Last week, Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture defended its plea to public enterprises to purchase pineapple custard apples, after employees complained they were ‘being forced’ to buy the fruit to mitigate the effects of a Chinese ban.
Agriculture and Food Agency Director-General Hu Jong-i made the comment at an event presenting products made from the fruit for the Lunar New Year, after China in September last year banned the fruit claiming imports contained invasive insects.
The nation exports about 13,000 tons of pineapple custard apples each year, primarily to China. To ease the effects of the Chinese ban, the council last year proposed a three-pronged approach involving domestic sales, foreign promotion and the development of processed atemoya goods.
In early January, it sent a letter to public and private enterprises encouraging them to help farmers and express their patriotic spirit by buying the fruit. However, the council does not have the ability or the authority to force businesses to purchase anything, Hu said on Tuesday, adding that the letter was only meant to encourage businesses to support farmers.