The Governance Group of the Supply Chain Initiative (SCI) is proud to announce the appointment of Michael Hutchings as its Independent Chair. This is a decisive step in strengthening the governance and impartiality of the Initiative, following up on a commitment made at the High-Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain last year. Mr Hutchings will bring enhanced impartiality and a keen eye to the work of the Initiative. He will help strengthen the dispute resolution mechanism, to make it work even better for all players in the supply chain.
Today, at EuroCommerce’s annual SME Day, retail and wholesale entrepreneurs shared their experiences of doing business in a tough trading environment. They showed how they were equipping themselves and their people to face and take advantage of the digital challenge. They called on EU decision-makers to support them in taking advantage of the digital revolution; digital skills are in short supply in the whole economy, and smaller traders lack the time to find them, and the resources to build digital expertise.
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Wholesalers are essential players in the value chain of many sectors. With technological developments, in particular digital, and other external factors, B2B traders and service companies have had to re-examine their role and business models. Digital technology is transforming wholesale as it does other sectors of the economy, and new skills are needed to meet this challenge to contribute to a competitive EU economy.
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Reacting to the announcement in the Commission work programme for 2018 on legislation on practices in the supply chain EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said today:
"We are surprised that the Commission decided in its work programme to announce a decision to move ahead with legislation on the food supply chain. A stakeholder consultation due to feed into an Impact Assessment is currently seeking views on exactly this point until mid-November. This is surely jumping the gun on an important issue where hitherto the Commission has failed to produce any concrete evidence of a problem or how EU legislation can help any farmer improve his income."
EuroCommerce Narrative on Retail and Wholesale in a changing world…
The world is changing rapidly. Retailers and wholesalers have repeatedly shown how resilient and adaptive they are, and are moving ahead with embracing this change, providing value to customers, suppliers, and society at large. This great story is worth telling – both to the sector and to the wider world. And the story needs to say clearly what we want from the EU and from national governments to make our sector sustainably competitive.
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Speaking along with leading legal experts, politicians, and judges at the conference marking the 25th anniversary of the Academy of European Law (ERA) in Trier, Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce made a strong plea for a proactive approach to enforcing EU law.
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SMEs make up the bulk of companies in Europe. Over 90% companies in retail and wholesale; are microbusinesses. The same applies to the hospitality industry.
Speaking today at the General Assembly of HOTREC, the European association of Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren set out his vision for future policy for SMEs in Europe.