TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Legislators at the Legislative Yuan on Wednesday (Nov. 29) demanded that the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) clearly define "fresh milk" to differentiate between imported milk and domestically-produced fresh milk, aiming to protect the livelihoods of local dairy farmers.
This move comes as the 10-year anniversary of the signing of the economic cooperation agreement known as ANZTEC between New Zealand and Taiwan approaches, which by 2025 will bring about a zero-tariff policy from New Zealand. Such a policy is anticipated to have a significant impact on Taiwan's dairy farmers.
The MOA has committed to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) to discuss the criteria for defining 'fresh milk.'
Proposals stipulate that a clear distinction between domestic raw milk and imported liquid milk must be established to ensure stability in contracts between dairy farmers and milk product manufacturers.
It is argued that due to high-temperature sterilization and long-distance transportation taking at least 30 days, imported milk products should be categorized differently from fresh milk produced and stocked in a short time frame within Taiwan, possibly being labeled only as long life milk.
The Acting Agriculture Minister Chen Junne-jih expressed that in consultation with the MOHW, the storage period and processing issues for 'fresh milk' will be discussed and that milk labels will be revised to emphasize "Taiwan fresh milk" for market segmentation, preserving the label exclusively for domestically produced fresh milk.
Currently, the national definition of "fresh milk" refers to raw cow's milk which is, under CNS national standards, processed with heating, sterilization, and refrigeration for consumption without specifying a shelf life.