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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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UOKiK's further proceedings in the agri-food sector

< previous | next > 20.07.2020

UOKiK's further proceedings in the agri-food sector
  • UOKiK has completed its activities towards one hundred of the biggest players on the agri-food market, which were conducted under the Act on Contractual Advantage.
  • In the course of the UOKiK's proceedings, the majority of entrepreneurs disbursed the outstanding money to their suppliers and removed the questioned provisions from their trade policies and concluded contracts.
  • President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny initiated proceedings against commercial retail chains: Auchan Polska, Eurocash, Makro Cash and Carry Polska, SCA Intermarche, i.e. entities that have not remedied the identified irregularities and have not settled payments to their contractors.
  • The maximum financial penalty for unfair use of a contractual advantage is 3% of annual turnover for each identified practice.

In April, President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection Tomasz Chróstny initiated proceedings to verify whether the biggest retail chains and food producers are not delaying payments to their suppliers beyond the set deadline or introducing unfavourable business conditions. Thus, whether or not they take advantage of their contractual advantage. The proceedings concerned one hundred entities. These included: major retail chains and food producers, including meat, dairy, cereal, vegetable and fruit processing companies.

During the proceedings, the President of UOKiK thoroughly analysed the terms and conditions of agreements concluded between retail chains and suppliers, the principles of trade and pricing policy, as well as mutual settlements. These analyses gave grounds to initiate further proceedings against retail chains.

What we have noticed in the course of our analyses is that the retail chains do apply practices that may be disadvantageous to suppliers - such as contesting invoices or imposing pricing policies. In the course of the explanatory proceedings, we verified whether major players could have imposed unfavourable trade conditions on suppliers – any doubts were resolved in accordance with the recommendations of UOKiK. Moreover, following the Office's summonses, the chains effected outstanding payments in the total amount of PLN 575 million,” says Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK.

In the cases mentioned above, the President of the Office conducts explanatory proceedings. In the first case, the President of UOKiK verifies whether the excessive number of invoices might have been questioned, and in the second, he analyses whether new trade policy rules might have been imposed under the threat of termination of cooperation.

Moreover, the President of the Office initiated explanatory proceedings against the retail chains which were in the greatest arrears in paying invoices for the delivery of products and refused to settle them despite being summoned to do so by the Office. These are: Auchan Polska, Eurocash, Makro Cash and Carry Polska, SCA Intermarche.

“Not all entrepreneurs have paid out the outstanding money to their contractors or removed the questioned provisions. In relation to Auchan Polska, Eurocash, Makro Cash and Carry Polska, SCA Intermarche, we will conduct proceedings regarding unfair use of the contractual advantage - these entrepreneurs are subject to financial sanctions of up to 3% of their annual turnover,” adds Tomasz Chróstny.

Entrepreneur, farmer, if you operate in the agri-food industry and your major contractor has taken advantage of the situation related to COVID-19 to change the terms of cooperation to your disadvantage or does not pay on time - notify UOKiK. We have launched a special form to assist you in reporting irregularities. Enter and fill it in https://ankieta.uokik.gov.pl/formularz-zgloszenie-przewaga/.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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