BEUC and EEB quit EU Retail Forum
By Sophie Petitjean | Tuesday 06 March 2012
The European Consumers’ Organisation BEUC and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) are not satisfied with the mandate of the EU Retail Forum and have decided to pull out of this organisation. In a letter sent to the European Commission, the Parliament and stakeholders, on 6 March, they nevertheless state that they would be willing to resume their collaboration under a new mandate.
Set up in 2009, the EU Retail Forum is a voluntary pluralist platform that aims to reduce the environmental impact of the retail sector, promote more sustainable products and inform consumers better about ‘greener’ buying. However, according to BEUC and the EEB, the forum’s mandate in its present form is “ineffective”. Referring to two Commission follow-up reports, they note that “in most cases, the achievements are neither comparable from one company to another nor measurable or easily verifiable”.
In 2011, the two organisations had already called for the development of “ambitious, concrete, measurable, verifiable and independently monitored” targets for the distribution sector as a whole by a given date. In absence of any changes since then, the two organisations have decided to end their collaboration with the forum. “Unless window-dressing changes to real commitment, the European Consumers’ Organisation refuses to play the role of legitimising the EU Retail Forum,” commented its Director-General, Monique Goyens. She nevertheless added that she was prepared to work on drawing up a new mandate for the forum.