Improving the functioning of the food supply chain Published on: 29/11/2011
Brussels, 29 November 2011: Business-to-business contractual practices, competitiveness in the agro-food industry and the monitoring of food prices will be the main interest of the 2012 work of the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain. One year after its launch meeting the Forum adopted today its mid-term report.
The Forum welcomed in particular the Principles of Good Practice agreed by eleven organisations of the sector. These principles represent a significant step forward taken by the food supply chain in the fight against unfair practices in business-to-business relationships. Effective implementation and enforcement tools now need to be designed to bring actual improvements on the market. In the spirit of better regulation, the Commission invited the food supply chain representatives to put forward credible implementation options to the Forum by June 2012.
The Forum also highlighted other positive developments, such as the work on corporate responsibility and sustainability agenda in the context of competitiveness.
In a joint statement, European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and fellow commissioners Michel Barnier, John Dalli and Dacian Ciolos said: "We are making good and solid progress. We must now speed up our pace and delivery to fulfil our objectives. The work of this Forum becomes all the more relevant in the current economic context: we need an efficient and competitive food chain, to the benefit of our producers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers."
The aim of the High Level Forum is to assist the Commission with the development of its policies concerning the agro-food sector and to ensure the responsible competitiveness of the whole food supply chain.
The European Commission established the Forum in 2010 (1) (IP/10/1510) to continue and extend the work of the former High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry. The aim of the Forum is to assist the Commission in supporting sustainable competitiveness and growth in the European agro-food supply chain. It also provides advice to the Commission in the implementation of its Communication ‘A better functioning food supply chain in Europe’ (COM(2009)591).
The Forum comprises 45 members representing a number of Member States, European companies dealing with food production, processing or distribution, professional associations and non-governmental organisations representing citizens’ interests.
The Forum is chaired by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani together with his fellow Commissioners Michel Barnier (Internal Market and Services), Dacian Ciolos (Agriculture and Rural Development) and John Dalli (Health and Consumer Policy).
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(1): Commission Decision 2010/C 210/03 (O.J. No. C210 of 3.8.2010 p. 4)