The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) notes with concern, a proposal for the Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB) to be authorized to determine farm gate price for milk. This proposal was reported in The Daily Observer on Wednesday, December 7, 2005.
Exercising such control over the farm gate price of milk would be contrary to the objectives and provisions of the Fair Competition Act (FCA). Specifically, such control amounts to price-fixing and would be in contravention of Section 34 of the FCA. More importantly, it would compromise the competitive environment in the market for milk.
While it is understandable that the Jamaica Agricultural Society might feel “a need for the Board to be empowered to regulate farm gate prices in order to protect the dairy farmers” the greater social good is achieved by competitive markets. Competitive markets encourage economic efficiency, lower prices and higher quality.
As the competition watchdog agency in Jamaica, the FTC is closely observing the developments regarding this proposed legislation and will seek to be included in future deliberations on the matter.
The FTC remains committed to fostering the development and maintenance of competition in Jamaica.