The European Parliament Environment Committee voted today to amend the Commission’s proposal on the reduction of the impact of plastics on the environment. This proposal aims to prevent littering from 10 single-use plastic products frequently found on Europe’s beaches.
Speaking after the vote in the European Parliament AGRI committee this evening, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren warned that the debate and vote in the Parliament has moved the discussion towards a witch hunt against retailers and wholesalers:
“The Commission put forward a proposal aimed at protecting farmers and SME processors. In the course of parliamentary discussions, driven by slogans such as ‘Fairness for all’, the directive as amended protects big food multinationals, and the debate has turned into a targeted and direct attack on legitimate negotiations between retailers and suppliers”.
Retail and wholesale CEOs warn of the danger of favouring powerful multinational food processors in UTP legislationRead more
The CEOs of 22 leading retailers and wholesalers across Europe have written to the Chair of the EU Agriculture Council, Mrs Elisabeth Köstinger to express their intense concern at the idea currently being promoted by powerful multinational food processors that they need protection against retailers, in the UTPs directive currently under consideration by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. They question both the legality and the economic consequences for consumers, farmers, and small-and-medium enterprises, of giving one powerful set of players even more power. They ask Mrs Köstinger to seek a formal opinion from the Council Legal Service on the legality of such extended protection.
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Speaking after today’s vote at the EP Plenary on the own-initiative report by Mark Demesmaeker MEP (ECR, BE) on the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren repeated the retail and wholesale sector’s commitment to creating a circular economy, but highlighted the need for a proper focus in the draft legislation the Commission has now proposed.
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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The SCA and Agriculture Council will be asked over the coming weeks to decide on a set of amendments presently being rushed through the institutional process, the most fundamental of which is to give large manufacturers, who operate all over the world, the same protection as small farmers and SMEs.
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Speaking at a conference organised today by amfori and EuroCommerce on rules of origin, the heads of both associations warned that, unless rules of origin for products were improved, they would continue to discourage European companies, particularly small ones, to take advantage of hard-won concessions in trade agreements. Rules of origin determine the “nationality” of a product. To benefit from global value chains, companies need clear rules, but the complexity of rules of origin – preferential and non-preferential – continues to discourage trade, in particular for SMEs. The often very different rules in each of the many bilateral trade agreements signed in recent years adds to what is already a confusing picture.