At the Cabinet's weekly meeting Thursday, Premier Su Tseng-chang received a Council of Agriculture briefing on efforts to promote a nationwide cold chain logistics system. Over the coming four years, the government will expedite the establishment of a nationwide agricultural products cold chain logistics system to enhance and ensure the quality and safety of agricultural products while boosting the nation's competitiveness.
Most agricultural products are unsuitable for long-term storage or long-distance transport, and about 30 percent are lost in the process of transportation and sales. Creating a comprehensive fresh cold chain logistics system, therefore, will not only be critical to the agricultural industry's transport and sales processes but will also help reduce food waste and ensure better food safety management. The government's objective now is to create a comprehensive system that can ensure product quality from the point of production all the way to the point of arrival. We must establish a continuous, uninterrupted cold chain stretching from the production site, to wholesale markets, and to retail markets and stores, the premier said.
Over the past three years, the premier said, the government has invested almost NT$700 million (US$25.2 million) in subsidies to farmers groups to strengthen cold chain facilities at agricultural and food production sites. These investments have extended product shelf life by 50 percent and increased product prices by 30 percent. For livestock, the government has advised meat markets to set up transport waiting areas for slaughterhouses, and subsidized carcass transport vehicles and the installation of temperature control facilities in meat stalls. For aquatic products, the government has installed or renovated cold chain equipment in many locations. These efforts have raised the hygiene and safety standards for meat and aquatic products, and helped maintain a balance between production and consumption.
Premier Su also noted that the government plans to invest nearly NT$13 billion (US$468.6 million) over the next four years to speed up construction of flagship logistics centers and regional distribution centers, upgrade cold chain equipment at large wholesale markets, assist agricultural enterprises and farmers groups to construct cold chain and transportation storage facilities at production sites, and install temperature control equipment in vendor stalls, all of which are expected to enhance and ensure the quality and safety of agricultural products and increase farmers' profits. These improvements will also help Taiwan to successfully export our excellent farm, fishery, and livestock products around the globe.