Investigating fake clean vegetables: ‘Turns’ market vegetables into 3 clean vegetables!

This woman is an employee of Hugofarm Company buying goods at Hoc Mon wholesale market (Hoc Mon district, Ho Chi Minh City) – Clip art: THAO THUONG – Small photo: Consumers buy vegetables at 3 Clean store – Photo : THAO THUONG

Cut yellow leaves, wormy leaves, remove the soft, ugly fruits and then put them in packing bags, labeled with VietGAP, super clean vegetables labels, etc., you have completed the process of turning ordinary vegetables into clean vegetables.

Remove dead leaves, deep into vegetables “selected”

At the beginning of August 2022, with the reason of looking for a job, a reporter Youth easily recruited in the right position as a fruit and vegetable processing worker at Hugofarm Clean Agricultural Products Co., Ltd (house number 21 Tang Bat Ho Street, Ward 11, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City). Initial salary is 3 million VND/month, working shifts from 4 pm to 10 pm, including Saturday and Sunday.

Online, this company introduces: “Hugofarm provides fresh – green – clean and safe food to every family. No middlemen anywhere”.

The company also reported that it is self-cultivated with a closed system, has a farm in Tien Giang province, and at the same time links reputable farms in Da Lat to cultivate according to organic standards, with product insurance.. .

We work as workers in a four-storey house with an area of ​​​​about 7m .2. Sister T., guiding me, picked up the stalk of the coriander and said: “Here, I picked up all the withered, yellow, wormy and bruised leaves… Leaves that are discarded, I collect the garbage, or if I feel sorry, please home to eat”.

Nearly 100 bunches of spinach are arranged right on the aluminum table, which is said to be a clean vegetable from Tien Giang province moved up at noon, must be picked up to become “selected” vegetables. Ms. T. quickly arranged vegetables into plastic bags, labeled them while saying: “The owner here has a clean vegetable garden in Tien Giang.

Every day here, we pack several hundred kilograms of vegetables to give to supermarkets and shops in apartment buildings. But this number of raspberries is not enough. Later, I have to go to the wholesale market in Hoc Mon district to buy more.”

Hugofarm Clean Agricultural Products Co., Ltd (Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City) buys vegetables at the Hoc Mon wholesale market (Hoc Mon district) for preliminary cleaning, labeled “VietGAP standards” – Photo: T.TRAU

Mainly buy at the market

We followed the staff of Hugofarm Clean Agricultural Products Co., Ltd. to Hoc Mon wholesale market to witness the scene of gathering vegetables and fruits of this company to “transform”.

At 6:20 p.m. on August 16, a woman drove a red scooter with plate number 59V1-569… starting at 21 Tang Bat Ho. At Hoc Mon wholesale market, the woman stopped to make a phone call.

About 10 minutes later, a woman wearing pink shorts and a peach-colored coat with a red scooter arrived. The two women began to collect orders that the company was missing.

Then, one by one, each person brought vegetables back to the address 21 Tang Bat Ho. At 21:05 on August 16, they arrived.

As soon as they saw the woman in the red coat with dozens of bags of vegetables piled high and hanging all over the motorbike, many people immediately ran out to help unload the goods, quickly carrying dozens of heavy bags of vegetables to their side. in the base.

Each room for processing agricultural products has four workers. Two people clean vegetables at the market, pick up yellow leaves, insects, choose branches, young leafy vegetables; two people put them in plastic bags to pack, label the place of processing and production with the standard VietGAP logo.

The hands are quick, without talking, the packages of spinach, herbs, water spinach, amaranth, watercress… are cleaned “like new”, weighed with the correct weight such as 500g, 300g, 50g depending on by type… and stacked in separate piles.

Also cleaning vegetables bought at the market, a worker is entering the cabbage, weighing 300g. Hugofarm’s logo for the type of cabbage has a green background, white border and the words “VietGAP standards”. Above the logo, there is a small inscription: “Hugofarm is a closed breeding and farming farm, using organic fertilizers, no growth agents, no preservatives. Bringing products directly from the garden to the consumer. used”… They are glued to vegetables by workers who have just gathered at the market, of unknown origin.

All vegetable packages here are labeled with a logo with a green background with a white border. On the logo of vegetable packages, the packing date is printed one day back from the actual packing date.

On August 17, we followed these two women from the company to Hoc Mon wholesale market. Still the same, vegetables are purchased at the market and transported directly to the company. Inside the preliminary processing department, the vegetables are rotten, damaged and put directly into the packaging of VietGAP vegetables.

In less than 30 minutes, all orders for nearly 20 blue plastic baskets were completed. Inside each basket is a delivery order in A4 size paper. For example, on August 11, the delivery order has the words that the consignee is a company, a supermarket chain that sells food, has a warehouse at a commercial center in District 8, Ho Chi Minh City.

Investigating fake clean vegetables: Turning market vegetables into clean 3 vegetables! - Photo 3.

Graphics: TAN DAT

Fake “VietGAP” vegetables into the high-end supermarket

After many days of monitoring the activities of “clean vegetable processing enterprise” Hugofarm, we have obtained the destination of the finished products as well as the delivery time.

However, to confirm exactly that “clean vegetables” will arrive at the correct address as in the information collected, we decided to follow the delivery truck to the supermarket.

Around 6:00 a.m. on August 12, a motorbike with a large plastic shopping cart stopped in front of the door of house No. 21. The man calmly entered the house carrying large bags of vegetables to the cart.

Around 7 am, the driver started to deliver the goods. We closely followed the driver on the road from Tang Bat Ho – Phan Van Tri – Bui Dinh Tuy – Nguyen Thien Thuat – Phan Chu Trinh… The first stop of the shipment was 3 Clean Food Gourmet Market on the road. Tran Nao Street (An Khanh Ward, Thu Duc City).

The driver stopped the car close to the side of the store and leisurely carried two large bags of vegetables inside… The delivery process for this 3 Clean Food store took place in nearly 20 minutes. The delivery is completely natural, in front of the buyer’s eyes.

After completing, the driver continues on the way to the second delivery point, which is 3 Clean Food Gourmet Market at Tower 2, The Sun Avenue apartment building on Mai Chi Tho Street, Thu Duc City. All the remaining vegetables are delivered inside.

Products of Hugofarm Clean Agricultural Products Co., Ltd. with VietGAP label, 3 Clean round stamp label, and barcode are displayed on the shelves, at a much higher price than buying in the market.

Investigating fake clean vegetables: Turning market vegetables into clean 3 vegetables! - Photo 4.

Preliminary processing, labeled “VietGAP standard”, vegetable prices have increased many times – Photo: T.TRAM

Small wholesale market traders: no VietGAP certification

After witnessing with our own eyes the “enchanting” of clean vegetables, we went back to the fruit and vegetable stall that the two women of HugoFarm Agricultural Products Co., Ltd bought at the Hoc Mon wholesale market; to inquire about documents, access to the growing area as well as other conditions to ensure this is a true source of clean vegetables.

The stall owner named Hong replied: “The vegetables here come from the garden. There is no VietGAP paper. Any place that requires this condition is helpless. The whole market has no paper… Some people who work in supermarkets are “running”. “The papers are outside. I have a nephew who can run the paper”.

People buy because they believe in clean vegetables

On the shelves of 3 Clean (tower 2, The Sun Avenue) there are many fruit and vegetable products labeled VietGAP, 3 Clean, stamps, barcodes… of many different suppliers, including products with labeled by Hugofarm Agricultural Products Co., Ltd., exactly the kind of label we have witnessed with our own eyes being arbitrarily affixed to vegetables purchased at the wholesale market when impersonating at this processing facility.

As a person living in tower 2 of the apartment building, Mr. Vu Dinh Kien (41 years old, Thu Duc city) said that he often buys vegetables at 3 Clean store right here because of convenience.

More importantly, the vegetables here have labels, VietGAP standards, 3 Clean stamps and all fresh green vegetables. Although it is more expensive than at the market, but thinking it is clean and delicious, Mr. Kien said that he often chooses to buy vegetables at reputable stores.

But when asked about believing that the labels are just “camouflage”, Mr. Kien admitted: “If it’s mixed vegetables, deceive based on consumer’s beliefs, then… I will accept it. Then all fruit and vegetable shops are the same.”

“Any request is available”

During the night, Ms. Hang (born in 1985, from the West) working in Hugofarm unpacked the bag of cilantro bought at the wholesale market, cleaned the root, weighed it exactly 100g, leaned towards me as a model for stamping and said: “I prepared a round stamp. This one I don’t need to wrap the curtain (a square piece of bag, as a support that can be rolled outside the vegetables, so that the vegetables are easy to put in a plastic bag – PV), I hold the vegetables and put them straight in my hand. into the bag and paste the barcode…”.

After finishing the packages of cilantro with round stamps and barcodes, Ms. Hang continued to guide me to do the same as the packages of cilantro but with regular stamps, which are stamps with the words “VietGAP standards”.

Round stamps, barcodes here are kept separately at a corner, pre-printed with all information. Vegetables, plantains, grated bananas… are bought at the market, cleaned, packed and stamped in two different categories.

Wondering why a package of vegetables is the same but has two different stamps, Hang explained: the places where I drop off the goods require different types of vegetables.

Round stamps also have two main background colors, blue and white. With the words “3S, 3SACH FOOD, Fresh & Healthy; from Farm to Table” (clean, fresh and healthy food; from farm to table); Printed Fanpage address: 3 Sach Food Gourmet Market.

The information to gain the trust of customers is also very complete, from the website: www.3sachfood.vn; hotline: 1800 6034. Barcodes also print numbers under the bar, product name, weight, the supplier is Hugofarm Clean Agricultural Products Co., Ltd.

Investigating fake clean vegetables: Turning market vegetables into clean 3 vegetables! - Photo 8.

Data: THAO THUONG

What do businesses say?

logorau dom

The baskets of vegetables have been transformed into “safe vegetables” by Hugofarm Clean Agricultural Products Co., Ltd (Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City) to be delivered to stores and supermarkets – Photo: T.TRA.

After completing the role-playing part, another reporter in the role of a partner who needed to buy vegetables to sell at the supermarket contacted the phone number on Hugofarm’s website to meet a representative of this company.

Was scheduled to meet Ms. Tuyen at 21 Tang Bat Ho (Binh Thanh District). Talking on the 4th floor, Ms. Tuyen said the printing staff showed us the price list of 92 kinds of vegetables she can supply and sell in the supermarket. 1/3 of them are VietGAP certified, mainly leafy vegetables (cabbage, spinach, morning glory, amaranth, etc.), all grown in Tien Giang.

Most of the remaining vegetables such as chili, ginger, garlic, onion, susu… do not have VietGAP. According to Ms. Tuyen, when delivering, vegetables with VietGAP certification will be shown on the stamp, the rest do not write VietGAP.

When asked if there is a case in the intestines that are not VietGAP products, but outside with VietGAP stamps, Ms. Tuyen affirmed: “That package of vegetables is stamped with her own stamp, she is responsible for that product”.

We asked how it would be resolved if the authorities found that there were pesticide residues higher than the allowable threshold in vegetables, Ms. Tuyen said the two sides would support and negotiate together to resolve.

(to be continued)

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The article is in Vietnamese

Tags: Investigating fake clean vegetables Turns market vegetables clean vegetables

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