For a new deal in the EU food chain

As soon as the European Commission announced the launching of the Agricultural Markets Task Force, Farm Europe worked actively in order to analyse the best ways to improve the functioning of the EU food chain. We have been working with a wide range of different actors of the EU food chain, in particular in the context of the Global Food Forum, which took place mid-October, gathering more than 200 economic leaders of the EU Food Chain.

The result of this working process has been sent to the Agricultural Market Task Force’s President, Mr Cees Veerman, on  20th October 2016 (Document available here).

Increased price volatility creates a new context for economic operators and calls urgently for a new deal across the food chain, fore and foremost between farmers and food processors, which are at the front line of market disturbance.

A situation where farmers end up being the exclusive shock absorbers for the whole food industry when prices drop – as in the current milk crisis – and food processors being limited in their capacity to maintain their margins when prices are going up, is not sustainable in the long run for the EU agri-food economy. It generates uncertainty, a lack of visibility, and thus threatens the capacity of the whole food chain to invest and prepare future growth.

Therefore, the Agricultural Markets Task Force set up in January 2016 by the European Union is a great opportunity for a new dynamic in the EU food chain. You will find in the report the basic principles we suggest for regulatory changes in order to improve the current situation, with tangible actions when it comes to competition rules.