French company Lesaffre Bio-Corporation – the largest yeast producer in the Polish market – has been fined over PLN 3 million by the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection, UOKiK.

UOKiK ruled that, for three years, Lesaffre had operated a cartel by supplying its yeast products to 45 wholesalers under agreements that bound them with loyalty rebates and required them to pay a penalty of several thousand PLN if they bought products from another yeast producer.

Under Polish law, a business found to be party to a cartel can be punished by a fine of up to 10% of its previous year’s income. Lesaffre was punished as the initiator of the cartel, whereas no fines were imposed on the wholesalers, most of which are small firms with a small income from selling yeast.