Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi Chung is leading a delegation to Foodex Japan from March 5 through 7. Notably, this afternoon (March 6) he attended two ceremonies that marked the signing of a contract and a memorandum between Taiwanese exporters and major Japanese distributors for the purchase of Taiwanese bananas. He encouraged businesses from Taiwan and Japan to deepen trade and cooperation in agriproducts, in order to pave the way for expanded sales of premium Taiwanese agriproducts in the Japanese market, thereby raising the incomes of farmers in Taiwan.
Minister Chen, along with legislators Chiu Yi-ying and Chuang Jui-hsiung, were in attendance as Kuo Wen-ming, chairman of the supervisory board of Taiwan’s Chishan Association of Fruits and Vegetables Distribution, and Hiroshi Tsujikawa, president of Wismettac Foods of Japan, signed a three-year deal for the purchase of 9000 metric tons of Taiwan bananas worth NT$430 million. Bananas from Kaohsiung will be supplied to distributors under the Wismettac flag, which will allow even more Japanese consumers to enjoy the delicious flavor of Taiwan’s bananas.
Thereafter Minister Chen was present as Chen Yu-jan, chairman of the Taiwanese company Mitagri, and Takafumi Sekino, president and CEO of the Japanese company Funasho Shoji Company, signed a memorandum of cooperation. In it they agreed to strengthen trade and cooperation, and to go through the Funasho Shoji Company to supply premium Taiwanese agriproducts to Japan’s Ota Wholesale Market as well as national retailers such as supermarkets and hypermarkets. Since last year (2018) the Funasho Shoji Company has been working with the Mitagri Company to import “oolong bananas” produced by Yunlin County’s Citong Fruits and Vegetables Production Cooperative into Japan. When sold in supermarkets and other sales channels, these bananas have received very positive reviews from Japanese consumers. Funasho Shoji had already planned to purchase 600 metric tons of oolong bananas through Mitagri in 2018-2019, but today the two parties agreed to expand on the current foundation and raise the target to 1000 metric tons.
After attending the two signing ceremonies, Minister Chen stated that the COA intends to deepen cooperative relations with Wismettac and Funasho Shoji in the future. There and then he invited the two Japanese companies to join the “integrated platform for the export of agricultural products from Taiwan,” the establishment of which the COA is promoting, and which will pro-actively match businesses from Taiwan and Japan in order to expand opportunities for the export of Taiwan’s agriproducts.