The new EU regulation that was published towards the end of December did not target the popular food producers viz Kerry Foods, Ornua & Glanbia popular for producing thickeners, sweeteners, bulking agents, flavours & Christmas seasonings. The giant food chains like Tesco & Aldi & McDonald’s are squeezing smaller producers and it is creating a hindrance for them to grow and take part in the competition across Europe.
The EU has come to the aid of the smaller food producer banning the unfair practice of trade by supermarket chains, retailers as well as major food wholesalers. The EU aims at stopping the supermarket from bullying smaller business pertinent to the supply chain. The move that Brussels has taken certainly comes at an important time for the Irish producers who are heavily reliant on the UK market and are worried to move away from a market, to be precise, Brexit-torn British market.
On a recent mission of fact-finding around supermarkets across Paris and Berlin, taking the food and beverage exporters was an eye-opener for the small Irish producers. The competitive retail price, enticing packaging and wide a range of competitive products showed how hard it is to enter the European markets.
Yet, one product caught all attention that is unique packaging of Flahavan’s porridge oats that was seen in many German & French stores. There are many Irish exporters who too have the same potential for export sales across Europe, but it is the brand development which is crucial and does not come at a cheap price.
While the new EU regulations will be of great help in setting up a common European framework as well as granting minimum protection level to the producers with earnings less than 350 million Euros.