The Competition Commission has launched a public inquiry into the fresh produce sector. The investigation aims to look into features in the sector’s value chain which could prevent, lessen or even distort competitiveness.
Competition Commission announces the food sector probe
On Monday, 28 March, the Commission made the announcement of the investigation. It further called on members of the public to make submissions. The submissions are with regard to proposed terms of reference and should be in on or before 22 April 2022.
The Commission stated that the investigation will assist with the understanding of competition within the fresh produce sector. It will also be able to take a look into factors that influence:
- The cost of food
- Challenges faced by small-scale farmers
- The importance of the industry in job creation and
- The importance of the sector in ensuring the welfare and nutrition of the public
The Commission explained that the public inquiry will have a focus on issues at each layer of the value chain. It will cover areas from the sale of fresh produce by the farmer to the customer.
Some areas will be excluded from the inquiry
“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.”
It went on to explain that a few areas will not be included in the detailed food produce sector investigation, reports TimesLIVE. Retailers’ interactions and the sale and distribution of processed products by processors made the exclusion list.
South Africans are paying MORE than R4.3k for their household food
Data from the February 2022 Household Affordability Index stated the average cost of the household food basket was R4,355.70. In Cape Town, the year-on-year household food basket increased by R309.77 (8%).
The food that was tracked are basic items found in most SA households. These included cooking oil, onions, salt, full cream milk and margarine which have all increased in price since last year.
The Index tracked food prices from 44 different supermarkets and 30 butcheries. The areas are Durban, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and Springbok. The household Affordability Index is published by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group. Read the full story here.