Competition Commission raids fresh produce agents accused of price fixing

The Competition Commission raided 11 fresh produce market agents in Johannesburg and Pretoria on Thursday afternoon.

The agents are suspected of price-fixing which makes it difficult for smaller agents to make large profits.

Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema says the commission received information regarding allegation of price fixing and collusion and confirmed the claims in a preliminary investigation.

There were agents at the market who were manipulating prices and squeezing out the small farmers, particularly the emerging black farmers.

Sipho Ngwema, Spokesperson for Competition Commission

Ngwema explains that the large agents set the prices extremely low at the start or the day for small farmers to deplete the stock, before dramatically increasing their prices for bigger retailers to increase their margins.

He advises that the commission will gather more information before deciding on whether or not to refer the matter to the Competition Tribunal.

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