Competition Commission Rings Changes In Fresh Produce Market After Inquiry Finds Abuses

34 Days(s) Ago    👁 105
competition commission rings changes in fresh produce market after inquiry finds abuses

The Competition Commission has thrown the book at the fresh produce market chain, citing major retailers and wholesalers, agro-processing companies and seed companies for cartel behaviour that enforces barriers to new entrants and manipulating the product gene pool, among other indictments in South Africas more than R53 billion industry.

The commission yesterday said that SPAR, Woolworths, Food Lovers Market, and Shoprite, seed company Starke Ayres, and JSE-listed entities African Rainbow Capital and agrochemicals giant Bayer South Africa as all being separately and collectively implicit or responsible for price distortions in the market.

In a provisional report on the Fresh Produce Market Inquiry, Deputy Commissioner Hardin Ratshisusu recommended sweeping changes to the fresh produce value chain from farm to fork, criticising the conduct of dominant players, saying it had resulted in distortions that resulted in unjustified price hikes and controlled distribution of choice food stocks.

The commission said a further inquiry would still proceed on the retail sector after the groups, which account for about R32bn annually in formal retail, disputed the commissions findings.

The commission had said these groups had unjustifiably high mark-ups and prices were not transparent enough as they were presented at price per unit instead of per kilogram or gram on display, and frustrated consumers ability to compare prices.