Cymbidium, a flowering orchid plant which symbolizes nobility and beauty, is renowned for its colorfulness. It retains its gorgeous color and graceful shape even in the midst of winter, and is loved for this quality in many countries around the world—the US, Japan, China, ASEAN, and many more. Another merit of cymbidium is its long lifespan. Once it blooms, you can enjoy its charm for over two months, and each plant has three to five peduncles with thirty to fifty blossoms overall.
The orchid is popular for interior decoration and as a gift. One of Korean producers of cymbidium is Goseong Maam Cymbidium Export Association (MCEA) located in Goseong County of South Gyeongsang Province. Armed with cultivation skills accumulated in two decades, MCEA has been at the forefront of pioneering overseas markets.
Cultivating Over 30 Varieties in Flowerpots in Automated Greenhouses, Exporting to Over Ten Countries
MCEA exports more than 95% of the cymbidium it produces to about a dozen countries including China, Japan, Australia, and ASEAN. The export season for Korean cymbidium generally spans from November to the April of the following year, with the climax falling between December through February. Jeong Dae-young, President of MCEA, said, “It takes three years on average to grow each cymbidium until it is ready to be exported.” The association cultivates more than 30 varieties of cymbidium. They grow in flowerpots in automated greenhouses of the total size of 13,200m2, the largest among cymbidium export farms in Korea.
The cymbidium produced by the association features flowers large in diameter, with gently-curved petals, and vivid, rich colors. Highly valued are their thick, long stalks. Other merits include the early flowering period and uniform quality. Jeong said, “To produce best-quality cymbidium, much effort and energy needs to be put into moving the seedlings to highlands in the summer for differentiation of flower buds and then moving them to areas with abundant sunshine so that they start to bloom.
Directly Running Stores in China, Introducing the Flower Reclaim System
MCEA is more attentive to packaging than its competitors. For pots and vinyl wrapping, which preserve the cymbidium in its best condition, the association uses only products made in Korea. "We think that we can introduce our products to the world with pride as Korean only if everything in the product, including the accessories, is made in Korea," explains Mr. Jeong. He adds, “We are able to sell our cymbidium at 25 to 30% higher prices than our competitors because we implement high-end marketing.”
Operating a direct store in China is another factor adding competitiveness to MCEA’s strategy. By selling products without help of import vendors, the association can save on distribution costs, and Chinese consumers can purchase high-quality cymbidium at reasonable prices. MCEA’s brand, "Dami" (Chin. 多美, lit. “many beauties”), enjoys recognition in the Chinese floricultural industry.
Moreover, to earn trust of foreign consumers, MCEA was the first among Korean cymbidium exporters to introduce a flower reclamation system through which consumers immediately receive compensation for faulty products.
Starting Exports to Vietnam, Planning to Cultivate Other Asian Markets
In addition to the Chinese market, the association plans to cultivate markets of Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. In Vietnam, flowers sell well all year round because most households have a family shrine which they decorate with flowers. In Thailand, consumption of flowers is traditionally high thanks to Buddhism. Malaysians purchase many ornamental flowers to adorn hotels and high-end restaurants. Last year, MCEA exported US$ 100,000 worth of cymbidium to Vietnam. It is also hopes to break into the Australian and Indian markets and is sending pilot shipments.
Mr. Jeong said, “Our orchids received many compliments from Vietnamese buyers for their beautiful colors and multiple stalks.” He revealed his aspirations, "Boosted by successful exports to Vietnam, we will promote the excellence of Korean orchids in other markets of Southeast and South Asia."
* Additional Info: Merits of Korean Cymbidium as an Ornamental Plant
Cymbidium is a variety of orchids featuring colorful and glamorous flowers. It is attracting a great deal of interest as an air-filtering plant. It is known to emit a greater amount of anion than sansevieria, which is grown in many households for that purpose. If grown in a pot, it blooms for as long as three months. Even cut flowers do not wither for as long as one month if the optimal temperature of 21 to 25°C is maintained.
*GoseongMaam Cymbidium Export Association
Tel : +82-10-3588-7510 (Jeong Dae-young, President)
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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