The Vietnamese “white gold” garlic in Vietnam comes from the island of Ly Son. And even though a collective trademark for Ly Son garlic has been in place for 10 years, it is not enough to fully deal with fake products.
Since the start of 2020, local authorities 2020 have sanctioned six violations where people transport garlic from other regions into Ly Son island to sell under the protected brand name. They tried to disguise their cargo by putting fruits or seafood on top of the garlic, and some even claimed they were bringing the garlic to their family as gifts, said Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee Dang Tan Thanh. “We will not let anyone get away with bringing garlic from mainland onto Ly Son island under any guise”, he stated.
However, the Ly Son Garlic Geography Indicator scheme points out that authorities cannot forbid other types of garlic from entering the island, since garlic is not a restricted item and can be traded like any commodity. Mr. Thanh also admitted that the local police force is short on personnel, therefore not every ship entering Ly Son port can be thoroughly checked.
When asked about measures against fake products, Vice Chairman Thanh explained that the Geographical Indication would be the primary legal and commercial basis in dealing with fake products, and that the People’s Committee would raise locals’ awareness on how to protect the brand themselves.