I-Mei Foods announced via a statement on its Facebook page that it would be purchasing the cabbage at NT$12.5 per kilogramme, and invited all farmers and agricultural societies who needed its help to get in touch.
“The farmers are in a hopeless situation, the [agricultural] officers are being accused of incompetence and the people are feeling at a loss about the situation,” it wrote.
“I-Mei is willing to help protect the farmers, and stop the continued drop of cabbage prices so that it can stabilise again [and farmers will no longer incur losses].
“Cabbage is a very beneficial vegetable, known to be good for the digestive system. Now, with the weather-induced glut and low prices, there are no more pesticide concerns, so it is definitely worth buying.”
The purchase will be divided into 25 tonness a week for six weeks.
I-Mei Foods is known for its confectionary, sweets, ice-cream, cakes, and frozen prepared foods like fried rice, dumplings, meatballs and more.
Stepping in to help farmers
This is not the first occurrence where I-Mei Food has stepped in to help farmers and attempt to stabilise prices.
Earlier this year in June, banana in Taiwan also faced major oversupply and price drop issues, with top grade (Grade A) bananas dropping to NT$6 per kilogramme and Grade C banana prices falling to NT$1 per kilogramme, according to Taiwan News.
I-Mei Foods announced the mass purchase of bananas to help the economy and the farmers, up to 100 tonnes of Grade A bananas (in box), at NT$16.5 per kilogramme, way above its market value at the time.
“We do not think that buying [these bananas] at low prices, or giving these away for more people to have fresh bananas, are long-term solutions to the problem,” wrote the company on its Facebook page.
“The traditional banana processing methods of making them into puree, pastry filling, chips, dried banana and so on may be able to solve the oversupply in the short-term, but more research and development is needed to find more value-added ways of processing bananas.”
The action received praise from many netizens, and many suggestions were offered to the company, including banana ice cream, banana face masks, banana enzyme, banana energy drinks and more.
Recognition as a brand
The same month that I-Mei Foods announced its banana purchase, it was also recognised by the Brands Asia survey as one of the most influential brands in Asia.
According to the survey, the company ranked 21 out of 140 global contenders, but was ranked fifth in the ‘Friendly’ category.