Increase food supply chain price transparency, says EC

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
28 May 2019

The European Commission (EC) is proposing measures to increase price transparency throughout agricultural supply chains.

The EC said there was a large amount of data covering areas such as prices, stocks and production volumes but “almost no market information about other key markets in the agri-food supply chain, namely those that operate between farmers and consumers at the food processing and the retail level”.

The EC is proposing a regulation that will require member states to build on, and widen the scope of, existing data collection systems and procedures. This data will be collected and made available by the EC.

The measures will cover meat, eggs, dairy, fruit and vegetables, arable crops, sugar, and olive oil.

The EC said the lack of information from processors and retailers was known as the “black box” of the agri-food supply chain and its proposal “unlocks that box”.

“Asymmetry of information between farmers and the other actors in the food supply chain puts farmers at a significant disadvantage in the market and erodes trust in fair dealing,” said the EC.

In 2017 the EC launched a public consultation on how to improve fairness in food supply chains amid concerns added value in the supply chain was not distributed fairly.

Phil Hogan, agriculture and rural development commissioner, said: “Enhancing market transparency will allow equal access to and greater clarity about price information, making our food chain fairer and better balanced.

“These new rules will complement the recently adopted directive banning unfair trading practices in empowering weaker and smaller actors of the food supply chain and their introduction reflects the very significant public support that there is throughout the EU to strengthen the role of farmer in the food supply chain.”

Following a four-week consultation, the proposals will be adopted by the EC and then come into force six months later.

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