A famous food manufacturer, Guanshengyuan, has been forced to take a bitter bite of its own mooncakes. Since the media exposed its act of making mooncakes using filling left over from last year, the producer in Nanjing of Jiangsu Province has been flooded with complaints.
The local commerce and industry department has asked the factory to halt production and further investigations are being carried out and all sold mooncakes are being recalled.
The Nanjing manufacturer is sure to suffer a heavy economic loss and its counterparts have also fallen victim to its cheating.
There are more than 20 factories nationwide under the same brand but which produce their mooncakes independently. Since the brand name is seriously tarnished, the others using it are discussing taking action.
The Nanjing producer has paid the high price it deserves to pay. Whether it can survive the scandal remains a question.
It is tempting to view the mooncake incident as proof of serious disorder in the food industry, but the fact that the fraudulent action was uncovered by the media and that timely action was taken by the government are proof to the contrary.
The quality of food products is now under closer supervision of the media and tighter scrutiny by the government. Those who wish to take a chance are doomed to failure.
All businesses should take a lesson from the mooncake incident. To gain an upperhand in the fierce market competition, there are no shortcuts around improving product quality.
Resorting to cheating might bring about some quick money for a while, but it will finally lead to the demise of the business.
The Nanjing Guanshengyuan has spent dozens of years to build up its brand name, but it took only one night to destroy it. It is hard to say how long it will take the company to repair the damage and rebuild its reputation.
The Guanshengyuan incident, however, has not dampened people's enthusiasm for mooncakes, since the Mid-Autumn Festival is looming near. Checks made by quality supervision departments indicate that the quality of mooncakes is generally good.
(China Daily 09/14/2001)