Time is nearly up for the eight SA dairy-processing companies accused of anti-competitive behaviour to submit their defences to the Competition Tribunal.
They have been ordered to submit their defences by 13 February. A ll the companies are keeping the details of their respective defences out of the media, with a number of them saying this was on the advice of their legal counsels.
Woodlands Dairy Lex Gutsche and Parmalat Theo Hendrickse maintain their respective companies have not been guilty of any wrongdoing. “Woodlands considers that it has at all times conducted its business in accordance with best business practice and in a manner ensuring fair competition in the marketplace,” Gutsche told Farmer’s Weekly.
Hendrickse said, “Parmalat South Africa maintains the highest levels of integrity in all its business practices which include its procurement agreement with milk producers.” fter launching an investigation in February 2005 into the alleged anti-competitive behaviour by Clover Industries, Clover SA, Parmalat, Ladismith Cheese, Woodlands Dairy, Lancewood, Nestlé and Milkwood the Competition Commission said it had sufficient evidence to prosecute the matter before the Competition Tribunal. – Lloyd Phillips