After NTUC FairPrice pulled their bargain pineapples sourced from Taiwan off their shelves, Taiwan’s Minister of Council of Agriculture (COA) Chen Chi-chung said they would “make it up” to Singapore by sending 12,000 tons more of the fruit to NTUC FairPrice.
Sending Singapore more of the pineapples?
The report from Taiwanese website Central News Agency mentioned that aside from the pineapples with blackened cores, other fruits were not sweet and not up to par with what the supplier promised, with some being unripe or not sweet enough.
Taiwanese authorities mentioned the fruits that had the previously-mentioned problems amounted to 166 tons. They blamed the inadequate temperature control during the delivery and storage process as the culprit for the “blackened cores” found in some of the fruit.
This amount of pineapples allegedly represented only 3% of all the exported fruit to countries outside of China.
The same Taiwanese authorities said that after China banned exports of pineapple to the mainland, being able to send the pineapples to Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore were a boon for the country.
China had banned imports of the pineapples, citing pest problems in the shipment. Taiwanese authorities have called the move “unilateral” and a political move in light of increasing tensions between the two governments.
Why did the fruits turn out that way?
The same authorities mentioned that the containers used to ship the pineapples were the same ones they would have used if they sent the pineapples to China. Since the trip to Japan and Singapore took longer or had more exposure to elements, perhaps the packaging and handling were inadequate.
According to Focus Taiwan, food safety experts recommend Taiwanese pineapple suppliers to keep the fruits at a temperature range of 11 to 13 degrees Celsius throughout the shipping process until they reach store shelves, in line with the required procedure for cold shipping.
Shipping companies who will not improve their policies and practices would allegedly not receive any more subsidies from the government, said Taiwanese authorities.
Netizens uploaded photos of their “black core” pineapples
With pineapples being sold in various FairPrice branches throughout Singapore as early as the last week of March, a lot fo Singaporeans were able to purchase and become thoroughly disappointed with the pineapples.
With prices that went even below $3 at some point, seeing that they had to throw out the fruit disappointed Singaporeans.
A previous report from Alvinology mentioned that while a lot of customers posted photos of their pineapples, not all of them received a reply from NTUC FairPrice on what to do with the bad batch of fruit.
One customer named Jeremiah Hee was able to get a response, which read, “Dear Jeremiah Hee, good morning to you. Our sincere apologies for the experience you have shared. We appreciate if you can private message us your contact number, email address along with your receipt so that our customer relations team can get in touch with you. Thank you.”
While others, like Catherine, did not receive any feedback and at the same time reported that they found it difficult to prepare the pineapple for eating.
Header image from Facebook.