TAOYUAN (Taiwan News) — A delegation from Taiwan's diplomatic ally the Republic of Palau visited the I-Mei Foods factory in Taoyuan City on Wednesday (Oct. 9) to gain a better insight into how a large-scale food manufacturer operates.
The Palauan delegation was led by Faustina Rehuher-Marugg, minister of state and foreign affairs, who was accompanied by administrative assistants Rachel Theo Sumang and Jessie Kingto. Joining them were I-Mei Associate Manager Lin Cong-chen (林聰琛), Safety Laboratory Director Chang Shih-chiang (張士強), and Multimedia E-Content Production Manager Jack Cheng (程豫台).
Faustina Rehuher-Marugg, minister of state of Palau, met with I-Mei manager Jack Cheng (photo: Taiwan News)
The Republic of Palau, best known for its rich natural scenery and cultural heritage, is an island country that consists of some 340 islands and has long been Taiwan's diplomatic ally. Tourism accounts for about 75 percent of the nation's economic growth, according to CNA.
Faustina told Taiwan News that she met with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday (Oct. 8) and expressed her hope that the two countries can continue their partnership, as Palau shares many of the same values as Taiwan. Faustina also voiced her gratitude for I-Mei's invitation and said many Taiwanese food products can be purchased at supermarkets in Palau.
The tour began at I-Mei's gift shop, where a variety of products were on display. The delegation was especially impressed by the creativity of the food designs, such as the chess-patterned green bean cakes and wedding gift packages.
The second stop was the Cultural Exhibition Hall, where the delegation learned about the history of I-Mei Foods. I-Mei began as a small cake shop in 1934, but it has since emerged as one of the biggest international food providers in the world.
During a discussion session, Faustina presented gifts from Palau to the veteran Taiwanese food manufacturer, including a large hand-crafted wooden turtle. She explained that in her country, the turtle is a symbol of love.
According to a Palauan legend, two lovers promised to see each other on the night of the new moon, but when the girl awoke in the morning, she found her skirt had disappeared. Donning a replacement made from leaves, she joined her companion as planned, and they pledged to meet once again on the full moon. On their next reunion, they spotted a turtle crawling towards them with one of its legs entangled in the skirt the girl had lost.
The delegation presented gifts from Palau (photo: Taiwan News)
Later on, the group was given a tour of the long-running bread factory, food safety laboratory, radiation testing lab, and dioxin and POP testing lab. I-Mei's bread factory supplies English muffins, bagels, and hamburgers to McDonald's restaurants and Costco stores across the country.
Laboratory assistant introduced the dioxin and POP testing procedure to the delegation (photo: Taiwan News)