President of the Saudi Consumer Protection Society (SCPS) Nasser Al-Towaim has warned companies that the SCPS is planning to start a boycott campaign against products that repeatedly violate regulations related to consumer protection.
Al-Towaim said in a statement that the SCPS supported the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s intention to publish names of violators on social networking sites as per the ministry’s decision No. A/73.
Expressing surprise at the artificially rising prices in Saudi markets, Al-Towaim said: “Prices of consumer goods in the Saudi market are rising at the rate of 30 percent while in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar they are falling at the same rate, even when the purchase base in the Kingdom is wider than any other country in the Gulf.”
He also blamed local traders for not cooperating with SCPS programs such as digital endorsement. The SCPS is currently in the final stages of issuing another set of consumer cards, a scheme aimed at offsetting rising prices.
There are two types of consumer cards. One card is meant for people with a monthly income less than SR 3,000. Holders of this card are eligible for a 5 percent reduction on consumer goods and 3 percent reduction on luxury items. The second card is meant for those with an income below SR 5,000. Its holders are eligible for a 3 percent reduction on consumer goods.
In a related development, an official at a dairy company involved in recent violations said it did not have any comment on the ministry’s decision to publish its violations at the moment. He said his company would comment on the issue in the future and explain the facts and the confusion that surrounded the violation.
“A dairy product passes through several procedures before reaching consumers and we cannot send the product the same day to the market,” said the official who did not want his name published because he was not a spokesman.
Commenting on the issue of writing the "date of manufacture" on milk products, the chairman of the National Committee for Fresh Milk Manufacturers at the Council of Saudi Chambers Muhammad Jan said: “The Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) issued an order 20 years ago that said a manufacturing company should put the code of manufacturing, and not the date of manufacturing, on the package. While some companies adhere to the order, others do not,” he said.
He added that the committee is not concerned with the monitoring of the dates on milk products, but it does inform a company whenever it has made any observation on any product.