Poland – Supply Chains
2017-2020 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
Responsible business conduct and human rights with regards to OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises [page 6]:
The OECD takes a slightly broader approach to RBC, with a clear focus on the investment context, respect for human rights, protection of consumer rights, and due diligence in business. The principles of responsible business conduct were formulated in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in 1976, which were subsequently updated several times. In 2011, the scope of the OECD Guidelines was expanded to also include business relationships in the supply chain, introducing the concept of due diligence on the basis of risk assessment, with the addition of a chapter on human rights.
Pillar II: The corporate responsibility to respect human rights
2. Dialogue and Exchange of Knowledge and Experience in Implementing CSR, the NAP states [page 30]:
There are four categories of corporate activities that relate to corporate social responsibility: corporate governance, employees, the environment, and the product. The activities conducted within these categories may include: (…) a responsible approach to the supply chain, including to the extraction and transport of raw materials, production and transport of intermediates, responsible investments, stakeholder dialogue, and consumer education.
Implementation of the National Action Plan
1. Education [page 53]
The public administration’s role in implementing responsible business conduct includes creating favourable conditions for shaping appropriate forms of cooperation that facilitate making a voluntary commitment to responsible development and social responsibility. Education and wide dissemination of RBC standards is an important element in this respect, including responsible supply chains and respect for human rights. These actions should be addressed both at direct producers and companies in the supply chain as well as consumers.
2021-2024 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
|8. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Implementation of the Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products
Since July 2017, the provisions of the Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1213) have been in force in Poland. The provisions of the Act are aimed at eliminating the use of unfair trade practices in the supply chain of agricultural raw materials and food. A situation of considerable imbalance in the economic potential of enterprises may lead to unfair trade practices whereby larger and stronger trading partners try to impose practices or contractual arrangements favourable to them on the weaker party. The issue of imbalance among the participants of the food supply chain occurs not only in Poland but is also observed in the majority of the European Union countries due to the presence of economically strong consolidated entities of the distribution sector – frequently also the processing sector – and weaker fragmented entities producing agricultural raw materials and foodstuffs. Directive (EU) 2019/633 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain (OJ L 111, 25.4.2019, p. 59) introduced a common minimum framework across the EU for applying a uniform approach to unfair trading practices in the food supply chain The implementation of the provisions of said Directive significantly changes the scope of the previously applied Act of 15 December 2016 on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products. In view of the foregoing, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has drafted a new Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products. Compared to the legislation currently in force, the definition of agricultural and food products has been extended to include, inter alia, feed, live animals, oilseeds and oleaginous fruit, the definition of a purchaser and a public authority, and a catalogue of prohibited unfair trading practices. The possibility of voluntary submission to penalties has also been introduced (reduction of the penalty to 50%). The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection will remain the competent body in matters of practices unfairly exploiting contractual advantage; the anonymity of the notifier will also be ensured, as is currently the case, and the possible penalties for entrepreneurs will be maintained in their current shape. Pursuant to Article13 of the aforementioned directive, the provisions implementing the directive must be in force from 1 November 2021 at the latest. The new Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products will be more effective in limiting practices which may negatively affect the efficient functioning of the agricultural and food product supply chain and will also ensure effective mutual cooperation of relevant authorities of the Member States, and their cooperation with the European Commission. – page 27/28
14. Office of Competition and Consumer Protection
Tasks related to counteracting the unfair use of contractual advantage
The implementation of Directive (EU) 2019/633 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain, which will entail the adoption of a new Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade in Agricultural and Food Products, will have a significant impact on the tasks performed by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection as regards the matters in question. Among the proposed changes it is necessary to emphasise, first of all, the extension of an example catalogue of unfair practices and addition of a set of practices whose application is permitted under certain conditions. It is also proposed to introduce a wider range of products to which contracts covered by the Act will apply. – page 40
Appendix 2 (information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
GOOD PRACTICE CATALOGUE FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE FIELD OF BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS2
– cooperate with reliable partners whose reliability, including in the area of respect for human rights, has been checked using available instruments such as verification by specialised economic bodies. Particular attention should be paid to respect for human rights in the context of forced and bonded labour and child labour in the supply chain. To the extent possible, preference should be given to companies certified as responsible businesses (e.g. Fair Trade). The current policy on sanctions adopted by Poland should also be taken into account; – page 47