Below cost of production sales set to be banned by the EU

EU MEPs have insisted that unless pre-agreed, the buyer should not be allowed to sell products below the purchase price and then ask the supplier (the farmer) to bridge the gap.

The move comes after a new set of draft rules that aim to improve the protection of farmers against unfair trading practices (UTPs), were approved by the EU’s Agriculture Committee on Monday, October 1.

They also insist that the terms of a supply agreement must never result from the supplier’s economic dependence on the buyer.

Clear Complaints Procedure

To make life easier for food producers, MEPs propose to allow them to lodge complaints where they are established, even if UTPs occurred elsewhere in the EU.

It is understood that national enforcement authorities will also be appointed to deal with complaints and, following an investigation, impose sanctions.

Commenting on the new draft laws, a spokesperson for the Agriculture Committee has said: “In this battle of ‘David versus Goliath’, we are arming the weakest in the food supply chain to ensure fairness and social rights.

“Small producers, workers and consumers will soon stop suffering the consequences of unfair trade practices imposed by big players in the food supply chain.”

The draft laws, which were approved by the Agriculture Committee by 38 votes in favour to four votes against, with two abstentions, will now be submitted to the plenary to seek MEPs’ green light for negotiations with EU ministers.