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Is something off? — Competition Commission to investigate fresh produce industry

29 March 2022 - 07:30
SA's competition commission says it will establish an inquiry into the fresh produce market.
SA's competition commission says it will establish an inquiry into the fresh produce market.
Image: Stefan Wermuth/ Bloomberg

Food prices are set to come under investigation by the Competition Commission, which has launched a public inquiry into the fresh produce sector.

The investigation is aimed at examining whether there are any features in the sector's value chain which either lessen, prevent, or distort competitiveness.

The commission made the announcement on Monday and called on the public to make submissions on the proposed terms of reference on or before April 22.

It said the probe will allow it to understand the state of competition within the industry and the factors that influence the cost of food, challenges faced by small-scale farmers and, more broadly, the importance of the sector in creating employment and ensuring nutrition and welfare of the citizens. 

“The fresh produce market inquiry will focus on particular issues at each layer of the value chain. Specifically, the scope of the fresh produce market inquiry will cover aspects from the sale of fresh produce by the farmer to the customer,” said the commission. 

The commission will exclude some aspects from its probe, including the interaction of retailers and end consumers and the sale and distribution of processed products by food processors. 

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