In order to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and stabilize production and sales of domestic agricultural products in Taiwan, in February of 2020 the Council of Agriculture (COA) launched the “Taiwan Agricultural Products Celebration” online sales activity. The activity concluded at the end of 2020. 72 e-commerce platforms participated in this activity, selling over 30,000 premium domestic agriproducts. There were more than one million visits to the site for purchases, with total sales surpassing NT$1.2 billion. COA Minister Chen Chi-chung specially presented Certificates of Appreciation to thank all participating e-commerce platforms and relevant personnel.
On the morning of December 30, the COA held a tea party and press conference entitled “Taiwan Agricultural Products Celebration Online Sales Activity—Taiwan Rural Sentiment, Thanks for Being There!” In his remarks at the event, COA Minister Chen Chi-chung noted that back in February of 2020, the COA, aiming to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on sales of agriproducts, called on domestic e-commerce platforms to collectively hold the “Taiwan Agricultural Products Celebration” online sales activity, making it possible for consumers to shop safely from home in isolation while at the same time helping even more farmers. Over the past 300-plus days, the COA has not only provided discounts to consumers purchasing domestic agriproducts online beyond a certain level, it has also proactively held e-commerce matchmaking meetings to assist farmers and fishermen to cooperate with e-commerce platforms. The great success of the activity is thanks not only to e-commerce platform operators, but even more is due to many quietly dedicated relevant personnel and to all the consumers who made online purchases of domestic agriproducts.
The COA also announced that when the pandemic was at its worst, “fresh fruit” was at the top of the list of traceable agricultural products most favored by online consumers. Total sales of fresh fruit, including fruit boxes, seasonal fruit (such as sugar apples, lychees, and mangoes) and relatively rare fruits (such as figs, star apples, and caimito), were NT$48 million. In second place was “sous vide chicken breast meat,” which is at present the most popular health food, with total sales of NT$30.4 million. In third place was “grouper,” including whole fish, fish parts, sliced fish, and prepared processed grouper products, with total sales of NT$18.7 million. Other products popular with consumers included edamame, dumplings, essence of chicken, chicken drumsticks, chicken nuggets, rice, sea perch, soy milk, fourfinger threadfin fish, and vegetable boxes.
The COA states that the counter-trending growth achieved through online sales during the pandemic this year has successfully opened up new and diversified marketing channels for agriproducts. In the future the COA will continue to guide farmers and e-commerce platform operators to continue to cooperate with each other, in hopes of increasing the proportion of domestic agriproducts purchased online and thereby increasing the incomes of farmers.