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ECR

New protection for farmers and food suppliers

12 March 2019

New protection for farmers and food suppliers

Farmers and other food suppliers will be protected from a range of unfair trading practices under legislation approved today by the European Parliament. ECR MEPs strongly backed EU-wide minimum standards prohibiting eight commercial practices, including late payments for perishable products, last minute order cancellations and unilateral changes to supply agreements.

Farmers and other food suppliers will be protected from a range of unfair trading practices under legislation approved today by the European Parliament.

ECR MEPs strongly backed EU-wide minimum standards prohibiting eight commercial practices, including late payments for perishable products, last minute order cancellations and unilateral changes to supply agreements. The rules draw on measures already in place in EU member states such as the UK such as the legally binding groceries supply code of practice.

ECR and Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre, who helped lead the report through Parliament as a shadow rapporteur, said: “For far too long farmers and growers have been in the most precarious position in the food supply chain and large retailers across the EU have been able to abuse their powerful position.

“This directive goes some way to rebalancing the situation. Voluntary systems don’t change users’ behaviour.”

At the parliament’s insistence the directive now includes all agricultural produce, not just food, meaning cut flowers are covered. In addition, the threshold has been increased so that suppliers with a turnover of up to €350 million come under the legislation, taking in all EU farmers and producer organisations.

Miss McIntyre said: “Today’s vote is good news for farmers and consumers in the EU and beyond.

“I am particularly pleased that suppliers outside the EU are included, so not only will farmers in Kenya and Peru be protected, but post-Brexit UK farmers will be treated fairly when selling into the EU.”

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