Phuket vendors warned over durian price gouging


PHUKET: Fresh fruit vendors in Phuket have been warned over charging inflated prices of durian as well as other popular fruits in tourism areas, such as pineapples.

Phuket Vice Governor Siwaporn Chuasawad levelled the warning at a durian fruit festival last week.

“I already know about overpriced durian being charged in Phuket and I have ordered officers to carry out checks to make sure Thai and foreign customers are charged fair prices,” V/Gov Siwaporn said.

“We have noted that inflated prices are being charged in many tourism places. The Phuket Provincial Office has yet to raise this issue formally, but we have already ordered officers to look into this and to ensure prices controlled by law are being adhered to,” V/Gov Siwaporn explained.

“Officers will check products to see if prices are under controlled by law. Types of durians and other fruits also will be checked to see if they match the description as promoted,” she added.

“If officers find any vendors breaking the law, they must face legal action,” V/Gov Siwaporn warned.

V/Gov Siwaporn noted that complaints about the spiralling cost of fruit in Phuket has drawn heavy criticism on social media.

However, she conceded that prices for durian varied depending on the type of durian and other factors.

“The prices vary for many reasons, from marketing hype to the many different types of durian, and some types of durian are even grown in special soil,” V/Gov Siwaporn explained.

According to the Department of Interior Trade, which regulates and monitors fresh produce prices, in Bangkok Monthong Durian is currently sold at no less than B150 per kilo but no more than B180 per kilo, while prices for Chanee Durian ranged from B140 to B150 per kilo. (See prices here.)

There were no market prices given for Phuket.

“This issue is important to Phuket. Tourists who visit Phuket will tell their friends about their holiday here,” V/Gov Siwaporn noted.

“We (the Phuket Provincial Office) have tried to support agricultural and local tourism. Our natural tourism is very popular. Many local communities use fruits and vegetables as selling points, and it provides income for local farmers,” she said.

“Phuket durian is targeted to be popular at fresh markets next year. Right now, Phuket is only well known on the island. We will have to develop its quality, and its price must be controlled,” she added.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on July 4, 2017 by Chutharat Plerin

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