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Turkish Watchdog Probes Italy’s Ferrero For Monopolizing Hazelnut Market

 |  November 17, 2022

Turkey’s competition authority has launched a legal investigation into Italian company Ferrero on charges of monopolizing the hazelnut market.

In a preliminary phase, the authority found evidence serious enough for opening an investigation into Ferrero, an Italian multinational headquartered in Luxembourg and the world’s second-biggest chocolate producer and confectionery company.

Ferrero employs more than 1,000 people in Turkey, where it has been sourcing hazelnuts across the agriculture-rich country’s Black Sea regions for over three decades.

Read more: US: Kellogg sells Keebler to Ferrero for US$1.3B

But the company – Turkey’s top hazelnut buyer especially for its world-famous Nutella spread – has angered Turkish farmers, who accuse Ferrero of paying meagre sums to them for hazelnuts and then selling its products at significantly higher prices.

“We started our legal process with the competition authority in September against Italian company Ferrero, which is trying to monopolize the hazelnut industry,” Hilmi Güler, mayor of the Black Sea province of Ordu, whose economy is mostly based on revenues from hazelnuts, tweeted.