Business

Small farmers demand compensation for Brazil’s orange juice cartel

Antitrust regulators punished several companies which formed a cartel to rig prices of oranges in Brazil — now small producers are asking for compensation

orange prices brazil
Cutrale plan, in Araraquara, São Paulo. Photo: Edson Silva/Folhapress

At the beginning of 2018, Brazil’s antitrust authority Cade reached the end of an 11-year investigation into the country’s lucrative orange juice market. The agency’s tribunal acknowledged that consent decrees to cease anti-competitive practices were fulfilled and shelved accusations against the National Association of Citrus Juice Exporters (Abecitrus) and companies Cutrale, Coimbra, Fischer, Cargill, Bascitrus, and ten individuals.

Cade found evidence of cartelization in the orange juice sector between 1999 and 2006, with rigged prices for fruits and market sharing. The accused companies admitted their guilt and pledged to end their anti-competitive practices, as well as paying over...

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