Taiwan aims to strengthen the cold chain for agriculture products– from field to exportation

Taiwan Council of Agriculture announced the new plan of constructing the cold chain for agricultural products focusing on basic infrastructure and increase the operating capacity, the planned budget is 240 million Euro from 2021-2024.

Local market in Taiwan
Beeld: ©SEO-LNV
Local market in Taiwan

According to FAO, precooling is essential for maintaining an optimal postharvest life, the process includes the removal of field heat immediately following harvest, restricting and minimizing respiratory activity, thereby conserving the weight of the produce, and enzymatic degradation of the produce harvested; thus preventing softening, water loss and wilting and preventing microbial growth. This process, is a part of the what is generally referred to as ‘cold chain’ or temperature-controlled supply chain. Essentially it is an uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities, along with associated equipment and logistics.

Taiwan produces a lot of fruit, vegetables and flowers. However due to an lack of precooling and an underdeveloped cold supply chain, a lot is lost after harvest and more in the rest of the chain. As Taiwan has the ambition to export fresh products to other South East Asian countries and other continents, it is essential that Taiwan can develop its cold chain sector in order to guarantee the quality and the quantity of products, while minimizing its post-harvest loss.

With this in mind, the Council of Agriculture in Taiwan intends to introduce a new cold chain plan as part of its “New Agriculture Policy”. The main purpose of this plan is to upgrade the quality of export products and minimize waste in the loop, to improve the value, food safety and prolong shelf life of the products. The long term goal is to stabilize the local market when meeting production imbalance, increase the categories of fresh fruit and vegetables destined for exportation, and meet the requirements for expending new markets around the globe.  

With the new policy, the Council of Agriculture hopes to reduce at least 10 % of the waste in the chain and prolong shelf life at least 50 %. The Netherlands being one of the most important global players in the production and distribution of agricultural goods, is famous for its cold chain systems. This renounced system includes innovative technology that minimizes food loss after harvest where 90% of the fruit production volume survives the harvest and only about 5% of the fruit is damaged during transport. This makes the Netherlands with its own circular agriculture approach, is a suitable partner for Taiwan with the much needed technology and knowledge of the cold chain and increasing the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables.

The Taiwanese new policy consists of three steps:  

  1. Establish a complete cold chain, for long-term storage and transportation for agriculture products.
  2. Set up the regional cold chain logistic center
  3. Upgrade the cold chain facilities of main wholesale markets   

Council of Agriculture will establish 2 to 4 regional cold chain logistic center and will focus on link the existing private sector’s investment, hoping to bring up further investment from the industry, and stimulate the local economy development.   

The LAN team in Taipei is exploring the opportunities for supporting the Taiwanese cold chain industry by means of introducing smart Dutch solutions in the cold chain, and exchanging knowledge and expertise. Last March the Business Week Taiwan was dedicated to high tech and cold chain in Taiwan, as the interest in cold chain and the Dutch expertise in this field is increasing in the region.

Source: National Development council