“Cooperatives working together towards a fair and competitive food supply chain” organised by Cogeca and Euro Coop

Tuesday, 24 April

At the high level conference “Cooperatives Working Towards a Fair and Competitive Food Supply Chain” organised by Cogeca and Euro Coop on 24 April 2012 in the framework of the Co-operative Week in Brussels, participants highlighted the benefits of the set of fair practices recently agreed to by all actors along the food chain, including farmers, agri-cooperatives, traders, food industry, consumer co-operatives and other retailers. They also emphasised the other contributions co-operatives make to build a better functioning food supply chain. The move came during Co-operative Week, and celebrates the United Nations 2012 International Year of Co-operatives.

The set of good practices aims to fight against unfair and abusive practices along the food chain and represents a major achievement for the EU agri-food sector. As enterprises guided by a set of ethics-based principles, agri-cooperatives and consumer co-operatives are inherently responsible actors that champion fair relations. A framework to ensure that rules are properly implemented and enforced and disputes are solved when principles are not applied is currently being negotiated.

Speaking at the event, Cogeca President Paolo Bruni stressed, “Agri-cooperatives play a crucial role in the market place. They enable farmers to join forces to market their produce; add value to produce and get a better return from the market; help protect farmers against risks and help ensure product development through research and innovation, which is more important than ever given the current economic climate. I am pleased all actors along the food chain agreed on this set of principles and I can only stress the importance of the work that Cogeca, Euro Coop and other European stakeholders, members of the High Level Forum for a better functioning food supply chain, are carrying out to agree on a voluntary approach to improve commercial practices. On another note and in a bid to promote and stimulate innovation, Cogeca will also be presenting on June 20 2012 the European Award for Co-operative Innovation”.

Aldo Soldi, President of Euro Coop, said, “As retailers owned by their consumer-members and representatives of the co-operative movement, consumer co-operatives have an important role to play in ensuring the fairness, balance and sustainability of the food supply chain in Europe. Co-operative retailers indeed privilege long-term partnerships with their suppliers and seek out opportunities to work with local, small-scale producers. We believe that only a logic of collaboration and mutual understanding can lead to a balanced and transparent food supply chain able to best answer consumers’ needs.”


For more information:

Fran McCrae, Communications Officer, Euro Coop, +32 2 285 00 76, [email protected]
Amanda Cheesley, Press Officer, Cogeca, +32 474 840 836, [email protected]


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