Landmark Deal Signed for Food Industry

The deal is a voluntary commitment of the participants to adhere to the best business practice and look for solutions to problems through dialogue. Its implementation will be overseen by a committee featuring representatives of all participants in the agri-food chain, but the document envisages no sanctions for violations.

The signatories agreed on the final or net net price, to respect payment deadlines, on the right to change orders in a reasonable time, to charge actual services and to regulate business relations by means of written contracts.

The deal was signed by Peter Vrisk of the Cooperatives' Association, Stefan Pavlinjek of the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business, Marica Lah of the Chamber of Commerce, Anka Miklavcic Lipuscek of the Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises and Ciril Smrkolj of the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry.

A declaration in support of the deal was meanwhile signed by the Trade Union of Food Industry Workers and the Farmers Trade Union, which had contributed to the document.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Food Ministry did not sign the document but will offer technical support and help the committee overseeing the implementation of the deal.

Agriculture Minister Dejan Zidan congratulated the signatories, saying that the code itself would not solve all the problems but was an important step forward.

"You had a vision, you saw what needs to be done and you realised that as partners you must sometimes make concessions to achieve something," the minister said.

He also pointed to a "mini-code" signed in the grain-wheat chain, which enabled the buy-in of wheat to increase from last year's 23,000 tonnes (by the end of August) to 55,000 tonnes.

Some 40,000 hectares of wheat are to be planted this year, which would raise Slovenia's self-sufficiency in wheat supply to close to 70%.

The parliamentary economy and agriculture committees got acquainted with the code signed today, urging the government to boost competition in the agri-food sector, including by allocating more money for research and development.