Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Externalising the cost of food

Press release from Keith Taylor below which talks about the externalisation (read exploitation) of the cost of food production. In driving down costs we might end up with fatory farming, using cheap migrant labour or importing food from farms with very poor working practices. Food is not cheap but requires effort - sadly some in our society value X-Factor and mini breaks in Italy above ethical food production. 


– MEPs vote for action on price transparency and a fairer deal for farmers

The Green Euro-MP for the South East today welcomed a move by fellow MEPs to tackle the uncompetitive and harmful practices of dominant food retailers which often mean unfair returns for producers – and poor price transparency for consumers (1).

MEPs in Strasbourg approved a report by the French Green MEP José Bové containing ideas on how to rework the food supply chain, in order to improve the position of both producers and citizens throughout the EU. 

Proposals include: legislation to enforce fair competition, with penalties and a complaint mechanism; proposals to limit dominant market positions at all stages of the supply chain; "naming and shaming" companies committing unfair practices; increased price transparency; measures to improve the bargaining positions of farmers, and a new investigation into food wastage.

Keith Taylor MEP, who recently co-chaired his first meeting of the ‘Fair Play: Retailer and the Food Supply Chain’ working group in the Parliament, said:

“This is an important step towards better controls over exploitation in, and by, the retail sector. It will help prevent larger food retailers and processors using their buying-power to bully producers into selling at ‘less than cost’ prices, and will also encourage greater transparency about retailers' profit margins.
"For too long, farm gate prices have been driven down, yet those savings rarely get passed on to consumers. There is no such thing as cheap food - either someone else is paying the true cost, or the environment has been degraded to produce it.”


Notes to Editors


No comments: