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Ting Hsin announces withdrawal from Taiwan's oil market (update)

2014/10/16 20:29:26

Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) Faced with mounting pressure and calls for a nationwide boycott of its products, embattled food giant Ting Hsin International Group announced Thursday that it will no longer manufacture oil for sale in Taiwan.

Wei Ying-chiao and Wei Ying-chung, two of the four Wei brothers who own the group, held a press conference alongside respected entrepreneur Samuel Yin of the Ruentex Group to announce Ting Hsin will donate NT$3 billion (US$98.71 million) to set up a food safety reform committee, with Yin serving as the provisional convener.

Wei Ying-chiao, chairman of the Ting Hsin group and the second eldest of the brothers, offered the latest in a series of apologies since Ting Hsin's subsidiaries were found to be using oil unfit for human consumption last week.

"It is clear that the Wei family has come to the point where no matter what we do it will be hard to win back everyone's trust," he said.

"Since everyone is suspicious, we have chosen to invite someone who loves Taiwan dearly and is an exceptional manager at a benchmark company to bear witness," he said, referring to Yin and promising a "new future" for food safety under his guidance.

He made three promises on behalf of the troubled corporate giant.

Ting Hsin will withdraw from the oil production business in Taiwan and follow government direction to allow consumers to return purchased goods for refunds, he said.

Secondly, Yin, whose business interests range from hospitals to supermarkets, will convene the food safety reform committee to monitor and guide improvement measures, he said.

Lastly, he pledged that Ting Hsin will put NT$3 billion into a new food safety fund for the government or a government-backed foundation to help upgrade food industry and polish Taiwan's tarnished image as a "food kingdom."

Whether consumers, who are outraged at the group's third major safety issue in less than a year, are placated by the promises remains to be seen.

Wei Ying-chung, the third of the brothers, has resigned his posts as chairman at three Ting Hsin subsidiaries under pressure from the most recent scandal.

(By Han Ting-ting and Lilian Wu)

Related stories:
●Oct. 16: Oil business just drop in the bucket for Ting Hsin group
●Oct. 15: China to communicate with Taiwan on Ting Hsin oil scandal
●Oct. 14: Over 100,000 restaurateurs join boycott of Ting Hsin group