Korean actors Lee Young-ae, Bae Yong-jun, and An Jae-wook are recognized as first-generation Hallyu (the Korean culture wave) stars. But the original Hallyu star is different: Korean ginseng.
Usually referred to as Goryeo ginseng, Korean ginseng has a history of over 1000 years. The ginseng produced in the ancient Korean dynasty of Goryeo (918–1392) earned fame in other countries, including China, and since then all the ginseng produced on the Korean peninsula has been called “Goryeo ginseng.” One of the areas renowned in Korea for ginseng cultivation is Punggi-eup, located in Yeongju City, North Gyeongsang Province.
Punggi, the Best Place to Cultivate High Quality Ginseng
The history of ginseng cultivation in Punggi goes back to 1541. A classical scholar of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), Ju Se-bung, was appointed the governor of Punggi and found its natural environment―climate, soil, and amount of sunshine—optimal for the cultivation of high quality ginseng. That was the beginning of Punggi ginseng production. Punggi ginseng has a nice scent, a firm texture and contains more saponin than common ginseng. For these reasons, it is sold in the market at very high prices.
A Living Witness of the Development of Punggi Ginseng Exports
Founded in 1908, Punggi Ginseng Cooperative Association is the first ginseng cooperative association in Korea. Armed with expertise and experience accumulated over 109 years, the association is truly the most powerful front-runner among Korean ginseng producers.
The association started exporting ginseng in 2000. It established the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) factory and embarked on developing various products with different levels of ginsenoside content according to the preferences of consumers and the market characteristics in different regions. Thanks to these efforts, it received several export awards from the Korean government and became a major exporter of ginseng. Its products are sold in China, Japan, the US, Canada, and other countries. The association also operates a store in a major Korean duty free shop and its products receive much attention from tourists. Recently, it succeeded in entering the new markets of India, ASEAN, and halal countries.
Additional Information: Punggi Ginseng Cooperative Association Reaches across the World
1. Halal Markets—Obtaining KMF and ESMA Halal Certifications
Punggi Ginseng Cooperative Association has obtained halal certifications from KMF (Korean Muslim Federation) and ESMA (Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology) of UAE to demonstrate the reliability of its products to foreign consumers. The association was the first company in Korea to acquire ESMA. It hopes that the certifications will raise its appeal in halal markets.
2. American Market: Targeting Online and Offline Markets through the LA Store and Auragin
To expand its export volume to the American market, Punggi Ginseng Cooperative Association carries out online and offline marketing at the same time. The latter is spearheaded by the association’s store in Los Angeles (808 S. Western Ave. Ste. #222 Los Angeles, CA 90005/ Tel: +1-213-503-5577).
To advance into the American online market, the association developed the tablet product Auragin, which is manufactured from the powder of highly enriched Korean red ginseng extract through an OEM (original equipment manufacturing) agreement. The product is available at online shopping malls such as Amazon.
3. Asian Market: Focusing on Highest Quality Products Hwang-Pung-Jung and Punggi-Jang
Punggi Ginseng Cooperative Association is producing and exporting products for Asian market under the brand names Hwang-Pung-Jung and Punggi-Jang.
Hwang-Pung-Jung is a series of excellent quality products made with 6-year-old fresh ginseng grown in the Punggi area under the strict supervision of NongHyup Agricultural Cooperatives. The ginseng is cleaned and cooked in boiling water of 93℃ and then dried and pressed to make the final products.
Punggi-Jang is processed ginseng product. They come in over 40 different kinds, from extracts and drinks to jeolpyeon (pounded red ginseng cake).
Punggi-Jang for the Chinese market is made with ginseng younger than 5 years. This allows it to be sold as regular food—not specified as health food—in more than 100 shops in China, including the association’s own stores in Yantai and Weihai (1st floor, Lotte Ssangjaseong, Economic development zone, Weihai, Shandong Province, China/ Tel: +86-631-522-8820).
4. India and Europe—Receiving Many Inquiries from Buyers
On the wings of the worldwide trend for healthy lifestyles, Punggi Ginseng has been able to expand its markets to India and Europe. The association is exporting its products ―albeit not on a large scale yet―to Turkey and India.
Punggi Ginseng Cooperative Association
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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