Competition Commission urges food stores to cap prices for ginger, garlic

Pick n Pay signed a memorandum of agreement with the commission last week agreeing that it will not increase the price of the two food items until April with the possibility of extending it beyond.

ILE: In recent months, the Competition Commission received numerous complaints from the public that food retailers had increased their prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Competition Commission is pleading with food retailers to follow suit after Pick n Pay became the first to cap its gross profit margin for ginger and garlic for a period of time.

Pick n Pay signed a memorandum of agreement with the commission last week agreeing that it will not increase the price of the two food items until April with the possibility of extending it beyond.

READ: National Consumer Commission probing 7 retailers over ginger, garlic price spike

In recent months, the Competition Commission received numerous complaints from the public that food retailers had increased their prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commission said while wholesale prices for the products had increased due to the heightened consumer demand during the second wave, it believed it didn’t warrant the large increase in absolute margins seen in some instances.

The spokesperson for the commission Siyabulela Makunga said: “Pick n Pay has also instructed its franchises to price no higher than store price on ginger and garlic. The commission has commended the move by Pick n Pay and hopes to formalize similar agreements with other national retailers.”

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