LEAVING A BITTER TASTE
African legislation, all consumable products must display a best before date and any product not bearing this date or an expired date should be avoided or queried with the brand or store owner.
Consumers who have been affected by the inferior products will naturally hold the original manufacturers liable for either the inferior quality of the product or subsequent illness after consumption. This is severely damaging to their brand and will have lasting reputational and financial repercussions.
Distributors, suppliers and retailers need to be aware of the potential of counterfeit products under their brand while counterfeiters should take heed that in terms of Section 2 of the Counterfeit Goods Act 37 of 1997, the possession, manufacture, sale, offering for sale, distribution, exhibition to the public for the purposes of sale and importation of counterfeit products are prohibited and constitute offences. Those falling foul of the Counterfeit Goods Act may face both civil and criminal proceedings being instituted against them by the proprietors of the authentic products.
There is no quick fix recipe to protect against counterfeit foods products. SA is, however, one of the few African countries where the enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights is both possible and relatively affordable for brand holders.
It is also one of the few African countries that makes provision for