The Council of Agriculture (COA) and the UK’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) held the “5th Taiwan-UK Agricultural Dialogue Meeting” on October 4 via videoconference. At the meeting, the two sides discussed various issues, including policy planning for increasing forest carbon sinks and roadmaps to net zero carbon emissions, organic equivalency arrangement, fisheries cooperation related to offshore wind power, and market access. Both sides agreed to undertake broader interactions and expert visits and plan to hold a forum on a topic related to organic agriculture industry by the end of this year. The two sides hope to deepen cooperation and exchanges in agriculture between Taiwan and the UK and promote business in agricultural products.
The COA states that the UK is the 18th largest market for exports of agriproducts from Taiwan, with sales of Taiwan agriproducts to the UK in 2021 totaling US$35.66 million. The main exported products were pastries, cookies, alcoholic beverages, and wheat-based food. In addition, the UK is the 8th largest source country for imports of agriproducts into Taiwan, with total imports reaching US$580 million in 2021. The main products Taiwan imported from the UK included alcoholic beverages, salmon, and sunflower seed oil. Considering that Taiwan and the UK are important trading partners in agriproducts, the COA and Defra hold regular dialogue meetings to discuss market access issues of concern to both sides and to deepen agricultural technology exchanges and cooperation. This year the two parties are also convening a forum on the theme of organic agriproducts subject to mutual interest, which will help to develop the organic agriculture industry, marketing, and business opportunities in Taiwan and the UK.