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Tiger Brands admits to bread price-fixing, pays fine

Tiger Brands was fined R98,8m by the country’s competition authority after admitting that it colluded with rivals to fix the price of bread.

Tiger Brands was fined R98,8m by the country’s competition authority after admitting that it colluded with rivals to fix the price of bread.


The company was granted leniency against prosecution by agreeing to assist the Competition Commission with investigations into matters such as possible collusion amongst grain millers, the commission said in a statement yesterday.


Independent bread distributors in the Western Cape province complained to the commission in December last year that bakeries owned by Tiger Brands, the maker of Albany bread, Pioneer Foods and Premier Foods had raised prices by between 30c and 35c a loaf a week before Christmas. The commission said in February that its investigation found that bread producers broke the law by colluding.


“The anti-competitive activity that took place was completely unacceptable and contrary to our ethical standards,” Tiger Brands CEO Nick Dennis said yesterday. “The company has accepted full responsibility for the actions of the employers involved.”


The fine represents 5,7% of Tiger Brands’ bread sales last year, the commission said. Other cartel members, who haven’t cooperated with the commission’s investigations, face penalties of as much as 10% of annual sales, it added.


Tiger Brands informed the commission about collusion in the milling industry following its own investigation, for which the company won’t be prosecuted, the commission said.


The company’s investigation was conducted by law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs and Econometrix. The study by Econometrix found “no evidence that consumers had been adversely affected” by the bread price-fixing, Tiger Brands said.


Premier Foods, the maker of Blue Ribbon bread, admitted to colluding with the other three producers, the commission said in February, and was granted leniency against prosecution.

Andre Hanekom, MD of Pioneer Foods, wasn’t available to comment.

COMMENTS   14

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isn’t our good friend Mr Jimmy Manyi the “Director of Corporate Affairs” of Tigerbrands?

Seems like he and his incredibly qualified and skilled minions have been naughty boys.

Or does a director of Corporate Affairs not have any responsibility for things when they go pear shaped?

If I read the article correctly I seem to be informed that the public suffered no prejudice as a result of the price fixing.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am at hearing that.

So, the price fixing was done to keep the price DOWN and all collusion was done to actually benefit the consumer.

Yes, well if you wish to believe that then go right ahead. I am tempted to think that, once again, the legal fellows are lying through their teeth and the corporate people at Tigerbrands are being just a tad precious in their statements about such behaviour being against company ethics.

Perhaps they would be good enough to tell us when they will be resigning in shame.

I am surprised why people are shocked at this happenning. This type of practice has been happening in all types of industry in South Africa. Where companies collude and fix prices so that they can fleece the poor consumer.

This practice will only stop once Directors are JAILED for fixing prices with competitors.

so what happens to the money ????whos coffers do they go to???what happened to the car prices investigation???what happened to the maize price investigation??? Sweet FA is what!!!

i’m confused – where does all this money go to? Is it paid as bonuses to the auditors? I can’t see how the fine will benefit me or any other bread buying consumer – wheat is more expensive, wages have gone up, petrol costs more – the price of bread is unlikely to drop, so what use is the fine or does this go to feed fat cats?

Why did the employees do it? They acted this way in the face of threats and intimidation from the very top to make more profit. Now Dennis states that “We have accepted full responsibility for the actions of those employees involved … disciplinary processes are underway for both milling and baking operations”. What about the top management who knew what was going on and turned a “blind eye”? Yet again only the little people get punished for trying to please the boss

i’m a bit confused – how will the fine benefit the ordinary bread-buying consumer? Prices are unlikely to drop when wheat prices, salaries and petrol have all risen. Or does the fine go to feed more cats to make them fatter? please can someone answer this

Another proud example of fine Corporate morality. And you be sure there are plenty more

Very strange, trying to deflect attention away from issue. The issue is if I may remind you, a JSE listed company has fixed one of the most basic food price of which many depend. I doubt it very much if Mr Manyi initiated the whole scheme and besides Tiger Brands is not the only culprit, Pioneer Foods is one of them and you must convice me that Mr Manyi is a common factor in all of them.

These guys – them and their cohorts – sold millions of loaves for a decade to the whole country, and passed on the stale ones to the underpriveleged as part of their CSI. Jimmy, passing on stale bread is not good corporate citizenry.

How Tony Twine and the Econometrix lot manages to conclude that the whole country was not disenfranchised by this behaviour is utter constipation. I recommend a diet of stale whole wheat.

While at it, he can offer his services to Telkom, Mittal Steel and the sugar barons, cutting and pasting the logos on his current report. Voila, easy money. And by sugar barons, I don’t mean the guys in Chatsworth.

Phreebie

Giving it back to the treasury is too easy. How about something from the left field? There are enough confectionery makers and chemists in our prisons, harnessing their creativity could lead us to having ‘divine’ bread at half the current price. The bread may come with several disclaimers, like X-Ray before slicing or not suitable for pregnant women.

Without corporatizing/agencifying the production, but improving controls and hiring RED ANTS to guard the louts, the citizenry could have quality bread while keeping the pampered louts busy.

The Correctional services and education departments could also cancel the ‘bread supply’ tenders, the money being redirected towards teachers or police payrolls?

Collusion for years in bread – directors didn’t know

Collusion in Milling – directors didn’t know

Collusion in who knows where next.

Who is running Tiger?

Believe in Ecometrix and believe in me

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