The Taiwanese authorities have removed Italy from the list of countries that are considered free of African Swine Flu (ASF). The decision depends on a worsening of veterinary conditions in Sardinia. “This is clearly closure for the exports of our charcuterie and pork meat to Taiwan,” said Davide Calderone, director of Assica, the Italian Association of Meat and Cured Meat Industries.
A clarification from the Taiwanese authorities explains that the measure “has nothing to do with Italy’s decision on the restrictions on flights to and from Taipei, due to coronavirus infection.” In fact, it is a mere precautionary measure to avoid the veterinary risk of introduction of ASF on the island. This risk, according to Taipei, would be even higher today due to the increase in the phenomenon in Sardinia.
UNJUSTIFIED FEARS ABOUT ITALY’S PORK MEAT
“We do not understand Taiwan’s fear – says Davide Calderone – of the veterinary situation in Sardinia. In recent years the Region, with the support of Italy’s Ministry of Health and the European Commission, has done an excellent job towards the total eradication of ASF”.
This decision is therefore largely unexpected, especially considering that Taiwan is a newly opened market for the export of all Italian pork meat production.
THE RECENT “OPENING” OF TAIWAN’S MARKET
“Just two years ago we celebrated the opening of the export market for Italian pork meat and cold cuts. This opening that was the result of a long negotiation that lasted over five years, with two missions to Italy by inspectors from the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Food and Drug Administration (BAPHIQ)” – says Nicola Levoni, president of Assica.
“The goal was achieved also thanks to the considerable efforts made by the Italian Ministry of Health, the ICE – Italian Trade Agency in Taipei and the European Commission. We would like to thank once again these institutions for all the work they did so far, together with the Italian diplomatic representations, and for having already taken prompt action to overcome this unexpected closure” – Levoni says.
In the first 11 months of 2019 more than 1,323 tons of Italian pork meat were sent to Taiwan (+113% compared to the first 11 months of 2018) for a value of 2.7 million euros (+152% compared to the first 11 months of 2018). About 17 tonnes of processed products (+456.6%) must be added, for a value of 228,350 euros (+587.6%).
Overall, Italian exports amounted to 1,341 tons (+114% compared to the first 11 months of 2018) for a value of 2.9 million euros (+165% compared to the same period in 2018).