Helping Consumers Identify Genuine Ngoc Linh Ginseng

10:15:15 AM | 5/4/2023

The Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance (DMS) recently opened a showroom themed “Identifying genuine Ngoc Linh Ginseng in the market” in Hanoi. The event lasted from April 12, 2023 to April 18, 2023, at 62 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. This was a special event as Ngoc Linh ginseng products were available at its showroom for the first time to help consumers and visitors identify and distinguish Ngoc Linh ginseng grown in Kon Tum province and some other types of ginsengs, as well as promote some Ngoc Linh ginseng products developed by some companies.

Showroom “Identifying genuine Ngoc Linh Ginseng in the market” organized by the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance 

Speaking at the event, DMS General Director Tran Huu Linh said that Ngoc Linh ginseng has long been considered one of the most precious medicines, an effective medicinal herb of high economic value that attracts a lot of investors, both individually and institutionally. However, not all know exactly where this plant is grown, where it comes from and what is a good product.

Therefore, the “Identifying genuine Ngoc Linh Ginseng in the market” event was important to help consumers and visitors equip themselves with the knowledge to recognize genuine Ngoc Linh ginseng grown in Kon Tum province and ginseng planted in other localities; help raise consumer awareness in buying Ngoc Linh ginseng and its products of clear origin. At the same time, this showroom also aimed to introduce reputable traders and distributors of genuine Ngoc Linh ginseng, thus enabling them to prevent and avoid buying counterfeits and knockoffs.

“Through this event, we want to provide a forum and a guide for savvy consumers, and at the same time create a close connection among companies, consumers and authorities to prevent, detect and handle counterfeits and knockoffs,” he stressed.

According to data from Kon Tum province, there is now more than 1,710 ha of Ngoc Linh ginseng in Tu Mo Rong district alone, of which nearly 1,700 ha is owned by companies, cooperatives and households and nearly 70 ha is owned by farmers. Over 1,200 ha of natural forest is growing 24.8 million Ngoc Linh ginseng plants, with an estimated total output of 213.6 tons.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Vo Trung Manh, Chairman of Tu Mo Rong District People's Committee, said that, according to the master plan to 2020, with a vision to 2025, released in 2013, Kon Tum province planned nearly 32,000 ha of Ngoc Linh ginseng. Forests are vital to ginseng farming.

Being aware of the great value and direct benefits of Ngoc Linh ginseng, mountainous people did not exploit forests indiscriminately, Mr. Manh added. The ginseng area has been constantly expanded. The government recognized Ngoc Linh ginseng as a national product. Many businesses in Kon Tum have invested a lot in the ginseng industry, creating a vibrant picture for medicinal herbs.

However, the ginseng market has also faced a lot of pressure from fake ginseng and non genuine Ngoc Linh ginseng. In the past time, market watchdogs across the country, even in Kon Tum province, often unearthed many violations related to Ngoc Linh ginseng.

In early March 2021, Market Management Team 2 - Kon Tum Market Management Department coordinated with Dak To District Police to ambush and arrest a shipment of Ngoc Linh ginseng-like tubers camouflaged in boxes of orchids. The market watchdog uncovered three boxes containing 2 kg of tubers and 12 kg of leaves, very similar to Ngoc Linh ginseng of Kon Tum. There were two big ginseng tubers (with leaves) weighing nearly 3 hectograms each and the rest were small tubers. The driver confessed to the competent forces that all tubers transported from northern provinces to Dak To district were ventricular tubers. Before that, the team discovered seven boxes with 112 bottles of wine brewed from Ngoc Linh ginseng leaves in Dak To town, Dak To district. The liquor was produced in Quang Nam, without valid invoices and records, and proven to infringe intellectual property rights of Ngoc Linh K5 ginseng of Kon Tum.

Ngoc Linh ginseng features many valuable nutrients, rated a top class in the world, proven with research conducted by domestic and foreign scientists and published in prestigious international journals. However, to make Ngoc Linh ginseng a strong product and a breadwinner for farmers, like its peer in South Korea, it is a long challenging way ahead.

At the event, DMS General Director Tran Huu Linh assigned not only Kon Tum Market Management Department but also other market management forces in many other localities to deploy professional measures; obtain information from local people about business locations with signs of commercial fraudulence, illegal transportation and trading of substandard Ngoc Linh ginseng products (seeds, seedlings, tubers, leaves and extracted products), knockoffs and counterfeits; promptly detect and handle violations to protect Ngoc Linh ginseng; at the same time, regularly monitor and grasp situations on social networks such as Zalo and Facebook to identify accounts that trade Ngoc Linh ginseng products to detect and strictly handle traders of low-quality products, knockoffs, counterfeits and uncertified products.

Le Hien (Vietnam Business Forum)