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Taiwan gets green light to export pineapples to Australia

Australian government approves import of Taiwan-grown pineapples

Freshly cut pineapple grown in Taiwan. ( photo)

Freshly cut pineapple grown in Taiwan. ( photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Australia on Monday (March 1) announced that it will allow the import of pineapples (Ananas comosus) grown in Taiwan, effective immediately.

Australia's Department of Agriculture announced on its website on Monday that it had completed its report on the risk assessment of "fresh decrowned pineapples" from Taiwan and verified that the country now meets import conditions. Taiwan's Council of Agriculture (COA) announced that same day that after nearly five years of consultations with the Australian government, it was notified that it has met the requirements to begin exporting the fruits to Australia.

According to the COA, Australia's Department of Agriculture on Monday approved the import of Taiwanese pineapples provided that they are produced on plantations and packaged in facilities that are registered and approved and include traceability management. Before Taiwanese pineapples can be exported to Australia, they must be fumigated with methyl bromide to kill harmful pests and their crown buds must be removed.

Taiwan gets green light to export pineapples to Australia
Pineapple plantation in Taiwan ( photo)

In addition, Taiwanese pineapple fields and packaging facilities are required to register with Australia's Department of Agriculture. Fumigation and quarantine facilities used by Taiwanese pineapple growers require approval by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

In order to break through Australia's quarantine barrier, Taiwan applied for market access on April 9, 2015. After many consultations and much supplementary information being sent to Australian authorities, Australian experts were invited to Taiwan in August 2017 to carry out a risk assessment for importing fresh pineapples from the island.

The Australian government finally completed its risk assessment on August 14, 2019. It then requested that Taiwan provide additional relevant data on fumigation, quarantine treatment, and traceability management of its pineapples.

Taiwan gets green light to export pineapples to Australia
Sliced pineapple on Taiwanese farm ( photo)

The COA said that pineapples are the largest fruit export from Taiwan and described the product as the country's "flagship fruit" for overseas markets. Indeed, in recent years, exports of pineapples have exceeded all other fruits in the country.

In 2019, Taiwan's pineapple exports exceeded 50,000 metric tons and were valued at over US$60 million. Taiwanese farmers can produce more than 430,000 metric tons of pineapples annually by utilizing different varieties, cultivation areas, and growing seasons.

In addition to Australia, Taiwan also exports the juicy tropical fruit to Canada, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Indonesia, Palau, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands, and Russia, among other countries and regions.