The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to pass a new set of rules on unfair trading practices (UTPs).

The rules will cover agricultural and food products, and will apply to anyone involved in the food industry from retailers to co-operatives.

“Today's vote is fundamentally about fairness for farmers in the food supply chain,” Commissioner Hogan said.

UTPs that will be banned include:

  • Late payments for perishable food products.
  • Last-minute order cancellations.
  • Unilateral or retroactive changes to contracts.
  • Forcing the supplier to pay for wasted products and refusing written contracts.
  • Ireland

    The formal adoption of the UTP rules has been welcomed by Mairead McGuinness MEP and first vice-president of the European Parliament.

    She stated that the directive has to be adopted into Irish law within 24 months but highlighted concerns that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has about the directive.

    “The CCPC oversees the Grocery Goods Regulations 2016 in Ireland. It has raised concerns about its ability to implement and enforce this directive”, McGuinness said.

    The CCPC has called for a separate regulator and McGuinness said work is ongoing between both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Business on the issue.

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