- A level playing field
- Imbalances in the food supply chain
- Consumer accessibility to goods and services
- Role of private labels
Most consumer co-operatives operate food stores and are naturally impacted by EU policies targeting enterprises and the retail sector. With the annual turnover of our members totalling € 74 billion, Euro Coop follows issues that will influence co-operative business now and in the future, such as a level playing field for all enterprises, imbalances in the food supply chain, consumer accessibility to goods and services and the role of private labels.
A level playing field for all types of enterprises is necessary for a fair European market.
Euro Coop believes that:
- Legislation should account for the specificities of social economy organisations like co-operatives.
- Social economy organisations should be granted an adapted application of rules for taxation, bookkeeping, finances and competition, given their contributions to society.
The food prices crisis in the European Union has shed light on imbalances in the food supply chain. Euro Coop encourages European action on this issue and increased collaboration with all the actors of the food chain on possible solutions.
We believe that:
- Responsibility for the significant inflation of food prices should not fall automatically on retailers; the whole supply chain should be analysed.
- Unfair competition practices should be strictly penalised.
- The diversity of retail actors (large v. small, private v. co-operative) should be recognised.
- Regulations on store opening hours and urban planning should reflect social and environmental interests, which are best assessed at the local level.
- The European Union should recognise the ability of private labels to respond to consumer needs, promote sustainable production, support local and regional suppliers, boost innovation and decrease food prices.
- Speculation on food markets should be strictly regulated.
- A fairer and more balanced food supply chain can be achieved through merging the interests of consumers with those of economic actors in a co-operative way.
- Contractual relations between economic actors in the food supply chain need more transparency and equity.
Euro Coop is a member of the European Commission’s High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Supply Chain, and is currently working with other stakeholders to develop ways to implement best practices.
Consumer co-operatives are particularly engaged in guaranteeing all consumers, even those in remote and disadvantaged areas, access to food and services. Euro Coop, along with the other European retail associations, is collaborating with the European Commission on a European Retail Action Plan to improve the functioning of the retail market.
So-called “own brands” turn the consumer-focused principles behind consumer co-operatives into tangible products. Private labels favour local production and a diversity of food choices for consumers. Euro Coop monitors legislation affecting own brands and promotes their fair quality-price model.
For more information, please contact:
+32 2 285 00 74