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2017 EU-Taiwan Organic Food Trade Seminar

Taipei, 22 June 2017 - The European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) – under the framework of the European Business and Regulatory Cooperation (EBRC) programme – co-hosted the "2017 EU-Taiwan Organic Food Trade Seminar" with the cabinet ministry-level agency under the Executive Yuan, the Council of Agriculture (COA), and the Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) under the COA. The event gathered 140 participants from Europe and Taiwan, which included regulators, representatives of central and local governments and business. The seminar brought together government officials from the European Commission and the AFA, and European and Taiwanese experts to share experience in three sessions which covered: the development and regulations on producing organic; best practices sharing; and organic food market and promotion. In keeping with the theme of organic agriculture, refreshments made with organic ingredients were served during the seminar's afternoon networking and tea break.

Ms Viktoria Lövenberg, Deputy Head of the EEETO and Mr HU Jong-I (胡忠一), Chief Secretary of the COA delivered opening remarks at the seminar. In her remarks Ms Lövenberg pointed out that there is significant bilateral trade in food products between the EU and Taiwan, both in terms of trade value and variety of products. She noted that in recent years, there has been rising interest from Taiwanese consumers towards European organic agricultural and food products, and that this is clearly an area with strong growth potential.

The morning session started with a keynote speech on the concept of organic agriculture in the world and some consumers' perspectives. The speech was delivered by an expert from a non-governmental organisation, Mr Vitoon PANYAKUL, Founder and Board Member of Earth Net Foundation/Green Net. Following the keynote speech, three officials from the European Commission and one speaker from the AFA gave presentations on the topic of the development and regulations on producing organic. Ms Elena PANICHI, Deputy Head of Unit, Unit "Organic", in the European Commission's Directorate General of Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) presented the EU's regulation on organic production and labelling. Her colleague, Mr Manuel ROSSI PRIETO presented the EU's trade regime of organic products and electronic certification for imports. Mr Stéphane ANDRE, Policy Officer of the European Commission's Directorate General of Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), presented the EU's regulation of pesticide residues in food, including organic food products. Mr LAI Mean-Young (賴明陽), Section Chief of the AFA, presented the development and regulations on producing organic in Taiwan and Taiwan's control and certification rules on organic products and organic logo. The morning session was followed by a fruitful Q&A session featuring all of speakers, who answered questions from the audience, and exchanged information about regulations in the EU and Taiwan on organic agriculture.

In the first afternoon session, four speakers from Taiwanese and European business shared best practices in organic agriculture and production. Ms Sophie TONEGAWA, International Sales Manager from Leezen Company Limited and Mr Meng HSIEH, General Manager of Goldencrops Corporation, shared their companies' experiences in organic food production and business development in domestic and overseas markets. Mr Rosario ROMANO, Partner, First in Sicily, Agrofood Consortium in Italy and Mr Ioannis ANAGNOSTPOULOS, Export Manager of BIOIASIS in Greece presented their experiences in producing and selling organic products in the EU and overseas. They also indicated that organic production and products are regulated and certificated under the EU system. The session was followed by an interactive Q&A session.

The second session in the afternoon was devoted to the subject of the organic food market and promotion and featured two speakers. Dr HUANG-TZENG, Chang-Ju (黃瑋如), Professor of I-Lan University, Taiwan, gave a presentation on the promotion of organic food in Taiwan. Mr Manuel ROSSI PRIETO from the European Commission's DG SANTE gave a presentation on the promotion programme for organic products co-financed by the European Commission. The session was followed by an interactive and lively Q&A session.