Thailand govt to sue Chinese factories producing fake jasmine rice

Image from The Nation Thailand/ANN

BANGKOK, March 18 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Thailand's Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) is getting ready to sue three Chinese rice producers for allegedly manufacturing fake Thai jasmine rice.

DFT director-general Ronnarong Phoolpipat said on Friday that the department received complaints from Thai rice exporters that these mills were adding artificial fragrance to imitate the signature aroma of Thai “hom mali” or jasmine rice.

This fake jasmine rice is being sold in China under fake Thai trademarks and labels saying the rice is imported from Thailand. This, Ronnarong said, was in violation of Chinese laws.

He added that DFT had alerted Beijing of the three factories, and they had been ordered shut. The authorities have also reportedly found that the factories violated several other laws related to food safety, product quality and advertising.

The three factories are:

• Anhui Huainan Shouxian Yongliang Rice Industry, which sells rice labelled “ราชาไทย” (Thai king) under the “Tai Zhi Wang” brand.

• Anhui Xiangwang Cereals, Oils and Food Technology Co Ltd sells locally grown rice under labels claiming the rice was produced in Thailand. The company’s rice processing permit expired in 2017.

• Huainan Chufeng Industry and Trade, selling fake jasmine rice under the brands “Tai Guo Xiang Mi” and “Tai Xiang Mi”, which translates to “Thai Jasmine Rice”.

Ronnarong said there is no record of these factories ever importing rice from Thailand. They also sold this fake rice at much higher prices than locally grown versions.

The DFT will soon hold talks with the Thai Rice Exporters Association about suing these factories for damages. DFT plans to take them to court in China.

He added that DFT’s “commerce ambassadors” stationed in seven locations in China have also been instructed to survey local markets for signs of trademark infringement and alert Chinese authorities immediately. He said these steps will help prevent damage to Thai rice producers and protect people from consuming artificially scented Thai jasmine rice.

Last year, Thailand exported 142,146 tonnes of jasmine rice valued at 3.99 billion baht to China, up from 3.46 billion baht earned in 2021 for a higher total shipment of 147,581 tonnes. - The Nation Thailand/ANN

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