A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday.
China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns.
Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
“Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said, after announcing a total of 41,687 tonnes in domestic orders over the past four days.
The council had initially planned to boost domestic sales by pushing for the purchase of 20,000 tonnes of processed pineapples for use in various food products, but orders exceeded expectations following an outpouring of support from individuals, companies and activist groups.
More than 180 companies ordered 7,187 tonnes of whole pineapples; 19 companies ordered 15,000 tonnes of processed pineapples; 14 beverage shops ordered 4,500 tonnes; wholesalers and street market vendors ordered 10,000 tonnes; and exporters and overseas groups ordered 5,000 tonnes, the council said.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
“We are also looking at boosting exports to countries other than China. Last year, we sold US$131 million of fruit to China and US$52 million to all other countries combined,” Chen said.
At 71 percent of total fruit exports, sales to China last year dropped slightly from 2016, when 77 percent of Taiwan’s fruit exports went to China, he said.
Meanwhile, the Canadian and US representative offices in Taipei on Monday posted messages on social media with the tag #FreedomPineapple, and called on people to support Taiwan’s pineapple growers.
The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) posted a photograph on Facebook of staff members standing around two Hawaiian pizzas with the message: “At CTOT we love pineapples on our pizza, especially Taiwanese pineapples!”
The post says Hawaiian pizza is a Canadian invention, first made in 1962 by Canadian chef Sam Panopoulos at his restaurant in Chatham, Ontario.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Karen Yu (余宛如) commented on the post, thanking the CTOT for its support.
“Taiwanese pineapples have the taste of freedom. I believe you will enjoy them,” she wrote.
Additional reporting by Lu Yi-hsuan
IN A HURRY: The 199,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine expire on May 31, so the CECC might expand vaccine eligibility, but distribution would begin in a week at the earliest The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines allocated to Taiwan through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing program arrived yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said, adding that, after testing, it would be able to distribute them by Monday next week at the earliest. The 199,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were shipped from Amsterdam on a China Airlines (中華航空) plane and arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 5:21am. After the cargo was examined and release procedures were completed at the airport, the Aviation Police Bureau escorted the vehicles carrying the vaccines to a cold chain storage facility. Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General
HEATED TRAFFIC: As Beijing holds naval drills near Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense said it had a full grasp of the situation and would handle it ‘appropriately’ A Chinese carrier group exercising near Taiwan is part of what are to be regular drills, the Chinese navy said in a statement late on Monday, further escalating tensions between Taipei and Beijing. The group, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, was conducting “routine” drills in the waters around Taiwan, a move to “enhance its capability to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and development interests,” the statement said. “Similar exercises will be conducted regularly,” it said, without elaborating. The statement came after the Ministry of National Defense earlier on Monday issued a statement regarding a rise in the number of incursions by Chinese jets into
AIMED AT TAIWAN? Institute for National Defense and Security Research research fellow Ou Si-fu said chips can be ‘bought off the shelf’ and then used in weapons The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that chips from Taiwanese semiconductor companies were not making their way into Chinese missiles “to the best of our knowledge.” A report in yesterday’s Washington Post alleged that a Chinese company named Phytium Technology Co (飛騰) used chips made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), along with US software, in advanced Chinese military systems. “TSMC has long placed strict controls on their chips. The export of high-tech products from Taiwan is also highly regulated,” Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said. “According to our understanding, none of the end uses for those products
NO TIME: The driver tried to apply the brakes when he saw the truck, but the train did not have time to come to a full stop, an investigation report said The crane truck that caused last week’s fatal train accident had slid onto the tracks about one-and-a-half minutes before it was struck, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. The board had launched an investigation into the derailment, which killed 50 people and injured 211 people, making it the nation’s most devastating railway accident in decades. Carrying 494 passengers and four Taiwan Railways Administration personnel, the southbound express train to Taitung hit the truck as it was about to enter the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The train derailed following the collision, with the left side of the eighth