Rooibos Limited ‘surprised’ by action from Competition Commission

The commission has approached the Competition Tribunal for an order declaring that Rooibos Limited violated market laws.

A worker harvests rooibos from a plantation in the Cederberg district outside Clanwilliam. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Rooibos Limited says its surprised by the Competition Commission's decision to refer the company to the Competition Tribunal for charges relating to abuse of dominance.

The commission has approached the Competition Tribunal for an order declaring that Rooibos Limited violated market laws.

This follows an investigation against Rooibos Limited, the largest processor of the South African tea, after a complaint from a local processor in 2015.

The commission's investigation focused on the company's monopolisation of rooibos tea supply from commercial farmers to prevent the expansion of its rivals in the processing market.

The company's managing director Martin Bergh says they plan to meet with the Competition Commissioner soon.

“We are surprised by the referral. We have not had the opportunity to speak to the Competition Commissioner since this happened and will have to talk about it.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)