Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) Green jujubes grown in Kaohsiung are scheduled to hit shelves of supermarkets in France Wednesday as part of the city’s efforts to introduce the fruit to consumers in Europe, the Agriculture Bureau of the Kaohsiung City Government said Feb 22.
Kaohsiung green jujubes are already sold in Japan, Hong Kong, Palau, Singapore, and Malaysia, according to the bureau.
The city is the largest green jujube producer in Taiwan with a growing area of 750 hectares, which makes up more than 40 percent of the country’s total. Farms growing the fruit are mainly scattered in A-lian, Yanchao, Dashe, Tianliao and Gangshan districts, according to bureau.
The annual production value of Kaohsiung green jujubes totaled NT$1 billion (US$35.97 million), the bureau said, adding that it had intensified its efforts to boost visibility in the global market after exporting 960,000 tons of the fruit last year.
Kaohsiung is selling batches of the Tainung No. 13 green jujube — also known as the “Shirley” (雪麗) — to France through a trader in the Netherlands, the bureau said, which described the Shirley green jujube as boasting a perfect balance between sweet and sour flavors.
The bureau said Kaohsiung green jujubes arrived in the Netherlands by air first and were then transported via road to France, adding that the entire delivery process had proceeded under an advanced cold chain to allow consumers in France to enjoy fresh green jujubes like those found in Taiwan.
The bureau has worked with the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute under the Council of Agriculture to develop the cold chain and materials to preserve the fruits.
In addition to the Shirley, Kaohsiung has also sold the Kaohsiung No. 11 Zhenmi (珍蜜) green jujubes in its export markets.
As for local consumers, the bureau said they can log on the Best of Kaohsiung e-commerce platform to order green jujubes into March.