Certification to strengthen following tea fraud case

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 16, 2017
By: Jason Pan / Staff reporter

More stringent requirements are to be imposed for the certification of oolong and high mountain teas,

Prosecutor Wang Ming-yu on Tuesday tells a news conference in the Nantou County station office of the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau that mixing oolong with other teas and marketing it as pure is considered fraud. Photo: Chen Feng-li, Taipei Times

and entry samples must be traceable to their place of production, the Nantou County Department of Agriculture said yesterday, following an alleged case of counterfeit tea sales.

More tea samples are to be subjected to random testing to determine their level of residual pesticide and other chemicals, department officials said, adding that QR codes would be required for all tea farmers to enable verification of the product’s place of production and processing.

The move was in response to the alleged discovery of counterfeit teas that officials say have damaged the reputation of the county’s certification and marketing processes for oolong and high mountain teas.

Prosecutors have arrested a tea farmer surnamed Lai (賴) and are conducting investigations to determine if other people or businesses were involved.

Officials raided Lai’s office and detained him for questioning, alleging that he imported tea from Vietnam, mixed it with tea produced in Taiwan and marketed it as high-priced Lugu Dong Ting oolong tea.

An official estimated that Lai made more than NT$5 million (US$165,306) in illicit profits by selling more than 8,000 catties (4,800kg) of blended tea in the past two years.    [FULL  STORY]

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