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The EC said there had been indications that the added value in the food supply chain was not being adequately distributed across all levels of the chain because of the differences in bargaining power between smaller businesses and their economically stronger commercial partners.
Phil Hogan, agriculture and rural development commissioner, said producers across all agricultural sectors in the EU would be invited to point out the flaws and unfair practices which leave them at a disadvantage.
“Farmers are the first link in the chain and without them, there would not be food to process, sell and consume,” he said. “However, we notice that they often remain the weakest link and it is to address the shortcomings in the food supply chain that we are leading the way to act, in accordance with the Commission’s longstanding position to stand by European farmers.”
The 12-week online consultation follows the EC’s publication of an Inception Impact Assessment last month, which set out a series of objectives and policy options for enhancing the functioning of the EU food supply chain — which employs over 44 million people.
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