An agriculture cooperative is taking advantage of a fruit and vegetable fair in Da Lat to show consumers how the green products grown in the Central Highlands city, known as Vietnam’s veggie kingdom, are different from Chinese produce by displaying them next to each other.
Anh Dao Da Lat Cooperative puts Da Lat-grown potatoes, cabbages, carrots, onions and many other vegetables next to their Chinese counterparts at their booth at the event, which successfully attracts visitors’ attention.
The cooperative also placed posters with clear instructions on how to tell the city’s green delicacies from Chinese products, which are sold under the Da Lat disguise to dupe consumers, on the wall.
The booth attendants are also willing to give tips to visitors to detect Chinese produce with the naked eye.
Dishonest traders have been found importing Chinese produce to Da Lat and coating vegetables with the typical red dirt of the Central Highlands city to have a Da Lat-like look before transporting them to Ho Chi Minh City or other localities for distribution.
Local traders use a very simple trick to erase the real origin of the Chinese produce and wrap them in the Da Lat disguise.
After sourcing potatoes from China, the traders wash them with a machine to remove the black dirt on their skin, dry them, and slightly scratch the vegetables to make them look as if they were damaged en route.
The final step is to wrap them with the typical red dirt of Da Lat.
Many other products, including potatoes, artichoke pollen, tamarind jam and pickled plums are sold to tourists as Da Lat specialties, while they are in fact imported from China.
“I think what we are doing is necessary because it helps consumers easily distinguish between Da Lat and Chinese produce,” Nguyen Cong Thua, director of Anh Dao Da Lat, said.
The Da Lat green produce fair has attracted 70 booths from 30 businesses specializing in growing, processing and trading Da Lat agriculture products.
The event is running from December 23 to 27.