Is Pepsi's tea from Vietnam made with Chinese materials?
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese consumers have raised questions about the quality of Oo Long tea made by Suntory PepsiCo, which is advertised as having ‘Japanese quality’, but found to have  materials made from China.

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Oo Long Tea Plus was launched on the market by PepsiCo Vietnam in a noisy advertisement campaign. The products are delivered for free at public entertainment centers and displayed at most groceries as ‘products with Japanese quality’.

The advertisement has led to the misunderstanding that Oo long Tea Plus is a product of Japan. Vietnamese favor the product, because they believe in the high quality of Japanese products.

However, doubts about the quality of the products and the manufacturer’s ads have been raised after local newspapers discovered that the tea is made of input materials imported from China.

In Vietnamese thoughts, Chinese products mean ‘low quality’ and ‘toxic’ products.

Doubts about the quality of the products and the manufacturer’s ads have been raised after local newspapers discovered that the tea is made of input materials imported from China.

Local newspapers have found customs declaration documents showing that from June to December 2015, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam imported input materials from China – Instant Oolong tea powder SUN60, 20 kilos per carton. 

The documents showed Vietnam was the import country, while the original country was ‘CN’, or China.

Gia Dinh & Xa Hoi newspaper discovered that in the last six months of 2015 alone, Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam imported 30,672 kilos of Instant Oo long tea powder SUN60, worth $1,272,365. 

The information stirred up the public, especially when reporters said they could not contact the managers of Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam to clarify the problem. Meanwhile, customers have accused the manufacturer of giving vague information about the origin of materials in ads.

Vuong Ngoc Tuan, deputy secretary of the Vietnam Association for Standards and Consumer Protection, affirmed that in principle, manufacturers must show the origin and elements of products and they must take responsibility for the product quality. 

While Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam imports tea materials from China, Vietnamese tea remains unsalable. Doan Trong Phuong, deputy chair of the Vietnam Tea Association, said the Oo long tea inventory volume has reached 2,000 tons.

In Lam Dong, the province considered to be a ‘tea metropolis’, where there are many operational tea exporters such as Fusheng, HaiYih, Cau Dat and Ha Linh, farmers and businesses have been unable to sell their tea exports.

Local newspapers reported that Oo long tea now is sold for VND15,000-20,000 per kilo, which is just 50 percent of the ordinary price. Meanwhile, many export companies have stopped collecting tea, causing losses for farmers.

Taiwan, the biggest Oo long market for Vietnam, has unexpectedly required Fipronil content of 0.001 ppm in tea, a requirement which is even stricter than that set by Japan (0.002 ppm).


Dat Viet


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