MOCI Warns Rice Importers Against Unscrupulous Behavior

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Sample of the Bella Lona rice being re-bagged by some dubious business people.

– Vows to Protect Consumers

As part of efforts to protect consumers in Liberia, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has rubbished allegations of contaminated Bella Lona rice on the Liberian market.

The MOCI in its press release indicated that they have received separate complaints from marketers and rice importer Supplying West Africa Traders Incorporated (SWAT) about re-bagging of ‘spoiled rice’ into Bella Lona bags by some major rice importers and their sales agents in the field.

This unscrupulous behavior by those competing importers of rice is causing serious problems for the consuming public of Bella Lona rice in Liberia, which has claimed the attention of the ministry.

“We like to call on those importers and agents who are involved into such act to immediately desist or risk closure, because the MOCI will not hesitate to name and shame them publicly,” the ministry said.

The Bella Lona rice has been on the Liberian market for several years and it has been tested from its country of origin, certified by the International Standards Laboratory (ISL) and tested by Liberia’s Standard Laboratory, and proven to be consumable for human.

The MOCI investigation has also discovered that some of the major importers of Liberia’s staple food – rice – have provided re-bagging equipment to their sales agents in the field in order to sabotage SWAT’s importation of rice.

“We feel this act by some rice importers is completely wrong and has the propensity of putting other business entities out of business,” the release said.

The ministry has instructed its inspectorate division to keep surveillance on sales agents of rice importers in the country.

Meanwhile, the MOCI further called on the Liberia National Police (LNP) to help track down those involved in this ugly act.

As we approach the transitional period of another democratically elected Government, MOCI called on all business entities to respect the trademark of others and uphold the principle of good business practice, said the release.

MOCI further appealed to consumers and marketers to report anybody who is found re-bagging rice from one brand’s bag to another, saying this act is criminal and against Liberia’s business law.

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Alvin Worzi is a Liberian journalist with over seven years of professional experience. For the past few years, he has been engaged in covering land issues, security, education, gender related issues, politics, and agriculture. Mr. Worzi is currently the Assistant Secretary General of the Executive Mansion Press Corps (conglomeration of reporters assigned at the Executive Mansion). Mr. Worzi is a member of the Press Union of Liberia.

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