The EU-wide public consultation will run until November and producers across all agricultural sectors are urged to share their views on the functioning of the supply chain –– and how to make it better.
According to the Commission, there are injustices which often lead to EU farmers losing out, struggling or being left in a weak bargaining position.
And Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan wants this to change. He’s asking producers from all members states to point out the flaws and unfair practises which leave them at a disadvantage.
“Farmers are the first link in the chain and without them, there would not be food to process, sell and consume,” he says.
“However, we notice that they often remain the weakest link. It is to address the shortcomings in the food supply chain that we are leading the way to act, in accordance with the Commission’s longstanding position to stand by European farmers.
“I encourage all EU citizens, farmers, stakeholders to share their views with us through this online consultation.”
By gathering the input of producers, the Commission is better positioned to assess what measures need to be taken at EU level and whether or not regulation is necessary to combat unfair trading processes and systems concerning agri-food products.
It says there are indications that the added value in the food supply chain is not adequately distributed across all levels. This could be because of the differences in bargaining power between smaller, and often more vulnerable, operators including farmers and small businesses, and their economically stronger and highly concentrated commercial partners.
The Commission also wants to assess the level of market transparency across the chain.
The consultation follows the Agricultural Markets Task Force (AMTF), which was set up by Commissioner Hogan last January. The AMTF put forward several measures
to strengthen the position of farmers in the food supply chain and the consultation will build on this work to inform the Commission’s potential future work.