Taiwan aims to begin exporting pineapples to Australia by May, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday, after it announced a day earlier that Australia was now allowing such imports.
Three pineapple farms in Pingtung County have registered to ship their fruit to Australia, the council said, adding that it has been in contact with Australian distributors.
The first shipment of fresh pineapples to Australia would likely be in late May, but the fruit must first be checked to make sure it meets the standards for pesticide residue limits, it said.
Photo: Luo Hsin-chen, Taipei Times
In a statement on Monday, the council said that Australia had the previous day officially given permission for the importation of fresh pineapples grown in Taiwan, with immediate effect.
Discussions between the two nations on the issue started in 2015, when Taiwan applied for permission to export the fruit to Australia, the council said.
Since then, Australian experts have visited Taiwan to observe the commercial production and pest management of pineapples, and Taiwan has submitted relevant documents to Australian authorities, it said.
Taiwan is now the sixth nation allowed to export pineapples to Australia, following Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Solomon Islands, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment said.
However, the department said that pineapple imports from Taiwan must be grown and packaged at registered facilities and must be traceable through all stages of the supply chain.
The fruit should not be shipped with the crown, stem or leaves and must be fumigated with methyl bromide for two hours to eliminate pests, it said.
Taiwan produces 430,000 tonnes of pineapples each year and it last year exported 50,000 tonnes worth about US$60 million.
Taiwan exports pineapples to Canada, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Indonesia, Palau, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands and Russia.
This year, about 4,954 tonnes of the fruit have been exported, with 4,693 tonnes shipped to China, 105 tonnes to Japan and 95 tonnes to Singapore, the council said.
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