Bach Hoa Xanh truck came to receive mushrooms from Dong A (big picture), many types of mushrooms, vegetables, carrots … of Chinese origin were torn and renamed, “launched” on the market – Photo: BONG MAI
With relatively cheap prices, even half that of Vietnamese goods of the same type, the supply is abundant, many Chinese agricultural products are changed by suppliers to change their names and “turn” into agricultural products. Vietnamese for sale in supermarkets, convenience stores with high prices like Vietnamese goods.
“Turn” Chinese goods into Vietnamese goods
In August 2022, after applying to work as a worker at the workshop of Dong A Commercial Production Joint Stock Company (Linh Dong Ward, Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City), a unit specializing in supplying vegetables to many supermarkets large and convenient stores, we’ve noticed many anomalies.
From 7:30 a.m., looking from the outside the door is a picture of workers picking, preliminarily processing fresh green vegetables to put in trays, wrapped in clean bags and stickers. Everything seems normal, but behind the vegetable processing area is a small room with a separate door that specializes in processing a variety of mushrooms.
Inside the small room, Ms. H. (worker, introduced who has worked for more than a year at the establishment) pulled a large tray of seafood mushrooms with Bach Tuyet Ready Food brand and then instructed us to tear the label printed plastic bags. original, transfer the whole mushroom into another plastic bag with the “fresh” stamp and the information of Dong A Company.
To make a tray of mixed mushroom hot pot, in addition to placing abalone mushrooms, chicken thighs, scallions and red peppers on the tray, we also had to tear out the bags of enoki mushrooms printed with the Chinese brand Everlife from the original bags. then put it in the tray.
After weighing enough 300g/tray of mushroom hotpot, workers continue to wrap food wrap for the tray, then affix a new stamp of Dong A brand, containing the content “Fresh from farm to table” and with a logo that can currently meets VietGAP standards (Good Agricultural Practices in Vietnam, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development).
Also in this small room, where outsiders could not see in, we continued to be instructed to tear 125g “white reishi” bags, with stamps stating “origin of China” (by the company). Loi Hao Gia Limited with a clear address, import and distribution) then put in a new plastic tray, add mushrooms to weigh 150 grams.
Then, label it “Tuoingon Vegetable”, with the message “fresh from the farm to the table”, and change the name of the mushroom from reishi to jade. Traces of Chinese origin have disappeared. Expressing questions about hiding labels and changing origins, a male worker winked and revealed “to raise prices”.
During our lunch break, when we wondered if the mushrooms we had packed in the morning were Chinese products, a female worker (introduced, worked at the factory for about two years) affirmed: “That’s right, mushrooms. It’s all China in here.” This person also said that because of the 7th lunar month, many people are vegetarian, so mushrooms are selling well.
Although the origin is changed, on the website of Dong A Company, it is still proud of the mission “Transmitting the spirit of Dong A – connecting the community, being an important link in the supply chain of agricultural products in Vietnam to help increase value and sustainable development of Vietnamese agricultural products”.
Vegetables of Chinese origin are imported to Hoc Mon wholesale market – Photo: BONG MAI
Made in China go to the supermarket with Vietnamese brand
Based on the information and the address on the mushroom packaging, as a person who needs to buy mushrooms to sell to the supermarket, we went to the Loi Hao Gia mushroom barn inside the Thu Duc agricultural wholesale market to find out. In this barn, we supply many different types of mushrooms such as: Everlife enoki mushrooms, Snow White seafood mushrooms, chicken thighs, brown/white reishi mushrooms, fresh shiitake mushrooms…
When talking, a man working at this barn confirmed that all are Chinese mushrooms, no other water mushrooms. “Only the packaging is theirs, he bought our mushrooms, he cut the bag, he put their bag in, vacuumed one of his own”, another also did. work here confirmed.
When asked where the bags of mushrooms of Chinese origin were changed to Dong A brand, originating in Vietnam and labeled VietGAP, where would they be sold, Ms. H. (worker working at a factory of the Company). Dong A company) said that after being “changed new clothes”, the mushrooms of Chinese origin will be delivered to Bach Hoa Xanh in the afternoon.
True to Ms. H.’s words, around 3pm on the same day, a truck stopped in front of the facility’s door, then two people wearing T-shirts with the words “Toan Tin logistics” came to load the goods into the car. (Toan Tin Logistics Joint Stock Company is a member of Mobile World Investment Joint Stock Company – the “mother” of Bach Hoa Xanh chain – PV).
After many days of observation, the green featured car with the words Bach Hoa Xanh in yellow regularly parked in front of this facility at a fixed time frame to receive mushrooms. To better understand, PV followed Bach Hoa Xanh truck when he finished picking up the goods and ran away from Dong A Company’s workshop (Thu Duc City).
After traveling, this car went straight to the central warehouse of Bach Hoa Xanh on Tran Dai Nghia Street (Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City). As observed, the Dong A-branded mushroom product was quickly unloaded and gathered by Bach Hoa Xanh’s staff.
An employee loading and unloading goods here said that the product will be distributed to the unit’s stores. At this time, inside the warehouse, there are many other cars bearing the brand name Bach Hoa Xanh.
Workers change the packaging of seafood mushrooms from China to the “Fresh and delicious” label of Dong A (Vietnam) brand – Photo: BONG MAI
“Disguised” of origin for easy consumption, selling at high prices?
Recorded at Thu Duc agricultural wholesale market and Hoc Mon wholesale market (HCMC) shows that in addition to vegetables brought from many regions across the country, there are also vegetables imported from China. such as cabbage, cabbage, onion, carrot, white radish… However, most of them are “changed their name” when sold by the seller.
Specifically, most vegetables can only keep their Chinese origin when they are stored in boxes, bags and on vehicles, but when they are delivered to small merchants, the origin change process also begins.
At a vegetable barn at the Thu Duc farmers’ wholesale market, a man removed duct tape with Chinese characters from a bag of cabbage and cabbage, then cut it beautifully to arrange it in large piles. A small trader named H. came to introduce “for onions, the wholesale price is 15,000 VND for Chinese goods, but Da Lat goods are twice the price”.
In addition to the cheap price, this small trader also said that at this time, most of Da Lat’s onions are still young, not to mention that it has been affected by the rain, so it will be damaged after buying it for about five days, “there are still Chinese goods for sale. carefree” until half a month is still okay.
“100 people can only get 3 – 4 people to take Da Lat goods, people buy odd quantities of 2-3 kg to eat, because the price is too high. But selling this product (China – PV) is not okay”, Ms. H. share.
Pointing to two baskets of Chinese and Da Lat cabbages lined up side by side, Ms. H. picked up a cabbage and said: “Here, look, Chinese goods look fresher and more beautiful”. Looking at the appearance, it can be seen that the Chinese cabbage is larger, the head of the cabbage is very dark green, not yellow.
According to Ms. H., the wholesale price for both Da Lat and Chinese varieties is 15,000 VND/kg, but said: “Before, I see people going to the market to buy things, people buy Chinese cabbage because they keep it for a long time.” . Accordingly, Dalat cabbage can only be kept for about 2-3 days, while Chinese cabbage 5-6 days is still fresh.
Ms. Linh (Hoc Mon wholesale market) also said that on cartons of carrots, potatoes, onions or fruits such as grapes, apples, etc. imported from China, the word China (China) will be written. but when the box is removed, moved to the retail market, when the packaging is torn, it is difficult for customers to know the origin because the form is not too different from goods of the same type originating in other countries.
“People are afraid of Chinese agricultural products, so when retailing, most sellers will not say that they are Chinese products, but advertised as Da Lat goods, or with fruits such as grapes and apples, they will be American and Japanese products. … When successfully transferring “household registration”, the selling price of Chinese goods can be doubled or tripled, making it easy to pickpocket the user’s pocket”, Ms. Linh said.
After taking mushrooms in Dong A (Thu Duc city), Bach Hoa Xanh truck was transported to the central warehouse of this unit in Binh Chanh district (HCMC) – Photo: QB
Many Chinese agricultural products overwhelm Vietnamese agricultural products
According to a representative of Thu Duc agricultural wholesale market (HCMC), the amount of Chinese goods imported to the market is about 550 tons/night, of which many items arrive almost all year round in large quantities such as potatoes, carrots, cabbage, garlic, apple, grape, pear.
In particular, the prices of many Chinese agricultural products wholesale at wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City are always low compared to those in Da Lat or other countries.
For example, Chinese apples cost 35,000 VND/kg, US gala apples are 75,000 VND/kg; Chinese pear 35,000 VND/kg, Korean pear 65,000 VND/kg; Chinese lotus garlic 25,000 VND/kg, Ly Son garlic 300,000 VND/kg; Chinese yellow potatoes 14,000 VND/kg, Dalat pink potatoes 28,000 VND/kg…
At this time, while many domestic products are in short supply such as Vinh Chau red onion, Da Lat white onion and carrot, Hanoi cauliflower…, similar products from China are being sold. Import is overwhelming, the price is very soft.
Red onion 25,000 VND/kg, white onion 15,000 VND/kg, carrot 15,000 VND/kg, broccoli 35,000 VND/kg… If buying Chinese agricultural products in bulk, the above selling price is further reduced.
Remove the original label, peel off the product packaging is violated
Talking to Tuoi Tre, a lawyer in the field of commerce in Ho Chi Minh City said that according to the provisions of Decree 43/2017/ND-CP, organizations and individuals are responsible for labeling goods, including labels. must ensure truthful, clear and accurate labeling, reflecting the true nature of goods.
For imported goods whose original labels are not in accordance with regulations, importing organizations and individuals must add additional labels when they are put into circulation and must keep the original labels.
“Thus, the act of tearing the packaging, not keeping the original label, changing the label to falsify information compared to the original label for mushroom products imported from China by Dong A Company as above is a violation of the law.” this one concludes.
(To be continued)