From chicken to milk… healthy competition is a must

A few years ago, a romour was rife that the products of one of the poultry companies in the Gulf region were produced in France. It was said that these products were just packed here in the Sultanate of Oman. This romour caused enormous damage to the company, and pushed the sales of its products in Oman to below 10,000 cartons from 30,000 cartons in just a day.
The company launched a campaign to dispel the rumours. It organised a tour for journalists in the Sultanate to its headquarters so that they can see themselves and verify the reality of what is being said about it. It had to
bear all the financial burden of the tour and other such exercises to dispel the rumours.
During this tour, we saw that the first farm of the company was spread over 40 square km area. The second was on 80-km land. These farms were supplying products to all markets in the Gulf region. The Sultanate was its second largest market. There was stiff competition among these companies to control the market. Many times they resort to take any measures they wanted, even hittin each other below the belt.
Today, we are recalling this incident to highlight another side of the story. When a local dairy company launched its products and boldly started marketing them in the Sultanate of Oman, one of the Gulf dairy companies which had monopoly started a massive campaign in the Sultanate. This was to adversely affect the opportunities created for the local products.
Certain actions and measures have already been taken in hypermarkets to make sure that the local products become popular and make their way to homes of the citizens of the country. All these efforts are made as part of the food security plans of the Sultanate, and to help local companies to take foothold in the domestic market.
But the response of the companies in the region was absurd. They created an extremely difficult situation for the local companies.
Some big Gulf companies flooded the local market with their products and brought their prices down. This was with an intention to make the life of the local companies miserable. All the hypermarkets were full of these products and they were getting preferential treatment on request of these big companies. There was no space left for the products of the local companies, including the new entry.
Such measures cannot be justified as acts of legitimate and fair competition. They were just to dominate the market. Attention should have been given to these measures taken to control the markets which were open also for the emerging local products. They should have been monitored closely and regulated.
Despite these types of methods adopted by some foreign companies to marginalise the national products in their own country, if the people of the country, citizens and residents, prefer local products nothing can fail them. For this, these local products should be made more reliable with improved quality. If done so, it will have a positive impact on the national economy and income.
Here, we should not ignore the reality that the national companies always get benefits of the methods adopted in their marketing. It should also be ensured that measures are taken to monitor use of any unfair means to compete in the market.
We cannot compare the capabilities of the local emerging companies with those which are already established in the market, and have significant level of expertise and experience in their areas. It is required by all of us to do whatever is in our capacity and make efforts to empower the national companies. This will ensure better future.
This is not meant for controlling imports. This is required just to achieve food security. This is the direction in which national level efforts are being made using all means and measures in the country.
We are confident that we, as citizens and residents, will develop preference for domestic products and strengthen them in the market to support our national economy. At the same time, it is also a must that the national products match with the expectations of the consumer.