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Germany will tighten the regulation of online agri-food trade in favor of traceability

The draft law proposes the improvement of the traceability of supply chains, in addition to allowing the authorities to carry out inspections through requests for anonymous samples, making the controls similar to those of physical commerce.


Agri-food online trading.

Most Germans still remember the so-called Wilke food scandal. In order to be able to withdraw high-risk foods from the market more quickly and efficiently in the future, the Federal Ministry of Food presents new traceability requirements. At its meeting yesterday, the cabinet approved the draft of a fourth law to modify the Food and Feed Code (LFGB) presented by the federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner. In this way, the minister is strengthening the traceability of food and feed and improving the monitoring of online commerce in this area to better protect consumers.


The time factor plays a decisive role in food crises. Therefore, clear requirements are introduced regarding the form and timing for the transmission of the relevant data: the traceability information must be transmitted electronically to the responsible authorities within 24 hours. This allows them to evaluate and use the information even faster.

Online trading

In the future, online marketplace operators should be more responsible for removing unsafe products from their platform. In the future, the competent authority may inform the operator by means of an existing quick alert if such products are offered on its website. You are then obliged to delete the corresponding offers at your own risk. In addition, a regulation for anonymous sampling is being created: in the future, authorities will be able to request samples online under a pseudonym. This means that equality with fixed retail is achieved.

Federal Minister Julia Klöckner said: “Here in Germany there can be no two-tier consumer protection, depending on how you shop. Whether stationary or digital: the customer must be able to rely on the fact that the food and feed offered is safe and that it is controlled in the best possible way. That is why we are now also making anonymous sampling possible in the area of ​​online commerce, and therefore we are playing a pioneering role in Europe. At the same time, we oblige platform operators to immediately remove offers that do not meet our standards.

We are also introducing clear timelines to quickly trace supply chains. Because quick action can be decisive in avoiding danger. Also in this area, we guarantee more security and transparency for consumers. "
The draft of a fourth law amending the Food and Feed Code can be found on the website of the German Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

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