Public Commission to inquire into the power relations in the food supply chain

Steensnæs, Brekk, Aasrud, og Lysbakken. Photo: Helge Skinnes

Steensnæs, Brekk, Aasrud, og Lysbakken. Photo: Helge Skinnes

Former cabinet minister and parliament whip of the Norwegian Christian Democratic Party, Mr. Einar Steensnæs, will chair the Commission to inquire into the power relations of the Norwegian food supply chain.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr. Lars Peder Brekk (the Centre Party), the Minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, Mr. Audun Lysbakken (Socialist Left Party of Norway) and the Minister of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs, Ms. Rigmor Aasrud (Labor Party), presented today the Commission to inquire into the power relations in the food supply chain. The Authorities for Agriculture, Competition and Consumer Affairs jointly establish the Commission consisting of 15 persons having broad and complementary backgrounds, geographically and with respect to economic and social interest.

“Increased ownership and influence by retailers is a relatively new phenomenon that we so far have not analyzed in depth. We wish to cast light on the consequences of this development for consumption and production. It is also important to go through the entire food supply chain in order to get a clear picture of the power relation,” says Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr Lars Peder Brekk.

The Commission shall review and report on power relation, evaluate trend development and make proposals for action furthering consumer interests with regard to price, product quality and availability. It shall also shed light on ways to facilitate transparency and monitoring along all of the supply chain in order to secure adequate society control.

“Efficient competition in the food supply chain is important in order to keep prices to a right level, and in order to open up for innovation and new products to the benefit of consumers,” says Minister of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs, Ms. Rigmor Aasrud.

“In order to secure consumer interests in the food market it is important be able to monitor how power relations influence price, product quality, range of choice and availability. The individual levels of the supply chain often make the point that they serve the consumers. My ambition is that the Commission’s work shall make it clear what really contributes to consumer interests,” says the Minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, Mr Audun Lysbakken.

The Commission members, eight women and seven men, have broad geographical backgrounds as well as with regard to the different parts of the supply chain for food. Legal expertise and competence in industry development, strategy and branding, economics and political science has been taken into account.

“I am glad to see such a comprehensive composition of the Commission and has such a thorough mandate. First and last this is about meeting consumer needs and at the same time securing a good food production. These are important issues that are focused by many,” says Commission chairman Einar Steensnæs.

Source: Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion

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