The European Commission has today, Wednesday, May 22, presented the ‘third element’ in its efforts to improve fairness in the food supply chain.

Following the commission’s move to ban unfair trading practices and improve producer cooperation, the commission says it is aiming to introduce “greater transparency” in the way prices are reported throughout the chain.

A statement from the commission explained that differences in buying and selling price can provide information about “intermediary costs”, such as transport, insurance and storage between the seller and buyer.

Greater transparency can support better business decisions and improve trust in fair dealing between the stages in the food supply chain.

The commission also noted that having access to timely and easily accessible information about market developments is “key to competing effectively” in global markets.

Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “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,” added the commissioner.

The sectors covered by the proposed measures will be: meat; eggs; dairy; fruit and vegetables; arable crops; sugar; and olive oil.

The new regulations are designed to build on existing data collection systems and procedures that are already in place, giving them a wider scope.

Each member state will be individually responsible for the collection of price and market data.

The commission is also recommending that member states choose the most cost-effective approach, and that small and medium-sized enterprises are not targeted to reduce the administrative burden.

Member states will communicate the data to the commission, who will in turn make the monitoring available on its agri-food data portal and EU market observatories.

The proposal is published for a four-week public consultation period. It will then be adopted by the European Commission and is planned to enter into force six months after that.