Identifying Business-to-Business Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain: The case of Cyprus


Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) between businesses in the food supply chain have a significant impact on the various stakeholders involved, and on the environment. So far, no attempt has been made at the Member State level for the identification of UTPs in the food supply chain and their impact on the relevant stakeholders. This study drew on this gap and attempted to identify the UTPs that exist in the Cypriot food supply chain, assess their impact on the involved stakeholders and provide guidelines that will assist the transposition of EU relevant Directive to the national law. To achieve this goal, the study was based on a quantitative survey of a representative sample of businesses using a specific questionnaire. The results showed that particular UTPs do appear in the food supply chain with a different frequency, while the majority of businesses have been victims of UTPs in the last five years. Notably, the estimated cost of UTPs as a percentage of the business annual turnover is considered important ranging from 5.7% for retailers to 31.9% for farmers. Thus, most participants agree that UTPs in the agricultural food sector should be regulated by national legislation. We argue that the national legislation for UTPs should be a mix of policies that integrate private, administrative and judicial methods of monitoring and enforcement. Policy and decision makers should seek to reinforce the role and the bargaining power of small businesses in the food supply chain. This might be accomplished through the development of efficient producers’ organizations, short food supply chains, interbranch organizations and strategic partnerships.