TAIPEI, Taiwan – Today, a Nebraska trade delegation, led by Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director (NDA) Greg Ibach, participated in an official ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan to sign letters of intent to purchase more than $400 million in Nebraska agricultural products. The purchases will include wheat, corn, soybeans, distiller’s grain, beef and pork.
The letters were signed by Ibach, representing the state, Nebraska Farm Bureau president Steve Nelson, representing Nebraska commodity boards, and representatives of various Taiwanese meat, grain and export/import associations. Also representing Nebraska at the signing ceremony were Von Johnson, board member, Nebraska Wheat Board and Richard Shrunk, board member, Nebraska Beef Council.
“These letters further strengthen our bond with Taiwan as a highly-valued trade partner,” said Ibach. “This trip has allowed us to showcase Nebraska’s quality agriculture products and continue discussions on how we can open additional trade opportunities in the future.”
Prior to the signing ceremony, a meeting was held with representatives from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). The letter of intent includes purchases of Nebraska beef and pork products which have not been included in previous agreements. The delegation will participate in various promotions of Nebraska meat products and have the opportunity to receive customer feedback.
“Anytime we can continue to bolster our exports of beef from Nebraska that’s a move in right direction for all agriculture,” said Shrunk. “We are very proud to be part of this event and look forward to continued success in this Taiwan market.”
The delegation spent Tuesday meeting with the U.S. Soybean Export Council, U.S. Wheat Associates, Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association and the Taiwan Flour Mills Association to discuss options to overcome challenges facing Taiwan companies wishing to import soybeans and wheat.
“We appreciate the efforts of Governor Ricketts and Director Ibach in developing these letters with Taiwan. With half of our state’s wheat exported every year, it is vital that we maintain relationships and develop markets for our farmers,” said Von Johnson. “We’ve enjoyed working with the Taiwan Flour Mill Association in the past, and are excited that the relationship between Nebraska and Taiwan continues to grow.”
The delegation also met with representatives from Taiwan’s Agriculture Council and Food and Drug Administration’s Ministry of Health concerning policies that affect the importation of Nebraska and U.S. agricultural products.
Thursday’s activities will include:
- A briefing by representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Ag Service, U.S. Commerce Foreign Commercial Service and other U.S. state departments on the current political and social environment in Taiwan and its impact on future agricultural exports.
- Meeting with Dr. Julie C.L. Sun, Director of the Biotechnology Industry Study Centre at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research to discuss biotechnology acceptance.
“The meeting with the Biotechnology Industry Study Centre is an opportunity for us to discuss the importance of biotechnology acceptance,” said Ibach. “This discussion will allow us to talk about the success Nebraska farmers have had utilizing biotechnology on their farms to produce a safe, abundant crop which we hope opens the doors to even more trading opportunities.”
The Nebraska trade delegation is scheduled to complete activities in Taiwan on Thursday and begin the return trip to the U.S. on Friday.