I-Mei Food Co. confident of developing high value-added products with Taiwan’s bananas

The CEO of the food giant also urged the government to come up with effective ways to help bring up banana prices

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I-Mei CEO Luis Ko (left-4th) and Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (left-6th) witness the first shipment of bananas purchased from Taiwanese farmers

I-Mei CEO Luis Ko (left-4th) and Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (left-6th) witness the first shipment of bananas purchased from Taiwanese farmers (By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following an announcement that I-Mei Food Co. would purchase 200 tonnes of bananas from Taiwanese farmers amid massive oversupply and considerably low prices last week, the food giant held an event Thursday during which Luis Ko (高志明), CEO of I-Mei, joined by Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), welcomed the initial shipment of bananas at the company’s factory.

“After years of R&D efforts, I-Mei now has the capability to develop higher value-added products with banana extraction,” said Ko. “We hope to make Taiwanese people realize the values of bananas.”

Prices of bananas produced by local farmers have been slashed due to massive oversupply this year, despite decreases in cultivated areas and overall yield compared to the previous years, according to an agricultural official.

The first shipment of bananas arrive at the I-Mei factory on June 14

While the Council of Architecture has been attempting to help Taiwanese banana growers sell their products overseas, I-Mei announced during the last two weeks that it would purchase 200 tonnes of bananas from local farmers who suffered from lack of profit.

“We always purchase bananas from local growers with prices higher than the market ones, and our orders are continuous and stable,” said the CEO.

“We do not simply give away purchased bananas or make simple processing foods out of bananas so as to compete with other food companies,” said Ko, resonating that these short-sighted approaches would not be helpful for the market nor local farmers.

Just like the produce we have bought from Taiwanese growers in the last couple of years, we will store the bananas in the freezer warehouse while our research laboratory will continue to develop high-valued products with bananas or through extracting nutritious parts from bananas, added Ko. The CEO also urged the government to follow suit, which he believes would bring up the prices of bananas effectively.

I-Mei has been developing high value-added products from bananas

On the other hand, Mayor Cheng, who attended the event on Thursday morning to show his support for the company, called on other food companies in Taoyuan to join forces with I-Mei and purchase produce from Taiwanese growers.

Taiwanese farmers grow high-quality produce that can be used as ingredients for products manufactured by the food companies in Taoyuan, said Cheng, who also urged the government to provide some incentives, such as tax exemptions, to those who purchase produce from local farmers.

The guests show their support for Taiwan's banana growers

The guests show their support for Taiwan's banana growers