Wednesday, June 15, 2005

UAE poultry cartel in dispute with Dubai cooperative :: Khaleej Times

There is a "uniform price policy" for poultry sold at retail in the UAE. It is not clear who sets this policy or what the consequences are for those who do not conform to the uniform price.

The Emirate Poultry Producers Association is not happy that the Union Cooperative Society in Dubai is selling poultry at prices below the uniform price. Several UAE Ministries have issued directives for the formation of a "permanent committee for the poultry industry." It's immediate purpose is to "study the urgent disputes of poultry producers and distributors." It "will be armed with wide-ranging powers and its decision on any dispute will be binding on all parties."

The so-called "erring" producer, Al Safa of Oman, distributed - the article uses the perjorative "dumped" - its poultry through the Union Cooperative Society.

Now, "the UCS in Dubai is studying proposals to establish its local poultry farm to meet the local market demand. 'The price of the new product will be less than the prevailing market prices by 15 to 20 per cent,' said Mohammed Al Thani, Director-General of UCS in Dubai."

I read his statement to mean the UCS is not planning to conform to the "uniform price policy" and the dispute with the EPPA will continue.

Recently, the UAE has criticized distributors for taking "advantage" of growing demand by increasing prices for food. The UAE is experiencing the same sorts of contradictions in government policy that is common in other countries, including the USA. As in the USA, some government agencies are charged with protecting consumers by fostering competition amongst producers; other agencies are charged with protecting producers - and often it is producers of agricultural products - from competition.

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