Chinese grapes are being rampantly sold in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring localities behind “US grapes” banners, under a trick that could not be simpler.
A trader sells Chinese grapes behind "US grapes" banner on a street in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang on August 13, 2012 Photo: Tuoi Tre
Some 30 tons of grapes, along with apples, pears, and oranges, are imported to the city every night, and all traders have to do to sell them as grown-in-USA fruit is “just tell buyers that they are from the US,” said Lien, the owner of a fruit booth in the Thu Duc wholesale market, in revealing the as easy as ABC trick to dupe consumers.
And yet her revelation is totally true, and serious, as many customers seemingly do not care where the fruit they buy actually comes from.
“The seller told me that they are US grapes, and that’s so I know. I have no idea of their actual origins,” said Ngo Quoc Tuan, a grape buyer hailing from HCMC’s District 1.
Lien, another fruit wholesaler, said Chinese grapes will be transported across the country, even to the Central Highlands and the central region, but HCMC and the Mekong Delta provinces still post the largest consumption.
Two traders check the newly-imported grapes from China in the Thu Duc wholesaler market. Tuoi Tre
Authorities in Hau Giang Province have recently warned local consumers against the street stands that sell “US grapes” in the locality, as they are all actually from China.
The disguised US grapes are on sale at the quite reasonable price of VND40,000 a kg, while authentic American fruit is available in supermarkets at high prices from between VND160, 000 and VND200,000 a kg. (US$1 = VND20,800)
The cheapies thus attract a large number of local consumers, despite the fruits’ dubious origins and safety and hygiene standards.
Meanwhile, in HCMC, the inauthentic fruits are on sale at exorbitant prices.
Chinese grapes are imported to the city at only VND25,000 – 37,000 a kg, according to Tai, a wholesaler in Thu Duc market.
But vendors who frequent streets across the city and even small traders in markets citywide are selling them at VND90,000 – VND100,000 a kg.
Source: Tuoi Tre News
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