Alf Mizzi and & Sons are muscling small retailers to preserve monopoly pushing prices up as a result

Alec Mizzi

This is part of an extensive and ongoing investigation on food price hikes, inflation, and profits by food importers following an official complaint to the EU Commission by Alex Agius Saliba alleging that monopoly food importers in Malta are using their monopoly power to artificially keep the price of food products high. Initial findings of my investigation indicate that there is evidence that backs Alex Saliba’s claims when considering that the profitability and profits of a major food importer went up in 2022 (Francis Busuttil & Sons). On the other hand, major food importer Alf Mizzi & Sons are hiding the true size and extent of their business in the food importation market while concealing their financials and profitability over the years.

In the meantime, I could confirm from two separate owners of grocers or mini-markets who claim that they are being muscled by Alf Mizzi & Sons to preserve their monopoly and in doing so they are artificially keeping some food products’ prices high. These two grocers claim that as soon as they started importing products by parallel importers that are also imported by Alf Mizzi and & Sons, Alf Mizzi told these grocers that if they continued diversifying their import providers, Alf Mizzi would cut off all supply of all their products to them resulting in the grocers to forcefully buy from Alf Mizzi at Alf Mizzi’s designated prices.

Grocers can not afford to lose Alf Mizzi as their product provider because they provide a very large number of products that only they can provide. As for the products that are provided by both Alf Mizzi and other importers, Alf Mizzi is trying to mark up the price of these products with their monopoly.

Alf Mizzi & Sons have a public obligation to provide more transparency with their accounts and the activities of their business given that they are in a business that significantly affects the lives of the absolute majority of the Maltese people. The public has the right to know whether food importers have taken advantage of inflationary pressures to make even more profits. On the other hand, food importers have nothing to fear in being transparent if they want to prove Alex Agius Saliba wrong.


  1. I am in the business. I confirm the ‘allegations’. Not just small corner grocery shops but also medium sized stores. Problem is that the shareholders are PN leaning individuals. See the conflict here? Triving under labour but will surely continue under any other administration. The group employs hundreds of individuals. I remember back in my time when another cabalistic persona (Polidano) used to threaten the Government by claiming he will make several employees redundant if it does not go his way.
    Next election my voting card will be cut in half… plastic in the black bag and the paper inside (shredded) in the recycling bag (did I get it right?)

  2. Mark we depend on you to keep pushing for Alf Mizzi & Sons to publish accounts. Their monopoly is pushing prices up. In fact they have benefitted from the COVID crisis.

  3. While it’s not illegal per se for a company to have a dominant position in the market, it’s illegal for it to abuse of its position. If so, this would automatically be in breach of the Competition Act. In any case, a refusal to supply and the requirement for stores to exclusively purchase from a supplier are all classic cases of market abuse and a dominant position. Besides if there is a concerted practice or an agreement between different suppliers, this would also be tantamount to a market abuse. I wonder whether the MCCAA have even realised that this may be happening, let alone investigate it… Mark, it might be useful to investigate who is stopping these investigations and the connections between these dominant suppliers and the people whose job is to investigate them…

  4. Not sure who the importer of Rio tuna is, but I remember my local grocer telling us a couple of years back that the exact same thing happened to him when he started selling the same product at a significantly cheaper price which he bought from a parallel trader. He was forced to remove everything from the shelf or face being blacklisted by the “official” importer.


      What a surprise! In the EU, exporters cannot appoint sole agents. However, what happens is what is stated in the article and comments. Threats of withdrawal of supplies mainly. In the good old golden years, my father opened Malta’s first real discount shop, and just for knocking 5 mils off the official price (remember mils?), my father was threatened with this, and more. He called their bluff, and just found other brands. He thrived, and then Price Club opened up, copying my dad’s idea. I know because the owner told us. The importers, Mizzi included then stopped threatening because of the probable loss of business.

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. No wonder Alf Mizzi & Sons can do whatever they want – Mark Camilleri
  2. Rekindling Labour’s socialism – Mark Camilleri
  3. Finance Minister Clyde Caruana confirms that importers are hiking prices excessively through monopoly power – Mark Camilleri
  4. The Chamber of SMEs acknowledges that several food importers are profiteering – Mark Camilleri

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