Supermarkets to Offer at Least 70 Percent of Croatian Products?

Total Croatia News

Croatian Chamber of Economy is worried about the future of Croatian agricultural production.

The process of adoption of the law on the prohibition of unfair commercial practices, which was expected to be submitted to the parliamentary procedure by the end of last year, has lasted longer than it was expected. However, the Ministry of Agriculture claims that the only reason is that they have received a large number of complaints during the public consultation period. They are now trying to include those proposals which are acceptable and do not undermine the general principles of freedom of trade and competition into the legislative draft, which should be officially proposed to the government by the end of March, reports on February 12, 2017.

“Differences between retail prices of trademarks owned by the supermarkets and brands owned by Croatian producers is currently about 60 percent, which leads to the destruction of local agricultural production. You should reduce the price difference to no more than 30 percent”, suggest association of agriculture and food industry at the Croatian Chamber of Economy. Their other suggestion is that Croatian products should represent at least 70 percent of all products offered in supermarkets.

On the other hand, association of retailers is worried that the present proposal, if adopted, could cause market entropy and lead to unequal position of retailers in relation to manufacturers, suppliers and distributors.

Member of European Parliament Marijana Petir has advocated for the adoption of EU legislation on combating unfair commercial practices which would primarily protect farmers, as the weakest link in the food supply chain, and help consumers know what is it that they are buying. “A voluntary approach to solving this problem has not brought desired results anywhere, except maybe in Belgium, where there is a code of fair relations which was signed in 2010 by all the participants in the supply chain”, she explained.

Germany and Austria are making decisions on a case-by-case basis on whether a stronger entity is abusing its position. Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary also have a sort of black list of unfair practices, while the British, among other things, have a code of conduct for the 10 largest retailers with annual sales of over one billion pounds which encourages them to behave fairly and lawfully towards the producers. “Croatia also needs a detailed law on unfair commercial practices in the supply chain, as well as the defining of share of Croatian goods on supermarket shelves”, concluded Petir.


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