The ample amount of sunshine in Sangju and the climate favorable for the growth of peaches add sweetness and flavor to the fruit. Sangju peaches enjoy great popularity at home and abroad. Operated by the joint efforts of 25 peach farmers, Sangju Peach Export Center first shipped its products overseas in 2010, exporting 9.5 tons of the fruit to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. Since then, the export volume has been steadily increasing every year.
Gaining the Spotlight among Consumers in Southeast Asia
The sweet and ample juice and soft mouthfeel of Sangju peaches are favorably received not only by consumers in South Korea but also in Southeast Asia. The region’s import of Sangju peaches in late June through early October—the harvesting period of the peaches—consistently grows on a year-to-year basis. Last year, Southeast Asian countries imported over 115 tons of the fruit. The brand “Sangju Peach” is now firmly established there and are known for delicious peaches. This year, the export center expects to export over 150 tons of the fruit.
Kim Jae-mog, CEO of Sangju Peach Export Center, said, “Sangju Peach Export Center was created with investments from 25 farmers capable of producing the world’s most delicious peaches. Our exports are growing fast these days as we are known to have the trust of many foreign buyers.”
Korea’s First Peach Exporter
Compared to other fruits, peaches tenderize more easily because of the summertime respiration. This tendency makes the distribution period short as the fruit quickly loses its freshness and its storage is difficult. Export is thus an even more challenging task.
To address these issues, Sangju Peach Export Center built a special distribution facility and introduced an automated fruit sorter. The center puts enormous effort into packaging to ensure that overseas consumers receive products of uniform high-quality in each and every box.
Kim said, “We created the foundation for exports by focusing on marketability of the product through investments in sorting and packaging.” He added, “We strive to offer excellent products of uniform quality and maintain stable exports.”
To continuously attract foreign consumers with its brand name, the export center offers overseas markets only the peaches with a high sugar content, sorting out all fruits with sugar content below 15°Bx. The food safety is guaranteed through regular pesticide residue tests and strict compliance with related regulations.
Pioneering the Markets of Taiwan and Vietnam
Sangju Peach Export Center also places emphasis on the technique of cultivating peaches with the minimal sugar content of 17°Bx. Armed with this skill, the center has been able to advance to Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, and is now setting its sights on the markets of Taiwan and Vietnam. In the case of Taiwan, the center is planning to open exports based on a thorough analysis of the preferences of local consumers and market trends.
Kim said, “Since the cultivation methods matter the most in the high-end peach export market, it is important to establish an in-house training facility and invite experts year-round to conduct training of the farmers.” He is convinced that the level of cultivation training decides the quality of the fruit.
Sangju Peach Export Center
*Tel.: +82-63-238-6730, +82-10-2599-2359 (Kim Seong-jong, researcher)
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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