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It’s Harvesting Season Fresh Strawberries

Cultivated in Greenhouses
in the High Lands of Gangwon-do
Firm and Tart - Great as a Baking Ingredient

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It is the middle of the summer in Korea, with daily temperatures around 30℃, but it is also a season for harvesting a representative spring fruit - strawberries. Korean strawberries are mainly cultivated in greenhouses between November and May. They are then briskly exported abroad, especially to Southeast Asian countries. Reaching USD$26m last year, exports have rapidly increased in the past three years and are projected to record even bigger amounts in the future. Korean strawberries are popular among foreigners for their sweet and sour taste, vivid red color, and beautiful heart-shaped appearance.
And now the fame of Korean strawberries is going to extend to the summer months. The method of greenhouse cultivation of strawberries is commonly considered not suitable for the summer because the temperature in green houses is too high, but from June in Korea, greenhouse strawberries are exported to Japan and sold on the domestic market.
The main cultivating areas are the highlands of Gangwon-do, the province where the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will be held in 2018. Even in summer, the temperatures in this area never exceed 20℃. Along with a clean environment, this can ensure the high quality of strawberries harvested there.
According to Mr. Cho Ki-hong, director of a strawberry exporting company “Summerhill Co., Ltd.,” “summer strawberries are used as an ingredient for beverages or cakes because their texture is firm and the taste is more sour than that of spring strawberries. The demand has been increasing, so in the highlands of Gangwon-do, where the temperatures in summer are low, the cultivation areas are widening.”

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Because Korean summer strawberries are mostly used as an ingredient for baking rather than being eaten fresh, they are graded as best due to their firm texture, sour taste, and fine luster.
They are also safe to consume. The cultivating facilities are cutting-edge, use manual watering and organic substances that do not leave any insecticide residue.
The producers are careful to keep the harvested fruits in cool temperatures. Just picked strawberries enter low-temperature storage and are taken for sorting by special, cold-storage vehicles. The sorting areas are also kept cool. Even when the strawberries are transported by air, they are kept in cooling systems on planes. In short, a cold distributing system is set from harvesting the strawberries to delivering them to customers.
Packages weigh 330g and are divided into types 20, 24, 30, and 36 (the number of strawberries in one package). The sorted out strawberries are used for processed foods such as beverages.

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Orders for Korean strawberries are flooding from Japanese buyers and Korean snack companies, but the fruit is in short supply because the cultivation area is limited.
And this is why Summerhill has been working on developing a high-temperature cultivating system. Tests of the new green houses are under way. The facilities are equipped with the cooling systems, such as the fog system, sunshine protection boom, and air circulation system. They keep the temperature inside below 30℃. Simultaneously, the company is cultivating different sorts of strawberries to find out which will grow best.
Mr. Cho said: “The amount of summer strawberries produced cannot catch up with the needs. We are testing high-temperature cultivating methods in order to enlarge the amount we can produce.”


Inquiries    SUMMERHILL CO., LTD.         Tel    +82-31-776-0013         E-mail    houng6513@hanmail.net       

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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