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Spanish Government investigates abusive citrus prices

The Agency for Food Information and Control (AIACA), has opened an investigation into the legality of the commercial practices carried out by certain supermarkets consisting in the sale of clementines and oranges at prices below cost.

On 11 November, the Valencian Growers Association (AVA-ASAJA) sent a written complaint with the facts to the Agency for Food Information and Control, followed by further evidence in later days demonstrating abuse of a dominant position within the value chain, which would inevitably result in a collapse of prices at origin.

The Agency has taken good note of the documents submitted by AVA-ASAJA and has already informed the agricultural organisation that the complaint has been admitted and has just opened an investigation. Now, the supermarket chains whose business practices have been denounced, i.e. Lidl and Alcampo, will have to provide the Agency with the information necessary for it to analyse and determine whether they, in fact, are conducting illegal practices. In the event that the supermarkets do not comply promptly with the Agency's request, they will be liable to sanctions.

The president of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, stated that "the procedure started by the AIACA is great news for the Spanish agricultural sector. Furthermore, it should be stressed that the open investigation is a very hopeful precedent, as to date growers have been defenceless against the procedures of certain unscrupulous companies which abuse their dominant position."

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