Chinese fruit market seeks to raise vendors' awareness of brand counterfeiting

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Chinese fruit market seeks to raise vendors' awareness of brand counterfeiting

A premium fruit wholesale market in China is seeking to increase its vendors' awareness of fruit packaging counterfeiting, following several cases of brand and country-of-origin forgery.

The Zhejiang Jiaxing Fruit Market, located near Shanghai in northeast China, held a meeting on Nov. 15 to discuss brand protection and notify sellers about the cases of counterfeiting, both with local and international produce.

Counterfeiting is a common issue in China, with many brands having been affected including Zespri, Pink Lady and Mission Produce.

At the meeting, the vendors were told that those found to have been involved in forgeries had been punished. 

More than a hundred vendors were present at the meeting.

Since November 2017, many cases of brand and country-of-origin forgery have been investigated and prosecuted, with sellers involved having to pay fines.

Two Chinese fruit vendors were recently fined 50,000 yuan (US$7,206) and 95,000 yuan (US$13,692) for selling kiwifruit under a fake Zespri brand.

Zhu Yonghao, president of the association of the recently opened Zhejiang Jiaxing Haiguangxing Premium Fruit Market, which is part of the other market and only sells imported produce, said: “As vendors, we have to fulfill the market's duty - so no imitation of famous brand and no selling fake fruit brands".

He added that vendors should be proactive in applying stricter protocols to avoid this type of situations.

He Hao, vice-general manager of Jiaxing Fruit Market, said during the meeting that they would all fight against counterfeiting.

Li Buxiang, vice-general manager of the Jiaxing Haiguangxing Premium Fruit Market, told Fresh Fruit Portal that thanks to the strict management, they haven’t found any counterfeit and infringement cases since its opening in September.

He highlighted though that for many Chinese vendors is hard to determine a brand's authenticity, especially when it concerns imported fruits.

“I hope the foreign fruit dealers can pay attention to this and strengthen the training of their brand and product in Chinese markets, helping us to distinguish the true from the false," he said.

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