Green light to reform the food chain to achieve fairer prices

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The Government has approved this Tuesday in the Council of Ministers the processing of the draft bill that modifies the Food Chain Law, which is expected to be in the fall, for the modification of the rule on the food chain, so as to regulate the food prices and an end to the “structural problems” of this sector, such as the weak negotiation of farmers and ranchers. This was stated by the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, who recalled that thousands of these workers protested on the streets across the country in January and February fighting for “fair prices”.

These protests led to the Government’s approval on February 25 of a decree law to modify Law 12/2013 on the food chain, introducing the obligatory written contract with reference to production costs had to be lower than sales prices. “In this way, practices that discredited the work of farmers and ranchers were left out of the law,” explained the minister.

The Government reform expands the list of products included in the community coverage for all operations carried out in Spain. “The food chain has had excellent behavior throughout this crisis,” acknowledged the minister, who explained that the best recognition that the Government can make to this sector is to address the main problems such as the imbalance in the chain, the lack of transparency in prices and the weakness of workers in the negotiation.

Also, the new amendment to this law expand blacklist of unfair practices, the scope of the sanctions for it and other measures to correct price imbalances, which harm the farmer and the rancher, the minister stated. An example is the veto to cancel sales of perishable products in less than 30 days from now “because it would be impossible for the producer to find a new buyer in the market,” Planas explained.

Better conditions for the fishing sector

In addition, the Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday the royal decree to improve working conditions in the fishing sector and raise the level of fishermen protection on Spanish ships, with measures such as the formalization of the written employment contract and the duty to offer information to the worker about the essential aspects of the contract.

In this way, the Executive completes the transposition of the community directive adopted at the end of 2016, after the agreement of the European social partners in the sector. Approval is a preliminary step to ratification of Convention 188 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on work in fisheries.

The minimum conditions to be met by the crew’s accommodations are established, a right to repatriation to the country of residence In the event that the employment relationship is temporarily suspended or permanently terminated, the worker’s right to medical care is guaranteed, especially in cases of landing in a foreign port, and night work is not permitted for persons under 18 years of age .

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