Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has welcomed the adoption of a report which calls for action to tackle unfair trading practices and increase fairness for farmers and producers in the food supply chain.
The report, drafted by Polish MEP Edward Czesak, was endorsed in a vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week.
Mr Nicholson said: “Tackling the imbalance of power between producers and the large retailers has long been the elephant in the room. It is vital that farmers and growers not only receive a fair return for their produce but that they are also protected from unfair trading practices within the food supply chain.
“Examples of unfair trading practices include late payments and retrospective changes to contracts. Something which I also believe needs to be addressed is the issue of own brand products due to the downward pressure they exert on prices with producers taking the hit.”
The so-called ‘own initiative’ report makes a number of key recommendations. These aim to make the supply chain fairer for farmers and was endorsed by 600 MEPs, with 48 voting against and 24 abstentions.
He concluded: “Producers are the foundation of the entire food supply chain and I welcome that this particular report has been strongly endorsed by MEPs especially given the difficulties being experienced by all sectors of the agricultural industry at this time.”