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Supply Chain Law must be bearable for all companies

Supply Chain Law must be bearable for all companies

Hamburg, 16 Februar 2021. The Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange e.V. (VdG e.V.) welcomes the fact that the Supply Chain Law is to create a regulation that aims to ensure fair working conditions, compliance with human rights and environmental protection measures along the entire value chain. However, it must be ensured that responsibility is borne sensibly and fairly by all market and political players. Companies must not be burdened and disadvantaged unilaterally, stresses the German association, which represents international wholesale and foreign trade in cereals, oilseeds, animal feeds and pulses.

“Particularly in agricultural trade, global supply chains are indispensable to ensure food availability. Multilateral trade already promotes prosperity and better living conditions for many people. This includes ensuring fair working conditions and remuneration at all stages. Human rights are non-negotiable and the agricultural trade industry is committed to upholding and enforcing the required due diligence obligations,” explains Christof Buchholz, Secretary General at VdG e.V.. “However, the responsibility must not rest solely on the companies; it is also up to politicians to develop enforceable solutions.” Regulations on liability suits, for example, would have to be formulated in the law in a comprehensible and clear manner in order to continue to give companies legal certainty. Consumers should also be made aware of the power of their purchasing decisions and be involved in responsibility.

The Supply Chain Law initially addresses companies that employ 3,000 people in Germany. After one year, this threshold is to drop to 1,000 employees. Buchholz: “We can understand this consideration. Because of their capacities, large companies are certainly in a better position to meet requirements to a certain extent without being overly burdened. However, we also see the danger that the resulting bureaucratic pressure will be indirectly passed on to small and medium-sized companies, which will be almost impossible for them to cope with.” The law would have to formulate clear guidelines here so that responsibility is distributed appropriately enough to be bearable for the respective company. Especially now, during the pandemic, many companies are already under enormous pressure. This should also be taken into account.

In Germany, there are already regulations under civil and competition law that provide extensive protection for contracting parties in the supply chain. “National laws only help to a limited extent,” said Christof Buchholz. “In addition, the Supply Chain Law must not put German companies at a competitive disadvantage compared to international companies. We therefore urgently appeal to politicians to establish a joint solution at European level.”

In 2016, the German government had issued the “National Action Plan for Human Rights and Business.” In response, many companies were already taking individual steps in the form of voluntary commitments to meet the requirement to link and implement human rights in the supply chain and thus make it more sustainable and transparent. In 2020, however, a survey of over 2,000 German companies by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that compliance with human rights is still not guaranteed, particularly among suppliers. As a consequence, the German government announced the Supply Chain Law, which is now to be implemented during this legislative period and is expected to come into force at the beginning of 2023.

Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V.

The Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V. (VdG) (Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange) is the federal association of international wholesale and foreign trade in cereals, oilseeds, feeds and pulses and has been the official voice of the industry at the world trading center of Hamburg for over 150 years. It acts as a service provider for its members and also as a partner for administration, politics and business in Berlin, Bonn and Brussels.

Press contact:

Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V.
Anika Nicolaudius
Public relations
Adolphsplatz 1
20457 Hamburg / Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 40-369879-12
E-Mail: nicolaudius@vdg-ev.de

The arbitration courts of the Association of Grain Traders of the Hamburg Stock Exchange e.V. and Grofor e.V. will in future operate under the umbrella of the new “Hamburg International Arbitration Center”.

The arbitration courts of the Association of Grain Traders of the Hamburg Stock Exchange e.V. and Grofor e.V. will in future operate under the umbrella of the new “Hamburg International Arbitration Center”.

Hamburg, 17 November 2020. Today, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and the Hamburg Legal Center (Rechtsstandort Hamburg e.V.) are opening the “Hamburg International Arbitration Center” (HIAC), under whose auspices the diverse arbitration activities in the Hanseatic city will be bundled. The arbitration court of the Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange e.V. (VdG e.V.) and that of the German Association of Wholesale Traders in Oils, Fats and Oil Raw Materials Grofor e.V., both located in the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, also operate within the new center.

The arbitration court of the VdG e.V. operates in the grain and feedstuff trade and serves to settle disputes between two or more contracting parties. Arbitration claims concern, for example, payment defaults, non-fulfillment of contracts or poor goods quality. Founded in 1863, the arbitration court of the VdG e.V. is the oldest in the industry and, with up to 50 cases settled annually, also the most frequently called upon.

The fact that disputes between two contracting parties in the grain and feedstuffs trade are settled by a court of arbitration set up at a German grain and produce exchange is laid down, among other things, in the so-called Standard Terms and Conditions for the German Grain Trade. These have formed the legal basis for the vast majority of contracts in the industry for almost 100 years.

The German Association of Wholesalers of Oils, Fats and Oil Raw Materials Grofor e.V. also maintains a permanent, internationally operating arbitration court at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. It deals with disputes in commercial transactions involving vegetable and animal or marine oils, fats and fatty acids.

Other arbitration tribunals that will in future be gathered under the umbrella of HIAC are that of the German Coffee Association, the Chinese European Arbitration Centre (CEAC), the European-Latin American Arbitration Center (ELArb) and the German Maritime Arbitration Association (GMAA). Companies from the various industries will thus find a unique range of services in Hamburg for resolving disputes with national and international business partners.

Due to the current tightening of the Corona measures, the opening on November 17 will not take place in the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce as planned, but online. Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, will deliver the welcoming address. For a keynote speech and the subsequent panel discussion, experts from Hamburg as well as New York and São Paulo will be present.

Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V.

The Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V. (VdG) (Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange) is the federal association of international wholesale and foreign trade in cereals, oilseeds, feeds and pulses and has been the official voice of the industry at the world trading center of Hamburg for over 150 years. It acts as a service provider for its members and also as a partner for administration, politics and business in Berlin, Bonn and Brussels.

Press contact:

Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V.
Anika Nicolaudius
Public relations
Adolphsplatz 1
20457 Hamburg / Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 40-369879-12
E-Mail: nicolaudius@vdg-ev.de

Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange elects board of directors and looks back on the industry year marked by the pandemic

Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange elects board of directors and looks back on the industry year marked by the pandemic

Hamburg, 23 September 2020. In its Annual General Meeting the Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange (VdG e.V.) elected their Board for the next two years yesterday. For over 150 years, the VdG e.V. has been the official voice of the international wholesale and foreign trade in grain, oilseeds, feed and pulses at the global trade hub Hamburg. Re-elected Chairman of the Board Thorsten Tiedemann and Secretary General Christof Buchholz looked back on a year that presented challenges to the industry while demonstrating its stability.

“The 2020 harvest turned out to be comparatively small. New regulations such as the Fertilizer Regulation or the agricultural package not only curb productivity in the fields, they also accelerate structural change in agriculture and among companies. This also poses challenges for agricultural trade. Germany also remains a net importer of various cereals and oilseeds,” explains Thorsten Tiedemann. Security of supply is therefore an important association issue that the VdG is addressing: “International agricultural trade acts as a hub between production and demand. It plays an essential role in food supply. And in recent months during the Covid 19 pandemic, it became clear that agricultural trade is stable and resilient enough to fulfill this role.” Thorsten Tiedemann pointed out that the association is doing all it can to support companies in this regard: “We are committed to ensuring that our members can operate their businesses without disruption and continue with growing success.”

Christof Buchholz reported that the association’s office was able to continue its work successfully to the full extent during the crisis: “The services of our arbitration court continued to be actively used by market participants, albeit with slight restrictions, as oral negotiations were only possible in compliance with strict hygiene regulations. The technical work in the Food and Feed Safety and Market and Agricultural Policy sections also continued without restriction, as did the representation of our members in Berlin, Bonn and Brussels. We were able to maintain our partnership contacts with other industry associations at the federal and EU level, through which we jointly leverage synergies, very well via online conferences.”

In the election, which takes place every two years, the members of VdG yesterday again elected Thorsten Tiedemann of Getreide AG as chairman of the board. As his three deputies, Jaana Kleinschmit von Lengefeld (ADM Germany GmbH), Jens Kaß (Bioland Markt GmbH & Co. KG) and Steen Houengaard (ABK Agentur für Getreide und Futtermittel GmbH) were re-elected. The office of treasurer continues to be held by Michael Kemperdick (Schlüter & Maack GmbH). In addition, the other members of the full board, the chairmen of the sections and the auditors were elected.

The Annual General Meeting of the Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange was held at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, where the office is also located. From left to right: Chairman of the Board Thorsten Tiedemann, Secretary General Christof Buchholz, in-house lawyer Alexander Bauer.

Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V.

The Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V. (VdG) (Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange) is the federal association of international wholesale and foreign trade in cereals, oilseeds, feeds and pulses and has been the official voice of the industry at the world trading center of Hamburg for over 150 years. It acts as a service provider for its members and also as a partner for administration, politics and business in Berlin, Bonn and Brussels.

Kontakt:

Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V.
Anika Nicolaudius
Public relations
Adolphsplatz 1
20457 Hamburg / Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 40-369879-12
E-Mail: nicolaudius@vdg-ev.de