a warning about how unethical business conduct can erode consumer trust

In June, Canada Bread Co Ltd – acquired by Grupo Bimbo in 2014 – pleaded guilty to four counts of price fixing​​ under the Competition Act.

She admitted that a senior executive arranged to raise prices on various bagged and sliced ​​bread products with executives of its main competitor, Weston Foods (Canada) Inc.

The pricing system​- billed as “one of the most notorious price-fixing conspiracies in Canadian retail history” – resulted in two price increases, in 2007 and again in 2011, according to the Competition Bureau Canada.

At the time, Weston Foods was controlled by George Weston Limited, which also operates Canada’s largest retailer, Loblaw Companies Ltd. (In 2021, Weston sold its entire bakery business for a total value of $1.57 billion.)​

While Weston and Loblaw admitted their role in the price-fixing conspiracy,​office granted them immunity​ in exchange for their cooperation.

“In March 2015, we discovered information that raised concerns”​ said Galen G. Weston, President and CEO of George Weston and Loblaw.

“We immediately reported what we discovered to the Competition Bureau and have been fully cooperating with the Bureau ever since. »

Committed to maintaining consumer trust

Grupo Bimbo also said it cooperated fully with the investigation, handing over documents that were not seized during the office search. The violations occurred before Bimbo’s arrival, when Canada Bread was majority owned and controlled by Maple Leaf Foods.

In exchange for Canada Bread’s cooperation, Ontario Superior Court Justice Maureen Forestell set the fine lower than the maximum, but at C$50 million, it is still the fine the highest imposed by a Canadian court for price fixing.

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