Setting Up a System for Cooperation between Researchers, Exporters, and Farmers
In 2007, Korea produced 480,000 tons of tomatoes, but the numbers have been going down year after year, and it is forecasted that this year the amount will be no higher than 300,000 tons.
Nevertheless, the export amount is increasing and it is expected to rise more in the future. Although the main export market is Japan, larger amounts of Korean tomatoes are selling in Southeast Asian markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
The export amount to Japan in the first half of 2011, compared to the same period last year, also increased by 60 percent. This was mainly due to large orders from Japanese franchise restaurants such as Skylark. Korean producers are able to export to Japan more because lot tests for Korean tomatoes are no longer needed and Japan has been experiencing problems in domestic production, including the nuclear accident.
In Korea, several groups - the Tomato Exporting and Developing Board (TEDB), EK Trading, and farms - have formed a network to raise international competitiveness, enlarge the export amount (especially to Japan), and diversify export markets.
The TEDB is an organization of professionals in tomato cultivation techniques, after-harvesting management, marketing for export, and other experts. They educate farmers about new cultivation technologies.
EK Trading is a leading tomato export company in Korea. The Korean government has designated it a leading export organization. EK Trading exports tomatoes produced under contracts and in cooperation with the TEDB. The company plans to increase exports to Japan and export to the new markets in Southeast Asia.
Tomatoes exported by EK Trading stand out among other products because all of them are grown in water in the newest green houses that use the synchronization technique. The quality and safety of the tomatoes is the most important base principle for the company. Ji Hyeon-ho, CEO of EK Trading, explained that they “distribute tomatoes to Japanese restaurants and distributing companies via the Japanese buyer Sebia.”
Kim Young-sik, with the President of the TEDB
“Standing at the Core of
Research for Tomato Exports”
Can you tell us about the TEDB and its business goals?
The main task of the TEDB is comprehensive and systematic development and dissemination of technologies for production, quality control, and marketing of tomatoes. To farmers we teach new technologies, and to distributers and exporters we provide marketing support.
What is most important in producing tomatoes for export?
There are five things: quality, proper amount of produce, reasonable price, reduced production costs, and right timing.
How many farmers have joined the board?
We consult and help export tomatoes from 80 farms. All of them cultivate tomatoes in water in green houses and are equipped with the IT-system that sends information about humidity and temperatures inside the facilities to the TEDB.
Inquiries EK TRADING CO., LTD Tel +82-51-271-2857 E-mail email@example.com
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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