The circumvention of producer organisations by dairy companies is illegal, says the French Commission for the Review of Commercial Practices (CEPC). “Attempts to circumvent producer organizations (POs) by certain industrialists are not only unbearable, but also illegal,” underlines France OP Lait in a press release dated May 11. “In an opinion dated April 21, 2023, the Commercial Practices Review Commission (CEPC) recalled the pre-eminence of the negotiation mandate, entrusted by the producer who is a member of a PO, over the individual relationship between the producer and the industrial: “the fact for a buyer to conclude a contract directly with the producer even though the latter has given a mandate to a PO (…), without having concluded a framework agreement, is prohibited and may be subject to ‘an administrative sanction (…)’. Thus, for example, the non-renewal of a framework agreement cannot serve as a pretext for an industrialist to directly approach producers who are members of a PO.“
France OP Lait represents “one third of the POs in the milk sector, i.e. 6,000 dairy farms producing more than 2.7bn liters of milk”.