Why the price of tuna is high - Margherita : All about food


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Why the price of tuna is high

StarKist is the latest trademark of Gran Tuna to recognize guilt.

Last Thursday, the US Justice Department announced that the famous StarKist tuna had admitted a felony charge - essentially the fall of the last shoe in what was an ongoing investigation into allegations of collusion against the top three players in the canned tuna market in America .

The dominoes began to be overthrown in 2015 when the Sea Chicken Company, owned by the Thai consortium, tried to buy the San Diego-based Bumble Bee, a move the Thai consortium hopes will be paid by StarKist, the leading company owned by South. Dongwon Korean Industries. However, it is concerned that the canned tuna market "does not work competitively" even before this proposed acquisition, the Department of Justice began to investigate allegations of collusion. In the end, the seabirds agreed to work with the federalists, in exchange for protection from criminal prosecution. As a result, Bumble Bee admitted guilty of price fixing in May 2017, and now, StarKist has followed.

StarKist now faces a fine of up to $ 100 million as a result of a pricing process that was said to have taken place from November 2011 to December 2013. In 2017, Bumble Bee was hit by a more lenient $ 25 million penalty because of fears of higher penalties for the company, Unemployed.

In announcing the plea bargain, the Ministry of Justice spoke about the impact of price fixing on shoppers financially. "The price fixing conspiracy on these household goods has had a direct impact on the pockets of American consumers," said McCann Dallahim, assistant attorney general at the Department of Antimonopoly at the Justice Department. "We will continue to detain companies and individuals who deceive consumers into accountability."

But how exactly these companies are held accountable is not clear. "Starcist is committed to being a socially responsible company and doing the right thing," said Stuart Chief Executive Andrew Chuck in a statement. "While we are going to continue to conduct our business with the utmost transparency and integrity, although this is a long-term process by nature, we have addressed the necessary actions required in this payment agreement, including continuing to promote relevant compliance best practices."
Choi's response is at least ambiguous, but the acknowledgment is still in place, so it may be premature to see how things will happen. Meanwhile, since Bumble Bee has reached agreement with the Department of Justice for more than a year, it could perhaps better explain the steps it has taken since then.

"The company has taken this issue very seriously and has cooperated fully with the Justice Department since the investigation began," said Gil Irvine, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Bumble Bee Seafood, via e-mail. "We have developed strong guidelines and new internal policies for our way forward, which is overseen by the main compliance officer we appointed in 2016. We have accepted responsibility for the need to recover any lost confidence in our company and will do so by working with integrity and transparency in all the ways that We run our business. "

When pressed to explain what these "strong guidelines" are, or if the trademark has any general documentation of the changes made, Bumble Bee simply declined to comment.

So, how does the Justice Department's investigation help consumers accurately? Christopher Anderson, associate professor of fisheries economics at the University of Washington's School of Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries, suggested that the biggest change is simply by forcing these companies to recognize price reform and to make collusion public. They provide leverage for retailers. Who buy shares of these brands.

"Big buyers - like Walmart and Kroger - are very intelligent, and they're already known to put them in the screws of suppliers," Anderson explains. "They will be the ones who are negotiating with their tuna members, and they will say," You know, we know that prices have been inflated artificially, and we'll be looking for lower prices.

But Anderson brings a bigger point on fixing tuna prices too: we do not feel the consequences only in consumer portfolios. This issue comes with health and even environmental implications. "One of the costs here is not only that we paid a lot, but maybe people looked at the high price and decided to go buy grilled beef and eat it for lunch instead." Grilled beef is much worse for you than tuna and has a much larger environmental footprint "Tuna - especially canned tuna and tuna, which tends to be tuna - is really healthy food. The stock is healthy, so there is little attention to protection. "

A readily available snack here is that when some large companies have full control of the market, they can change our decisions in ways that we may not allow.