China’s top market regulator has revoked organic certification for five Chinese wineries involving 11 different wines after finding they have failed to comply with the country’s organic rules.
According to State Administration for Market Regulation, these five wineries that have flunked organic certification requirements are Yantai Kai Si Di Long Wine company (烟台凯斯蒂隆葡萄酒有限公司) in Shandong, Chateau Mogao (甘肃莫高实业有限公司) in northwestern Gansu province, and three wineries in Xinjiang including Qianhui Xi Yu wine company (新疆千回西域葡萄酒有限公司), Les Champes d’Or (新疆乡都酒业有限公司) and Turpan Chateau Loulan (土鲁番楼兰酒业股份有限公司).
The clampdown served as a warning to wineries that have capitalized organic wine trend for marketing purpose and profits.
China’s organic market with consumption of organic produce (including wine and spirits) is valued at US$4.5 billion in 2014, where specialist stores are appearing in increasing numbers, particularly in Beijing and Shanghai. The market is expected to grow with more health conscious consumers.
Eleven of the wines produced from the five wineries were found to have used fungicide carbendazim and in some cases metalaxyl, both are banned for organic products.
All the wines are sold on China’s leading e-commerce platforms including Tmall, JD.com and Suning, leading the market regulator to warn consumers against these flagged wines ahead of Chinese New Year in February. Wines from Mogao, Les Champs d’Or and Loulan failed second test as well, the regulator noted.
Four organic certification agencies that issued these organic certifications were warned and will be subject to closer scrutiny, according to the regulator.
In addition to wine, the State Administration for Market Regulation also found fungicide and pesticide in a few types of mushroom and cucumber in a random check.
Last year, China revised a list of products that could be eligible for organic certification, adding 11 more categories of products. Starting from January 1 last year, it also updated its organic certification regulations.