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Continuous effort to enhance the quality of Taiwan’s moth orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.) to take on challenges set by China’s orchids exporting to the U.S.


   The Council of Agriculture (COA) stated that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had published a notification on February 11, 2016 allowing the importation of moth orchids (Phalaenopsis spp.) in approved growing media from China starting from March 14, 2016. This decision by the United States would make China one of Taiwan’s competitors for the export of moth orchids to the US in the future. The COA pointed out that Taiwan has many varieties of moth orchids, which is a fruitful achievement of the joint efforts by the public and private sectors after many years of hard work. The government will continue to assist the industry in implementing greenhouse pest control management, enhance overseas positioning of plant breeder right distribution to develop new emerging markets, and continue to produce high quality moth orchids in order to face the challenges ahead. The aim is to ensure that Taiwan’s moth orchids continue to maintain its market share in the US.

Taiwan having advanced moth orchid breeding technology, implementing pest control measures, and producing high quality plants

   The COA explained that Taiwan’s moth orchid industry overcame US quarantine regulatory restrictions in 2004 and has the advantage of being the world’s only country qualified to export moth orchids in growing media to the US. Furthermore, on February 4, 2016, Taiwan obtained another world first after the US opened its doors to the dancing-lady orchid (Oncidium spp.) in growing media from Taiwan starting March 7 of this year. In recent years, the overall level of moth orchid greenhouse facilities, cultivation management, and production in Taiwan has been greatly enhanced, which earned much international recognition. In 2015, Taiwan exported a total of 23.38 million moth orchid plants valued at US$50 million to the US, accounting for 41% of Taiwan’s global moth orchid total export value.

   Presently, Taiwan’s moth orchids are far more competitive when compared with China’s orchids because Taiwan’s moth orchids in growing media are allowed to enter mainland US and other US territories such as Hawaii and Guam according to the current regulations. Furthermore, Taiwan has other advantages such as having advanced cultivation, breeding, and production technologies, as well as rigorous pest control capabilities, high quality plants, and many varieties of plants.

Actively facing challenges and raising the level of competitiveness of moth orchids in growing media exported to the US

   The COA stated that in response to the challenges brought by the US’s decision to allow the import of China’s moth orchids in growing media, the Council has the consensus and joint commitment of the public, private, and academic sectors. Internationally, the objective is to actively strengthen our global positioning by establishing the industry’s relay production capability, developing marketing channels, and researching and collecting international market information. Domestically, the objectives are to strengthen our ability to breed new varieties of moth orchids, raise the level of marketing and storage technologies, research and develop automated production equipment, educate and develop talents, and solve labor shortage problems that plague the industry. The COA plans to work together with producers and industry associations to continually raise the quality of moth orchids and build a positive brand image for Taiwan’s high quality orchids in order to solidify its international market competitiveness.