“Mongolian Apples” Deceive Consumers


Alleged “Mongolian apples” have been reportedly sold in every food markets as well some streets of Ulaanbaatar. Two weeks ago, apples that were labelled as grown in Khovd aimag’s Bulagan som were sold for 5000 MNT per kilogram while the previous Friday they were sold for 3000MNT. A young woman standing next to the fence outside the Maks group’s fast food restaurants in the Chingeltei district was selling three sacks apples labelled as Mongolian. When asked where they were grown, she replied, “the Selenge aimag.” When asked about when the Selenge aimag began growing apples, she replied, “Apples are being grown everywhere nowadays.”
Apples labelled as Bulagan som grown are also being sold in Ulaanbaatar. Many citizens have inquired as to whether the apples were genuine Mongolian apples and therefore have appealed to the Unfair Competition Regulatory Authority. This organization has investigated the origins of the apples on the requests and complaints made by consumers in Ulaanbaatar last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The following is an interview with the senior specialist of the Unfair Competition Regulatory Authority, Ts.Tsegmid.
-Where did you conduct your investigations?
-We have investigated the dominant suppliers of fruits and vegetables, Bars Impex and other small shelters all over the city that sell vegetables and fruits. The investigation reports have proven that the apples were not grown in Mongolia but rather imported from China. Firstly, the individuals who have sold them on the streets do not have verification of their origin, certification or laboratory approvals. Secondly, on a national scale, only around 10 ton apples are grown within Mongolia—90 percent of which come from the Khovd and Bayan-Ulgii aimags. The small amount of apples that are grown cannot be transported within Ulaanbaatar Mongolia and sold on the streets. The harvested apples are sold in the provincial areas. We have received information from the provinces that it isn’t possible to supply the Ulaanbaatar market with them. Thirdly, 2,114 ton apples were imported in August of 2012—70 percent of which or 1,554 ton were imported from China. Another 36 percent, or more than 500 ton, of the imported apples came in early September. Since the supply has peaked suddenly, distributers are doing everything to get the better hand, one of which is the advertising of these alleged “Mongolian apple.” I would like to warn all Ulaanbaatar consumers that all the apples on the Ulaanbaatar market are imported and there are no Mongolian apples being sold in Ulaanbaatar.
-Have you conducted quality checks and inspections on the imported apples?
-We have checked the documents and certification of the Bars Impex Trade Center’s fruit importers. Most of them had origin certificates and laboratory approvals. The apples themselves had no quality violations. But they are taken out of their container boxes and sold in sacks at 1500-5000 MNT. The City Council has banned uncertified and hand to hand trading of goods. The Capital City Specialized Inspection Agency and the Capital City Police Department should be taking action to enforce this policy.

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Posted by on Sep 25 2012. Filed under Business & Economics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for ““Mongolian Apples” Deceive Consumers”

  1. [...] “Mongolian Apples” Deceive Consumers Alleged “Mongolian apples” have been reportedly sold in every food markets as well some streets of Ulaanbaatar. Two weeks ago, apples that were labelled as grown in Khovd aimag's Bulagan som were sold for 5000 MNT per kilogram while the previous … Read more on UB Post [...]

  2. Well, how do you like them apples?!? I was wondering where all the apples were coming from. I have travelled extensively for work though every aimag over the last several years and maybe saw a handful of Apple trees.

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