EU process on Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) must not forget about non-EU producers

Nathalie Bertrams

On 20 June Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan announced an Incept Impact Assessment as the first step of a possible legislative process on Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs). Under the better regulation guidelines this will take 12 weeks and will then be followed by a 12 weeks public consultation, resulting in a possible legislative draft to be expected in the first half of 2018. This announcement follows last year’s report of the European Parliament that called for EU action after years continued delays on this file.

The Fair Trade movement welcomes that the EC is looking at tackling the issue of power in groceries supply chains. To effectively combat UTPs the Fair Trade movement continues its call for fair and credible enforcement from member states that is coordinated at the EU-level. Pivotal for the creation of a level playing field in any new legislation is the inclusion of non-EU producers exporting into the EU under the scope. As proven in many case studies (e.g. for bananas, green beans, mango, cashew, etc.) UTPs in supply chains into the EU negatively impact producers in the Global South and thereby jeopardize the EU’s development efforts and SDG commitments.