Government to Ensure Agricultural Food Safety02 May 2012
TAIWAN - To promote and restore public confidence in Taiwanese agricultural products, Premier Sean Chen said at a press conference on 29 March that the Cabinet would ensure food safety in the country using the highest standards, and would foster cross-ministerial cooperation to manage food safety from the up-stream manufacturers.
Measures such as quality checks before product launches and spot checks in the market will help enhance food safety and allow the public to consume products without concern.
In light of the relatively low pork prices in the market, Mr Chen said pork farming techniques had drastically improved over the years. This meant that government assistance to farms had yielded results, but also driven up supplies, depressing prices. Mr Chen said the quality of Taiwan-made meat products was not in question, adding that he had instructed the officials at the Council of Agriculture (COA) to activate the supply-demand adjustment mechanism and to cap production to stabilize prices. In addition, he had asked officials to promote domestic poultry products further to benefit both consumers and producers.
At the press conference, Premier Sean Chen, Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah, Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih, Deputy Minister of the Department of Health Lin Tzou-yien, and Council of Agricultural Affairs Minister Chen Bao-ji promoted fresh agricultural food products in front of the media. Renowned chef Tsai Chi-fang then demonstrated to reporters how to make dishes from locally grown agricultural and poultry products. Premier Chen asked reporters to taste the dishes made by Tsai. He praised locally grown agricultural and poultry products highly and urged Taiwanese nationals to support these products.
The Premier instructed COA to assist the industry, activate the supply-demand adjustment mechanism and promote sales.
Officials at the COA have been actively assisting local farmers in improving farming efficiency, with good results. Pork prices have been stabilised over the past three years. However, an oversupply of hogs was seen in the market, following improved farming techniques. To help reduce supply, the COA asked hog farmers to promote sales and activated a hog-inventory mechanism. It also helped hog farmers export pork products and diversify their product range, offsetting the oversupply of hogs. In the future, to maintain stable hog sales, the COA will control the overall production volume of hogs in the country, under the Animal Industry Act. The council will continue to help farmers according to their needs and offer them consultation. These measures will help develop a sustainable local-farming industry.
Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah said that to solve food-safety issues, the Cabinet had established a food safety and risk management panel, for which he was the panel convener. The panel would review all issues related to food safety and actively discuss counteractive measures. It would utilize resources across ministries and ensure food safety from the production end to the market end. Jiang also urged business owners to comply with government policies and regulations to ensure food safety.
The Council of Agricultural Affairs Minister Chen Bao-ji said Taiwan's agricultural products were fresh, delicious and of high quality. The country's production and inspection mechanisms helped safeguard public health and food safety. He urged consumers to purchase locally grown products to help Taiwan build a sustainable agricultural industry. Further, he urged the public to support the local agricultural industry and to purchase domestic agriculture, aquaculture and poultry products.