Agri-business giant and brand owner of Mama Gold and Mama Africa Thailand parboiled rice, Olam Nigeria Limited, has warned the general public that the company has suspended the importation of these brands since June 2015, and advised consumers against purchasing any of such products displayed in the open market.
The warning was contained in a notice titled “Disclaimer on Fake Bags of Mama Gold and Mama Africa Rice” issued recently by the company, which was signed by the management, a copy of which was made available to THISDAY by an Olam official, Mr. Shaibu Muhammed.
According to the notice, â€œOlam Nigeria Limited, brand owner of the Mama Gold and Mama Africa Thailand parboiled rice, wishes to once again bring to the notice of the general public that, we have suspended the importation of these brands since June 2015. This suspension covers all stock keeping units of the brands (1kg, 2kg, 5kg. 10kg, 25kg and 50kg).
â€œThis disclaimer has become necessary as unscrupulous traders have taken advantage of the suspension to begin counterfeiting the packaging bags of these brands, filling them up with smuggled, expired and unhealthy rice. These re-bagged packages are then passed off and traded in the open market and online channels as our Mama Gold & Mama Africa parboiled rice brands.
â€œWe, as the brand owners hereby unequivocally declare that the bags been traded and passed off as the Mama Gold & Mama Africaâ€™s brands in the market are not our brandsâ€, the notice read.
It enjoined all members of the public â€œto take note not to purchase or consume these counterfeit bags of rice in the interest of their health and safety.
â€œWe hereby publicly disassociate our name, our brand and ourselves from responsibility for the quality and safety of this counterfeit stock. We will formally communicate to our customers and consumers should we resume the importation of these brands through mass media advertisements and a brand relaunch.
â€œWith this disclaimer, we would also like to put the perpetrators of this illegal activity who are taking fraudulent advantage of our brand equity on notice that we will take legal action against themâ€, the company added.