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    UOKiK Launches Investigation into Potato Product Producers in Poland

    The President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), Tomasz Chróstny, is currently conducting an investigation into the practices of six prominent entities operating in Poland’s potato product industry. The entities under scrutiny include Farm Frites Poland, Frito Lay Poland, Iglotex, Intersnack Poland, McCain Poland, and The Lorenz Bahlsen Snack-World, all of which are major producers of popular potato products such as chips.

    According to information obtained by UOKiK, there are indications that these companies may be engaging in practices that exploit their stronger market position, potentially imposing unfair cooperation conditions on farmers. The remuneration for the supplied potatoes, it is alleged, might be determined using non-transparent criteria, enabling purchasers to arbitrarily reduce the amount paid, which could amount to unfair exploitation of contractual advantage.

    “We have received reports suggesting that producers of chips and other popular snacks, leveraging their market dominance, may have unilaterally imposed unfair conditions on farmers. We intend to investigate these practices thoroughly. Commercial relationships within the agri-food market should be built on fair principles. Any practices that contravene good business conduct and harm the essential interests of weaker market participants will be vigorously combated,”

    stated Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

    UOKiK Ensures Fair Contractual Practices: Scrutinizing Delivery Terms, Remuneration, and Penalties

    As part of the investigation, UOKiK will focus on ensuring that the rights and obligations of both parties involved in the contracts are fairly balanced. Specifically, they will scrutinize the terms of delivery, the methods for determining farmers’ remuneration (including its components), the protocols for quality testing of raw materials, and the implementation of contractual penalties.

    It is important to note that the investigation is being conducted in a general sense and is not targeting any specific trader at this stage. If the evidence collected substantiates the suspicions, the President of UOKiK will initiate proceedings against the specific entities involved, charging them with unfair exploitation of contractual advantage. If found guilty, a trader could face penalties amounting to up to 3 percent of their annual turnover for engaging in such illicit practices.

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