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Colombia: SIC investigates fruit cartel

 |  September 4, 2017

Colombia’s Superintendence of Industry and Commerce has announced the launch of a probe into five companies and seven individuals for alleged price-fixing in an official contract. The parties are accused of violating the rules of free competition in the contract of the School Lunches Program in Bogotá. The SIC could impose fines of up to 100,000 times the minimum wage, or $73,771 million Colombian pesos (US$25 million) against the companies involved.

The companies under investigation are thought to have purposely led to a shortage of fruit for school refreshments in approximately 83% of the areas covered by the School Feeding Program (PPA) in Bogotá between March 15 and June 8, 2017 and, subsequently, in a price-hike for fruits for the entire School Feeding Program (PAE) in Bogota of about 50%.

“The effect of increasing prices in this case necessarily means that there will be less fruit in the snacks intended for the children who are beneficiaries of the program or that there will be fewer children whose snacks include fruit,” SIC explained. The companies involved in the probe, along with their legal representatives, are Food Industry Daza, Comercializadora Disfruver, Namasté Food, Spress Foods and Best Colombian Fruits.

Full Content: El Colombiano

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