Competition Commission raids meat suppliers for 'price fixing'
The Commission said it was conducting simultaneous search and seizure operations probing alleged contraventions of the Competition Act by Karan Beef, Sparta Foods, Chalmar Beef, Beefmaster Kimberley, Morgan Beef, Beefcor, and Fabvleis Midland Meat.
The companies – operating from Gauteng, the Free State and Northern Cape – are meat suppliers which are also known as feedlots.
They purchase weaner calves from farmers in order to bulk feed them in preparation for slaughtering in the production of beef. They also sell beef to wholesale and retail customers.
The Commission said the meat suppliers are alleged to have entered into an agreement and/or engaged in concerted practices to fix the prices and trading conditions when purchasing weaner calves from farmers.
The meat suppliers are also alleged to have an agreement to fix the prices at which they sell meat to wholesale and retail customers.
Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said in a statement that the meat industry forms an important part of the food sector which is one of the Commission's priority sectors. He said the search and seizure operations were conducted with due regard to the rights of all the affected persons.
"The Commission remains committed in its quest to fight collusion in the food sector as a whole, as higher prices of food affect the most vulnerable and poor households who spend a disproportionately high percentage of their income on food," Ngwema said.
"The Commission obtained search and seizure warrants from the High Court Gauteng Division, Pretoria; the Northern Cape Division, Kimberley; and the Free State Division in Bloemfontein in terms of section 46 of the Competition Act."African News Agency