The European Parliament has called on member states to give greater support to farmers’ markets.

Farmers’ markets should be encouraged because they ensured a fair price was paid to producers, it said in a parliamentary resolution in March. They also strengthened the link between a product and its place of production and encouraged shoppers to make informed, quality-based choices on purchases.

The document, which has been forwarded to the European Council and the EC, expressed concern at the effect large retail chains had on the quality of EU food products.

The commission should note the need to regulate “reverse tendering practices imposed by a small number of bulk buyers”, it said. “The big distributors dominate EU food markets and are imposing listing fees, commercial entry charges or unjustified contributions to promotion expenses,” it added.