Counterfeiters strike at catering market

A rise in the number of counterfeit Global chefs’ knives being sold into the UK market has led to suppliers urging caterers to purchase only through authorised sales channels, it has emerged.

Global Knives is one of the most reputable knife brands available to professional chefs, but a recent feature on BBC’s Fake Britain programme drew attention to the issue of imitation copies finding their way into commercial kitchens.

Genuine Global knives are produced to the highest standards by Japanese craftsmen who use the best materials and latest design concepts to produce the famous razor-like straight edge and perfect balance.

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However, counterfeiters looking to exploit their popularity are targeting buyers with inferior copies at hugely discounted prices.

On its website, Global’s UK operation said chefs were being offered counterfeit knives following a “knock on the back door” or through someone asking them to spare a few minutes to see the contents of their car boot.

“The knives are bound to be cheap as they were probably made in a Chinese factory for a few pence and the edge will only last a short time, despite the logo on the blade. In fact, it is normally the case that the knives are so inferior that they do not even justify the bargain price paid for them,” Global stated.

The company said counterfeiters were also peddling their copies at trade fairs and exhibitions, often using the line that they want to get rid of the stock cheaply and quickly to avoid having to pack it up and return it to the warehouse.

Global said that the UK & Ireland had seen an increase in ‘third-party selling’ in particular. “This mostly occurs online, where the goods being sold could be counterfeit or genuine,” it explained. “More-often-than-not, these websites are not official Global knife retailers and are offering copies of Global knives.”

The company said that caterers need to buy through authorised stockists to guarantee the product they purchase is genuine.

The proliferation of counterfeit knives remains a worldwide problem for Global’s manufacturer Yoshikin. It says that many examples of counterfeit products can be found on internet auction sites such as eBay.

Illegal reproductions are often offered as a collection of knives in a black knife roll or case, but auction dealers are also now splitting these knife collections to sell them as individual items.

Some are even labelling their reproductions ‘Global Chef’ or ‘Global Professional’, which have no association with Global Knives although every effort has been made to pass the item off as a genuine product, including the reproduction of its Dot Pattern trademarks on the handles.

Stockport catering supplies firm Stephensons this week issued a guide to help customers avoid getting caught out by counterfeit Global knives. Here is its advice:

1) Examine the dimpled handles carefully; the dimples should be evenly spaced and perfectly symmetrical.

2) The Global branding should be etched onto both sides of the blade, not painted. Look also for YOSHIKIN and CROMOVA in capitals.

3) Any knives with the words ‘Global Chef’ or ‘Global Professional’ will immediately distinguish the knives as fake.

4) Handle the knife and feel for the quality, a genuine global knife is perfectly balanced.

5) Avoid knives that appear to be an extremely good bargain, as always if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

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