Interne Markt, Industrie, Ondernemerschap en Midden- en Kleinbedrijf

Unfair trade practices

Unfair trade practices

New legislation on unfair trading practices

On 17 April 2019, Directive (EU) 2019/633 on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain was adopted. The directive contains new rules that ban for the first time certain unfair trading practices (UTPs) imposed unilaterally by 1 trading partner on another. The rules will improve the position of businesses and farmers in the food supply chain,

A brochure on the directive on UTPs in the agricultural and food supply chain contains further information.

Commission report on UTPs in the food supply chain

On 29 January 2016 the Commission adopted a report on unfair business-to-business trading practices in the food supply chain. The report is a follow-up to the communication of July 2014 (see below). It has 2 main elements

  • an assessment of the existing regulatory frameworks tackling UTPs in EU countries
  • an assessment of the voluntary 'Supply Chain Initiative' identifying concrete areas for potential improvement

Communication on UTPs in the business-to-business food supply chain

To improve the protection of small food producers and retailers against the potentially unfair practices of their sometimes much stronger trading partners, the Commission adopted the communication, 'Tackling unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain' in July 2014. The main pillars of the communication are

  • support of voluntary initiatives such as the Supply Chain Initiative
  • EU-wide standards for good practice principles
  • effective enforcement at national level

More information

Green paper on UTPs in Europe

The communication on UTPs was preceded by a green paper. A public consultation on the green paper was open from January 2013 - April 2013. It aimed to identify the main problems and to propose next steps in addressing UTPs.