Some 40% of the Total Yield Exported Abroad
There is a pear-producers’ group that has focused on exporting pears for nine years to promote the excellence of Korean pears on overseas markets. It is Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative Co. in Yangju city in Gyeonggi-do that is in full operation after being designated as a horticultural production complex by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MIFAFF). In the beginning only pear-cultivating farmers in Yangju collaborated to produce and export pears. Now the membership totals 83 including local farmers in Uijeongbu, Paju, Yeoncheon, and Pocheon. The pears the member farmers harvest undergo joint sorting at the Agricultural Products Processing Center (APC) after which they are exported.
Since 2000 when the Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative first started exporting with 15 tons of pears, the volume has leapt three years in a row to 45 tons in 2001, 150 tons in 2002, and an amazing 500 tons in 2003. Recently, cheap Chinese pears have been eating into South-East Asian markets and accordingly the export of Korean pears has been affected. Nevertheless, all told the Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative is exporting 550 tons of pears a year. The export volume accounts for 40% of the total yield harvested by the member farmers.
Brisk Export to Various Countries
Coincidentally, some 40% of the total export volume of the Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative is consumed in Taiwan. Overseas sales go to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia in South-East Asia, and to Hong Kong too. The United States, Guam, and Hawaii are also the importers of the pears. Around 18 tons of the pears have also been exported to Dubai for two years. In addition, the Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative is pioneering new markets in Thailand, Mongolia, and Egypt. Monglian buyers have rated the taste of the pears high and so export is expected to succeed there. However, the cooperative is concerned that the average winter temperature in Mongolia is -20 ~ -25℃ and so there is the question of whether the locals can enjoy the succulent fruit much around this cold time. Therefore, it is necessary for the cooperative to consider how the pears can be protected from the extreme cold.
A sample shipment of pears was sent to Egypt in early November 2008 and it was well received, so Egypt is now being considered as a prime new market for Korean pears. Buyers there are saying that the pears are of the right size, marketable, and, most importantly, consumers there are favorable to the fruit. In particular, given the hot weather in the country, the prospect for consumption in the north African country is expected to be rosy. The Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative, along with a Korean exporting company, held a promoting and sampling event in Egypt from December 20 ~ 30, 2009, and got a lot of attention from the local consumers.
Goal of Penetrate European Markets with High-Quality Pears
The dynamic for the brisk export starts with the fact that the Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative produces high-quality fruit. The member farmers employ standardized cultivation techniques and produce uniform-quality pears. Only pears over 11.2 Brix can be exported after they are sorted and packed through a nondestructive fruit grader at the APC. These efforts combined enabled the Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative to obtain the ISO 9001 quality-managing system certificate from an overseas registered certification institution in 2004 in the pear cultivating, managing, and exporting sector.
Mr. Lee Jae-gook, chief of the Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative Co., said: “We can produce sweet, safe, and highly storable pears of high quality as our pear-producing place is located in the northernmost part of South Korea. And as the market is growing abroad so we are now retrieving the once-plundered dominance by Chinese pears in the South-East Asian markets.”
The Yangju Pear Farming Cooperative also aims to resume pear export to European markets. Mr. Lee said: “After Carrefour withdrew from Korea, our export of pears to Europe was suspended. But now five years have passed since we attained the stringent European GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification. With this certification we think our pears have the quality and safety to be sold on European markets again. So we plan to recommence export of our high-quality pears to Europe again this year.”
Inquiries Lee Jae-Gook Tel +82-31-857-8589 Fax +82-31-857-8985
Park Sung Eun email@example.com
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