Fresh Longer, Mortality Rate Lower
KRW20 Billion Worth of Abalone Exported to Japan Every Year
Abalone is an expensive ingredient in Korea. It wasn’t until the mid-2000s that abalone became affordable to more people thanks to the development of abalone farming. Today, many Koreans use abalone as a food ingredient for a special dinner.
Most Korean abalone farms are located in Wando, Haenam, Gangjin, and other counties of South Jeolla Province. Wando County, which spans over 265 islands including Cheongsan Island, is the largest producer of the cultured abalone. Output there totals 80 percent of all the Korean cultured abalone. Cheongsan Island is famous for its clean environment and it was the first area in Asia to receive the title of a “slow city.” Chungsan Fisheries Co., Ltd., one of the Korean abalone production and distribution companies, is located on Cheongsan Island.
Export Volume Increases Year by Year…Received Korean Agri-Product Export Award for Exports Exceeding USD$10 Million
Chungsan Fisheries Co., Ltd. was founded in 2006. Wee Ji-Eyun, President of Chungsan Fisheries, inherited the abalone farming business from her father. In 2001, she decided to expand the business and started abalone distribution. At that time, no other abalone farm was engaged in distribution. Ms. Wee’s endeavor was well received in the marketplace. One of the buyers attracted by the high quality of the farm’s abalone was Japanese, and that’s how Ms. Wee started exports to Japan in 2005. A year later, she established the corporation.
Chungsan Fisheries Co., Ltd. exports KRW18 to 20 billion worth of live abalone to Japan annually. Last year, the company recorded KRW25 billion in domestic and foreign sales.
President Wee said, “The Japanese yen has weakened so much against the Korean currency this year. Because of this, we are having difficulties exporting to Japan. But, until last year, our exports had been growing fast and we received a Korean Agri-Product Export Award for exceeding USD$10 million in sales in 2012.”
Keeping a Daily Production Log…
Thorough Quality Control
Chungsan Fisheries Co., Ltd. is one of the major Korean producers of abalone. Its output accounts for 10 percent of all Korean abalone. Some of the abalone produced by the company are cultivated on the company’s own farm located off the shore of Cheongsan Island. Others come from 230 abalone farmers who grow abalone on the farms in Wando and Goheung counties. Farmers deliver their products seven to eight times a week.
To manage such a large number of farms, Chungsan Fisheries Co., Ltd. has farmers keep records of the weather, water temperature, feeding time, and other important details in daily logs. The staff of the company regularly visit the farms and check the logs. Providing the farmers with information on cultivation techniques and other related questions is yet another way for the company to ensure the top quality of the products.
President Wee said, “At first, many farmers didn’t want to be bothered with writing logs. But, little by little, they realized that keeping a log is helpful to produce high quality abalone. Their diligent efforts to write daily logs are very useful for us in the distribution process.”
The abalone of Chungsan Fisheries Co., Ltd. stays fresh and lives longer than that of rivals. For this reason, it has been receiving a positive response from Korean wholesalers, hotels, department stores, restaurants, etc. The key to the high quality of the abalone is the water tank. As soon as Chungsan Fisheries receives abalones from farmers, the abalones are placed in a water tank. The staff of the company check the tank’s water temperature every morning and evening and, based on the production logs, they ship the product only after the abalones have spit out the food eaten on the farm. Thanks to the thorough quality control, Chungsan Fisheries has a record low abalone mortality ratio (under 3kg per 100kg). The average mortality ratio for abalone is 10kg per 100kg.
Products Made to Order
Along with live abalone, Chungsan Fisheries Co., Ltd. produces frozen abalone, abalone in soy sauce, canned abalone, abalone in retort pouches, and several other products. Canned abalone and retort pouches have been exported to Singapore since this year. All the products are made at a hygienic factory meeting HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System) standards. The company is planning to acquire HACCP certification this year.
President Wee said with pride, “We are the only company in Wando that makes products to consumers’ orders.”
Inquiries Chungsan Fisheries Co., Ltd.
Park Sung Eun email@example.com
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