It could be the world’s most heated dispute over pineapple, even eclipsing the interminable debate about whether or not it belongs on pizza.Last month, China banned Taiwanese pineapple imports, citing the risk of “harmful creatures” that could affect its own crops.
The move infuriated Taiwan’s leaders, who said the move had nothing to do with bugs, and was instead an example of China ramping up political pressure on the island, which Beijing considers a province of China.
In response, Taiwan’s leaders sought out new customers overseas, and asked locals to eat what Chinese consumers no longer could.
“Taiwanese pineapples are stronger than fighter jets. Geopolitical pressures cannot squeeze their deliciousness,” declared Taiwan’s Vice President Lai Ching-te, in a tweet.
According to Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture, the island produces 420,000 tonnes of pineapple annually, and exported a little over 10% of that last year, with almost all of it going to China.
Without mainland sales, Taiwanese growers face a possible glut of pineapples, and with it a danger that prices might fall.Freedom pineapples
President Tsai Ing-wen launched a “pineapple challenge” on social media, aimed at getting Taiwanese consumers to buy more of the fruit.