The European Commission has proposed measures to shore up fairness throughout the food supply chain by boosting transparency on food prices.
Information on intermediary costs, including the costs of transport and storage, can be inferred from price differences in the buying and selling of food products. By improving transparency over prices at each stage of the supply chain, it is hoped that greater levels of trust can be achieved between supply chain operators and more effective business decisions will be made possible.
Economic developments in agricultural markets, such as production rates and stock values, are extensively covered; by comparison, little to no data is available on the markets operating between the agricultural stage of food production and the final retail stage. The Commission’s food supply chain transparency proposal aims to ‘unlock’ that data from food processing operators and retailers, building on existing data collection procedures; and will cover the arable crops, dairy, eggs, fruit and vegetables, meat, olive oil and sugar markets. Member States will be responsible for collecting their own data and sharing it with the Commission in a timely manner.
Agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “Strengthening the position of farmers in the food supply chain has been a priority for the Commission. 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.”
The proposed food supply chain transparency measures will by published for a consultation period of four weeks; after which it will be adopted by the European Commission, to enter into force six months after its initial adoption.