Now is the time for a supply chain that works for everyone - particularly consumers | RetailDetail

Now is the time for a supply chain that works for everyone - particularly consumers

Now is the time for a supply chain that works for everyone - particularly consumers
© Shutterstock

(Content provided by EuroCommerce) EuroCommerce, grouping retail organisations from 31 European countries, has set out its vision of the supply chain following a statement by the representatives of producers, processors and big, global brands. 


Disturbing the balance?

“We agree fully with the objective of a fair, transparent, sustainable food supply chain that benefits all actors, including consumers. Where we differ from the organisations claiming to promote this, is how to achieve it: to benefit farmers and SMEs, we need structural measures to make them more competitive and able to adapt to rapid changes in consumer demand. EU regulation aimed at outlawing certain trading practices will do nothing for farmers or SME suppliers. Such regulation will reduce competition, with the consumer paying even more for their food, to the benefit of large manufacturers whose net margins dwarf those of any other part of the supply chain.”


Retailers and wholesalers buy most of what they sell from large food processors, and negotiate hard with these to get the best deal for consumers. These companies enjoy large net margins of typically 15-30%, while food retailers struggle to achieve net margins of more than 1-3% in the face of fierce of competition, which e-commerce has intensified. Retailers remain dependent on these companies for must-have products which consumers expect to find on the shelves. By interfering in these negotiations, the regulator risks skewing the relationship to the benefit of large manufacturers. Retailers will not have the scope to absorb the price rises which will result, and consumers will end up footing the bill.


There is already a vast amount of legislation and well-functioning voluntary schemes at Member State level and there is no hard evidence of any added-value from EU intervention. It will only create costs, and force unnecessary legislation on countries where the supply chain already works efficiently to everyone’s benefit. It will create fragmentation if it leaves it to each country to top up EU regulation with its own requirements.


Retailers and wholesalers depend on smaller food producers and farmers to provide, for example, speciality products to allow retailers to differentiate from their competitors. They therefore have a real interest in these suppliers thriving and being able to innovate – and certainly not in imposing conditions which cause these producers problems.


EuroCommerce's director Christian Verschueren added: “We know that the Commission is not seeking to bolster the profits of large manufacturers at the expense of consumers. We call instead on the Commission to create a wider debate and dialogue with all stakeholders on measures to equip farmers and SMEs with the tools to help them respond to changes in the market and produce a variety of food products which consumers want and are ready to pay for.”

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors

Gerelateerde items

Régis Degelcke new EuroCommerce president


Régis Degelcke is the new president of EuroCommerce. The chairman of Auchan will start his three-year mandate in July.

Tom&Co eyes 100 French stores


Belgian pet shop chain Tom&Co continues its expansion in France with the opening of its 25th French store in Nantes. With a new concept, the chain hopes to be able to quickly expand to 100 stores in France.

France wants e-commerce tax


If the French government get their way, the Hexagon will soon introduce a tax on e-commerce. Products would become 1 to 2 % more expensive, depending on the distance of the last delivery.

Toy store chain La Grande Récré pulls plug on Belgium


French toy store chain La Grande Récré has decided to focus on the French market and to close its Belgian branch, due to continuing financial difficulties. 16 stores will close, causing a job loss of 95.

Join us for Europe’s largest retail and e-retail event!


(advertorial) The fourth edition of Paris Retail Week will take place September 10 – 12, 2018 in Pavilion 1 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. For three days, Paris will be the capital of experiential and connected commerce, bringing together 800 participating companies and 40,000 retail and e-commerce professionals.

Karstadt aims to reinvent department stores in Berlin


German department store chain Karstadt is to open two stores in Berlin, that aim to reinvent themselves as a "networked marketplace". It will be the first new Karstadt department stores in the German capital for thirty years.