This report examines the pending Proposal for a directive on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the food supply chain, and its proposed amendments. It provides a general overview of the current content of the Proposal and analyses the proposed rules from a legal perspective. We find that: (1) the CAP legal basis may prove insufficient for regulation that covers the entire agri-food chain; and may (2) result in a strained relationship with the competition and consumer acquis; (3) the empirical basis for the prevalence of unfair trading practices, and the effect of their prohibition is relatively dire, which results in uncertainty with regard to the achievement of the future UTPD’s intended effect and effectiveness; (4) the choice for specific targeted prohibitions instead of general umbrella clauses may lead to ad hoc regulation that leaves large loopholes; (5) the institutional enforcement mechanism makes it likely that the Proposal contributes to the foundation for a new area of EU law, which will increasingly regulate practices in business-to-business relationships.
Schebesta, H., Verdonk, T., Purnhagen, K., & Keirsbilck, B. (2018). Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain: Regulating Right? European Journal of Risk Regulation, 9(4), 690-700. https://doi.org/10.1017/err.2019.2