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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy The Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, takes legal action against unfair trade relationships and strengthens the market position of smaller suppliers and agricultural businesses. The Federal Cabinet today approved the relevant amendment to the law by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. Smaller producers are often exposed to unfair contractual terms due to the market imbalance. Because in contrast to the diversity on the one hand, they are contrasted by the highly concentrated food retail trade on the other. The four largest retail chains have a market power of over 85 percent. This has led to the establishment of practices that clearly put producers at a disadvantage, such as short-term cancellations, long payment terms for perishable goods or unilateral changes to delivery conditions. These unfair trading practices are now banned. Federal Minister Julia Klöckner: “With the law, we create eye-level, strengthen regional production and competition. Small suppliers often had no choice but to accept the unfair trading conditions – they did not want to be delisted. This will now come to an end! Or to put it another way: David gains significantly more strength than Goliath. “Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier:” The draft for the implementation of the UTP guideline is a good compromise between agricultural producers, other food manufacturers and suppliers on the one hand and the food retail trade on the other . Fair and reliable contractual relationships are essential for both sides. We have met this goal with the present draft law. ”Specifically, it is forbidden: that the buyer cancels orders for perishable food at short notice from the supplier; that retailers unilaterally change the delivery conditions, quality standards and payment conditions; that for perishable food pays later than thirty days after delivery that the buyer does not confirm concluded delivery agreements in writing despite the supplier’s request; that the buyers acquire and use business secrets from suppliers unlawfully; that the buyer threatens to take commercial retaliation if the supplier makes use of his contractual or statutory rights; that buyer compensation require the supplier to deal with customer complaints, without the supplier being at fault; that buyers require the supplier to bear costs that are not specifically related to the product sold s; that unsold products are returned to the supplier without payment of the purchase price; that the buyer demands payment from the supplier for the storage of the products; that the supplier has to bear costs that the buyer incurs through no fault of the supplier, After the delivery has been handed over to the buyer, the directive also provides that other commercial practices are only permitted if they are expressly and clearly agreed in advance between the contracting parties. For example, if the supplier pays the cost of discounts in the context of sales promotions; if the supplier pays performance fees; if a supplier contributes to the retailer’s advertising costs. The enforcement authority becomes the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), a subordinate authority of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. The BLE will take decisions on violations in agreement with the Federal Cartel Office. The BLE will decide on the amount of the fines on its own responsibility, taking into account the opinion of the Federal Cartel Office. There is a risk of fines of up to 500,000 euros in the event of a violation. The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court will rule on complaints against decisions by the enforcement authority. You can find the draft law here.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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