The Council of Agriculture (COA) of the Executive Yuan received notification from the Economic Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US a short while ago that the US Department of Agriculture today (January 30) announced phytosanitary regulations governing the export of Dendrobium orchids in growing media from Taiwan to the US, effective from March 1. The COA went through six years of effort at consultations, and on numerous occasions answered questions and provided additional information in response to US risk assessments, finally resulting in successfully opening the door of US inspection and quarantine. This makes Taiwan the first country in the world that is allowed to export Dendrobium orchid plants in growing media to the US subsequent to the successful export of potted Phalaenopsis and Oncidium orchids to the US, this is another “world’s first” for Taiwan.
Developing new varieties for export for the orchid industry, immediately accepting greenhouse applications from businesses
The COA points out that Dendrobium orchids are very diverse in terms of color, size, shape, and properties, and are much coveted in the market. In the past, Dendrobium orchids were mainly exported to other countries as cut flowers, with Japan being the main trading partner. In recent years there have been tremendous results in terms of breeding of potted varieties, and commercial opportunities already exist in the exporting of Dendrobium plantlets. Having received the US agreement today to export these orchids in growing media, this should effectively reduce the loss rate in the process of transportation and help to increase the quantity and quality of Dendrobium orchids exported to the US, creating new market opportunities for orchid businesses.
The COA explains that, like Phalaenopsis and Oncidium orchids in growing media, potted Dendrobium orchids being exported to the US must conform to the “Work Plan for Plants in Growing Media from Taiwan,” signed by both Taiwan and the US: greenhouses must have comprehensive pest-prevention measures, the plant beds must be at least 46 centimeters above the ground, the facilities must be clean (sand and soil-free), the plants must be cultivated in approved greenhouses for over four months, and greenhouses must meet the inspection and quarantine standards for export established by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) of the COA. To make it easier for businesses to undertake arrangements for production as quickly as possible, BAPHIQ’s regional branches are immediately accepting greenhouse applications from businesses. In cases of greenhouses that already meet standards to export Phalaenopsis orchids to the US, there is no need to clean out the plants in the greenhouse. In cases of greenhouses that are currently not approved export Phalaenopsis orchids to the US, the greenhouses must be cleaned out and be certified as meeting standards by BAPHIQ, before they become approved greenhouse for exporting Dendrobium orchids to the US.
Extending the comparative advantage of orchids, exporting beauty and elegance to the world
The COA points out that orchids from Taiwan first overcome the obstacle of US phytosanitary rules in 2004, gaining the advantage of being the only orchids in the world that can be exported to the US in growing media. In recent years there have been considerable improvements in every area, including greenhouse facilities, cultivation management, and production standards, winning approval and recognition from the international community. In 2017, Taiwan exported 21.26 million orchids to the US, earning revenues of US$51 million, which is quite a brilliant achievement.
The COA emphasizes that since Dendrobium orchids can be now exported to the US in growing media, Taiwan needs to effectively raise the standards of Dendrobium greenhouse facilities and build the Dendrobium brand image. The relevant government agencies fulfill their guidance and supervisory roles as well as possible, however, the full cooperation of Dendrobium orchid businesses and industry groups is even more necessary, in order to work together to export Taiwan’s healthy and beautiful Dendrobium orchids to the entire world.
Dendrobium in fully bloom.
Dendrobium plants in growing media growing in a greenhouse.