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Taiwan invests big to boost cold chain storage capabilities

Cold chain capacity needed to increase country’s competitiveness in agri-industry

Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park.

Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A new facility to keep goods fresh is expected to be inaugurated in Taiwan this month as the country doubles down on its investment to increase its cold chain capacity.

A center designed to retain the freshness of agricultural products will enter into service at the Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park (PABP) later this month. It will help coordinate and adjust sales of the country’s agricultural produce and drive international marketing efforts.

The facility boasts precooling, ripening, and quick-freezing capabilities as well as technologies that ensure products can be stored and transported at temperatures from 15 degrees to minus 25 degrees Celsius, said the PABP.

Meanwhile, a logistics park will be set up near the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for more streamlined import and export. Scheduled to be complete by 2024, it will connect the cold chain network nationwide, becoming a critical platform for handling agricultural, aquatic, and floral products.

In May, Taiwan broke ground for a cold chain logistics center in Yunlin, the first of its kind, ushering in an era of longer shelf life and an advanced competitive edge for the country’s agricultural produce.

Taking up an area of 2,800 ping (9,254 square meters), it is slated for inauguration by the end of 2023, wrote UDN. Yunlin plays an important role in the country’s vegetable output and the addition of the new center will allow for better distribution of crops cultivated in the municipalities of Taichung, Changhua, Chiayi, and Tainan, said Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲).

With the added cold storage capacity, the shelf life of vegetables and fruits can be extended, thereby increasing opportunities for farmers to make more money. Sales of about 60,000 additional tons of produce a year can be expected thanks to improved preservation of vegetables.

This is part of the government’s two-year initiative with a budget of NT$12.6 billion (US$420 million) to build out the cold chain capacity for its agricultural produce. As part of the plan, two flagship logistics centers will be established in Taoyuan and Pingtung, in addition to five cold chain facilities in Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung.