After China's ban on imports of Taiwan-grown pineapples, Taiwan has found a great market for the tropical fruits in Japan, which has already pre-ordered over 6,000 tons, shattering previous records.
On radio station Super FM98.5, Council of Agriculture minister Chen Chi-chung said on March 4 that Japan has pre-ordered over 5,000 tons of Taiwan-grown pineapples, Also, a Japanese multinational distributor has placed a pre-order for 1,200 tons, bringing the total to 6,200 tons, which is a new record for pineapple exports to Japan.
Wu Ching-lu, honorary chairman of the Taiwan Vegetables and Fruits Exporters Association (TVFEA), was quoted as saying that Japan currently imports about 15 percent of the pineapples it consumes, or about 157,000 tons. Wu said that this is a market worth developing, but competition from the Philippines is a challenge as the majority of its pineapple imports come from the archipelagic country.
New policies needed to solve fruit export problem
Despite this good news, the New Power Party (NPP) has stated that Taiwanese buying locally produced pineapples is not enough to help farmers after China suspended imports of the fruit.
Taipeitimes.com reported on NPP Chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua saying that the government should seek to solve the dispute through WTO mechanisms and reconsider the nation’s export policies for agricultural products. She added that Taiwan relies too much on China for fruit exports.
'Ban fails the standards of international trade rules'
Taiwan's minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-Hua told CNBC that China's sudden ban on Taiwanese pineapples fails to meet the standards of international trade rules. Still, Chinese state media Xinhua claims the ban was put in place because Chinese customs officials found pests in pineapples imported from Taiwan.
A spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council —a Chinese administrative agency— said the pests posed a serious threat to China's agriculture and ecological security if not intercepted.
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