Tribunal confirms consent agreement between Commission, Fruit Stop regarding raw ginger excessive pricing during Covid-19
The Tribunal has confirmed a consent agreement between the Competition Commission (“the Commission”) and Fruit Stop CC, after the Commission found that a Fruit Stop branch in Wonderboom in Pretoria, between April and June 2020, charged excessive prices for raw ginger – a basic food item protected under the Consumer Protection Regulations (“the Regulations”).
Fruit Stop disputes that it charged excessive prices for raw ginger. However, it is willing to resolve the matter by concluding the consent agreement and has agreed, among others:
- to donate essential goods (fruit, vegetables and groceries) valued at R23 110.00 (at cost price) to Amadea Safe House, a community-based organisation, over a three-month period;
- to reduce the gross profit margin charged in respect of raw ginger, to an agreed maximum percentage, for the duration of the national state of disaster;
- to immediately desist from the pricing conduct as described in the consent agreement; and
- to develop, implement and monitor a competition law compliance programme.
Following receipt of information, the Commission investigated Fruit Stop’s alleged conduct. Based on mark-ups added and profit margins earned from the sale of raw ginger, the Commission found that Fruit Stop made excess profits of R23 110 between April 2020 and June 2020.
The Commission found that Fruit Stop’s conduct of overcharging for raw ginger may constitute a contravention of section 8(1)(a) of the Competition Act read together with Regulation 4 of the Regulations.
A copy of the agreement will be made available on the Tribunal’s website in due course.
Gillian de Gouveia, Communications Officer
On behalf of the Competition Tribunal of South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 12 394 1383
Cell: +27 (0) 82 410 1195
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