Cabinet welcomes investigation into fresh produce sector

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pretoria - Cabinet on Thursday welcomed the Competition Commission’s investigation into allegations of cartel conduct in the fresh produce sector.

“Cabinet welcomes the Competition Commission’s investigation into allegations of cartel conduct in the fresh produce sector and awaits its speedy conclusion,” said Cabinet following its fortnightly meeting.

It added that uncompetitive behavior affects most of the country’s most vulnerable households. It further undermines national efforts to increase the participation of emerging black farmers into the market.

“We applaud the work of the Commission in protecting and upholding the rights of consumers, and our communities,” said Cabinet.

Last Thursday, the Commission conducted search and seizure operations at the Tshwane Market in Pretoria and the Joburg Market in Johannesburg, Gauteng.

This as the Commission said it suspected that some market agents are engaged in a concerted practice to fix the price and trading conditions for the supply of fresh produce.

This week, the Commission also announced that it conducted other search and seizure operations at the premises of fresh produce market agents in Cape Town and Durban.

The raid in Cape Town was conducted on Friday at the premises of Subtropico (Pty) Ltd (Subtropico); RSA Group (Pty) Ltd and Fine Bros (Pty) Ltd (Fine Bros).

In Durban, the Commission also conducted a search and seizure operation at the premises of RSA Group, Wenpro KZN (Pty) Ltd and Delta Market Agents (Pty) Ltd (Delta).

The search and seizure operations are part of an investigation into alleged cartel conduct, which was reported by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The agents, which serve as intermediaries between farmers and buyers of freshly produced fruits and vegetables in South Africa, are suspected of being involved in cartel conduct in contravention of the Competition Act. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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