The Agricultural Markets Taskforce has presented EU farm commissioner Phil Hogan with a new report which has made a number of recommendations to improve the position of farmers in the supply chain.
European agricultural ministers discussed the recommendations this week, which included increasing market transparency through mandatory price reporting; enhancing co-operation among farmers; facilitating farmers’ access to finance; improving the take-up of risk management tools and introducing EU rules to deal with unfair trading practices.
The report was warmly welcomed by farming groups. NFU president Meurig Raymond said some of the proposals could deliver ‘real change’ and called on both the European Commission and the UK Government to act on its recommendations.
He said: “It’s extremely positive that the taskforce has recognised our calls for mandatory price reporting in order to increase market transparency across the supply chain. The NFU has often raised the issue of the ‘black hole’ in market data on the processor-buyer end of the supply chain which stifles trust, collaboration and the development of market risk management tools.”
NFU Scotland food and supply chain manager John Armour added: “The report rightly concludes that the current balance of power in the food supply chain and the lack of bargaining ability possessed by farmers has the potential to damage food security across Europe.
“The recommendation to mandate a framework to link initiatives aimed at preventing unfair trading practices is encouraging and backs up what has already been done in the UK following the establishment of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.”