the very significant public support that there is throughout the EU to strengthen the role of the farmer in the food supply chain.”
In Ireland, the President of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has welcomed the move as ‘another important step in the campaign to give farmers a bigger share of the final consumer price’.
“While there is full transparency around what farmers are paid, and the final consumer price, the margins enjoyed by processors and retailers remain a mystery. Farmers find it incredibly frustrating that this information remains hidden from themselves, and indeed consumers. It’s time to lift the lid on this,” he said.
He said the refusal to disclose the margins only fuels suspicion that those acting between the farmer and the consumer are doing very well. For consumers, food prices are now lower than they were in 2001.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.