Copa & Cogeca welcomes support to fight unfair trading practices

Copa & Cogeca welcomed support from EU Farm Ministers for legislation to be introduced on UTPs to strengthen farmers position and ensure a better functioning food supply chain.

In a high-level meeting with the Slovak Presidency in Brussels, Cogeca President Thomas Magnusson said “We fully support your calls to have an EU wide legislative solution to tackle unfair trading practices in the food chain. This is an area where we clearly need EU solutions for an EU wide problem. Farmers have a very weak position in the EU food chain which makes them vulnerable to practices that are not fair nor ethical. We find it unacceptable that these practices bring about financial gain for some and that no sanctions exist to curb their use. Consumers also do not see the benefits of the lower prices that are paid to producers in the shops”.

“Like the Slovak Presidency, we have consequently been pressing for an EU framework legislation to prevent UTPs coupled with an effective enforcement mechanism so that operators are sanctioned when they do not comply with EU law. An independent third party ombudsman must be able to apply sanctions whenever there is non-compliance.” Legislation was recommended by the EU Agri Markets Task Force led by Cees Veerman and included in the Slovak Presidency conclusions”, he stressed.

“Cooperatives can also help to improve farmers positioning in the food chain by helping them to market and get a better price for their produce”, he added.

Copa & Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen went on to welcome opposition from some Ministers to EU Commission plans to cut by almost half the targets for conventional biofuels used in transport by nearly half by 2030. “The gradual phasing out of conventional biofuels will have a negative effect on the EU agricultural markets especially on the oilseeds sector and on the EU’s domestic supply of animal feed and protein-rich by-products. This is because only a part of the rapeseed, wheat, maize and sugar beet is used to produce biodiesel or bioethanol. The rest is used for feed. Current EU biofuels policy has actually enabled the EU to increases its own supply of protein crops and it gives farmers another source of revenue. We consequently urge the EU to ensure that the limit is kept at least at 7% until 2030 for conventional biofuels with a review clause in 2025. Farmers need a viable option to continue their work”.

Mr Pesonen went on to refer to biomass fuels from sustainable forest biomass in the proposal, saying that account needs must be taken of efforts made by forest owners to ensure the sustainable management of forests in a holistic manner. “The new requirements for a risk based approach should be implemented at national level. This should a take into account existing laws and systems in place that guarantee sustainable production of forest biomass. Its implementation should not create red tape for Member States or beneficiaries. We need to ensure that the forest sector will be able to continue to contribute to the further development of the bioeconomy in the EU, to tackle climate change and to ensure viable and sustainable rural areas”, he said.

For more information:
Copa Cogeca
www.copa-cogeca.eu

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