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China: Why fake fertilizers still exist on the market

At present, the fertilizer market suffers from a lack of order. The cost of production is high and the margins make the market price even higher. The cost of fake fertilizer production is much lower and since competition on the fertilizer market is weak, it is obviously much more profitable to sell products of poor quality. The farmers' capacity of recognize fakes is poor. At the same time, quarantine services don't have enough resources to investigate everything. All these factors have created a situation where fraudsters are constantly playing tricks with farmers and causing damage to the agricultural sector. 

One of the ex-workers from a factory that was accused of producing fake fertilizers described three major ways of cheating. The first method is to reduce the amount of useful substances. Producers put in less Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and other important elements. Sometimes their concentration is completely outwith the legal minimum. Unfortunately, this way of cheating is so common in fertilizer producing companies that it is not even a secret for anyone. The second method is faking a logo and a description of a product. Some of the descriptions are saying things like "contains active ingredients". Looks very promising, but in fact it's just a marketing hook. The third method is the so-called "to sell horse meat as beefsteak". Producers register their companies in Hong Kong or somewhere abroad to make it look more respectable for the farmers, while in fact it is just the same cheap fake covered by a fancy name.

Source: Fruit Service Center

Publication date: 9/18/2017


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