EU Supermarkets In The Dock - MEPS Demand Action

19 February 2008
The European Parliament has today started the process towards calling the supermarkets of the EU to account over their actions.

It has passed a Written Declaration calling for a full Commission investigation with a view to regulation of the pricing policies of supermarkets and their effect upon the supply chain.

Scotland's only full member of the Parliament's Agriculture Committee, Mr Alyn Smith, one of the early signatories to the Declaration said:

"This is good news for Scotland's farmers, coming as it does after last week's announcement that the UK authorities are to act too, and not before time.

"The actions of the supermarkets have been causing concern for long enough, and the position that supermarkets play in the supply chain is not a healthy one. The UK is particularly afflicted by the position of the big four supermarkets but this is an EU-wide problem and the Commission will now be obliged to act by our move today.

"Several issues to do with supermarkets have crossed my desk, from their actions in making producers pay for marketing campaigns to flat refusal to stock local produce. It was these concerns that spurred me into so vociferously supporting Scotland's farmers' markets and food co-operatives as I want to see these built up as an alternative to the supermarkets and as a real alternative to the food served up to many of our most vulnerable citizens.

"Today shows that the European Parliament is sensitive to these issues, and we want to see action from the member state governments and from the Commission. After today's passing of the Declaration they are now obliged to do so."