Calls for greater EU efforts to protect farmers against price volatility

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has called for the EU to do more to safeguard farmers’ incomes. The committee has made recommendations to protect against the high volatility […]
Wed 18/07/2018

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has called for the EU to do more to safeguard farmers’ incomes. The committee has made recommendations to protect against the high volatility of agricultural product prices and preserve rural communities.

The CoR recommends in particular that the directive’s scope be broadened and the list of prohibited unfair practices be extended to all actors in the food chain. It also proposes including a prohibition in principle of unfair trading practices to respond to possible future abusive practices. Although the CoR welcomes the initiative by the European Commission to introduce European legislation to combat unfair trading practices, it nevertheless believes that this directive will not be enough unless the overall framework is changed.

Given this state of affairs, rapporteur-general Jacques Blanc said, “It will also be necessary to make contractualisation attractive for producers, to introduce additional measures on price transparency, tackle over-concentration of the distribution, agri-food and agri-supply sectors, and develop fairer international trade relations in agriculture.”

Farmers’ incomes are today 40% lower than the average salary. The value of an agricultural product is currently shared out as follows: the farmer receives an average of 21%, the processor 28% and the distributor 51%. Local leaders are convinced that action is needed to reverse this trend and increase the value to agriculture of household food expenditure, as recommended in the CoR opinion on the post-2020 CAP.