Argentina is investigating companies including Danone and Unilever over accusations that they have deliberately held back production amid a government crackdown on rising prices, according to Reuters.
Argentina’s Ministry of Productive Development alleged that a number of food producers and consumer goods firms had been holding back production volumes, with Bunge also on the list of companies under investigation.
The country’s production ministry also alleged that the firms in question had not abided by a resolution to “increase their production to the highest degree of their installed capacity”.
The ministry said that inspections carried out in shops had found shortages of consumer products and alleged that a significant drop in production or distribution has been identified in relation to products ranging from flour to cooking oil.
The statement added that the firms under investigation must rectify the situation and restore stock levels.
Argentina’s leftist leaders have been trying to protect consumers from rising prices and to rein in inflation, with the government clashing with some businesses and investors over issues including price caps, according to Reuters.
The production ministry said that legal price controls aimed to protect consumers “from possible price abuses and to guarantee the normal supply of products in supermarkets”.
Bunge and Unilever are yet to respond to emailed requests for comment.
In a statement Danone said: “Danone reaffirms its commitment to the production and supply of essential products throughout the country. Danone maintains constant and open dialogue to collaborate with public control bodies, in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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