Brazil is the largest producer of orange juice in the world. In the late 1980s a number of companies in the industry engaged in colluding cartel behaviour and shared confidential competitive information to increase their control of the market by pushing out independent competitors.
This scheme was successful and by 1999 the cartel had a virtual monopoly of the orange juice market. Many producers have been pushed out of the industry and remaining independent farmers were forced to accept the cartel’s harsh terms for buying their produce leading to great financial losses.
The orange juice industry has been investigated by the Brazilian Competition Law Authority since 1976 in various administrative proceedings. In 2016 its investigation into the colluding behaviour was concluded finding that the Cartel had formed between 1999 and 2006 in order to control the purchase of oranges from independent farmers in the orange juice market.
PGMBM is representing 1563 orange growers and former orange growers, 22 companies and the Brazilian Association of Citrus Growers (Associtrus).