Italian MEP Paolo De Castro has presented his draft report on the proposed Directive to fight unfair trading practices in the food supply chain to members of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

AIM, Copa and Cogeca, Fair Trade Advocacy Office and FoodDrinkEurope have welcomed De Castro’s work on this important topic and his willingness to combat unfair trading practices along the entire food chain.

AIM is the European Brands Association. It represents brand manufacturers in Europe on key issues which affect their ability to design, distribute and market their brands.

Copa and Cogeca represent the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU.

Together, they ensure that EU agriculture is sustainable, innovative and competitive, guaranteeing food security to half a billion people throughout Europe.

Copa represents over 23 million farmers and their families whilst Cogeca represents the interests of 22,000 agricultural cooperatives.

As a joint initiative of Fairtrade International, the World Fair Trade Organization and the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office leads the Fair Trade movement political advocacy at European Union level and contributes to the strengthening of the political advocacy capacities of the global Fair Trade movement.

FoodDrinkEurope is the organisation of Europe’s food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector and leading employer in the EU.

In particular, the signatories very much supported the extension of the scope proposed by De Castro, as all businesses along the food chain must be protected from unfair trading practices.

This will align the proposed Directive with the legal frameworks already in place in 20 Member States. In addition, the coverage of all agricultural and food products is a step in the right direction.

Furthermore, the signatories support any efforts to ensure that the Directive leads to an effective cooperation between enforcement authorities especially when addressing transnational unfair trading practices.

A Copa and Cogeca spokesperson said: “We call upon Members of the European Parliament to work jointly with the Council to strengthen the Commission’s proposal with the objective of creating a minimum harmonised framework at EU level to the benefit of all businesses and consumers.”