Air-conditioned rice! Fuli Rice, which has been awarded certification by the European Union, is now being exported all over the world 吹冷氣的米 富麗米獲歐盟認證銷全球

Not only is Fuli Rice (produced in Fuli Rural Township, Hualien County) the favorite brand of Taiwanese rice among Japan’s very demanding consumers, even more impressively, after three years of effort Fuli Rice has succeeded in securing certification from the European Union; Fuli Rice may be on sale in Germany, Switzerland and other European countries as early as the end of this year.

“Our rice is air-conditioned 24 hours a day; it actually stays cooler than people do,” explains Chen Jung-Tsung, Director of the Fuli Farmers Association. Some while ago, a shipment of Fuli Rice being exported to the U.S. was kept onboard ship for several months. By the time the rice reached the supermarkets in the U.S., insect larvae hidden among the rice grains had hatched, and the white rice had been so gnawed by insects as to make it inedible; the whole shipment was rejected, which had a serious impact on the brand image of Fuli Rice. Following experts’ recommendations, the Fuli Farmers Association began using low-temperature cold storage to kill the insect larvae and maintain product quality. Pointing to a two-storey refrigerated warehouse, Chen says: “The air conditioning is on in there 24 hours a day, because you have to keep the temperature below 25C to kill the insect larvae.” After the rice has been harvested and husked, it is placed in cold storage at a temperature of 9 – 16C, to prevent germination due to excessively high humidity. “The electricity bill alone costs us NT$150,000 a month.”

The Huatung Rift Valley area in Eastern Taiwan produces over 15,000 tons of rice a year, most of it high-quality rice. The Fuli Farmers Association grows the Kaohsiung #139 rice strain on the just over 40 hectares of rice fields in Fuli. Every aspect of rice cultivation is carefully planned and rigorously controlled, from the selection of varieties through the tilling of the soil, transplantation of the seedlings, weeding, application of fertilizer, through to harvesting. Cutting-edge technology is used to implement regular monitoring of how the rice is doing, ensuring full product traceability; every bag of organic rice that the Fuli Farmers Association exports has its own “ID card,” recording when fertilizer was applied and in what quantities.
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