Lift your game or close, producers warned

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 August, 2006, 12:00am

Guangdong cities and family businesses on notice after inspections uncover poor-quality goods

The Guangdong cities of Zhongshan, Maoming and Jieyang have been issued warnings for producing substandard products, while substandard small family-based producers will be closed in a bid to improve inspection pass rates.

'We issued a warning to Zhongshan because many lamps produced in that area were found to have problems,' Guangdong Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau deputy director Ren Xiaotie said yesterday.

'Zhongshan accounted for 16 out of 24 batches of substandard products discovered in the national check. Jieyang and Maoming were also issued warnings because of substandard fertilisers.'

National checks by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine found that Guangdong's candies, children's wear, lamps and batteries had the worst pass rate, averaging 51.4 per cent in the first half of the year.

Guangdong's own tests found the most problems in electric fans, with a pass rate of 36 per cent, while only half of its MP3 players passed inspection.

Mr Ren said Guangzhou, Jiangmen, Foshan and Zhongshan were the province's worst performers, with inspection pass rates below 80 per cent, while Zhuhai fared best with a pass rate of 95.7 per cent. Dongguan products passed muster in 80 per cent of tests. There were no statistics for Shenzhen.

Mr Ren said many products went to the market without being checked. He blamed retailers for not checking inspection certificates, saying some even asked suppliers for substandard products.

'Small enterprises and private enterprises had quite low pass rates. This is the most serious problem,' he said. 'Many food companies are traditional family-based companies with low technical standards and did not meet their duties to have their products checked.'

The province closed 408 of more than 600 small family-owned businesses producing preserved fruits in Chaoan last year, resulting in a rapid improvement in quality standards, Mr Ren said. But the problem was still serious because of the multitude of small enterprises.

He said the bureau would help the better producers upgrade so they could obtain production certificates. Those that had been in business a long time and could not be closed would have to report to local authorities and seek help. The rest would be closed.

As for exports, Mr Ren could not exclude the possibility that some products made for export were substandard, but said they had to meet more stringent requirements.