Could you briefly introduce your company and yourself?
Located in Rotterdam, Netherlands, INTER-BURGO Netherlands B.V. is a Korean foods distributor in the European market. We have our own storage facilities for Korean agri-products in the Netherlands, and from here we actively promote Korean foods to consumers in the Netherlands, UK, and France. My name is Park Young-hee, operations manager of INTER-BURGO Netherlands B.V. I’m in charge of exports and imports of Korean agri-products.
What kinds of Korean agri-products are you importing and in what quantities?
We import various Korean agri-products: fresh foods (king oyster mushrooms, sweet potatoes, etc.), seafood, frozen and chilled foods, noodles, kimchi, alcoholic drinks (makgeolli and soju), gochujang (red pepper paste), and many others. Last year, INTER-BURGO Netherlands B.V. imported USD$6 million-worth of Korean agri-products.
Who are the main consumers of imported Korean agri-products?
The consumers of Korean agri-products in Europe are mainly Asian people - Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans. Japanese consumers like Korean agri-products for their taste, quality, and competitive pricing. The Chinese are very interested in hansik (Korean food) thanks to the influence of Korean dramas, such as “Daejangeum” (a television series about a royal cook). The number of European consumers, like Britons and French, interested in Hanryu (the Korean culture wave) is also steadily increasing. So nowmany European people buy Korean agri-products.
Have you experienced any problems in importing Korean agri-products? Any suggestions on what needs to be improved?
There were several instances of Europe imposing restrictions on importing Korean agri-foods because the packaging fell short of the EU market’s standards. There was no explanation in the local language or no list of ingredients. Also, the bar codes on the imported items, especially processed foods, have been rather inconsistent. For these reasons, local retailers are sometimes reluctant to deal with imported Korean agri-products.
Could you tell us about your future plans for importing the Korean agri-products?
We will continue distributing high quality Korean agri-products in the EU market. As Korean culture and hansik are spreading in Europe, the interest in Korean agri-foods is also consistently on the rise. The utmost goal of INTER-BURGO is to expand the base for Korean foods in European countries such as the UK, Netherlands, and France.
Park Sung Eun email@example.com
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