In shocking fraud scheme, Italian kiwis put on French airs in order to sell for more

In shocking fraud scheme, Italian kiwis put on French airs in order to sell for more

[Ed. – Where’s Peter Sellers when you need him?]

French authorities said Monday that they had dismantled a long-running scam to label and sell Italian kiwis as more pricey French fruit.

“Kiwis imported from Italy were ‘Frenchified’ during transport so that they could be sold at a higher price,” Virginie Beaumeunier of the country’s DGCCRF anti-fraud agency said at a press conference.

The fraud involved some 15,000 tonnes of kiwis over a three-year period, and the agency said seven companies were facing charges after making a combined six million euros ($6.8 million) in illicit profits.

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“Unlike the Italians, we don’t use anti-spoiling fungicides after harvesting which conserve them for several months, so we have higher losses in cold-storage rooms, which increases our production costs,” said Francois Lafitte, president of the French kiwi growers’ association.

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