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Czech Republic : Agriculture Minister Milek acted in Paris with his French counterpart Travert on unfair business practices.

Fair functioning of the common market, the position of farmers in the food chain in the context of unfair commercial practices, dual quality of food or the future shape of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). These topics were discussed by Agriculture Minister George Milko and French Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Stphane Travert in Paris.

"Unfair commercial practices are damaging the weakest members in the food chain, ie farmers and food processors. What the European Commission has so far presented in this respect is not enough to me. Negotiations between processors and business chains are often a dictate of business terms and contract drafts by the buyer. Under such conditions, our farmers and food businessmen can not do business for a long time. That is why I want to appeal in particular to the rules of fair pricing and margins throughout the food chain. I want to make sure that Czech farmers and food producers are valued accordingly, because they come from food that is crucial for us, " said Agriculture Minister Ji? Milek.

Of the four options for improving the functioning of the food chain presented by the European Commission (EC), the Czech Republic has supported the one that promises flexibility to Member States in introducing unfair commercial practices. The evaluated proposal promises the EC to submit this April or May. The position of the Czech Republic is unchanged for a long time and results from a document prepared by the Czech Republic together with other states and submitted in March 2017 to the Council of Ministers. The paper lists practices that EU legislation should prohibit and other measures such as monitoring production prices or the possibility of pooling producers. This document was supported by 11 Member States.

In this connection, Minister Milek, French colleague Travert, informed that the Ministry of Agriculture (MZe) is seeking to include dual quality food in the list of unfair commercial practices. The Czech Republic plans to make further double quality tests on the basis of the unified methodology currently being prepared by the EC.

Ji? Milek, in his meeting with his counterpart Stphane Travert, praised the legislative package proposed by the French government this January and would like to inspire him. Under this legislation, farmers and food businessmen could sell their products with profits, and supermarkets should be required to sell food at a minimum of 10% in order not to sell at lower prices than their production costs. Among other things, the proposal should ensure that at least 50% of the food available in public places, such as schools or hospitals, comes from local production.

As part of the discussion on the future setting of the CAP, Minister Milek once again rejected compulsory payment of direct payments and pointed to the unnecessary administrative burden that this measure would bring. The basic approach in the new period must be to simplify, for example, the sanction and control system.

Ministers discussed agricultural land sales, especially speculative purchases of capital investors. They noted that it is a major issue in both countries that the European Union should address. "If you do not solve this topic, it would make it harder for current and new farmers to access the land, so I will deal with it," said Minister Milek.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:4EXCZ
Date:Feb 24, 2018
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