Within a couple of clicks and swipes, that fancy looking cutter you've seen in your favourite cake magazine is in your virtual basket and due for delivery in a couple of days. But how can you guarantee that what you've paid for isn’t a fake? Over the course of the next three issues the CD&S and FMM Sugarcraft teams are going to investigate, expose and educate about the contencious issue of counterfeit goods within the industry. This month we are looking at how bogus goods affect the environment and how toxic the materials used in fake production can be.
Don’t get us wrong, there are numerous advantages to shopping online; you can do it in your pjs, you don’t have to negotiate with aggressive sales assistants, you save time by not having to leave the house and sometimes save money too. Ultimately, it’s easy. On the flip side though there are disadvantages too; you can’t touch or test potential purchases, there’s the continuous supply of hard-hitting sales messages, not forgetting the potential threat of having your payment card hacked, but most importantly, and what we are going to focus on, is the risk of receiving phony or copied goods.
The difference between genuine and fake is so obvious when put side by side. Phony packaging can't be trusted!
NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
The subject of copying within the cake world has once again reared its ugly head, involving a whole host of brands including firm favourite FMM. We believe this is due to miseducation. To give you an insight, FMM originated in 1948 making filter coffee bags, expanding to piping tube and then progressing to what they manufacture today, specialist sugarcraft materials. All of their products are British made, sold with a three-year guarantee and delivered to your door (UK) for free - you’ve probably got at least one of their products in your kitchen. All of their cutters have sharp, yet smooth cutting edges, guaranteed to make a clean cut each and every time. Their products are designed to be used by both beginners and professional cake makers alike. Just to break it down their new product development process takes approximately two months, that includes design, sourcing the correct materials, creating various prototypes, production, distribution, and marketing. All FMM products are made using food grade materials, this means that the plastic used is not only FDA approved (Food and Drug authority standards) but it is sealed to ensure that when washed, no food substance is left on the product, eliminating the potential for bacteria to form. It goes without saying that FMM are conscious of the environment too, using local UK manufacturing and transportation methods with the vehicles used producing less of a carbon footprint. Being closer to the market helps lower the environmental impact. Sounds perfect, but sadly, it has become all too easy for factories (particularly in the Far East) to copy any new cutter or tool that enters the market, with a counterfeit version of the same item online within two weeks! It can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to pursue a legal fi ght through international courts. If copies can’t be stopped the risk is that authentic manufacturers will stop designing and producing new tools as they are not able to recoup the money they’ve spent, let alone make a profi t. Behind these brands are creative people who have invested vast sums of money to bring out something new, only to have it ripped off and copied. Ask yourself how you would feel if you had invested time and money in a product launch to see a knock off version online within a matter of weeks?
Gift tag cutters from FMM are made in England!
DON’T CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
If you’re not fussed about the environment, there’s no reason for you to read on, however if you do care about the world in which we live and want to make our planet a safer place to live in, continue. As we have already briefly touched upon, FMM use food grade materials. Food grade is a safe and environmentally friendly type of plastic that has excellent chemical resistant properties making it suitable for a wide range of products. The plastics used in the counterfeit industry will certainly be second-rate, no doubt highly toxic, a sub-standard quality and If you’re lucky you might get to use your counterfeit product twice! The effect these cheap plastics have on our environment include an implication on our own human health and wellbeing, animals along with an interference with their food chain, land, air and water pollution Can you imagine baking with a toxic material? What do you think it tastes like? If you have purchased a counterfeit product with the intention of using it in your oven can you be sure that it’s gone through all of the various heat tests? Do you think that the kids will enjoy the taste and experience of baking with ‘grandma’? We strongly advise that when you are purchasing foodstuff s online (or indeed on the High Street) that you check the website (or packaging) for the food grade icon.
The cold, hard fact surrounding plastic pollution
The next time you want to add a new nozzle or fancy floral cutter to your baking arsenal, just ask yourself if you know what you’re buying, where is it from and the impact your purchase will have on the environment. Not forgetting that those producing knock off goods simply won’t care.