The resolution voted on 19 January by the European Parliament (EP) on the imbalances of the food chain takes a unilateral approach to the question of (un)fair relationships among food operators and seriously undermines the work done so far by the actors of the food chain, including Euro Coop, the European Community of Consumer Co-operatives.
“The resolution looks at the problems in the food chain from the perspective of a single sector, attributing its malfunctioning to only one sector – retail – without recognising that imbalances may exist at all stages and among all actors of the food chain or, for example, the role of consumer co-operatives as ethical retailers”, said Rodrigo Gouveia, Secretary General of Euro Coop.
Euro Coop underlines that those practices wrongly identified as “unfair” in the report may occur all along the food chain and a deeper analysis of relationships among all actors is needed.
In fact, those “practices” or instruments are in many cases considered fair and balanced by all operators involved.
Creating such a list without any context is simplistic and not helpful for the work in progress.
Euro Coop calls on the European Parliament to take into account the results achieved to date by a constructive dialogue and co-operation among the food chain stakeholders through the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain, which produced a set of principles of good practices in vertical relations.
This document also contains examples of fair and unfair practices commonly agreed by all operators in the food chain.
Euro Coop, with other stakeholders, is continuing its efforts to guarantee a framework for the implementation and enforcement of these principles, though the resolution adopted by the EP negatively affects this process.