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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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PLN 1.7 million penalty for Appol company for delayed payments to apple growers

< previous | next > 06.11.2020

PLN 1.7 million penalty for Appol company for delayed payments to apple growers
  • The Appol company has been abusing its contractual advantage against apple suppliers by significantly delaying the payments for the completed deliveries of raw material for apple concentrate.
  • President of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny imposed nearly PLN 1.7 million penalty on the entrepreneur.

Appol belongs to the Chinese concern Zhonglu Fruit Juice, one of the world's largest apple concentrate manufacturers. According to the UOKiK findings, in 2017-2019 the company was notoriously falling behind with payments to Polish apple suppliers.

In the supply contracts, the company committed itself to pay the money due within a maximum of 14 or 30 days, depending on the type of contract. In fact, however, it would pay even 90 days after. The major delays took place in 2017 and concerned over 70% of all transactions. In the two following years, there was less backlog - over 37 percent in 2018 and 17 percent in 2019.

- Pacta sunt servanda – the principle derived from Roman law means that contracts signed must be kept. Where Appol declared payment within a maximum of 30 days, the apple suppliers were fully entitled to expect to receive the money due to them within that period. However, many of the apple growers had to wait much longer. This is an unacceptable practice and a proof of the abuse of contractual advantage by an apple concentrate manufacturer. For this reason, I imposed a penalty of nearly 1.7 million PLN on Appol - says Tomasz Chróstny, the President of UOKiK.

This is yet another decision of UOKiK concerning fruit processors. In the Office's earlier settlements, a sanction of PLN 8.3 million was imposed on T.B Fruit. The decision is not final and the company has appealed to a court of law. In turn, the companies Rauch, Real and Dohler voluntarily modified the alleged unfair trade practices - they shortened payment deadlines and repaid outstanding debts.

The maximum penalty for the abuse of a contractual advantage on the agri-food market amounts to 3% of the trader's previous year's turnover.

Entrepreneur, farmer, if you operate in the agri-food industry and your major contractor abuses its competitive advantage by imposing unfavourable conditions of cooperation – report it to the UOKiK. We have launched a special form to assist you in reporting irregularities. You can fill it out here: 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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