The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop.
The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said.
China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit.
The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers.
Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed, the council said.
Taiwan last year developed a method to remove the crown bud without causing the fruit to rot or grow moldy, it said, adding that the fruits would be fumigated to prolong their freshness.
The council said that it expects to ship 6 tonnes of pineapples by sea freight, with the first shipment scheduled for May, while smaller quantities would be sent by air cargo.
The clause would bolster agricultural trade, investment and exchange of agricultural technologies between Taiwan and Australia, it said.
The clause was signed separately by council Deputy Secretary-General Chen Junne-jih (陳駿季) and Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Deputy Secretary David Hazlehurst in Taipei and Canberra respectively.
Taiwan and Australia have worked with each other since the signing of a memorandum of understanding for agriculture and agricultural corporations collaboration in 2001, the council said.
Collaborative efforts include the exchange and recognition of each other’s food safety information, as well as the Queensland state government’s assistance in promoting the production of Taiwanese lychee and bananas resistant to fusarium wilt, it said.
The clause seeks to approach issues from a new angle and integrate resources to meet new potential problems, the council said.
Regular official meetings aside, Taipei and Canberra hope to hold more academic and business forums to encourage visits to Taiwanese and Australian industries, as well as other events, to promote the sales of produce, it said.
The nation hopes to establish a trustworthy and effective foodstuff and produce supply chain with Australia, the council said.
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