The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has fined the country’s largest sugar producer, Zambia Sugar, K76 million for alleged discrimination and unfair pricing.
Zambia Sugar disputes the fine, saying findings by the CCPC are factually and legally wrong.
“The company has engaged in unfair pricing against selected household sugar users as well as price discrimination among industrial users,” said commission chairperson, Kelvin Fube.
According to the CCPC, its investigation, spanning over four years, revealed glaring price disparities among industrial users. It also found domestic users are charged 41% more compared to what Zambia Sugar charges its export customers in the Great Lakes Region Zambia Sugar managing director Rebecca Katowa said the company will appeal the decision.
“We are in the processing of filing an appeal to the Competition Tribunal.”
The hefty fine against the company is set against a decline of more than 74% in exports to the European Union (EU).
To make up for the decline, Zambia Sugar is looking at local and regional markets where prices are expected to remain above world levels. This is despite increasing competition from other regional producers.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and other Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries are among the targeted regional markets.