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Cheongyeongsam Inherits a 1000-year Tradition of Goryeo Ginseng

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Quality Certified by Gyeonggi Province, Use of
Six-Year-Old Ginseng
Advancing to Southeast Asia, Annual Exports Equivalent to USD$2 Million

 

Korean ginseng has a history of over 1000 years and it is usually referred to as Goryeo ginseng. The ginseng produced in an ancient Korean dynasty - Goryeo (918~1392) - earned fame in other countries, including China, and since then all the ginseng produced in the Korean peninsula has been called by that name. The most renowned ginseng cultivation area is Gaeseong, which now belongs to North Korea. Gaeseong is a perfect place for growing ginseng due to the favorable climate and soil.
Several ginseng farmers from Gaeseong moved to South Korea during the Korean War and started cultivating ginseng in the areas with natural conditions similar to those of Gaeseong. Those are Pocheon, Ganghwa, Kimpo, Paju, and Anseong in Gyeonggi Province. That is how the Gaeseong ginseng tradition came to continue in Geonggi Province. In order to promote the ginseng grown in Gyeonggi Province to the domestic and foreign consumers, four local agricultural cooperatives - Gaeseong Ginseng Nonghyup, Kimpo-Paju Ginseng Nonghyup, Anseong Ginseng Nonghyup, and Dongbu Ginseng Nonghyup - joined their efforts with the provincial administration and established the Gyeonggi Ginseng Cooperative Federation (full title: Korea Gyeonggi Government Agricultural Cooperative Federation) in 2009.

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Establishment of Gyeonggi Ginseng Cooperative Federation…Operating an Integrated Brand


Currently, about 5,800 ginseng farms are affiliated with the four agricultural cooperatives of the federation. This makes up a combined ginseng cultivation area of 3,811ha equaling 34 percent of the total ginseng cultivation area in Korea. The federation produces the largest volume of ginseng in Korea. The massive volume of production is not the only feature Gyeonggi ginseng can take pride in. It also boasts premium quality. The results of experiments conducted by one research institute demonstrated that Gyeonggi ginseng contains 1.7 times more ginsenoside (saponin) than the ginseng produced in other regions of Korea. The federation has launched its own ginseng brand, Cheongyeongsam, for the ginseng and red ginseng products made with the local ginseng. Choi Jeong-woo, an executive director of the federation, said, “Cheongyeongsam, abbreviated from Cheonhajeil-goryeo-insam, is an ambitious project to promote the Gyeonggi ginseng as a world-class, highest-quality ginseng brand while keeping the traditions of Goryeo ginseng.”

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Quality Guaranteed by Gyeonggi Province Leads to Enhanced Reliability and Competiveness


The four cooperatives of the federation cultivate ginseng under proper natural conditions and based on the know-how accumulated during the last 50 years. Their expertise includes cultivation techniques, thorough destination management, and eco-friendly agricultural techniques using microorganisms. Cheongyeongsam products are made only with six-year-old ginseng. Ginseng specialists from government agencies, universities, and research institutes participate in quality tests, safety control, and hygiene control. The reliability and competitiveness of Gyeonggi ginseng is continuously improving. The quality of Gyeonggi ginseng is guaranteed by GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification, registration in the Geographical Indication System, and halal certification (for exports to the Islamic world). Mr. Choi said that Cheongyeongsam is a unique brand because it is the only ginseng enterprise with the participation of a government authority. The guarantee of the quality by the provincial administration makes Cheongheongsam products all the more reliable.

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Plan to Pioneer American Market in 2014


The federation made its first export to China in 2010, two years after its establishment. Now, the federation annually supplies USD$2 million worth of Cheongyeongsam products to Southeast Asian countries, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Hong Kong, in particular, has shown a huge interest in the Korean ginseng, having imported USD$530,000 worth of the products in the five months starting from this May. Behind the high recognition in the overseas markets are an ability to secure six-year-old ginseng and red ginseng on a stable basis, the thorough quality control applied to all Cheongyeongsam products, and the guarantee of the quality by the government. In addition, the federation offers a sufficient quantity of aged red ginseng (six to 12 years old), which is very popular in the Chinese-speaking countries. Mr. Choi added that the federation will make various efforts to further increase ginseng exports by holding promotional events in Malaysia and Singapore this year. And, next year, the federation is determined to pioneer the American market.

Inquiries   Korea Gyeonggi Government Agricultural Cooperative Federation     
Tel   +82-2-3141-0169     
Fax   +82-2-3141-9974     
Website   www.K-GINSENG.or.kr   

                

Representative Processed Products of Cheongyeongsam


The Gyeonggi Ginseng Cooperative Federation produces a total of some 300 Cheonggyeongsam products. These include red ginseng, rooted ginseng, undiluted ginseng extract, and ginseng powder. Described below are the five products most popular with consumers abroad.

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Ppurisam-can (Rooted Ginseng in Cans)
This ginseng product is made by steaming and drying six-year-old ginseng. The process is repeated several times to make red ginseng. Then, with the use of an x-ray, each root is classified into one of three grades. After the selection, roots are compressed and wrapped in the Korean paper and packed first in a wooden container and lastly in a can. The rooted ginseng product can be helpful for recovering and boosting energy, enhancing immunity, and facilitating antioxidant activity in the body.

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Hongsam-sunaek (Red Ginseng Extract)
Hongsam-sunaek is a 100 percent red ginseng extract made with six-year-old red ginseng. It uses a low-temperature extracting technique. The product resolves a common difficulty that housewives have when boiling down red ginseng at home. Hongsam-sunaek is helpful for healing a hangover, recovering energy, eliminating toxins from the body, and preventing aging.

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Hongsam-cha
(Red Ginseng Tea)

Hongsam-cha is not an average ginseng tea, but a premium red ginseng product. It is a health booster that retains the unique, rich taste of red ginseng. The product is made with red ginseng extract obtained through extended extraction from six-year-old red ginseng. It conveniently comes in two types: granular and tea bags. Hongsam-cha is effective at preventing colds.

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Hongsam-jeong (Red Ginseng Concentrate)
Hongsam-jeong is a 100 percent pure red ginseng juice with no other ingredients mixed in. It is made by boiling down six-year-old red ginseng. Hongsam-jeong is good for improving immunity, recovering from fatigue, stimulating blood circulation, and enhancing the memory. For these reasons, it is particularly recommended for students.

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Honggisam-gold
Honggisam-gold is a red ginseng beverage made by concocting various healthy ingredients - such as extracts of plants (baekjakyak, cheongung, hwanggi, and such) and berries (omija [schizandra], bokbunja [rubus coreanus], gugija [Chinese matrimony vine], etc.) - with six-year-old red ginseng extract. The beverage is effective at recovering energy, stimulating blood circulation, and strengthening the lung function.

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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