TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Council of Agriculture (COA) has overturned a decision by Hualien County Government to revoke licenses for poultry farms managed by Thailand’s powerful CP Group, reports said Wednesday (March 3).
Residents and environmental groups have protested that the project for at least five farms housing 375,000 chickens in the townships of Guangfu, Fenglin and Shoufeng would damage the environment and result in dangerous traffic. Reacting to their protests, the county announced in June it was revoking CP’s operating licenses.
However, the group’s local arm, Charoen Pokphand Enterprise (Taiwan) Co. (CP Taiwan), took its case to the central government, CNA reported. The COA ruled the licenses were still valid as the county was unable to prove the project posed a major threat to the local populace, but the county said it would ask for a new review.
A local action group said the COA decision was unacceptable, as CP Taiwan had not bothered to organize public hearings and communicate with local communities. Instead of seeking out different plots of land for the poultry farms, the company appealed to the central government, activists said, adding they were unable to trust CP Taiwan anymore.
The company is one of Thailand’s largest corporations, operating 7-Eleven convenience stores in the Southeast Asian country as well as the True telecom system. CP also recently completed the process of taking over one of Thailand’s two largest supermarket chains, Tesco Lotus, following British retailer Tesco’s decision to pull out of Asia. The shops have been renamed Lotus’s.