|▲ Meolchione CEO Meongyul Im|
(PowerKorea) Tongyeong is in the heart of Hallyeohaesang National Park. Its clean sea is acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and local fishermen are harvesting marine products in quantity. Among many seafood eaten by the locals in this port city, anchovy is second to none for its silvery color and tender chewiness.
Meolchione supplies best quality anchovy of Tongyeong
Established in 1983 as ‘hallyeo’ dried fish trading company, Meolchione has grown as a representative anchovy distributor and seller in the city for the last 37 years. Behind this success was CEO Meongyul Im’s conscious business principle. He cannot stand even a slight complaint on quality of product and services and makes it right promptly. He introduced an efficient production and distribution system so that his clients and consumers buy the best quality product at a competitive price through volume sales at a low unit margin of profit. Profit, says Im, is less important than brand recognition because profit is almost none without the recognition. He was the one who introduced anchovy packaging for the first time in the region and it increased both freshness of product and looking good. The package is charcoal-coated to remove unique fish smell. He built a freeze factory in 1997 and added a 330 square meter space factory in 2004 with air shower and packaging facilities followed by quality inspection room and product development room in 2005 and secured a 1,818 square meter factory in 2014 and a 6,611 factory in 2020. Production capacity in line, he minimized stages of distribution to keep the flowing of quality products at the lowest price possible. In recognition, Im has received numerous prizes from various organizations including Korean Specialty Award, Knowledge Management Award, Korean Award and a ministerial prize from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and a citation from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Im had a hard time getting by since he was a child. He did everything he could from from ice cream seller, briquette deliverer and Chinese food deliverer to anchovy fisherman. He knows how hard for majority of people to make ends meet including him and this made him a man of generous heart. He has two nicknames: king of anchovy and king of donation. He makes regular donation on national holidays and is serving various roles in local organizations including Lions Club 355-C, Tongyeong Hotel Association, Gyeongsangnamdo Tourism Association, Saemaul Undong Tongyeong and deputy chairman of Tongyeong Chamber of Commerce & Economy.
“Saemaul Undong (New Community Movement) not only made country rich but also gave confidence to the people that they could do it. The three spirits of the movement diligence, self-reliance and cooperation made us strong to get through the financial crisis in the late 90s and they will lead us to a new and better future world” said Im. He was the first president of the Saemaul Undong Tongyeong in 2016 and recently inaugurated as the 12th president last February. “Saemaul Undong encourages people to help each other and to build a better village. Like we live better today than the past thanks to the movement, it is our responsibility to pass down a better society and nation to our children. I and 400 members of the Saemaul Undong Tongyeong will work together to make a better Tongyeong through campaigns for living, peace and respect” said he. Saemaul Undong Tongyeong is one of the models among 220 Saemaul Undong organizations in the nation as it runs various sub divisions including women, industry, transportation and Y-SMU Forum. Its activities have ranked top tier for the last 7 years. As a patriotic man, he led 20 children to visit Dok Island, Kim Koo Museum & Library and Ryu Gwan Sun Memorial Hall to encourage the love of their country. In 2011, he opened Anchovy Tourist Hotel to lay a springboard for regional tourism. He always wanted to have a hotel by watching a local hotel owner received many briquettes when he was young. Actor Woosung Jeong stayed at the hotel once for filming in the city and the Korea Tourism Organization awarded an excellent membership hotel certificate in 2013. He now sold the hotel. “It is my goal to run a live anchovy commerce on which consumers can even watch how anchovy is packaged. 300 won ($0.26) per box sold will go to Saemaul Undong offices nationwide.”
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