Exploring the Outdated Honey Door Supplier of Tongrentang: No Photographs and No Factory Entry

 Exploring the Outdated Honey Door Supplier of Tongrentang: No Photographs and No Factory Entry

On the morning of December 19, a forklift pulled into Yancheng Golden Bee Company.

On the morning of December 19, in the private entrepreneurship Park of Tongyu Town, Binhai County, Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, several official cars and police cars were parked at the entrance of Yancheng Golden Bee Food Technology Co., Ltd. (Yancheng Golden Bee). The company is a supplier of Beijing Tongrentang Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Tongrentang, 600085, SH).

Four days ago, the city channel of Jiangsu TV Nanjing Zero Distance posted a video on Weibo, which exposed that Yancheng Golden Bee Company recycled a large number of expired and nearly expired honey, declared that it would be returned to bee farmers to feed bees, but in fact it was shipped into the raw material storehouse and sold after reprocessing.

In response to the progress of the incident, Daily Economic News reporters decided to visit Yancheng Golden Bee Company on the spot. Over the past few days, the reporter has repeatedly called the relevant person in charge of the Yancheng Golden Bee, but the person in charge said that he and the chairman have been on business at present, not in the company, do not accept telephone interviews.

Photographs are not allowed on site

Reporters at the scene saw that the two gates of the Yancheng Golden Bee were strictly controlled, opening only a small gap for one person to enter and exit, and a container truck was parked in the North gate, but it could not see whether the goods were loaded.

What are you doing? Photographs are not allowed here, otherwise we will confiscate them. Yancheng Golden Bee staff shouted to reporters.

After the reporter showed his identity, the staff refused the reporters request to enter the factory area, and said that they had received instructions that they had to hold a work card to enter. Subsequently, the staff closed the factory gate and the internal workshop iron door, and went forward to prevent reporters from approaching the factory.

Yancheng Golden Bee Company is located in the private entrepreneurship Park of Tongyu Town, Binhai County, Yancheng City. The roads in the park are being renovated and the heavy trucks are difficult to pass. Several construction personnel told reporters that there are few people here, but there are many large trucks, so the road is often crushed.

Reporters found that since the morning of December 19, more than a dozen cars, including several official vehicles and a police car, have been parked at the entrance of the Golden Bee Gate in Yancheng. During the journalists stay, there were no other vehicles in or out of the factory except a bus and a forklift marked Binhai County Metrology and Testing Institute.

On December 15, the Yancheng Golden Bee was exposed by Jiangsu media that it would recycle a large amount of honey which was overdue and near overdue. It claimed that it would be returned to bee farmers for bee feeding. In fact, it was transported into the raw material storehouse and sold after processing. According to the announcement, Tongrentang called Yancheng Golden Bee as the trusted processing and production unit of Beijing Tongrentang Bee Industry Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Tongrentang Bee Industry) which is a subsidiary of Tongrentang.

On December 16, Tongrentang announced that Tongrentang bee industry had the responsibility of inadequate supervision and negligence in the commissioned production process, and had notified Yancheng Golden Bee to suspend its commissioned processing and production activities, to seal up all the materials involved, and to cooperate fully with superior companies and government supervision departments to carry out investigations. At the same time, the announcement denies that honey has entered the raw material warehouse for production, and all the products involved have been sealed up and not flowed to the market.

The announcement shows that in August 2016, Tongrentang Apis Industry signed a commissioned processing contract with Yancheng Golden Bee, with a commissioned processing output of 220 tons in 2017 and 1815 tons in 2018 to the end of October. In August this year, Tongrentang Apiculture signed a contract with Golden Bee of Yancheng to deal with the returns. The contract clearly stipulated that the honey cleaned up from the returns can only be used in beekeeping base for feeding bees, and can not be used for any other purposes.

The company had planned to expand production and investment.

Tongrentangs announcement also indicated that the raw materials required for processing food honey purchased by Yancheng Golden Bee Company and the processed products entrusted by Tongrentang Bee Industry Quality Inspectors were strictly qualified in accordance with the National Food Safety Standard Honey (GB14963-2011).

However, in the report of Nanjing Zero Distance on Jiangsu TV City Channel, Yancheng Binhai County Market Supervision Bureau said that they had found that Yancheng Golden Bee had done similar operations many times before; at the same time, through key monitoring, the enterprise still had the behavior of tampering with Tongrentang honey production date.

Li Qinghua, head of Food Section of Binhai County Market Supervision Bureau of Yancheng City, said that it was not standard for the Golden Bee to dispose of these substandard products. In addition, the production date of March 2018 was changed to June 2018.

According to the Beijing Youth Daily, the food and drug regulatory authorities in Daxing District of Beijing have gone to Tongrentang bee industry to investigate. If Beijing enterprises are found to engage in or participate in related illegal activities, they will be investigated and punished according to law. The person in charge said that food entrusted enterprises should establish strict food safety control system for the food they entrusted to produce, cherish brand honor and be responsible to consumers.

According to public data, Yancheng Golden Bee Company was established in October 2014. Its legal representative is Zhou Mou, with registered paid-in capital of 7 million yuan. It mainly deals in the retail, wholesale, technology research and development and transfer of bee products.

On the official websites of some departments in Binhai County, the reporter also found several propaganda reports about the golden bee in Yancheng. An article in March 2015 showed that Tongyu Town introduced a 50 million yuan Yancheng Golden Bee Food Science and Technology Project in the first quarter. The project covers an area of 30 mu and produces more than 5,000 tons of honey series food annually.

In September 2017, another article said that the Golden Bee of Yancheng planned to invest 20 million yuan to expand the annual production of beeswax 2000 tons, royal jelly 50 tons, bee products 30 tons of processing projects, the project has been issued by Binhai County Credit and Economic Commission for the record.

During this period, the reporter contacted a beekeeper, who said that the storage life of honey is related to the concentration and temperature of honey. The concentration of honey on the market is generally between 35% and 43%. The higher the general concentration, the less water, the lower the temperature, the longer the shelf life. Honey with a concentration of more than 38% can generally be stored for 2 to 3 years in an ice bank below 0 degrees Celsius.

In recent years, there are fewer and fewer beekeepers, and real honey is becoming more and more precious. The beekeeper said that it was normal to feed expired honey to bees, but the taste was sour and people could not eat it again.

Tongrentang manufacturer apologized for not returning expired honey to the market

Recently, Beijing Tongrentang honey producers have been exposed to a large number of expired, imminent honey recycling. According to the enterprise, it is returned to bee farmers to raise bees. However, the recycled honey is poured into the barrel and sent to the raw material storehouse.