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Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

06-05-2019

The food supply chain ensures that food and drink products are delivered to the public. It affects all consumers in the EU. The final price paid by the consumer is impacted by the number of participants in the food supply chain. While the single market has brought benefits to operators in the supply chain through more market opportunities and a larger customer base, it has also brought challenges. Structural changes have occurred, leading to different levels of bargaining power and imbalances between ...

The food supply chain ensures that food and drink products are delivered to the public. It affects all consumers in the EU. The final price paid by the consumer is impacted by the number of participants in the food supply chain. While the single market has brought benefits to operators in the supply chain through more market opportunities and a larger customer base, it has also brought challenges. Structural changes have occurred, leading to different levels of bargaining power and imbalances between actors in the chain. The abuse of such differences may lead to unfair trading practices. To strengthen the position of smaller operators (farmers) in the food supply chain, in April 2018 the European Commission proposed a new directive on unfair trading practices. Trilogue discussions began in October 2018 after a successful vote in plenary. The final agreed text was adopted by both Parliament and Council at first reading, and signed on 17 April. Member States must now incorporate its provisions into national law, and apply them by 1 November 2021.

EU agricultural research and innovation

09-01-2019

The European Union's long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation was published in January 2016 following a year-long process of development, which included targeted consultations. Based on five priority areas, the strategy guides the programming of its main research and innovation programme – Horizon 2020 – not only for 2018 to 2020 but also for the period beyond 2020, to be covered by Horizon Europe. In light of discussions on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP), the ...

The European Union's long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation was published in January 2016 following a year-long process of development, which included targeted consultations. Based on five priority areas, the strategy guides the programming of its main research and innovation programme – Horizon 2020 – not only for 2018 to 2020 but also for the period beyond 2020, to be covered by Horizon Europe. In light of discussions on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP), the role of innovation in agriculture is examined, including the potential contribution that research and innovation can make to agriculture, the agri-food sector, rural areas and the challenges they face. These are set against changing global trends in public expenditure on agricultural research and development. These trends point to a relatively flat pattern of expenditure over the years 2012 to 2016 for the EU. In global terms, the structure of public agricultural expenditure is changing, with historically richer countries ceding ground to those with rapidly rising per capita incomes. In considering the EU's long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation, the links between the CAP and the EU's research and innovation policies are identified. Evaluation evidence from a range of sources on the actual or potential impact of investment in agricultural research and innovation point to a link between such investment and productivity growth in agriculture, the potential for multi-dimensional impacts, and the potential offered by the Commission's current approach to agricultural research and innovation through the European innovation partnership operational groups for agriculture (EIP-AGRI).

Research for AGRI Committee – New competition rules for the agri-food chain in the CAP post 2020

14-09-2018

In connection with the next reform of the CAP post 2020, the Commission has proposed a new Regulation (COM(2018)394 of 1 June 2018) on the common market organisation, amending Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of 13 December 2013 (amended by Regulation (EU) No 2017/2393 of 13 December 2017). This draft regulation does not, however, cover questions on the relationship between the CAP and competition; the proposal does not contain any provisions concerning the responsibilities of professional and interbranch ...

In connection with the next reform of the CAP post 2020, the Commission has proposed a new Regulation (COM(2018)394 of 1 June 2018) on the common market organisation, amending Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of 13 December 2013 (amended by Regulation (EU) No 2017/2393 of 13 December 2017). This draft regulation does not, however, cover questions on the relationship between the CAP and competition; the proposal does not contain any provisions concerning the responsibilities of professional and interbranch organisations and the possible conditions of their submission to competition rules. The recent Omnibus Regulation (EU) No 2017/2393 has made changes to the legal framework for the application of competition rules to the agreements and practices of farmers and their associations. However, this new legislative framework is not yet entirely consistent and, in the light of the Court of Justice judgment handed down on 14 November 2017 in the Endive case, the progress ought to be consolidated and clarified in order to guarantee the real effectiveness of these provisions and greater legal certainty for operators. This study analyses the development of the relationship between the CAP and the competition rules and highlights the need to take corrective action with respect to current farming legislation to ensure that the CAP has primacy over the competition rules and the implementation of the objectives set out in Article 39 of the Treaty.

Externý autor

C. Del Cont; A. Iannarelli

Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

05-07-2018

The Commission proposal aims to strengthen the resilience of weaker operators in the food supply chain and improve its functioning. The supporting impact assessment appears to be substantially constrained by the limited evidence base. The data on the scale of the problem seems limited and precise quantifications of costs and benefits of the option packages was not feasible. The stakeholder consultation activities, on the other hand, have largely followed the requirements of the Better Regulation ...

The Commission proposal aims to strengthen the resilience of weaker operators in the food supply chain and improve its functioning. The supporting impact assessment appears to be substantially constrained by the limited evidence base. The data on the scale of the problem seems limited and precise quantifications of costs and benefits of the option packages was not feasible. The stakeholder consultation activities, on the other hand, have largely followed the requirements of the Better Regulation Guidelines.

Food Safety Situation in Ireland and Overview of the Directorate for Health and Food Audits and Analysis, DG SANTE

28-02-2018

This study was prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the Environmental, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee, and updates the earlier 2016 briefing. It provides an overview of the food safety situation in Ireland. It outlines the Irish food and drink industry, the structure and organisation of the food safety and control system involved in food safety in Ireland and a description of current food safety issues in Ireland. An overview of the structure and competencies of the ...

This study was prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the Environmental, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee, and updates the earlier 2016 briefing. It provides an overview of the food safety situation in Ireland. It outlines the Irish food and drink industry, the structure and organisation of the food safety and control system involved in food safety in Ireland and a description of current food safety issues in Ireland. An overview of the structure and competencies of the Directorate for Health and Food Audits and Analysis, DG SANTE (formerly European Food and Veterinary Office) based in Ireland is also provided.

Externý autor

Mrs S KEENAN, Campden BRI

Authorisation of pesticides in the EU: With a focus on glyphosate

01-02-2018

In the European Union, plant protection products, often referred to as 'pesticides', are subject to a dual approval process: active substances are approved at European Union (EU) level, provided they meet a number of criteria. Commercial plant protection products containing one or more active substances are subsequently authorised at Member State level if they satisfy certain conditions. A controversy has emerged since 2015 over the renewal of the approval of glyphosate. One of the active substances ...

In the European Union, plant protection products, often referred to as 'pesticides', are subject to a dual approval process: active substances are approved at European Union (EU) level, provided they meet a number of criteria. Commercial plant protection products containing one or more active substances are subsequently authorised at Member State level if they satisfy certain conditions. A controversy has emerged since 2015 over the renewal of the approval of glyphosate. One of the active substances most commonly found in broad-spectrum herbicides in the world, glyphosate is mainly used in agriculture. The controversy started as a result of diverging assessments of its carcinogenicity: the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans, while the European Food Safety Authority found it unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans. The European Chemicals Agency later concluded that glyphosate did not classify as a carcinogen. Several national authorities outside the EU also came to the same conclusion. The European Commission eventually renewed the approval of glyphosate for five years in December 2017. The views of stakeholders and Member States on the topic have been strongly divided. The European Parliament has called for phasing out all uses of glyphosate by the end of 2022. Parliament is expected to vote, in February 2018, on the creation of a special committee on the Union's authorisation procedure for pesticides.

Workshop on "Competition in the Food Retail Sector"

16-05-2016

Competition in the food retail sector is of high importance for European citizens in their daily life. Competition rules are enforced jointly by the European Commission but in practice also to a great deal by the national competition authorities. This workshop aims to give an overview on the current state of play, specific trends or developments and most imminent challenges. It will look i.a. at the following questions: Is competition working effectively? How does the market structure look like? ...

Competition in the food retail sector is of high importance for European citizens in their daily life. Competition rules are enforced jointly by the European Commission but in practice also to a great deal by the national competition authorities. This workshop aims to give an overview on the current state of play, specific trends or developments and most imminent challenges. It will look i.a. at the following questions: Is competition working effectively? How does the market structure look like? How do prices develop from the producer to the shop? And, what are the consequences of further concentration by mergers of supermarkets? This workshop and the respective document were prepared by the Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Externý autor

Paul DOBSON, Elena ARGENTESI, Jacques STEENBERGEN and Philippe CHAUVE

Research for AGRI Committee - Agriculture in Andalusia

15-03-2016

This memo was drawn up for the delegation of the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to Andalusia (Spain) in May 2016. It includes: 1) an introduction, setting out the key political, geographical, climatic and demographic data; 2) a chapter entirely devoted to the EU's and Spain's macro-economic framework; 3) a study of the agri-food sector in Andalusia; 4) the region's environmental challenges; and finally 5) concluding comments on the implementation of EU agricultural ...

This memo was drawn up for the delegation of the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to Andalusia (Spain) in May 2016. It includes: 1) an introduction, setting out the key political, geographical, climatic and demographic data; 2) a chapter entirely devoted to the EU's and Spain's macro-economic framework; 3) a study of the agri-food sector in Andalusia; 4) the region's environmental challenges; and finally 5) concluding comments on the implementation of EU agricultural funds in Andalusia and indications of the new CAP's key regional impacts for the 2014-2020 period, based on the application model adopted by the Spanish authorities.

Unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain

07-09-2015

Unfair trade practices (UTPs) are practices imposed by a stronger party in a contractual relationship that grossly deviate from good commercial conduct and are contrary to good faith and fair dealing. UTPs are present at a national level, but they can also exert a negative impact on developing trade among Member States, which in turn may hinder the development of the internal market.

Unfair trade practices (UTPs) are practices imposed by a stronger party in a contractual relationship that grossly deviate from good commercial conduct and are contrary to good faith and fair dealing. UTPs are present at a national level, but they can also exert a negative impact on developing trade among Member States, which in turn may hinder the development of the internal market.

Unfair Trading Practices in the Business-to-Business Food Supply Chain

14-08-2015

Unfair trade practices imposed by the stronger party to a contract can have a profound impact on the functioning of the market, increasing costs and reducing revenues of the parties that experience them. This background paper reviews unfair trade practices that can appear on any side of the B2B (Business-to-Business ) transaction, in any sector of the market. Recently unfair trading practices have been of particular interest to the EU in relation to food supply chains. Briefing concludes that any ...

Unfair trade practices imposed by the stronger party to a contract can have a profound impact on the functioning of the market, increasing costs and reducing revenues of the parties that experience them. This background paper reviews unfair trade practices that can appear on any side of the B2B (Business-to-Business ) transaction, in any sector of the market. Recently unfair trading practices have been of particular interest to the EU in relation to food supply chains. Briefing concludes that any consideration concerning possible future action in the area of unfair trading practices must consider a number of issues such as: whether or not legislative action is needed, and if so, what scope and form should it take. However, the key element of any action is to ensure its subsequent effective enforcement.

Externý autor

Aneta Wiewiórowska-Domagalska (Osnabrück University, Germany)

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