Taiwan rice: high price and quality

Cathy Chou, The China Post

The Taitung county and Hualien county governments jointly launched a new rice brand and logo with hopes to promote the sale of locally-produced rice amidst competition against foreign brands.

The new rice brand literally translates as “fantastic rice from the valleys.” It’s grown in pollution-free farmlands of Taitung and Hualien. The price of the new rice is between NT$220 and NT$230 for five kilograms. Claimed to be of higher quality, the rice is priced a little higher than the NT$180 charged for other brands. “Taiwan rice should survive the tough competition with Thailand and the U.S.” said Lee Ying-yuan, DPP candidate for Taipei City Mayor. H attended the launching ceremony held in Taipei last week.

Dai Chung-yao, vice chairman of the Council of Agriculture, encouraged Taiwan residents to be more supportive of local rice brands, especially when they encounter severe competition with foreign brands.

Shiu Chin-yan, Taitung County magistrate, said the higher price of the local brand indicates the excellent quality of the rice.

“Low-priced rice won’t necessarily appeal to picky local rice consumers,” Shiu said. “Residents in Taiwan would rather pay more for better quality rice.” “When Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the government built railways to Taitung and Hualien to facilitate transportation for the deliver of rice produced in eastern Taiwan to Japan,” Wu Jun-li, speaker of Taitung City Council, said. “We are proud to say that Taiwan rice fits the preference of Japanese emperors.”

The famous “Chi-shan rice,” grown by farmers of Chi-shan Town in Taitung County, is currently well-accepted among local rice consumers.