Producers organisations (POs) – national organisations of producers of particular agricultural products – are an important aspect of the CAP and receive significant amounts of European funding. Over the last few years, there has been a considerable amount of litigation as to the extent to which POs must retain day-to-day control of functions that they choose to outsource, marketing. In a reference from the High Court decided today by the European Court of Justice (Case C-500/11, Fruition PO), the ECJ agreed with the approach taken by the UK authorities when it held that POs must, when they outsource functions, remain vigilant to ensure that effective performance of those functions is guaranteed, and that they retain the ability to take “timely and peremptory” action. It was not enough to show that in practice the PO and the entity carrying out the outsourced function operated on the basis of consensus.
George Peretz represented the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the High Court and the United Kingdom in the ECJ.
Click to read the full judgment in Fruition Po Ltd v Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food and Animal Health,