WEST Midlands Conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour has welcomed news the European Commission has adopted an action plan to address unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain.

The retail and wholesale services sector is one of the most important in the EU economy and plays an important part in stimulating growth and job creation, accounting for 11% of EU GDP, 29% of European SMEs and employing nearly 33 million people.

A number of barriers remained, however, said Mr Harbour that hindered the smooth functioning of cross-border sourcing, consumer access to cross-border retail services and market entry for retailers.

Mr Harbour, who chairs the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, said: “I welcome this action plan, as it is vital for the future of an effective Single Market that unfair trading practices are eliminated.

“Retailers play such an important role within the Single Market and barriers must be lifted to maximise growth across the EU.”