Fecc takes part in EuroCommerce Wholesale Day

Peter Bigler, Vice President of Omya and Chairman of Fecc's International Trade Committee, represented the European chemical distributors at EuroCommerce's Wholesale Day 2022 yesterday.

The event took off with a keynote speech by Commissioner Didier Reynders, who discussed the consumers' request for responsible business conduct, and the necessity of a legislative framework regarding due diligence on human rights, sustainability, and environmental protection.

During two panel discussions, experts talked about the proposed directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence and its effect on SMEs. They highlighted the importance of support for SMEs, harmonisation in the single market and company coherence.
Despite its exemption status in the due diligence proposal, SMEs may still be impacted indirectly by the directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence if they are part of a covered company's value chain. Such companies would be required to comply with the company's code of conduct and preventative action plan. As a result, SMEs that are part of a covered firm's value chain would be required to include a due diligence compliance system in their corporate policy, as they would be required to show proof to the covered company that they are in compliance with all relevant requirements. An increasing cost on regulatory compliance will have to be dealt with once more by SMEs.

Peter Bigler concluded his contribution by the following powerful statement: "There is an obligation for cooperation to make the next generation's life acceptable."

Fecc wishes to thank Peter for speaking on our behalf, and to thank MEP Voss as well for considering that the due diligence directive may have de-facto implications for SMEs, and his openness to a risk-based approach for reporting requirements. Finally, thank you to EuroCommerce for organising this event.

You can watch the video recordings of the Wholesale Day here.