President Tsai Ing-wen joined the mayors from Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, and Chiayi to promote home-grown pineapples on Wednesday, calling on all people to buy pineapples and support local farmers.
Speaking in a press conference organized by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the event was held in response to China’s ban on Taiwan pineapples announced on March 1.
Chiayi County Mayor Weng Chang-liang (翁章梁) said that Chiayi County has an annual output of 54,800 tons of pineapples, of which 3,600 tons are sold to China.
After China banned the import of Taiwan pineapples, Chiayi County has worked hard to marketing local pineapples whether through retail or e-commerce.
He encouraged the public to buy by-products including pineapple vinegar, pineapple wine, hand-washing products as well as facial masks produced by bromelin.
Also, Pingtung County Mayor Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said that Pingtung urgently diverted 30,000 tons of pineapples originally intended for China to other countries as a result of the ban.
The dire situation has also helped the county expand its export channels though, scoring contracts with Japan, and even for the first time in history received orders from Macau, the mayor said.
Pan Men-an further reminded those intending to support pineapple farmers that the production season is long so there’s no need to raid all the pineapple now since it would crowd out the sales of other fruits.
On the sidelines of the press conference, Tsai also expressed appreciation towards the national support for Taiwan pineapples and farmers, promising that the government would not only stabilize prices but also strengthen export marketing and promotion to overcome the situation.
She stressed that Japan has purchased 5,000 tons of pineapples, and the Taiwan representative offices of various countries have also expressed support.
Tsai emphasized that in face of unreasonable trade regulations, Taiwan will be more united, with the central as well as local governments supporting each other to tide over the difficulties.