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The Largest Korean Exporter of Spray Rose…Raising Quality and Price Competitiveness by Rightsizing

Korea is carrying out various policies to export high quality and safe agri-products. Leading exporters of each item - such as strawberries, bell peppers, mushrooms, and so on - are being nurtured and they actively explore overseas markets using a stable supply of high quality agri-products. Selected as a leading exporter of roses in 2009, Rosepia Co., Ltd. is at the forefront of discovering foreign markets for Korean flowers. The company recently was selected “Excellent Leading Exporter”(the second prize) among 17 leading Korean exporters of agri-products. <Korea AgraFood> met with Jeong Hwa-young, President of Rosepia, to listen to some stories related to exporting Korean fruits.

What kind of company is Rosepia?


Rosepia Co., Ltd. is an agricultural corporation created by flower farms of Jeonju City, Gimje City, and Jangsu County of North Jeolla Province. The corporation was established in July 2000 and immediately started breaking actively into overseas markets including Japan. We had a strong mind to promote excellent Korean flowers abroad. In the initial stages, only six farming associations joined Rosepia, but now its membership includes over 150 farming associations. Steady export of Korean flowers through rightsizing is the strongest point of Rosepia. That is why the corporation receives positive evaluations from foreign buyers for the quality and price competitiveness.


Where is the main export market of Rosepia?


Our largest export market is Japan. It amounts to over 90 percent of all exports of Rosepia. Our flagship products exported to Japan are spray rose and standard rose. In fact, our company takes over 70 percent of all Korean spray rose exports. Magic rose, so popular with the Japanese people these days, is a hot item that Rosepia discovered first. We are also cultivating the Russian flower market. In Russia, the Korean standard rose is well received by the local consumers. The total amount of our exports last year reached USD$17 million.       
Yen depreciation has lately been taking a heavy toll on Korean flowers exports to Japan.
The environment for exporting Korean flowers nowadays is not very favorable. As you know, Japan is the largest market for Korean flowers. This means we are highly dependent on the market conditions in Japan. The Japanese yen has continued to fall since the end of last year, so the price competitiveness of Korean flowers, including rose, lily, and chrysanthemum, dropped. What’s more, the Japanese flower market in general is slowing down. Roses from Central and South America and Africa have recently started distribution in Japan. Korean flowers are meeting a cutthroat competition in the Japanese market.

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Does Rosepia have any solution to get over this difficulty?


We have recently traveled to Japan for 10 days to visit Japanese flower auction markets and study market trends there. Because of the depreciation of the yen, other imported rose products, including those from Central and South America and Africa, are also having the same difficulties as we are. Many exporters have terminated rose exports to Japan. What’s more, the production of Japanese spray roses continues to decrease sharply, but there is no significant difference in the demand between the past several years and now. We are running a deficit because of the yen depreciation, but we continue supplying spray rose products of high quality that Japanese buyers request. If we overcome this hard time, we are sure we will gain a golden opportunity to dominate the Japanese spray rose market in the future. Rosepia has been building trust with Japanese buyers for a long time. Moreover, we have our member associations counting on Rosepia and producing high quality flowers. These two - the quality and trust - are the greatest assets of Rosepia.

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Could you tell us about your future plans for exporting Korean flowers?


At the end of last year, we built Korea’s second-largest flower distribution center in Jeonju city. We think export infrastructure construction is the most urgent task for ensuring sufficient supply to overseas markets. USD$8.77 million was injected to establish the flower distribution center. The main facilities of the center include a sorting place (5,402㎡), glass greenhouse (10,096㎡), and seedling culture place. For the strict control of flower quality and efficiency improvement, the entire production process has been automated. With the new flower distribution center, Rosepia will start on taking over the Japanese spray rose market through aggressive marketing in the latter half of this year.

Inquiries  Rosepia Co., Ltd.          
Tel  +82-63-548-3113           
Fax  +82-63-548-4114           
Website   www.rosepia.com                  

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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