Duplication of spices- a growing threat!

All kinds of markets whether big or small have a range of spices. India is a country where different kinds of foods are eaten, and spices play a dominant role in making the regional delicacies. The usage of spices in dishes depends on the location and the mass production of a particular spice in a particular area. Climate and geography also play a major role in determining the production and demand for spices.

But counterfeiting of spices has become a common affair and there is hardly any place left where counterfeit spices are not available. From black pepper to cinnamon, cloves to turmeric and bay leaves a wide variety of spices have fakes readily available in the market. These duplicate spices are usually cheap and thus pose a threat to the original spice manufacturing companies. Many times, the spices are adulterated with harmful chemicals to make them look visually similar, this causes a wide number of ailments in the consumers.

Forgers also sell very old spices in the name of fresh aromatic spices. Storing spices for a very long time reduces their quality and taste. Besides this point, forgers employ deceitful tactics to sell spices in the market. They often pack entirely different contents in place of the original. For example, papaya seeds are used in place of black pepper or common wooden birch in place of cinnamon. In many cases, the spices are also dyed to make them look visually similar to the original product.

There are certain spices that are substituted or diluted. Fake labels are also placed on the packaging to give them the look of the original. Here are some common spices and their adulterants.

Cinnamon

In the U.S., what’s commonly sold as cinnamon is actually cassia, a cousin of true cinnamon.

Saffron

Those little orange threads you bought aren’t saffron, they’re probably flowers from other harmless plants, most often calendula.

Black Pepper

Papaya seeds sold as ground pepper are clearly mislabelled, but they won’t do you any harm.

Chilli Powder

Chilli powder has also been found to contain brick powder, talc, and even sand and dirt.

delhi high court

Apply Delhi high court judgement on e-commerce – asks seller body

According to a judgement by Delhi High Court, last month on counterfeit products sold on ShopClues an association has asked to implement the judgement on the entire e-commerce.  The judgement mentioned that e-commerce was not taking enough steps to curb the sale of counterfeit products. The association of online vendors has written to the government asking for applying guidelines laid out by the court to all e-commerce marketplaces in India.

While complaining against ShopClues the American electronics brand Skullcandy mentioned that its counterfeit products were being sold on the platform. The Delhi High Court has asked the Tiger global based company that it maintains all the necessary guidelines to ensure the authenticity of products on its platform.

However, ShopClues has not responded to specific queries on the steps that were being followed. All India Online Vendors Association has written to the government and the Consumers Affairs Ministry to direct all marketplaces according to the guidelines laid by the law.

Earlier ShopClues has been pulled up for a similar issue of counterfeit products in a judgement where it was barred from selling counterfeit products of French cosmetics company L’Oreal.

Source: Economic Times

Counterfeiting in fragrance industry and how to find it

With counterfeiting growing its tentacles in every industry fragrance industry is also facing its wrath. One can easily get fake products online. Most consumers are unaware that highly sophisticated knock-offs are also finding their way into retail shelves. Counterfeiters are easily available to sell fake fragrances on different platforms.

Besides leading to a loss of income to legitimate sellers there are many health risks associated with the same. Duplicate perfumes are not properly tested and contain a lot of chemicals and adulterants.

This creates the potential for all sorts of nasty surprises, such as Counterfeit fragrances cause all sort of problems like causing a rash on people with sensitive skin, burning the skin, staining clothes and respiratory problems.

There are a number of instances where people buy a whole lot of perfumes and attars both offline and online but many times it is not possible to do the same. Counterfeiters also use different types of chemicals which are quite toxic in the long run.

There are certain points according to Choice.com which must be kept in mind while buying fragrances from the market.

  1. What does it cost? If the price seems too low, chances are it’s not the genuine article.
  2. Where’s it being sold? Street corner, flea market, suspect online website? If it looks dodgy, it probably is.
  3. Look at the packaging. Are there any misspellings? Does the country of origin match the country usually on the product? Is the printing or cardboard of poor quality? If you’ve got an old box, take it with you for a comparison when you’re shopping.
  4. If you can, look at the contents. Are there differences in colour or consistency from the normal product? It should be clear and not overly oily.
  5. How does the product smell? It shouldn’t be bitter or sour. Spray some on a piece of cardboard, then go away for half an hour. Does the fragrance last?
  6. Ensure the seller guarantees the perfume is 100% genuine (some offer a certificate of authenticity) and has a return policy if you’re not happy with the product.

Four men accused of duping Amazon of Rs 70 lakh with fake products

Recently four men were accused of duping e-commerce giant Amazon. The forgers cheated with an amount worth Rs 70 lakh. The matter came to light when Amazon filed a complaint with the Koramangala police. The accused persons include two assistant managers of the third-party service provider.

In his complaint, Nishad Sharma has identified four men namely Ravi Kumar, Sonu, Mohammed Anwar, and Shiv Naik. The FIR mentions that two of the accused are assistant managers with a Koramangala-based third-party service provider

According to reports, the accused used Amazon’s “Returns, Refunds and Replacement” policy to steal close to Rs 70 lakh from the e-commerce giant. Since Amazon refunds customers who receive either damaged or substandard quality goods, Anwar and Naik who were in charge of such refunds used the policy to line their own pockets. At the time, all of the accused are absconding.

With the help of the two others accused in the case, Naik and Sharma purchased several different commodities and returned them only after replacing them with fake ones. The fraud came to light only after Amazon executives began checking the products that were sent with the fake products returned to the company by the accused.

Source: Mirror Now

The problem of counterfeiting in liquor industry

Counterfeit alcohol is illegally produced and is often manufactured in unlicensed distilleries, the backyard of homes and even hideouts located at unknown locations of the city. Due to an increase in demand of alcohol-based beverages and an increase in tax on the same forgers are manufacturing large quantities of alcohol to reap maximum profits.

Counterfeiters are employing all kinds of tricks and cunning measures to make, package and sell fake alcohol in different locations. The most surprising thing about counterfeit alcohol is that it is sold on high prices and consumers are not able to determine the genuineness of the alcohol.

With the boom of globalization and pop culture, different kinds of alcoholic beverages are gaining popularity among the masses especially youngsters. Some of the prominent highly popular liquor forms are Vodka, Tequila, Champagne and Beer.

However, the most worrying thing about these alcoholic drinks is that they are being counterfeited on a vast level and it has become challenging for the manufacturers and consumers to identify the real products. According to an article published in Financial Times “Paul Varga, Chief Executive of Brown-Forman, told the Financial Times “A third of the world’s alcohol is estimated to come from what we call illicit production.”

Alcoholic drinks that are properly produced pass through strict quality control and different checks. These drinks are made with ethanol in a given proportion which is ideal and safe for human consumption.

But fake alcohol drinks usually have other adulterants which are harmful to the consumer and have inappropriate quantities of harmful additives. Drinking such type of alcohol can leave one blind, lead to liver or kidney failure, coma and even death.

According to Drinkaware’s Chief Medical Advisor Professor Paul Wallace explains: “Commonly used substitutes for ethanol include chemicals used in cleaning fluids, nail polish remover and automobile screen wash, as well as methanol and isopropanol which are used in antifreeze and some fuels. These other types of alcohol can produce similar effects to ethanol in terms of making you feel tipsy. But they are also potentially very dangerous.”

Drinking alcohol containing these chemicals can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness. It can also lead to kidney or liver problems and even coma. Methanol, a substance which can be used in fake vodka, may cause permanent blindness.

Some of the common adulterants used in fake alcohol are antifreeze chemicals, nail polish remover, screen wash and even low-quality unprocessed alcohol.

manufacturing duplicate products delhi

Fake products of a renowned brand seized in Delhi

Acting on the orders of Patiala House Court Delhi authorities raided the premises of a SIDCUL based company which was manufacturing duplicate products of a famous food brand.

Apart from confiscating the packaging materials, the production unit has been sealed. The manufacturer has not provided any response as of yet. The notice has been slapped after the raid was launched and the authorities were informed.

Sandeep Messey Court Commissioner and advocates Kuldeep Singh and Niti Sharma raided the premises of the company. The seized products were of the company Akash Yog Health Product Private Limited and confiscated the packaging materials of Gavya Lotus foods along with all other kinds of machinery.

While speaking to The Pioneer advocate Kuldeep Singh said that the complaint has been registered following a complaint by the client Lotus Foods. The owner of the company lodged a complaint with the court after which a notice was sent to the organisation.

Advocate Kuldeep Singh further said that no response was received by the whole production unit. And if anything, new is produced then it would be considered as a contempt of court.

Source: The Pioneer

What is the level of counterfeiting in India?

The growth of technology and liberalization of the economy in India has created an ideal market for counterfeiters to inappropriately misuse the brand images that have evolved over time. The enormous growth has given rise to different kinds of fraudulent activities. However, it is the popularity which promotes counterfeiting of products among people.

Counterfeiting also referred as piracy in common trade parlance mean the unlawful acquisition by a person of the property of another person without his consent. Counterfeiting includes forgery of currency, documents, software, pharmaceuticals, jeans, watches, electronics and company logos and brands.

There are certain consumer goods and brands which have become easy to reproduce at low rates and have become common targets of counterfeiting. In India counterfeiting is a very common problem in almost all the industries. Counterfeit products are easily available in flea markets, street markets and roadside kiosks. No wonder, today, counterfeit products are available in the big shop, malls and popular stores.

In India counterfeiting is a growing problem and counterfeiting impacts not only organizations but also consumers. According to Authentication Solutions Providers Association, the counterfeiting industry in India is worth Rs 40,000 crores industry. According to a report by World Trade Market Review, “India’s consumer goods and retail sector is predicted to see sales soar by 40% over the next three years – making it the fastest-growing emerging market. Of this, it is estimated that brick-and-mortar sales will rise by a mere 10%, meaning that the bulk of growth is expected to come from online purchases. According to a report by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Deloitte, the online retail sector in India will be worth $1 trillion (Rs660 trillion) by 2020.” The report further states that “In India, it is estimated that about 80% of consumers buying counterfeit goods are victims of deception. Counterfeiters use photos and descriptions of genuine products to attract consumers, but then supply them with counterfeits.”

ICC to organize conference on ‘anti-counterfeiting, anti-piracy & brand protection’

In a bid to address the issues faced by organizations to fight to counterfeit in India, Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is organizing a conference on Anti-Counterfeiting, Anti-Piracy & Brand Protection on January 21, 2019, at Hotel Shangri-La in New Delhi.

The conference will bring together Government, industry and other stakeholders under one roof to discuss the policy level issues and share the best practices and innovative ideas to curb the menace of counterfeiting, piracy and brand theft resulting in the strengthening of IPR protection ecosystem in the country.

Besides, the conference will also cover the economic and social issues arising out of counterfeiting; discuss key challenges involved in combating counterfeiting (policy and enforcement related), discuss sector-specific issues and share case studies; identify the role of technology in anti-counterfeiting and chalk out strategies for the industry.

The conference will give a platform to all stakeholders to discuss, share experiences and network with industry leaders and learn about the current and innovative practices in the industry to curb counterfeiting and protect the brand.

The keynote speakers for the conference will include-Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ramesh Abhishek; Member (Customs), Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) Pranab Kumar Das and stalwarts from private and government domains.

Source: Knnindia.co.in

Why counterfeiting is harmful for manufacturers?

Counterfeiting or duplication is a growing threat which is devouring different industries. Every year companies lose millions of dollars due to the sale of duplicate products. Duplication has entered into every sector and is going to become $1.90 -$2.81 trillion industry by 2022 according to a report by KPMG and FICCI.

Over the years organizations have tried to curb counterfeiting but their efforts have turned futile. In addition, the added costs in fighting fakes come as an extra burden. Besides these issues, there are a whole lot of challenges faced by a company or organization due to duplication. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Loss of sales revenue and profit margin: Sales and profit margins are the veins and nerves of any organization. A company’s success is determined by the number of sales it has earned in a specific time frame. A good number of sales is a visible indicator of a company’s wellbeing and vice-versa. The sale of duplicate items leads to a drop-down in the sale of a company’s products. If it goes unchecked, then it can lead to a complete downfall of the company. Due to multiple sale locations of the product, it is quite hard for a company to trace the manufacturing location of counterfeits.

Poor brand and product image: No wonder, the sale of counterfeits lead to a tarnished image of the brand and its products. The sale cheap fakes lead to a false perception among consumers regarding the quality of the product and the brand. Unaware consumers often think that they are buying original products but instead, they receive fakes.

Added cost on fighting fakes: Companies have to incorporate different strategies for fighting counterfeiting of their products. This comes in the form of added costs for the organization already facing the problem of duplication.

Richemont joins Alibaba’s anti-counterfeiting alliance

Switzerland based luxury goods company has joined Alibaba’s anti-counterfeiting alliance whose aim is to secure the intellectual property rights on the e-commerce platform.

For a long time, Richemont has been an anti-duplication crusader which has a strong legal team that monitors watch and jewellery platforms that sell their goods. McDonald’s, General Motors, New Balance and Richemont are the newest global brands to join Alibaba’s anti-counterfeiting alliance. The membership has tripled from the previous 30 founding member brands during its launch in 2017.

Alibaba works with its brand partners to locate and eliminate fakes at their sources. Particularly in the luxury sector Louis Vuitton and Alibaba are one of the first members of AACA conducted an offline investigation which has resulted in the confiscation of fake goods worth $14.4 million.

Alibaba’s Senior Vice President Michael Yao said that the protection of intellectual property rights requires all the stakeholders to work closely together and share their knowledge on the same. The alliance will continue to establish the best industry practices for IP protection by entering into an alliance with brands, platforms and law enforcement.

Net and Mr Porter will open online stores on Alibaba’s luxury pavilion. YNAP and Alibaba said they plan to explore future offerings to enable the JV’s customers to enjoy ‘unique and seamless online and offline shopping experiences’ through digitizing and completely integrating the retail value chain from merchandising and marketing to payments and last mile delivery. The venture will focus on serving the consumers in China which will also extend to Chinese consumers visiting abroad.

Source: WWD.com