Taiwan must build image for China fruit exports


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan has to build up a brand image for its fruit and establish connections with big distributors in China to market its produce in an orderly and stable way, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Wu-hsiung said yesterday.

Chen was addressing concerns by legislators at a legislative committee meeting about Taiwanese fruit and flower exports to the world.

The lawmakers urged the government to formulate a quality agriculture development statute to help fruit and flower exports and enhance competitiveness. For instance, they said, Taiwan should upgrade competitive edge in butterfly orchid trade as the Netherlands’ output is twice that of Taiwan and its production value is three times Taiwan’s.

In response, Chen said exporting fruit to China has been listed as a goal of the council for next year.

“The COA will work toward anything that is beneficial to farmers or will help tap the market,” he added. He noted that the first thing needed is to establish an image for Taiwanese fruit, which must be marked with quality assurance labels to differentiate them from fruit from China or other countries.

Taiwan also needs to establish connections with “big and credible” distributors, he added.

On Chinese visitors buying fruit in Taiwan, Chen said that the policy of “taking orders in Taiwan and making deliveries in China” remains unchanged and that the sites for taking orders will be increased in addition to one near the Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan, one of the biggest attractions for Chinese tourists.

The COA has also initially planned to set up delivery sites in Beijing and Shanghai, Chen added.

Legislator Chiu Ching-chun of the ruling Kuomintang suggested that the COA set up fruit parlors in rest areas along the freeways, and treat Chinese tourists to Taiwanese fruit in hotel rooms.

On the sidelines of the committee meeting, meanwhile, Chen said Taiwan and China will donate animals to each other as a “reciprocal” gesture.

Chen’s remarks came one day after Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin kung said China and Taiwan will donate animals to each other, suggesting that long-awaited Chinese pandas will come to Taiwan soon.

Chen said the “mutual donation is a reciprocal gesture,” adding that Taiwan will also present animals listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to China. Taiwan has previously donated animals to both China and Japan.

As for the exporting and importing references on the documents, Chen said this will be decided by the Mainland Affairs Council, the nation’s highest China policy coordinating agency.