New Zealand Gains Access To Taiwan Market

Published online: Jan 17, 2005
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After a 10-year "battle," New Zealand's potato growers have been given access to the Taiwanese market.

The Taiwanese government agreed to allow access for New Zealand potatoes after successful talks with NZ Vegetable and Potato Growers' Federation.

The New Zealanders now aim to complete similar decade-long negotiations with South Korea by next year and have begun trade talks with Thailand.

The federation said it was not immediately clear how much the Taiwanese market would be worth to New Zealand potato growers who now produce some 50,000 tons (1,000,000 cwt) a year.

Shipping and other challenges had to be resolved, including certifying exports did not have potato cyst nematode and convincing the Taiwanese that NZ potatoes were as good, if not better than others' imports.

The Taiwanese had been concerned about biosecurity and protecting its farmers from imported produce but reached an agreement after potato consumption rose 16 percent in four years as the Taiwanese began eating more western foods.