The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) convened the “15th Taiwan-Canada Agricultural Working Group Meeting” in Ottawa on September 13. The two sides reached consensus to continue discussions on issues including trade in agricultural products, regulatory harmonization, technical cooperation in R&D into health foods, and market access. They also exchanged experiences with respect to adaptation to climate change and strategies to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. Both sides agreed to cooperate on building a sustainable agriculture environment that can cope with climate risks.
The MOA notes that Taiwan and Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding on agricultural cooperation in 1994 that set up a bilateral agricultural cooperation mechanism. Although the pandemic has hindered in-person exchanges between people from both sides over the last three years, Taiwan-Canada agricultural cooperation by no means has come to a halt. Both sides have continued to jointly promote a number of mutually beneficial agricultural technical cooperation programs as well as resolved problems related to trade in agricultural products of concern to both sides. In particular, substantive advances have been made in the field of agricultural industrial applications including grain-based functional foods, development of plant-based protein products, and scientific and technological innovation and research. In addition, since Taiwan and Canada signed an organic equivalency agreement in May of 2020, bilateral trade in organic agriproducts has developed smoothly. Products with significant potential for export sales include organic cereals and organic miscellaneous staple crops from Canada as well as organic gluten-free rice, organic mushrooms, and organic tea from Taiwan.
The MOA points out that at this most recent Agricultural Working Group Meeting the two sides engaged in discussion of a number of subjects, including: progress of the review process for Canada to permit the import of processed pork products and pet food from Taiwan, harmonization of regulations governing animal and plant health inspection and quarantine, and cooperation in smart agriculture, as well as how to continue technology R&D exchanges and cooperation related to cooperative research on nutrition, health and processing technologies of rice and pulses products; and plant-based cheese products. It is hoped that the two sides can further strengthen agricultural industrial links, jointly create commercial opportunities, promote the well-being of farmers in both countries, and ensure sustainable development of agriculture.