Taiwanese firms responded swiftly to a call to buy the nation’s surplus pineapple crop after China abruptly stopped imports, with 10 local firms placing orders totaling 1,600 tonnes, Council of Agriculture officials said yesterday.
China on Friday announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting tomorrow, saying that various types of mealybugs were found in several batches of fresh pineapples bought from the nation last year.
Taiwanese farmers expressed anger and disappointment over the decision.
Photo: Hung Jui-chin, Taipei Times
The council said it had dealt with the pests after China notified it of their discovery in 13 batches of pineapples sent between March and May last year.
It had not received reports of the pests since new measures took effect on Oct. 19, it said.
Excluding the 13 batches, 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met Chinese import standards, it added.
Following China’s import ban, government officials called on Taiwanese to support the nation’s pineapple farmers, who are preparing for the harvest season.
The council has set up a hotline for companies to place large orders, and it took measures to stabilize pineapple prices.
Taiwan’s annual pineapple production has averaged about 420,000 tonnes over the past few years, of which nearly 50,000 tonnes were exported to China, government data showed.
Taiwan last year exported 41,661 tonnes of pineapples to China for NT$1.49 billion (US$52.64 million), accounting for 91 percent of total pineapple exports, the data showed.
“We are looking at companies to place orders to present pineapples as gifts to employees and customers. We have already received orders for 1,600 tonnes in one day, which is close to 10 percent of our target of 20,000 tonnes for the domestic market,” council officials said yesterday. “If more companies join in, we could reach the target in 12 days.”
The council said it would strive to expand the fruit’s global market and export another 30,000 tonnes to other countries, which, combined with the 20,000 tonnes targeted for the domestic market, would make up for the shortfall created by the Chinese ban.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) is to visit Pingtung County’s Kaoshu Township (高樹) today to inspect the area’s pineapple farms and show support to pineapple farmers, sources said.
Su has approved a NT$1 billion package to stabilize pineapple prices, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said, adding that the premier has also instructed the council to draw up plans to promote the fruit’s consumption.
Su deems the situation a trade issue and not a political one, sources said, adding that the council would seek the WTO’s help to negotiate with Beijing.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) took to Twitter on Friday, urging friends around the world to stand with Taiwan and “rally behind the #FreedomPineapple.”
Additional reporting by CNA
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday issued a rebuttal to former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said a fistfight in the Legislative Yuan might have been “provoked from the outside” to destabilize Taiwan. Rice made the comment in an online discussion about the AUKUS alliance of Australia, the UK and the US hosted by the Policy Exchange forum in London on Thursday. On mention of Taiwan, she was quoted by The Australian as predicting that Beijing would use paramilitary forces and acts of sabotage to destabilize the nation. “There was a fistfight in the Taiwanese parliament a few weeks ago
A Taiwanese YouTuber suspected of creating and selling deepfake porn videos featuring more than 100 politicians and influencers was on Monday released on bail after being arrested the previous day. Chu Yu-chen (朱玉宸), 26, who uses the name Xiaoyu (小玉) on YouTube, was arrested on Sunday in New Taipei City, along with two suspected accomplices, a 24-year-old YouTuber surnamed Yeh (耶), known as Shaiw Shaiw (笑笑), and a 22-year-old man Chuang (莊). The three suspects were on Monday escorted to the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for further questioning on suspicion of distributing obscene videos and publicly insulting others, in contravention of
ADVANCING TECH: With revenue on target to reach US$15.4 billion, the Hsinchu-based chipmaker said it is looking to produce 3-nanometer chips later this year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday announced plans to build a new plant in Japan next year to produce 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer chips in its latest effort to expand its global manufacturing footprint. The Japanese fab is to start operations in 2024, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker said, ending months of speculation. “We have received strong commitment to supporting this project from our customers and the Japanese government,” TSMC chief executive officer C.C. Wei (魏哲家) told a quarterly investors’ conference. “We believe the expansion of our global manufacturing footprint will enable us to better serve our customers’ needs and reach global talent,
KNOWN ISSUES: Fire safety issues were found in the 40-year-old building, which previously housed a theater and restaurants, in 2019, last year and May, an official said Forty-six people died and 41 were injured in a building fire that raged out of control for hours overnight in Kaohsiung, authorities said yesterday. Flames and smoke billowed from the lower floors of the 13-story Cheng Chung Cheng (城中城) building on Fubei Road in Yancheng District (鹽埕), as firefighters tried to douse the blaze from the street and aerial platforms. The death toll rose steadily through the day as rescue workers searched the combined commercial and residential building. By late afternoon, authorities said 32 bodies had been found, while a further 14 people who showed no signs of life were among 55