According to the rapporteur, an “unfair trading practice” should be defined as the action of subjecting or trying to subject a trading partner to obligations, which would create an imbalance between their rights and obligations.

Within this context, the opinion seeks to ensure that mechanisms to safeguard farmers’ incomes are significantly strengthened in order to reduce the negative impact of the high volatility of agricultural product prices and preserve vibrant rural communities. Moreover and in view of the internationalisation of companies, particularly in the agricultural sector, the rapporteur recommends that transactions involving suppliers/buyers based in third countries should also be included in the proposals to combat unfair trading practices. This would reduce the likelihood of SMEs buying outside the EU and better guarantee the protection of EU companies that sell to foreign buyers. He concludes by highlighting the following measures that should also be ensured alongside the directive: making contractualisation attractive for producers, by ensuring that contracts take into account agricultural production costs when setting prices; introducing additional measures on price transparency; tackling the over-concentration of the distribution, agri-food and agri-supply sectors and developing fairer international trade relations in agriculture, as advocated in the opinion on the post-2020 CAP.

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