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Fresh produce from all over the world – or just from China?   2010-01-26 - VietNamNet/TT

Many kinds of fruit, now available at local markets -  oranges from the US, apples from Japan, mandarins from Thailand and guavas from Vietnam – are, in fact, all from China.


Giving a magic to China’s fruits


A long queue of 40-feet container vehicles were seen standing on the way into Tam Binh Wholesale Market in Thu Duc District in HCM City one day in mid December 2009.


Ngoc, a merchant, who has a kiosk right on the entrance door to the market, told Tuoi tre’s reporters that he was receiving deliveries from one of them.


Ngoc said that 100 percent of the fruits available at his kiosk are imported products, 80 percent of which are from China.

When asked why every apple has the label which shows it is from Japan, and every orange shows it is from Thailand, but the big boxes that contain the products show the products are “Made in China”, Ngoc said that the apple truly originated from Japan, but it is grown in China. Similarly, Thailand’s guava is grown in China.

Ngoc, and other salesmen, carried big boxes of fruit to a kiosk.  There they removed the boxes from the fruit and put them into other boxes with no words about the origin of the products. With just a simple action, salesmen were then able to invent new origins for the products.


As such, Chinese sourced fruits can be easily turned into products with Vietnamese or western origins, which allow them to be sold at much more higher prices.


Han, the owner of a fruit shop in Tan Phu District in HCM City said that red grapes sourced from China, priced at 30,000 or 35,000 dong per kilo, could become the US red grapes to be sold at 85,000-100,000 dong per kilo


China’s fruits sold as Vietnam’s fruits


At a kiosk at Tam Binh market, Tuoi tre reporters were shown large, fresh guavas with words shown on the box stressing that it was from a Vietnamese company in Tay Ninh province.


However, reporters realized after talking with other market traders that the guava is from China


N, a salesman at Tam Binh Market, showed reporters that all the guavas available at the market have been taken from the same container vehicle which provided goods to the market.


Similarly, China-sourced melon have been introduced as Vietnam’s, simply because Vietnam’s products are more expensive, at 25-27,000 dong, while China’s products are at 9,000-13,000 dong only


According to the management board of Tam Binh, Binh Dien and Hoc Mon Farm Produce Wholesale Markets, some 300-400 tonnes of fruit from China have been carried to the market every day.

Thanh Ha, deputy director of Tam Binh Market said that some 50-60 percent of total fruits imports are from China.


Meanwhile, Binh Dien Market said that all the fruits carried to the market over the last week are from China

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