Publikováno: 17. 9. 2015
EuroCommerce was surprised and disappointed by President Juncker's comments on retailers in the text of an otherwise thoughtful State-of-the-Union address to the European Parliament yesterday.
The President's comments on the "need to break some retail oligopolies" in the context of the present agriculture crisis are at odds both with the reality of the crisis and the findings of a comprehensive study conducted by the Commission's Competition directorate, which concluded that the retail market across Europe was characterized by fierce competition.
The current agriculture crisis is mainly the result of surplus production arising from global market developments, including the Russian embargo and a drop in Chinese consumption, and the lifting of milk quotas and stagnating consumption in Europe. Over the summer, retailers have shown solidarity through concrete action and dialogue with farmers and suppliers. They have provided immediate help to boost their income and worked to develop long-term solutions. These long-term actions, which retailers advocate and support, include more efficient organization of markets, financial instruments to protect farmers from price volatility, value-added production on the farm, and export promotion. These will help to avoid or mitigate the effects of this sort of crisis in the future. Retailers and farmers have a shared interest in strong, innovative, and competitive agriculture in Europe. So do European consumers.