Cultivated in The Tideland off the West Coast of Korea
From the Sea to the Dining Table…Open Distribution Process with a Seafood Tracking System
The tideland off the West Coast of Korea is one of the world’s top five pristine tidelands because of its large area and biological diversity. It is also the natural habitat of endangered species. One such mud flat in the tideland off the West Coast of Korea is off the coastal waters of the town of Beolgyo, located in Boseong County, South Jeolla Province. The Korean company, Beolgyocodfish., Ltd. has been exporting high-quality cockle cultivated in that area.
Cockle is a popular type of edible shellfish with a shape somewhat similar to round fan. On average, it is 5cm long and 4cm tall. Unlike common shellfish that have a smooth surface, cockle have 17 or 18 consecutive sets of grooves. The flesh of this shellfish is very soft and chewy. It’s also rich in protein and essential amino acids.
Beolgyo Cockle Boasts a Chewy Texture and Soft Taste
Cockle is grown everywhere in Korea, but the shellfish grown in Beolgyo is the best due to its environment, which has good conditions for cultivating cockle. The coastal waters around Beolgyo is called Yeoja bay, which is surrounded by Goheung Peninsula and Yeosu Peninsula. It boasts a very clean mud flat made of mud without sand. Thanks to its cleanliness, it was chosen as the best mud flat by the Korean government in 2005.
Kim Deok-soon, a member of the board of directors of Beolgyocodfish., Ltd. said, “The coastal water of Beolgyo town is famous for its clean natural environment. There is no factory near the village so the mud flat has not been polluted with toxic waste from factories.”
High Quality Product Produced Using Advanced Farming Technology
Beolgyocodfish., Ltd. has an 825ha cockle farm located in Beolgyo’s coastal waters. It produces 3000 tons of cockle annually. In general, cockle are cultivated by spreading larvae on the net to help them adhere to the net. The net’s poles are then stood vertically in the mud flat. However, net poles placed too closely together make the mud flat unhealthy. For this reason, the company piles the nets in the mud flat with space between the nets and the mud flat. Ms. Kim said, “We invented this method to keep the mud flat in a good condition. It means that our products are cultivated in a healthy and natural mud flat.”
One-Stop System: From Cultivating to Sorting and Shipping
The company has its own sorting equipment that can immediately select, pack, and ship the harvested cockle. Ms. Kim said, “It’s hard to find a cockle company that operates all the processes, including cultivation and selection. As soon as we get a customer order we harvest, sort, and ship cockles from the mud flat. For this reason, our products are really fresh.”
The cockle’s freshness is not the only thing that the company can be proud of. Beolgyocodfish., Ltd. has operated a seafood tracking system since 2012. This is the first time for a cockle field to open all the processes―cultivating, processing, distributing―to customers. Ms. Kim said, “Using the tracking system, customers can check all the processing information of our product at home, so they can trust our products and enjoy them with an easy mind.”
Expanding Export Markets…Entered Japanese and Australian Market
The company first started exports of fresh cockle in 2012 and the main markets for the fresh cockle are Japan and Australia. In less than two years, exports of the fresh product have exceeded USD$1 million. Ms. Kim said, “In order to expand the export volume, we do our best to promote our products―for example by participating in overseas food fairs. This year our goal is to start exporting processed cockle foods.”
Diverse Products such as Processed Cockle Foods, Manila Clam, and Sea Cucumber
Beolgyocodfish., Ltd. has also produced processed cockle products. Among them, Cockle Gochujang (red pepper paste) and Cockle Doenjang (soybean paste) are the best-selling items. Cockle Gochujang is a product with gochujang made for the cockles by a Korean traditional food master. You can use it as a sauce for the spicy dish or mix it together with rice. The doenjang in Cockle Doenjang is made with a soybean paste fermented for three years using organic beans. It becomes the best sauce for ssam (rice and condiments wrapped in vegetable leaves). A recently released product―Canned Cockle (boiled cockle in soy sauce)―is receiving a positive response. The company also sells manila clams and sea cucumbers that are the result of a contract with fishermen in the southern sea. They get good responses about the quality and the freshness because, like cockles, all processes start as soon as they get a customer order. Manila clam comes in a wide variety of sizes, so buyers enjoy a large range of choices.
Inquiries Beolgyocodfish., Ltd.
Park Sung Eun email@example.com
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