The clock is ticking: two Months Left to transpose the EU Unfair Trading Practices Directive

On Monday 1 March, The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) along with 13 civil society organisations and trade unions, has published a joint statement on the transposition of the EU Directive on Unfair Trading Practices (UTP) in the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain. Only two months are left before the deadline for EU Member States to transpose these EU rules. The Statement calls for ambitious national laws transposing the Directive in every single EU Member State.

Back in 2019, the EU adopted the Directive 2019/633 on Unfair Trading Practices with a view to address systemic abuses small suppliers are facing worldwide, due to exacerbated power imbalance between actors along agri-food supply chains.

By the 1st May 2021, the EU Member States are required to transpose the Directive. The UTP Directive bans a set of 10 trading practices – black practices – that will no longer be allowed under any circumstance, and 6 additional ones – grey practices – which shall only be allowed when explicitly mentioned in a written contract.

While the Directive sets minimum requirements, it is possible for Member States to transpose it in a way that offers suppliers additional protection against unfair trading practices. The signatories of the Statement call on EU Member States to do so in an ambitious way that not only complies with these requirements but goes one step ahead. This can mean, for example, expand the list of forbidden UTPs or decide to forbid buying below production costs.

While some EU Member States, such as Spain, Italy or Germany, have already taken important steps in the right direction and presented strong draft laws with innovative solutions to protect and offer additional rights to agri-food suppliers, others still have a long way to go to comply with their legal obligations. The joint statement offers therefore to recalcitrant Member States a great opportunity to get inspired and learn from best practices across the EU.

Discover the Joint Statement here.  

Further reading on our work on Unfair Trading Practices can be found here