EU – The European Commission has proposed to increase price transparency in what it says would help promote fairness in the food supply chain.

The proposal seeks to introduce better ways to enhance transparency in the way prices are reported throughout the chain.

The draft regulations will make available crucial information on how prices are determined as agri-food products move along the food supply chain.

The proposed measures will cover the meat, eggs, dairy, fruit and vegetables, arable crops, sugar, and olive oil sectors.

They complement existing data collection systems and procedures provided by the commission for member states.

Each Member State will be responsible for the collection of price and market data and pass it on to the commission which will be responsible for making monitoring available on its agri-food data portal and EU market observatories.

According to the commission, buying and selling price differences can provide information about intermediary costs (such as transport, insurance, storage, etc.) between seller and buyer.

Greater transparency can support better business decisions and improve trust in fair dealing between the stages in the food supply chain while, access to timely and easily accessible information about market developments can promote effective competition in global markets.

“Strengthening the position of farmers in the food supply chain has been a priority for the Commission,” said Agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan.

“Enhancing market transparency will allow equal access to and greater clarity about price information, making our food chain fairer and better balanced.

“These new rules will complement the recently adopted directive banning unfair trading practices in empowering weaker and smaller actors of the food supply chain and their introduction reflects the very significant public support that there is throughout the EU to strengthen the role of farmer in the food supply chain.”

The information that can be made available include prices, volumes of production, stocks covering the entire value chain from farmers, food processing, retail to consumers.

Lack of information on market developments is blamed for putting farmers at a significant disadvantage, eroding trust even between retailers and processors.

The proposal is published for a 4-weeks’ public consultation period and expected to be effective six months after its adoption.