Tribunal still after Pioneer

Tamlyn Stewart

Tamlyn Stewart

Food company Pioneer Foods is the only remaining company of four originally implicated in a bread price-fixing cartel still to appear before the Competition Tribunal.

This is after the tribunal yesterday confirmed an agreement between the Competition Commission and Foodcorp, in terms of which Foodcorp admitted its role in the price-fixing cartel, and was ordered to pay a R45,5million fine, representing 6,7percent of Foodcorp's turnover from all its baking operations for 2006.

Foodcorp yesterday still maintained that it had not participated in market allocation practices, but the commission said yesterday that it was satisfied with Foodcorp's admission of price-fixing.

"For us it was a holistic settlement because the penalty amount will remain the same. This is a full and final settlement of the charges against Foodcorp in the bread industry," said Nandi Mokoena, manager of strategy and stakeholder relations at the Competition Commission.

Foodcorp has also agreed to cooperate with the commission in the prosecution of any other cartel members and to develop and implement a compliance programme to ensure that the company does not engage in anti-competitive behaviour.

The last company still contesting the charges of price-fixing is Pioneer Foods, which could face a penalty of up to a maximum of 10 percent of its annual turnover if found guilty.