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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Disputes on food - new solutions

< previous | next > 22.01.2019

Disputes on food - new solutions
  • No need to leave your house, no need to incur any costs - you can quickly solve your problem about the purchase of food or beverages.
  • The first in Poland and the only one in Europe Centre for Amicable Resolution of Disputes dedicated exclusively to food has already started its operations
  • Any problem with complaint on the purchased products? - check:

Food products are most frequently purchased consumer goods. A Polish family spends approx. 24 per cent of their household budget1 on food. Annually, on average, we eat approx. 1 tonne of products2, that is approx. 3 kg of food daily. In a such a large market, it happens that a purchased food product does not satisfy consumer’s expectations. The support in solving disputes pertaining to complaints about food products shall be rendered by the Centre for Amicable Resolution of Disputes on Food (Centrum Polubownego Rozwi▒zywania Sporów dotycz▒cych »ywnoÂci - CPRS»). This is the first such an entitled entity in Poland and the only one in Europe which specialises exclusively in resolving food disputes. CPRS» was established at the Polish Federation of Food Industry Union of Employers.

“There are ups and downs when it comes to food quality. Everyone is likely to have experienced the purchase of defective product. This fact has been proven by the outcomes of the inspection conducted by the Trade Inspection. In 2017 we controlled 125 thousand of food products batches. 23 per cent of that were challenged, mainly due to incorrect labelling - lack of information material for the consumer, such as the product composition of origin. By dint of the Centre, the disputes on food purchase are likely to be resolved quickly and efficiently both for consumers and entrepreneurs,” explains Marek Niechcia│, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK).

The conflict may apply to the following: trade quality, conveyed information or labelling food products. If your previous attempt to resolve your dispute directly ended up in a failure, you will have the opportunity to resolve your problem about promotional contests and lotteries, among others, on amicable basis.

“The establishment of the Centre is the expression of social responsibility of food producers. We do hope that the majority of the producers will choose the Centre as the manner for dispute resolution that is alternative to court proceedings,” said Vice-President of PFP», Andrzej Gantner.

The rules for conducting proceedings by CPRS» have been de-formalised in order to facilitate consumers taking advantage of this solution to the fullest extent possible. The entire dispute may be resolved with the use of the Internet platform via which you can submit your application and present your arguments. Having registered the case, the parties to the dispute will receive a code to communicate electronically, including access to the submitted documents. No need to leave your house, no need to incur any costs - a consumer may quickly reach an understanding with an entrepreneur.

“We are happy that a specialised entity has been established which is going to handle amicable resolution of disputes on food. Food products are relatively low-cost ones so the customer, in most cases, has no motivation to seek their claims before a court. In such a case, mediation proceedings are a good solution. We encourage consumers and entrepreneurs to take advantage of them. UOKiK will investigate into the operations of the Centre. We also encourage entrepreneurs from other sectors to develop that type of projects,” says Dorota Karczewska, Vice-President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

The team of the Centre is composed of experts: lawyers, attorneys-at-law and legal advisors who are experienced in resolving consumer disputes and have excellent knowledge in food-related legal acts. At the same time, CPRS» ensures independence and impartiality of the persons conducting the proceedings. For matters that require specialist knowledge in products quality, food technology or advertising, the Centre offers expert’s support.

“The resolution of a dispute by CPRS» itself is not binding and the parties may step back from the proceedings at any stage of it. So, when the consumer or the entrepreneur come to the conclusion that the case should be referred to the court, they have such a right as the period of limitation will not run by the time of the dispute end,” explains the Head of CPRS», Magdalena Osi˝ska.

CPRS» has been registered on the list of entities authorised to conduct proceedings on out-of-court consumer disputes resolution maintained by UOKiK under the number 10. It has also been included in the list of ADR entities (Alternative Dispute Resolution) of the European Commission and has been registered on the ODR platform maintained by the European Commission. This means that it has been authorised to mediate the resolution of both domestic and cross-border disputes in the EU.

The specifics of the Centre for Amicable Resolution of Disputes on Food operations can be found at: Contact with the Centre tel. +48 22 830 70 55, mob. +48 532 465 184, e-mail: [SCODE]Y2VudHJ1bUBjcHJzei5wbA==[ECODE].

1 Following the data of the Polish Central Statistical Office as of 2017.

2 Data of the Polish Federation of Food Industry

Additional information:

Ma│gorzata Cieloch – UOKiK, mail: [SCODE]bWFsZ29yemF0YS5jaWVsb2NoQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE] tel. 603 124 154
Andrzej Gantner – PFP» ZP, mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9AcGZwei5wbA==[ECODE], tel. 22 830 70 55

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