Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer
An undetermined volume of counterfeit cock-soup mix packaged in Grace sachets is in circulation across Jamaica, the company told The Gleaner yesterday.
Michael Ranglin, chief executive officer of GraceKennedy Foods has advised the public that his company cannot guarantee the integrity of the counterfeit product which is sealed in uncoded Grace sachets, but which do not meet the company's standards, since they were not packaged in its factory. In addition, they are not as well sealed as the genuine ones.
Cock-soup mixture stolen
Ranglin disclosed that some of the cock-soup mixture had in fact been stolen.
"We have items moving from our storage point to our factory and then out to the trade, and somewhere in that chain, we haven't determined yet (but when) we did our stock balances, we realised there was material missing and we were treating it as an internal loss," he explained.
However, since then, visits to the Ocho Rios market in St Ann, and Coronation Market in Kingston uncovered the counterfeit product in abundance. While the package is from Grace, inspection of the sealing shows it falls well below the requisite standard. In fact, Ranglin theorised that this might be because the thieves are using a clothing iron to seal the sachets.
While the company is working with the police and still trying to determine just how much of the genuine cock-soup mix and sachets were stolen and how it was done, the matter is a potential public-health risk. For this reason, GraceKennedy on Wednesday issued a press release to media houses, alerting them to the fraud.