Initial responses to the European Commission’s public consultation on how to make the EU food supply chain fairer suggest that, bar retailers, the majority of significant stakeholders (including Member States, farmer groups, agricultural organizations and NGOs) are in favor of action at EU level to increase fairness and balance in the food supply chain.

The EU-wide consultation has so far received record numbers of contributions. It was prompted by concerns that differences in bargaining power between farmers and SMEs and their economically stronger commercial partners has resulted in unfairness and unequal distribution of value across the chain.

The consultation follows the Agricultural Markets Task Force, set up by Commissioner Hogan last January, and seeks input on the necessity and expediency of measures to address the current imbalance. Views are also sought on ways to improve market transparency across the food supply chain and the potential use of value sharing agreements, already used in sectors such as sugar, to ensure that bonuses and losses resulting from evolutions in market prices are shared.

The on-going consultation ends on 17 November 2017. The full consultation document is available here.

This post originally appeared on Hogan Lovells Focus on Regulation blog.

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Photo of Richard Welfare Richard Welfare

Richard Welfare focuses on regulatory compliance work within the Commercial Law practice area.  Richard works with manufacturing companies to ensure that they comply with legislation and regulatory frameworks, including requirements governing product composition, labeling, packaging and claims, rules relating to advertising and marketing campaigns and other key considerations when launching a product in the EU/UK. Richard has helped clients resolve issues with UK enforcement authorities, including Trading Standards, the ASA (Advertising), MHRA (Medical Devices) and the FSA (Food).

Richard has worked with in-house counsel and corporate affairs teams to design and implement public affairs programs and targeted communication strategies, and has worked with companies to design safety programs, following safety or product quality crises.

Richard advises clients on the contracting arrangements, providing commercial support to in-house teams. He works on a variety of contracts including those for supply, co-manufacturing, distribution, logistics, warehousing, agency and general trading terms. Richard also represents companies in the appointment of celebrities for advertising or endorsement campaigns and major sponsorship opportunities.

Photo of Helen Kimberley Helen Kimberley

As a senior associate in our Commercial and Regulatory team, Helen Kimberley helps clients manage their businesses. She is experienced in advising on and documenting complex commercial arrangements such as strategic alliances and transitional arrangements. She also deals with everyday arrangements that keep businesses running from supply and distribution to endorsement agreements and standard terms and conditions.

Helen’s practice focuses on life sciences, communications, food and retail industries. She understands the regulated environment in which her clients operate and is able to advise on both business to business and business to consumer arrangements.