HA NOI — "Candies without registered-names, expiration dates or information of ingredients spread all over shops in my hometown whenever Tet (Lunar New Year) approaches," Tong Minh Ha, a resident of the suburban Chuong My District said.
Ha said that wholesalers in rural areas prefer to buy candies with unknown origins as their prices were cheaper despite knowing their quality was not ensured.
Popular products include colourful confectioneries, preserved fruits (o mai), and sugar coated fruits.
Nguyen Thi Que, a seller from the outskirts of Tu Liem District's Xuan Dinh Commune said people in rural areas, mainly farmers, did not have much money and thus like buying cheap things.
If she sold expensive things, farmers would not buy anything or just buy a few things, and it would affect her business.
"So I often buy cheap candies from Dong Xuan market - the biggest market in Ha Noi, or from some candy-producing villages. People like it. They really do not care about the quality," Que said.
Dang Thi Thao, owner of a kiosk in Dong Xuan market said, "Whenever Tet approaches, merchants from rural areas flock to the market to buy low-quality products whether from Viet Nam or China."
Ngo Van Xuan in Me Linh District said, "In fact, I know goods in the market have low quality, but I don't have much money to buy candies from Vietnamese companies as their prices are often double those of unknown origin."
Tran Vu Lam, chairman of Chuong My District's People's Committee, said the authority organised a market management team to inspect candy shops to minimise the trade of unknown-origin candies. Especially during Tet Holidays inspection would be strengthened.
In fact, candies of unknown origins are still sold in the locality due to wholesalers seeking profit. They really do not care about people's health. Furthermore, sanctions were not strict enough to stop the situation. Shops sometimes closed to avoid inspection, according to Lam.
"Products of domestic companies face difficulties when they have to compete with fake goods or poor quality goods," Nguyen Trong Kha, head of the Research and Development Division of the Bibica Corporation, said.
Tran Dang – former director of the Department of Food Hygiene and Safety under the Ministry of Health, warned that customers need to care about products made with artificial colouring and an unknown-origin.
Hand-made confectioneries with harmful chemical substances would damage people's health. Customer should buy products with the ingredients, producers and expiration date posted, Kha said.
According to Vo Van Quyen, deputy head of Market Watch, authorities will focus the inspection on sales and promotional offers for Tet holidays to avoid having low quality and goods of unknown-origin in the market. — VNS