With the increasing awareness of food safety, people put more and more emphases on the origin and safety of food. Consuming local produce in the proper season becomes an important trend. The COA thus launched a series of marketing campaigns aimed at manufacturers, retailers, primary school students and teachers, and consumers, hoping to let more consumers familiarize themselves with the traceable agricultural products (TAP) and purchase agricultural products with TAP label.
In order to promote TAP products, offer better channels for quality products and set up a reliable image of TAP, the COA held TAP expert competition, monthly lucky draws, and elementary school teaching plan competition as well as assisted retailing channels to increase product sales. All these events received positive feedbacks from manufacturers, consumers, teachers and retailers. The TAP experts shared stories of their perseverance and dedication, while the consumers give full support to safe quality products by active involvement. What's more, the diverse contents of the 93 teaching plans designed by elementary school teachers show a good start in Taiwan's agriculture and food education.
Till the end of November, 2013, there are a total of 1,028 rectified TAP enterprises, providing 146 TAP products. The average number of TAP labels printed per month reaches 1.67 million, with a growth rate of 48% compared to that in 2012 of 1.13 million per month, and 118% in 2011 of 770,000 per month.
15 dedicated experts and their heartwarming stories
The COA has launched TAP system since 2007, regulating agricultural business manufacturers to strictly follow the Taiwan Safe Agricultural Products code and to put risk management into practice, thus employing eco-friendly methods of production as well as producing traceable and safe TAP products. Consumers will be able to trace the origin of agricultural products they purchase via cloud technology without limitations.
The COA indicated that the requirements and rectification process on agricultural products of TAP system create a completely different kind of experience for traditional agricultural products sellers. Therefore, the producers need to give extra efforts in production control. The "TAP Expert" selection attracted 50 candidates from agriculture, fishery, and livestock industries to compete for the best 15, whom would be interviewed and reported on the brochure "TAP Expertise", so that the stories of their perseverance and devotion to safeguard consumers' health can be introduced to more people.
Closely work with sales channels to enhance the accessibility of TAP system
In order to facilitate the consumers in purchasing TAP products, the government encourages retailers to set up TAP product counters in stores. Hypermarkets and supermarkets such as Carrefour, Taisuco, Tracing, and Wellcome (including Jasons) have agreed to do so, comprising a total of 158 counters. In the meantime, retailers are invited to visit the places of production and business seminars. Moreover, TAP information websites are established. All these activities and events have one goal: to encourage more retailing stores to sell TAP agricultural products.
TAP and agricultural education take root in local communities
The COA organized the first ever "TAP Teaching Plan Selection" campaign this year, which enables teachers and students to get acquainted with TAP products through interesting and creative learning methods. A total of 93 plans were submitted for the selection and after four rounds of fierce competition, 15 plans were finally selected and awarded. These winning teaching plans all boast amazing contents and many of them have already been adopted for trial teaching practices. Visiting producers, field trips to supermarkets, writing letters to TAP experts are activities suggested by these plans which will better help them understand and recognize TAP products.
This year's winning works fully demonstrate how agriculture and conventional education can be linked together. For instance, in the work entitled "Food safety with TAP" which Lai Kuan-lin and Fang Li-na from Long An Elementary School proposed, in addition to conventional methods such as presentations and internet, the idea of guiding students to understand the system and even inviting them to become TAP ambassadors promotes the system to other classes in school.
The TAP system appreciates the support from consumers
The COA stated that all consumers have to do to be eligible for participating in the monthly lucky draw of NT$20,000 cash prize for TAP products which goes from Aug. 1 to Nov. 30, is to collect three TAP labels and send them by mail. 1,696 people have already joined the lucky draw. Moreover, the lucky winner of a NT$30,000 big prize would be announced at the TAP annual performance review.
The COA cordially invites everyone to give their support to TAP products by actual involvement, which is the best recognition and encouragement for these dedicated producers. From now on, let TAP produce take the center stage on your dining table.