V4 Farming Chambers Denounce Unfair Food Business Practices to EU

(Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 5 (TASR) – Agrarian chambers from the Visegrad Four (V4) countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) have sent a joint official letter to European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, urging him to deal with what they view as dishonest business practices in the farming and food sector in the EU, Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber (SPPK) spokesperson Jana Holeciova reported on Monday.

Leading officials from the four countries’ agricultural chambers met in Nadarzyn, Poland on June 1-2 to discuss certain dishonest business practices at EU level, including the sale of goods for prices below production costs, prices of goods that don’t reflect transport costs, as well as a low proportion of domestic goods on the shelves of retail outlets in individual countries. Such practices, which have been left untouched long term in the EU, have negative effects on overall business in the sector, fair competition and access for farmers and food processors from the V4 countries to the EU’s single market, said Holeciova.

While the EU still hasn’t unveiled any specific plan for tackling the problem, voluntary codices, recommendations and decisions to leave the market to its own devices have resulted in complete failure, said the SPPK spokesperson.

SPPK chairman Milan Semancik stated in Nadarzyn that Slovakia’s presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2016 presented to the council of agriculture ministers the issue of unfair behaviour by retail chains. “Six months have passed, but we still haven’t seen any specific progress. So, we welcome the Czech side’s draft of a joint letter to European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, defining the common demands of agrarian self-governing bodies of the V4,” added Semancik.