Farm visit scheme launched
With autumn setting in, the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday announced a series of farm visits in Hualien and Taitung which aim to highlight local food and are set to start today. The events, which run until Feb. 15 next year, include 80 recommended places to visit, the council said, adding it has also published 10,000 copies of a farm-visiting and food recommendation “passport,” which is free and will be available at train stations, convenience stores, farmers’ associations and hotels nationwide. It can also be downloaded at: http://tourno9.coa.gov.tw. By visiting these places, visitors can experience farming first hand, understand local agricultural specialities and observe the manufacture of local food products, the council said.
SEF chief goes to China
Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森) left for Beijing yesterday on his first visit to China, a journey he hopes will help him become more familiar with pressing cross-strait issues. Lin, who assumed the post late last month, said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that many Taiwanese businesspeople operating in China hoped he would visit the country soon. He also said his counterpart, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), visited Taiwan last month, and so he needed to make a reciprocal visit. Lin is also set to meet China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi (王毅) as well as hold talks with Taiwanese businesspeople operating in Beijing and Tianjin. Lin is then to head to Shanghai on Friday before heading to Kunshan in Jiangsu Province on Saturday.
St Lucia ties intact: minister
Diplomatic relations between Taiwan and its ally Saint Lucia remain strong, despite a recent visit by the Caribbean state’s foreign minister to China, Taiwanese foreign affairs officials said yesterday. The foreign minister of Saint Lucia visited China in his capacity as the second deputy chief of the ruling Labour Party, said Florencia Hsie (謝妙宏), deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs. Hsie added that his visit was to explain Saint Lucia’s decision to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Ministry spokesperson Steve Hsia (夏季昌) reiterated that ties between Taiwan and Saint Lucia remain “solid.” He cited as evidence the attendance of Saint Lucian Prime Minister Kenny Anthony and other government officials at a celebration of Taiwan’s Double Ten National Day held by Taiwan’s embassy in the Caribbean country. Last month, Anthony announced that his government would maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but he also expressed the hope of developing amicable relations with China.
Costco recalls peanut butter
The Taiwan branch of Costco Wholesale Corp is to accept the return of peanut butter produced under its own brandname after the product came under suspicion of being contaminated by salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Monday. The US-based retailer is to buy back jars of peanut butter produced by New Mexico-based Sunland Inc and sold under Costco’s Kirkland brand from consumers who bought them at outlets around ther country, the agency said. Sunland-made peanut butter has been linked to a US outbreak of the bacteria salmonella, which causes food poisoning, in recent months.