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Annual General Meeting, the Association of Grain Traders of the Hamburg Stock Exchange

Annual General Meeting, the Association of Grain Traders of the Hamburg Stock Exchange

Rising prices and positive signals from Brussels – At its Annual General Meeting, the Association of Grain Traders of the Hamburg Stock Exchange reports on the industry and the work of the association.

Hamburg, 8 June 2021. At the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Grain Traders of the Hamburg Stock Exchange e.V.. (VdG e.V.), the industry of wholesale and international trade in grain, oilseeds, feed and pulses came together today. The companies met in a hybrid event partly online and partly in the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, which is also the headquarters of the federal association.

“In recent years, more cereals and oilseeds have been consumed worldwide than produced. The current resurgent demand can therefore not be met from stocks – prices are going through the roof.”

Association chairman Thorsten Tiedemann shed light on the current tight market, in which food and feed prices are repeatedly hitting new records: “In recent years, more cereals and oilseeds have been consumed worldwide than produced. The current resurgent demand can therefore not be met from stocks – prices are going through the roof.” The rainy spring in Europe has at least supported plant growth in the fields. Good yields could dampen the price trend somewhat.

Chairmen Jaana Kleinschmit von Lengefeld and Andreas Schiwek reported from the Food and Feed Safety and Market and Agricultural Policy sections. Kleinschmit sees the results of the European Commission’s study on New Breeding Techniques, published on April 29, as a positive signal: “The EU must adapt its legislation on New Breeding Techniques to the state of the art in science. Otherwise, Europe will lose touch with the world market. Moreover, if we want to achieve the goals of the Green Deal, innovative methods must be available to us.” Andreas Schiwek outlined the association’s position on the planned German supply chain law, saying, “We are advocating that responsibility should not rest solely on companies. Politicians must develop solutions that are acceptable to all. It is also important to involve consumers and make them aware of the implications of their purchasing decisions.”

VdG Ordentliche Mitgliederversammlung

VdG Managing Director Christof Buchholz reported from the office that the arbitration court of VdG e.V. is meeting regularly and meanwhile again without restrictions. It is the oldest in the industry and, with around 25-50 cases handled annually, also the most frequently called upon. The numerous specialist seminars and committee meetings that the association offers its members have taken place entirely digitally in recent months, he said. “Together with the Federal Association of Agricultural Trade (Bundesverband Agrarhandel e.V.), we also launched the public online seminar series ‘Gut zu wissen im Agrarhandel’ in January,” Buchholz said.

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

BVA and VdG welcome UTP directive as framework regulation for fair cooperation in agricultural trade

BVA and VdG welcome UTP directive as framework regulation for fair cooperation in agricultural trade

Berlin/Hamburg, 17 März 2021. The Federal Association of Agricultural Trade e.V. (BVA e.V.) and the Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange e.V. (VdG e.V.) see the UTP Directive as an urgently needed legal framework to curb unfair trading practices in the agricultural and food supply chain. The aim must be to create a level playing field between trading partners and to eliminate any market imbalances in favor of more competition.

“Fair dealings with contractual partners must finally be embodied in law,” emphasizes Christof Buchholz, Managing Director at VdG e.V.. “Legislators cannot rely solely on voluntary commitments by companies, but must create a suitable framework.” The minimum protection standards established in this way could be further expanded by the individual companies in each case. At the same time, he said, trading partners should still be given a certain amount of flexibility in shaping their contracts within the legal framework. “Bilateral contracting, as the smallest unit in the trade chain, thrives on agreements that are individually tailored to the two parties. This makes them efficient,” Buchholz said.

However, the two federal associations complain that the draft law inadequately addresses unequal market conditions. “It is unclear why the regulations only protect companies with annual sales of up to 350 million euros,” raises BVA managing director Martin Courbier. “Fair trading conditions cannot be a question of company size. Moreover, the proposed sales scale complicates the regulation and leaves loopholes open.”

In practical implementation, according to BVA e.V. and VdG e.V., it is important that the burden of proof for unfair conduct does not lie solely with the weaker contracting party. Even in cases of justified suspicion, the buyer should have to prove that he has acted properly. The anonymity of the complainant must also be guaranteed throughout the entire process. In these points, the draft must be improved, demand BVA e.V. and VdG e.V. Then the law could actually improve the situation for all agricultural trading companies along the supply chain.

The Unfair Trading Practices (UTP) Directive is a 2019 EU-level directive designed to prevent unfair trading practices in the agricultural and food supply chain. These include last-minute cancellations of goods, late payments and other transactions in which buyers can exploit unequal power relations with suppliers. In November 2020, the German cabinet approved a bill to transpose the EU directive into German law. The law must be passed by May 2021.

Bundesverband Agrarhandel e. V.

The Bundesverband Agrarhandel e.V. (BVA) (Federal Association of Agricultural Trade) represents the interests of the agricultural trade in Germany. The BVA member companies qualitatively process the agricultural raw materials supplied by agriculture, such as grain and oilseeds, by drying and cleaning them and market these products as food and animal feed in Germany and abroad. They also sell seed, crop protection agents and fertilizers as well as animal feed to the agricultural sector. Agricultural trade thus plays a crucial role in the agricultural value chain.

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.

Further information:

Bundesverband Agrarhandel e. V.
Martin Courbier
Secretary General
Invalidenstraße 34, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 30 2790 741-0
E-Mail: zentrale@bv-agrar.de
www.bv-agrar.de

Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e. V.
Christof Buchholz
Secretary General
Adolphsplatz 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Tel: +49 40 36 9879-0
E-Mail: info@vdg-ev.de
www.vdg-ev.de

Picture: Annegret Hultsch for VdG e.V.