TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – With the growing popularity of Taiwanese handmade drinks, the country is finding its lemons and lemon juice with traceability certificates in short supply both at home and abroad.
According to data from the Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA), the area for lemon cultivation in Taiwan is 2,737 hectares, 1,820 of which is located in Pingtung County, and 389 is traceable, reported Central News Agency on Aug. 16.
Not only is the government promoting traceability in cultivation areas, the production line for lemon juice extraction must also pass certification to prevent pesticide residue, AFA said.
Xuanhe Agricultural Cooperatives (軒禾合作社), the first company in Taiwan to produce certified lemon juice throughout their entire process, starting in June 2017, has been inundated with orders from both local supermarkets, retailers, as well as export orders, noted founder and chairman of the firm Lin Xuan-he (林軒禾).
A former international trade salesperson, Lin, 33, found that the prices of Taiwan-produced lemons plunged due to residues of agricultural chemicals in the year following Typhoon Morakot, which wreaked havoc in Taiwan in 2009, wrote CNA.
The dire prospects of growing lemons prompted him to establish Xuanhe Agricultural Cooperatives five years ago in an attempt to help farmers and rebuild Taiwan’s reputation for the fruit’s production. His venture has solicited support of more than 100 growers over the years and has seen the harvest area expand from 20 hectares to 100 hectares today.
A rigorous examination mechanism is implemented for those interested in participating in the cooperative, which involves inspection by plant experts at the farms, instructions on correct application of pesticides, and juice extraction by commissioned factories as well as a sound examination process, Lin reckoned.
With the quality of lemon crops and juice under scrutiny, Lin strives to ensure no traces of pesticide are found in his company’s products to maintain high demand and sales, wrote CNA.