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2013 National Brand Awards Winners


Now is the era of the global economy and brand power plays a crucial role in companies’ global competitiveness. One good example is the competition of Samsung and Apple for dominance in the smartphone business with their Galaxy and iPhone brands. Many companies are putting more stress on brand marketing.
The National Brand Awards is marking its fourth anniversary this year. It is a major event selecting the greatest Korean brands among the representative brands of the country. Here, <Korea Agrafood> introduces 18 of the brands that received the 2013 National Brand Awards in the categories of regional brand, agri-products, and senary industry (integration of the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries).


1. Reliable Online Shopping All Year Round, Gyeonggi Cyber Marketplace

Gyeonggi Cyber Marketplace (KGFarm.gg.go.kr) is an online shopping mall for direct transactions. It was first opened in 2001 and now offers as many as 5,300 items produced by about 470 farms. The customer membership of the shopping mall totals 138,000.
Gyeonggi Cyber Marketplace is building trust with consumers in various ways: selecting only the high-quality and safe agri-products, post-purchase management, quality monitoring in cooperation with consumer groups, and the recall-service that allows consumers to exchange or receive a refund for unsatisfactory products.


2. Getting a Healthy Boost from Upo Wetland of Chang- nyeong County, Uponuri

Changnyeong County is a major onion-producing area in Korea. It’s also famous for eco-tourism on account of Upo wetland, a place where the mysterious flora and fauna from 140 million years ago are alive and well. Uponuri is the co-brand of agri-products produced in Changnyeong County. It includes onion, garlic, sweet persimmon, water parsley, bell pepper, Euryale ferox, Salisb rice, and mixed grains. Changnyeong County is also renowned for healthy juices using agri-products such as onion juice, black garlic juice, Asian apricot extract, and mulberry extract. 


3. Eco-Friendly and Eco-Clean Grape of High Quality, Okcheon Grape

Okcheon County has the largest number of grape greenhouses in Korea. Thanks to the proper amount of annual rainfall and sunshine, the color of the grapes produced there is vivid and the sugar content is high. 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 of grapes and cultivation conditions. Last year, Okcheon grape was exported to New Zealand for the first time. The export volumes to Indonesia and Malaysia are also on the rise.


4. Sweet-and-Sour Source of Vitamin C, Jeju Satsuma

The Jeju satsuma is sweeter than an orange. And you can peel one in just two or three seconds without any special tool like a knife. Jeju satsuma is rich in vitamins and citric acid, so it’s a perfect health food. Until the 1990s, Jeju Island mainly produced the early harvested varieties of satsuma, but thanks to efforts to diversify the cultivation and improve the quality, many new, local kinds of the fruit have been developed - hallabong, cheonhyehyang, red-hyang - and the cultivation area is continuously expanding.   


5. Temptation of Fresh Fruits, Freshine

Chungbuk Horticul-tural Cooperative Fede-ration (CHCF), which specializes in fruit cultivation, has been making efforts to increase the incomes of farmers and produce high quality fruits for over 70 years. CHCF is equipped with a non-destructive sugar content sorter and cutting-edge CA storehouse, so the apples produced there can keep their freshness from May to July. What’s more, CHCF was the first among apple distribution centers in Korea to obtain the Global GAP certification last year, and it is accelerating the exports of the Freshine apples.


6. World-Class Rice Recognized by Hong Kong Consumers, Imgeumnimpyo Icheon Rice

Imgeumnimpyo Icheon rice has grown into one of the most reliable Korean brands. Almost every Korean would recognize it by name. Nine Korean food companies that use Icheon rice for their products - including Maeil Dairies Co., Ltd., and Medigrain - attach Imgeumnimpyo Icheon Rice brand’s label to their products to increase consumer confidence. After the first export to Hong Kong in 2011, about 40 tons of Imgeumnimpyo Icheon Rice were shipped overseas in seven consecutive shipments last year.


7. Blackberry Wine High in Polyphenol, Sunyeon

Designated in 2004 as a special zone for rubus coreanus fruit (Korean blackberry) cultivation, Gochang County produces 40 percent (about 3,000 tons per year) of the overall volume of Korean blackberries. Gochang blackberries grow in the mineral-rich soil and sea breeze of the west coast, so they have a good taste and scent. Moreover, they contain twice the amount of polyphenol 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.


8. High-end Brand of Oriental Medicine Herbs, Mokhwa-togeumsu

Therapy using oriental medicine is becoming popular these days. It is designed to relieve the tension of the body and mind. Mokhwa-togeumsu is an oriental medicinal herb brand that was created through the joint efforts of Korea rural community corporation (KRC) and 12 cities and counties. The name is a compound word for the five essential elements: tree (木·목; mok), fire (火·화; hwa), soil (土·토; to), iron (金·금; geum), and water (水겮? su). The flagship products are schizandra enzyme (produced by Hamyang County), processed red ginseng products (Jinan County), and mulberry juice (Sangju City).


9. The Best Agri-Products Produced in the Best Fields, Goodtrae

Goodtrae is the co-brand of Buyeo county’s agri-products and it stands for “the best agri-products produced in the good fields.” Labels with the brand name are attached only to the products that have passed vigorous screening and are among the “Eight Tastes of Buyeo” (which include button mushroom, cherry tomato, melon, shiitake, water melon, chestnut, cucumber, and strawberry). Last year, sales of Goodtrae brand were KRW300 billion and the export sales reached KRW20 billion. This year, Goodtrae is looking at domestic sales amounting to KRW350 billion and export sales of KRW25 billion.


10. Farmers’ Devotion with 1,000 Years of Tradition, Millenary Flair

Developed and registered in 2008, Millenary Flair is the co-brand of rice produced in Buan County. The country is located in the center of the Honam plains that have over 4,300 years of rice farming tradition. To produce the greatest product in Korea, the county carries out technical training (regarding the production, processing, and distribution of rice, GAP certification, and safe use of agricultural chemicals) targeting the RPC (Rice Processing Complex) and rice farms at least three times a year.


11. High-end Beef from Cattle Grown in a Clean Area, Evergreen Hongcheon Korean Beef

Hongcheon County is the optimal place for production of Korean beef thanks to the large temperature differences between day and night and between summer and winter. Evergreen Hongcheon Korean beef comes from male calves born through artificial insemination of the cows with a pure bloodline that were raised in Hongcheong. The calves are raised for at least 27 months before the beef goes on the market. The alcohol fermented feed that they eat helps to lower cholesterol and add flavor to the beef. It is the secret of the high-end beef produced in Hongcheon.


12. Precious Land Au Naturel, Uljin

Uljin County has a precious natural eco-environment. Many tourists come there to experience the “healing road” of Uljin that links a seashore road and the Geumgang pine forest. In Uljin’s valleys, such as Deogku and Bulyeong, one can find old pine trees, rare trees, and wild flowers; as well as animals designated as natural treasures such as goats and otters. No wonder Uljin is considered an excellent place to heal one’s body and mind.  


13. From a Local Specialty to a Global Brand, Gwangcheon Seaweed

Served on the royal table since olden times, Gwangcheon seaweed has been recognized as a high quality seaweed for a long time. It is one of the specialties of Hongseong County. Automated facilities for seaweed production were established there in the mid-1980s and the domestic consumption of Gwangcheon seaweed has been increasing since then. Now, Gwangcheon seaweed is determined to win over the overseas markets, including the US, Japan, and China. It currently brings in USD$15 million in export sales each year. 


14. Byword for High Quality, Safe Agri-Products, G Mark

G Mark is a prestigious brand created by Gyeonggi Province. The “G” in the mark symbolizes that the agri-products 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 agri-product recall even after the consumers purchase the agri-products. This includes the indemnification endorsed by the governor and the agri-product safety insurance that compensates producers and consumers up to KRW100 million for any damages incurred by food-safety issues.


15. The Host of 2015 International Organic Agricultural Industry Expo, Goesan County

Last year, in addition to winning the bid to host the 2015 International Organic Agricultural Industry Expo, Goesan County became the first organic agricultural county in Korea. Goesan County is striving to be a natural recycling agriculture model for preserving the ecological environment. From September 18 to October 17, 2015, the international Organic Agricultural Industry Expo will be held there under the theme “Eco-Life Meets Citizens.”


16. Leader of High-end Garlic, Uiseong Garlic

Uiseong garlic is rich in the effective components of garlic and, on account of a unique fragrance and superb medical effect, it is possible to make a large amount of seasoning with only a little Uiseong garlic. Many different functional foods using Uiseong garlic have been released: garlic with an enriched amount of selenium, black garlic alcohol beverage, black garlic extract, grilled garlic, Uiseong garlic mackerel, and garlic gochujang (red pepper paste).      


17. Watermelon Priced at KRW260,000, Gochang Hwangtobaegi G Watermelon

At a high-end watermelon sales event held by Lotte department store last year, one Gochang Hwangtobaegi G Watermelon was sold for KRW260,000. As we can see from this episode, Gochang Hwangtobaegi G Watermelon has a reputation as the best watermelon in Korea. Its sugar content is over 2°Bx more than that of other watermelons and its freshness can be kept for over two weeks. The thorough quality control enforced by the Gochang agri-product distribution center is the secret of the crispy and sweet taste and long lasting freshness of Gochang Hwangtobaegi G Watermelon.


18. Prestigious Korean Solar Salt, Cheonhye- bogeum

To develop Korean solar salt as a worldwide salt brand, the Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC) and Solar Salt Bioscience Research Institute of Mokpo University created the co-brand Cheonhyebogeum. Only the first grade solar salt (produced in Gochang, Yeonggwang, and Muan Counties) is used for the brand. It is sorted and checked through the rigid quality control system. Cheonhyebogeum has steadily participated in overseas food fairs - such as Hong Kong Organic Food Fair and Tokyo Bio Expo - to promote the brand name among people in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Japan.

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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