Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for fairer trading practices for food producers.
MEPs have urged the EU Commission to put forward proposals against unfair trading practices in the food supply chain so as to ensure fair earnings for farmers and a wide choice for consumers.
The aim should be to ensure fair and transparent trade relations among food producers, suppliers and distributors. Fair trading should in turn help to prevent overproduction and food waste.
MEPs stress that selling below the cost of production, and the serious misuse of basic agricultural foods such as dairy, fruit and vegetables as “loss leaders” by large-scale retailers, threaten the long-term sustainability of EU production of these items.
Farmers and small and medium businesses are particularly vulnerable to unfair trading practices They are sometimes forced to sell at a loss when price negotiations with a stronger party put them at a disadvantage, e.g. by making them bear the cost of supermarket markdowns and reductions.
Consumers are also disadvantaged, as their choice of products and access to new and innovative goods are limited, MEPs say.