Kiwi contains three times the amount of fiber than in an apple. The fruit has a low GI (glycemic index), which means it is effective in weight control because it helps the body to consume fat, preventing its accumulation. That is why kiwi is so popular with dieters. Furthermore, it abounds with vitamins C and E and minerals such as potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. The country most people associate with producing kiwi is New Zealand. Recently however, a Korean island known for its clean natural environment, Jeju-do is emerging as a major supplier of kiwi. Half of all kiwi cultivated in Korea comes from Jeju island. Behind the success of the island in kiwi cultivation is the Hallagold Farming Guild Corporation.
Solid Basis for Cultivating High-Quality Fruit
Hallagold Farming Guild Corporation (hereafter, Hallagold Farming) was created in 2008 by nine farming households. Other farmers have joined, attracted by the opportunity to carry out the selection and shipment of fruit all together, and currently the corporation has 220 members. Ko Bong-ju, CEO of Hallagold Farming, said, “Soon after the corporation was established, we obtained exclusive rights to cultivate kiwi varieties developed by RDA (Rural Development Administration), and this helped to stabilize our business.” Hallagold Farming and RDA signed agreements for exclusive use of Hallagold kiwi and Sweet Gold kiwi varieties by Hallagold Farming in 2010 and 2014 respectively.
Armed with these agreements, Hallagold Farming has built strong foundations for the cultivation of high-quality fruit. The corporation carries out training at advanced farming sites in New Zealand, conducts regular educational sessions in Korea, and encourages the exchanges of technical information among farmers and the upgrading of their cultivation techniques. In 2014, the corporation registered with NAQS (National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service) and started implementing pre-harvest tests for residual pesticides. The harvested fruit is screened and packed in a distribution center built in 2012. The construction of a pollen production center was completed in 2013.
Ko stated, “We conduct farmer training to ensure that kiwi they produce meets the requirements for screening and quality management. We have created residual pesticide standard tables for Korea and the countries kiwi is exported to and distributed these tables to farmers.” He added, “The distribution and pollen production centers have provided a basis to help farmers stay focused on stable production of kiwi. It is thanks to our production and distribution systems that we are able to offer high-quality kiwi to the market.”
The kiwi produced by Hallagold Farming is highly recognized in Korea for its excellent quality. It received the Excellent Variety Award and the Bronze Award in Best Farm Product Fair in 2010. Hallagold Farming was designated by NAQs as an excellent farm product management facility and received a certificate of excellent farm product management from Jeju National University in 2014.
Marketing Strategies Customized by the Market
With the infrastructure for producing a sufficient amount of high-quality kiwis, Hallagold Farming set its sights on international markets. It made its first shipment abroad to Singapore in October 2015 and now exports the fruit to Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Japan.
To Southeast Asia, the corporation mainly supplies gold and red kiwi, as local consumers there prefer kiwis with high sugar content and less tartness. In contrast, green kiwi is shipped to Japan where consumers enjoy a sweet-and-sour taste.
Ko said with confidence, “In Southeast Asia, our products beat Zespri’s. At 18o Brix, our red kiwi is very sweet.”
Hallagold Farming is planning to expand its sales abroad of Halla Sweet, a strategic variety developed by RDA specifically for export. Ko said, “Free from the pungent taste peculiar to kiwi and having a good texture, Halla Sweet will attract even more consumers. The export volume of the corporation last year was 235 tons, and this year, we aim to increase it to 480 tons.”
Ko revealed that in addition to the existing markets, Hallagold Farming will try to enter India and other countries. He said, “I think excellent quality is the key to competing in the international market. I hope that one day Hallagold will become the world’s top brand of kiwi.”
Hallagold Farming Guild Corporation
·Tel: +82 64-746-4841, +82 10-4695-4847 (Ko Bong-ju, CEO)
·Fax: +82 64-755-4841
Lee Hyun Woo firstname.lastname@example.org
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