Holidays: honey, sausage, cheese… beware of local product scams

the essential
Like every year, local product scams abound on French markets. Whether on food products, soap or even knives, beware, the phenomenon does exist. As summer approaches, here are some tips to escape it.

Who says summer says market, and who says market often says scams with local products. Misleading staging, disguised dealers, imported products… As 60 million consumers point out in an alert on the subject, “the worst rubs shoulders with the best on the summer markets”.

If you thought you were consuming local products, know that this is not always the case. Fortunately, there are a few tricks to unmask scam-hungry traders and support real local producers.

Folklore is not a guarantee of quality

One of the points on which you should be particularly vigilant is “folk packaging”. It is not because the stand is full of flags or symbols recalling the region that the products come from there. “The idea is to create a link between the product on display and a local origin, without having to display a penalizing label in the event of an inspection. Not a lie, strictly speaking, but a staging that misleads”, explains 60 million consumers. A word of advice, look at the label!

The scourge of “disguised dealers”

Every year, “disguised dealers” posing as local producers flood the markets. “These resellers disguised as cheese makers will offer cheese for three months, then nougat for three months and the following three months sausage, depending on the opportunities”, confides Emmanuel Carbonne, vice-president of the Fromages de terroirs and cheese affineur association. , to 60 million consumers.

Cheese scams…

Cheese scams are among the most common in the markets. Passing themselves off as farm products, they are in fact the result of industrial production. Once again, there are very good products as well as very good producers on the markets, but this kind of scams undermine them because they allow the cheese to be sold much cheaper. To help you, know that the Ministry of Agriculture has compiled a list of 46 AOP cheeses from France.

… with sausage…

Sausage is also one of the most frequently counterfeited products on the market. In order to unmask the intruders, you can for example rely on the prices of the latter: “Three sausages at 10 € presented as local products? It is simply not possible. Beware of a sausage made of fresh meat and natural casing sold below €30/kg. I would even say: turn your heels up”, confirms Stéphane Malandain for 60 million consumers.

… and honey

After sausage and cheese, honey is also the victim of counterfeiting on the markets. “The honey is mainly imported from China and stamped with French labels (…) 80% of the honey consumed in France is imported”, notes the DMEPP site (Spend less and enjoy more). Look for the AOP or IGP labels on the label, or even the address of the beekeeper.

Marseille soap, olive oil, knives

Like other products, Marseille soap is not always so. The product is sometimes largely imported from Asia. Again, find out where the product comes from to be sure of its authenticity. Same observation with olive oil or certain Laguiole knives, which many disguised retailers do not hesitate to counterfeit. For olive oil, for example, it can often be imported from Spain.

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