The National Brand Awards - marking its third anniversary this year - is the big event that selects the leaders of national competitiveness in the global arena among Korea’s representative brands. The winners are chosen through a survey of 12,000 consumers on how much the consumers recognize the brands, are satisfied with the brands, are loyal to the brands, and are drawn to the brands. The brands in the agriculture, food, and food service industries that get more favorable reviews are awarded prizes conferred by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MIFAFF). Herein, Korea Agrafood introduces the agriproduct brands honored by the 2012 National Brand Awards.
1. Jeju Citron, Sweet-and-Sour Source of Vitamin C
Jeju citron is one of the most popular fruits among Koreans. Jeju Island is the perfect place for the citron to grow as the island is blessed with a temperate oceanic climate, ample sunshine, and fertile volcanic ash soil. The sweet-and-sour taste and robust yet succulent flesh are the reasons the Jeju citron is loved by consumers. In particular, the fruit abounds in vitamin C, which is known to be good for skin care and protection from colds. The brand value of Jeju citron has been augmented as a vast volume of the fruit was exported to 12 countries last year in various forms - raw (2,905 tons) and in processed foods such as citron concentrate, ice-cream, and dried citron (805 tons, equivalent to 8,000 tons of raw citron).
2.Kkomi-Jjolmi, Beolgyo Cockle with the Title of the First Marine Product Registered as the Geographical Indication
Beolgyo cockle produced in Boseong, Jeollanam-do acquired the title of the first marine product in Korea to be registered as the geographical indication. Excellent in taste and nutritional value, in the olden days the aquatic product was served to the royal table for kings. It abounds in hemoglobin. The aranular ark caught in the clean mud flat around the pristine Yeoja bay off Beolgyo is particularly renowned for its chewy and refreshing taste.
3. G Mark, a Byword for High-Quality, Safe Agri- Products
G Mark is the prestigious brand that Gyeonggi-do coined in 2000 to create added-value for the agriproducts produced in the region. The “G” in the mark symbolizes that the agriproducts are Good and Green, and their quality is Guaranteed by the Governor of Gyeonggi-do. A major characteristic of G Mark is the reliable system of ensuring agriproduct recall even after the consumers purchase the agriproducts, the indemnification endorsed by the governor, and the agriproduct safety insurance that compensates producers and consumers up to KRW 100 million for any damages incurred by food-safety issues. Currently, 100 agricultural items, including Gyeonggi rice, and 258 business units have obtained the mark and are managed according to the G Mark system.
4. Bulgogi Brothers, Global Franchise of Korean Cuisine
Bulgogi Brothers is a high-end Korean cuisine restaurant chain where eaters can enjoy a variety of Korean dishes including bulgogi (Korean barbecue), naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles), bibimbap (rice mixed with assorted vegetables and beef), and jjigae (stew). So that both foreigners and Koreans feel comfortable when visiting the restaurants, the ambience of the restaurants reflects the combination of the Korean image, represented by bulgogi, and the luxurious modern-style decor of hotel restaurants. Last year, the “Fifth Greenbelt Store” opened in Makati City in the Philippines. And recently the restaurant concluded a license contract with CWR (ChasWood Resources), a Malaysian restaurant business group, for launching franchises in four Southeast Asian countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. It is anticipated that Bulgogi Brothers will leap forward to become a global Korean cuisine brand.
5. Sunyeon, Blackberry Wine High in Polyphenol
Gochang blackberries grown in the mineral-rich soil and sea breeze from the west coast are famous for containing twice the amount of poly-phenol found in the blackberries cultivated in other regions. For this reason, the fruit is believed to be effective in preventing high-blood pressure, angina, myocardial infarction, and sclerosis of the arteries. Currently, there are 56 blackberry-processing farms in Gochang, where the berries are made into blackberry wine, cookies, paste, pills, jam, vinegar, powder, and candy. Gochang County permits only the agriproducts that meet rigid quality control standards to use the co-brand of the blackberry, Seonyeon.
6. Imgeumnimpyo Icheon, Aspiring to Become a World-class Brand
Imgeumnimpyo Icheon is the integrated brand for agricultural and livestock products produced in Icheon city of Gyeonggi-do. Icheon is the city where high-quality agriproducts have been produced from olden times thanks to the clean environmental conditions and mineral-rich waters.
The area is famous for peach, cornus fruit, pork, and beef, as well as rice. Among these products, Imgeumnimpyo Icheon rice has grown into the most reliable brand and almost every Korean recognizes it by name. The Icheon rice succeeded in its first export to Indonesia in 2008 and afterwards has continued getting favorable responses in Australia, Russia, and Hong Kong.
7. Freshine, Korea’s Represen- tative Apple Export Brand
Freshine is the brand for apples produced in Chungcheongbuk-do. It is a compound word from “fresh” and “shine,” emphasizing how fresh and clean the apples cultivated in this region are. Only the top quality apples that meet the standards of sugar content and color applied by the agricultural products processing center are qualified to use the brand name. In particular, the cutting-edge CA storehouse can store the branded apple for a long time without any chemical treatment. Therefore, the taste of the apple can be kept intact even from May to July, when the freshness of the fruit usually deteriorates significantly. In 2009, the export amount of the Freshine apples was USD$1 million, and in 2010, it reached USD$1.5 million. After establishing the fumigation facilities, the apple succeeded in advancing to the United States.
8. Hessare, Brand for Nation’s Top-notch Peach
Hessare is the co-brand for the peach produced in Icheon in Gyeonggi-do and Eumseong in Chungcheonbuk-do, the main peach cultivating regions. The Korean word hessare, spelled in this case in the way it is pronounced, means “appetizingly ripen under the ample sunshine.” The Hessare peach is recognized as having the best quality in the country on accounts of a high sugar content, juiciness, and soft flesh. As for the quality control, the streamlined integrated control manual is applied in each process from cultivation to distribution and sales. A non-destructive sugar tester is used to select the fruit of equal quality and consumers can therefore have confidence in the product. Since last year, a QR code has been attached to all Hessare packages, which enables consumers to check the information about the fruit, including its cultivation history, right away.
9. Okcheon Grape,
Eco- Friendly and Eco-Clean Grape of High Quality
Okcheon, located in Chungcheong-buk-do, is the largest place for grape greenhouses in the country. Currently, 1,200-odd farms there produce grapes on the combined 600ha of farm land. Thanks to the sufficient amount of annual rainfall and sunshine, the color of the grapes is vivid and the sugar content is high. That’s why consumers are satisfied with the brand. The Okcheon grape farmers benefit a lot from Korea’s one and only grape research center, which was established in this region and provides the farmers with information about the development of new varieties and cultivation conditions. And the region has become all the more optimal a place to produce eco-friendly, high-quality, clean grapes as the area around Daecheong Dam was designated a special water quality preservation region. Since 2008, when the grapes were first exported to Indonesia, the export volume has been on the rise every year and the markets have been expanded to Singapore and Malaysia.
10. Gochang Hwangtobaegi G Watermelon, Reliable Brand of Luxury Watermelon
Gochang Hwangtobaegi G Watermelon has been selected as one of the awardees for three consecutive years. The honor is attributed to the high quality and delectable taste of the fruit. In the agricultural product processing and distributing center, which was established at a cost of KRW10 billion, an advanced, non-destructive sugar content sorter selects for entering the market only watermelons standardized in sugar content (more than 11°Bx) and weight (more than 6kg).
11. Gyeonggi Cyber Market-
place, Reliable Online Shopping All Year Round
Gyeonggi Cyber Marketplace (KGFarm.gg.go.kr) is an online shopping mall for direct transactions. It offers as many as 5,300 items produced by 390 farms. Last year, KRW13 billion worth of agriproducts were sold there. The membership in the shopping mall totals 134,000, and the figure is increasing every year. The secrets of its success include the selection of high-quality and safe agriproducts, post-purchase management, quality monitoring in cooperation with consumer groups, and the recall-service, which allows consumers to exchange or receive a refund for unsatisfactory products.
Park Sung Eun email@example.com
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