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Bottled water shortage attributed to negligence of industry standards
Published in Daily News Egypt on 04 - 09 - 2012


By Basma Tharwat and Norhan Yasser
The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has filed a complaint against domestic bottled water companies with the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA).
“We lodged a complaint to the Egyptian Competition Authority against bottled water companies after finding out that seven companies failed to meet standards after a particular bacteria was discovered in water sources,” said the Director of the Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) General Atef Yaqub.
Companies have increased bottled water prices by 11 percent recently, claiming it is an annual increase, Yaqub said. The CPA has called on the ECA to clarify whether there is a deal among companies to raise prices or if the increase is legitimate, he added.
The CPA, in cooperation with investigators, is waging a campaign to combat price manipulators, Yaqub said.
Foodstuff section head at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, Ahmed Yehia, said the increased temperature and high demand on bottled water, especially during the summer, gave the impression of a reduction of bottled water supply.
Yehia expects the crisis to be over within two weeks, given that families will return to Cairo from summer vacation at the start of the academic year. He added that temperatures are relatively moderate this month compared to last month.
Mohamed Rafaat Abu Zarifa, Chamber of Food Industries board member at the Federation of Food Industries, added that the federation is striving to solve the bottled water crisis, saying companies have not committed any mistakes and the problem emerged due to the differences between the standards of quality for water wells.
The chamber is discussing the crisis with concerned bodies and is holding meetings with companies that were resistant to negotiation to reach a rapid solution, Zarifa added.


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