Over 80 percent of the domestically-consumed fish sauce bearing the Phu Quoc Island name are fake, an official has said.
Nguyen Thi Tinh, chairwoman of Phu Quoc Fish Sauce Association, made the statement while talking to the press on the sidelines of a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on July 17, news website Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon (Saigon Times) reported.
In 2012, Phu Quoc Island fish sauce became Vietnam's first product to qualify for the European Union's Protected Designation of Origin status, which is conferred on products whose entire production takes place in a specific area, place, or country and whose quality or properties are significantly or exclusively determined by the geographical environment, including natural and human factors.
The recognition makes the fish sauce the 11th such product from outside Europe, after Colombian coffee, Darjeeling tea from India, and eight products from China.
But Tinh said the domestic market is flooded with hundreds of bottled fish sauce producers using the name Phu Quoc; more than 80 percent of them are not based in Phu Quoc.
The fake products aren't just sold in small shops in local markets but also by major supermarkets, she said.
Traders in Thailand and Hong Kong have also used the name Phu Quoc fish sauce to sell their products locally and abroad, she added.
Phu Quoc Island lies off the coast of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang and is home to the country's most famous fish sauce, which is made by fermenting fish, usually anchovies, with sea salt.