Continental Agencies Limited adds new feature to Ajinomoto

By Rennella Bourne

Continental Agencies Limited, in efforts to distinctly differentiate their original Ajinomoto from the counterfeit Ajinomoto, which has been surfacing on the local market, has added a distinct feature to their new stock.
The new feature printed on the back of the packet reads “Manufactured for Continental Agencies Ltd.” It was added almost two weeks ago. Some shops and supermarkets may not have the product with the new; however that does not mean that these products are not original. Visible differences can be seen in the products, with the crystals of the original being white while the counterfeit is cream in colour.
Marketing and Sales Manager Avalon Jagnandan speaking to Guyana Times disclosed that the counterfeit product surfacing on the local market, mainly the outlying areas, have cost the company tremendous losses in revenue. “We have lost significant revenue due to the fake product being in the local markets, which is unfair competition… A carton of 50 packs X 454 grams of the original Ajinomoto costs approximately $20,000, while the cost for a carton of the counterfeited product only costs $14,000.” ajinomoto
Jagnandan noted that the existence of counterfeit products is highly unethical, especially in business. He reiterated that Continental Agencies Limited is the sole distributor of Ajinomoto and admonished persons to desist from “selling this fake product to the shop owners that are not even aware of the products they are receiving.”
The sales manager highlighted that the recent circulation of the advisory on the counterfeit product has definitely made an impact in the local market. Consumers are now aware of the visible differences between the products, he posited.
Marlon Cole, Director of Guyana Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) speaking with Guyana Times relayed that the GA-FDD is currently engaged in an investigation at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as it pertains to the counterfeit product and its penetration of the local market. “We are finalising our reports to handover it to the CID. We were refused entry in the suspected source of the counterfeit Ajinomoto but we will get to the bottom of this deception in the local markets.”
He noted that the perpetrator of this counterfeit product when caught will be charged: “We have to use the particular section of the law to deal with the company behind this deception.” Cole further added that they have seized numerous quantities of the fake products from the market. He remarked that it is the outlying areas that the product remains rampant.
The GA-FDD in the recent advisory cautioned consumers, wholesalers and retailers against the use of the fake product since the product can have negative long-term effects on consumers. According to the Food and Drug Department, the original product is made in Brazil and the official distributor is Continental Agencies Limited of Industrial Estate, Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
According to the body: “Persons found deliberately offering for sale items of food that is not according to the prescribed standard is guilty of an offence and can be prosecuted under the Laws of Guyana Food and Drug Act Chapter 34:03 Section seven (7).”
The GA-FDD disclosed: “Using the counterfeited Ajinomoto can result in excessive salt (sodium) intake by consumers since more Ajinomoto would be added in food than normal to reach the required level of aroma and/or taste. This is of public health significance since excessive salt intake is a contributing factor in the epidemic of Non-Communicable Infections in our society that results in obesity, hypertension and congestive heart failure.”