Changes in the law: possibility of direct sale of food by the farmer to stores, canteens and restaurants ?

Zmiany w prawie: możliwość bezpośredniej sprzedaży żywności przez rolnika do sklepów, stołówek i restauracji ?

Wpis dostępny jest także w języku: polski

A proposed change to several laws has been drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to make it easier for farmers to engage in agricultural retail trade. The Food and Nutrition Safety Act, as well as the Personal Income Tax Act, will be affected by the major amendments. Currently, only direct sales to customers are possible.

In 2022, PiS (Law and Justice) intends to introduce new agricultural retailing legislation, marketed as a component of the so-called Polish Order. The proposal was approved by the government on 30 July 2021, and the Sejm conducted its first reading on 1 October 2021. Since then, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development has been working on a report, which was released on 8 December. The Sejm’s second reading is the next stage but has not yet taken place.

The draft, among other things, allows farmers who engage in agricultural retailing to sell food to retail outlets across the country, such as shops, restaurants, and canteens. Currently, only direct sales to customers are possible. The package also includes the abolition of maximum limitations on food sales to consumers. Only food from agricultural retailing units to shops, canteens, and restaurants would be subject to the restrictions. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development decided to increase the amount of income that is tax-free from PLN 40,000 to PLN 100,000 per year.

At the same time, the draft was submitted for notification to the European Commission and other EU Member States in accordance with the appropriate procedure, and the EC’s required deadline for postponing its approval (so-called standstill) expired on November 9, 2021. The European Commission filed a response to the aforementioned draft as part of the notification procedure. This statement should be taken into consideration in future work on the project, according to the Commission, in order to maintain conformity with EU legislation, says the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

This remark does not result in the standstill time being extended again. The modifications in question are scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2022; however, the exact language and date of implementation will be determined by the progress of work in the Polish Parliament, including those related to the European Commission’s reported opinion, among other things.

The Ministry emphasizes that the proposed modifications in the bill will need amending the Minister of Agriculture’s rule on the maximum quantity of food sold under the agricultural retailing, as well as the scope and manner of its documentation.

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