Can potato brokers establish price indicators?

Can potato brokers establish price indicators?

Potato Planet, Dorotée Bourget

“As sworn brokers, it’s part of our official mission to issue price attestations and official commodity quotations. As the Egalim law stipulates that written contracts must include price and production cost indicators, we are ready to offer our services to the CNIPT interprofessional organization to help draw them up,” declare Christelle Denis and Yves Le Bouëdec, members of SNCPT, the national potato brokers’ union.

We are initially traders, but we also perform official acts,” they point out. The advantage for the industry is that we are independent intermediaries, who know both the producers upstream and the traders downstream. Our opinion is more neutral than proposals from either party. Our responsibility is to attest to the reality of prices at a given moment in time.

Sworn certification is obtained after training and a written and oral examination in 3 tests, including a written legal test, notably on the workings of the courts, an oral test on the law as well, and a technical examination on one’s specialty, judged by peers.

“It’s all about identifying varieties or diseases. I had to recognize cuscutes in seeds,” recalls Yves Le Bouëdec, a seed potato, conso and other seed broker.

Christelle Denis passed this test 4 years ago, and is the youngest sworn broker in the SNCPT, which has seven sworn brokers out of eight members. “If the CNIPT were to entrust us with this mission, it would be the result of a collegial effort to obtain as much data as possible,” she explains.

It should be remembered that 25-30 years ago, sworn brokers chaired the quotation commissions at the plant exchanges in Arras.

How is the broker’s profession changing?

Today, the entire potato industry is trading at all levels, and hyper-competition reigns supreme,” say the brokers. But many new entrants need a reference point and a better understanding of the rules and prices.

To stay in the game, we brokers have to do more than simply put people in touch with each other. We can monitor transactions from A to Z, and assist suppliers with settlements and disputes.

Brokers often work on export, especially in the seedling sector, as contracts in France increasingly apply to protected varieties.

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