Lam Dong Province has approved a programme to build a Da Lat potato brand to prevent farmers from selling cheap Chinese potatoes disguised as potatoes from Da Lat, which are more expensive.
In the near future, the province plans to spend around VND1 billion (US$44,000) to print around 200,000 packages that will be provided during a pilot run to several Da Lat potato farmers and businesses.
Around 700 tonnes of potatoes will be packaged in 2 and 5 kilo packages.
The packages will feature the logos of the Da Lat brand (the provincial brand for produce and products made in Da Lat), and will be designed in ways that make it difficult to imitate. This will help customers tell the difference between the two types of potato.
Traders often import cheap potatoes from China, cover them with red dust, and sell them as Da Lat potatoes, which are four to five times more expensive, and are regarded as having higher quality than Chinese potatoes.
Nguyen Hong Phong, director of Phong Thuy Agriculture Manufacturer and Trade Ltd, said that while Da Lat’s potato output is relatively high, its supply can fall during the rainy season, so some traders import Chinese potatoes and sell them as Da Lat potatoes.
During transportation, inspections and other procedures, the fake Da Lat potatoes are registered and referred to as Chinese potatoes.
Many customers in other provinces and some in Da Lat fell for this trick, since it is hard to point out fake Da Lat potatoes without careful examination.
Tran Huu Tho, a potato farmer, said that he looks forward to be part of the branding programme because he believes customers might one day reject the Da Lat potato due to fraud.
After the programme takes effect, individuals and organisations who package Chinese potatoes as Da Lat potatoes will be disciplined and charged with fraud.