While Korean apples generally are being exported on a full-scale, the Haenaru Fruit Research Society, located in Dangjin in South Chungcheng Province, succeeded in exporting its apples to Germany, which is the first time export to a European country. The research society sent sample apples to the local buyers for the Korean residents in Germany. The buyers then made the evaluation that the apples are safe and of a high-quality and thus would have the competitive edge in the market. The exported apples are labeled as the ‘Haenaru’ apple, a co-brand name of the agriproducts produced in Dangjin. The apples are exported through the Sammicms Co., Ltd. A small quantity of 2.5 tons (5kg x 500 boxes) was exported as it was the first time to be shipped out to a European country.
But the export volume is expected to grow depending on the favorable local response. The Haenaru apples are cultivated using agri-chemicals less than nine times a year. After the research society introduced diverse procedures to produce high-quality apples, it attained the ISO 9001 certificate from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2006. And all seventy farms of the research society got the GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification. The ‘Haenaru’ brand name can be applied to the agriproducts that are certified by Dangjin as high-quality.
The Secret is Organic Fertilizer and Seaweed Extract
The Dangjin apples are different from your average apples. Compared with sandy soil, the soil in Dangjin does not drain well as it contains a lot of yellow ocher. Therefore, there is the high probability that harmful substances will be accumulated if fertilizers containing a lot of urea are frequently used. The urea has a high nitrogen content that makes trees overgrown and weak. Instead the Haenaru Fruit Research Society uses organic manure that is certified by the Australia Organic Farming Association. The organic fertilizer is made of rice bran-cultured microbes that have a useful decomposing effect. The research society also uses Australian seaweed extract that vitalizes trees and flowers, protects them against cold-weather damage, and enlarges the size of the fruits. The apple trees become strong and the taste and fragrance are improved by using the organic fertilizers and seaweed extract. Now 2,000 tons of the apples are produced a year.
Hyun Sang-ik, head of the Haenaru Fruit Research Society, said: “For three years now we have not been using an animal secretion and chemical fertilizers. If any member farm violates this we take disciplinary action. By using the organic fertilizer and seaweed extract, the quality of the apples is improved. Also the apples are all more or less one-size.”
Introducing Various Pest Control Systems and Reducing the Use of Agrichemicals
The Haenaru Fruit Research Society is making various efforts to produce safe and reliable apples by maintaining the certificate for less-using agrichemicals which was acquired by the National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service (NAPQM). The research society applies the system that uses less fertilizer. At first the apple orchards analyze pests by employing a densimetry method on pest ontogeny and take countermeasures such as employing a method that disturbs mating behavior. To ensure effective surveillance and control the research society divided the member farm region into four zones and installed meteorological research equipment in each zone. And it gets information on weather conditions like temperature, humidity, and precipitation via computer in real-time. Based on the information the research society can prevent blight from occurring; and also; it can reduce the number of using fertilizers. Every year the research society chooses half of the member farms randomly and sends sample apples from the selected farms to the NAPQM to test for agrichemical residue. The analyzed result of the NAPQM is used to manage the member farms and the pest control system.
Mr. Hyun said: “Our goal is to produce apples by using just half of the permissible amount of the agrichemical residue. We all share the same system and technology that are needed in the cultivation. The farms are trained for 100 hours a year to use them employing a cultivation manual.”
The Haenaru Fruit Research Society held an opening ceremony on the occasion of starting its joint sorting plant on December 12, 2008. With this inauguration a reliable distribution system has been put place too. In the near future the research society plans to export its apples not only to Germany but also more widely across all of Europe and the North American continent too.
Inquiries Hyun Sang-ik Tel +82-41-362-2496 Fax +82-41-362-4958
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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