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Vietnam city forms ‘gatekeeper’ team to sweep Chinese potatoes away from market

Vietnam city forms ‘gatekeeper’ team to sweep Chinese potatoes away from market

Thursday, November 05, 2015, 16:46 GMT+7

The administration of Da Lat City in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong has set up a special team to act as ‘gatekeepers’ to stop Chinese products disguised as local specialty potatoes from entering a wholesale market there.

The gatekeepers will be on duty 24/7 at the entrance to the Da Lat produce wholesale market until the end of this year, the local administration said Tuesday.

“The team will stop Chinese potatoes from entering the market and rebuild reputation for the Da Lat vegetables,” Duong Ngoc Duc, head of the city’s economic bureau, said.

The team consists of officials from the city’s economic and traffic police, the economic bureau, and tax department, with four people on duty per shift.

Some traders at the Da Lat wholesale market used to source Chinese potatoes and mix them with the typical red dirt of Vietnam’s Central Highlands to make them look like Da Lat-grown produce.

The disguised Chinese potatoes would then be sold at the price of real Da Lat products despite having poorer quality, which thus ruined the reputation of Da Lat potatoes.

On October 20, the city’s administration banned all traders at the market from importing Chinese potatoes.

But vendors then managed to persuade officials to delay the effective date of the ban to November 1 to have time for preparations.

All but four of the booths that sell Chinese potatoes at the market have thus had to shut down, according to what Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters saw during a visit on Tuesday afternoon.

The four owners said they had imported the potatoes prior to the effective date of the import ban.

Traders also managed to send hundreds of metric tons of the Chinese products to outside warehouses by the deadline, as the ban is only applicable inside the market.


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