(This content was provided by EuroCommerce) For the Supply Chain Initiative, which promotes fair trading practices in business-to-business transactions in the food supply chain, EuroCommerce is looking for an independent chairperson.
Wanted: independent chairperson
EuroCommerce is actively promoting a set of measures to reinforce the effectiveness, expertise and independence of the SCI. As part of this commitment, announced at the EU High Level Forum for a better functioning food supply chain, EuroCommerce and its partners in the SCI are seeking an independent chairperson.
The external, independent chairperson, will oversee the activities of the SCI, including chairing meetings of the SCI Governance Group, addressing complaints, issuing guidance or recommendations on the principles of good practice, and promoting the SCI externally. The independent chairperson will have significant experience and an exceptional track record in adjudication, mediation or arbitration of commercial relations, preferably in the food supply chain.
Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce said: “The independent chairperson is a step change in developing the SCI, and will effectively address some of the concerns we have heard from some stakeholders. As a founding member of the SCI, we are convinced that, in a fast-moving market such as the food supply chain, dialogue and peer pressure are the most effective means of helping companies handle their issues quickly and effectively. Importantly, it does so in a way that facilitates the continuation, rather than rupture of the business relationship.”
EuroCommerce recommended to the High Level Forum in February that EU-level action should seek to establish a non-legislative framework for national initiatives and support the development of national dialogue. It should also ensure that national frameworks remain proportionate and non-discriminatory. We consider that an action should be focused on helping farmers, and avoid adding further rigidity and barriers to open and efficient negotiations between other parts of the supply chain. We also encourage the Commission and Member States to further support the development of self-regulatory means as a useful complement to national legislation.
Verschueren added: “We do not see the case for EU-level harmonisation of laws on trading practices, as there is always a national law applicable to a cross-border transaction and different regulatory or voluntary schemes in Europe seek to address the same outcomes. We also fail to see how prohibiting certain agreements, principally between large retailers and manufacturers, will protect farmers from the impact of volatility and market dynamics.”