An agricultural corporation Woodumgee Farm won Smart Farm at 2022 Korea Value Management Awards for its Korean-type semisealed green house system which made the farm as a pioneer of Korean farming technology. Tomango, introduced by the farm, is high in sugar content and contains stevia, the natural sweetener recognized by the FDA.
Learning from the Netherlands
Started as a small cooperative in 2004, the farm went through a shift to a farming association in 2011 and to the current agricultural corporation in 2017. Hoyeon Kim, CEO of the farm, happened to visit green house farms in the Netherlands with support of Buyeo County in 2013.
"It opened my eye to a new world. A greenhouse in the Netherlands cultivated 60kg of tomato per 3.3 square meters while we did around 30 to 40kg. Back in Korea, I decided to do the same and was determined. In 2014, I was able to introduce 1-2W greenhouse followed by venlo-type greenhouse in 2016."
The 1-2W greenhouse cultivated 60kg and the venlo-type around 75 to 80kg which were twice the amount produced before. Not complacent, he traveled the Netherlands, France and the US to see more of advanced farming systems; and his passion and effort brought fruits of introducing Korean-type semisealed greenhouse system.
"The system made Woodumgee Farm the winner of export-driven smart farm project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in 2017. As a result, I was able to build a 62,809m2 big cutting edge smart farm. The system also was recognized as an excellent smart farm role model at the 2018 Korea Innovative Growth."
keeping out insects and diseases
The roof of Woodumgee Farm is made of glass to receive 97% of the sun. Inside the greenhouse is installed with LED lights to reinforce the light in winter, cloudy weather and at night. The air heat pumps and automated control system helps farmers adjust temperature, moisture, CO2 level and direction of the wind.
The semisealed greenhouse system keeps out insects and diseases and the filtering system filters nutrient solution to be 100% reusable. What can be the substantial benefit we can have from this innovative system? The answer is that the farmers can grow tomato in summer and we can eat unseasonable vegetable as seasonal.
Tomango, introduced by the farm, is high in sugar content and contains stevia, the natural sweetener recognized by the FDA. Stevia makes us feel we are having something sweet but it is not absorbed in our body. For this reason, Tomango is widely loved by healthy dieters regardless age, men or women. You can easily find Tomango at Lotte Mart, emart24, Coupang, Ministop and many more.
50 tons of Tomango delighted dinning tables of Japanese in December last year and Woodumgee Farm is expecting to see the volume to 300 tons this year. It is encouraging that deals are surging in from Malaysia, Saipan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East and South East Asia.
"It is important to secure overseas market as tomato is a popular produce in South Korea. Sometimes, price drops way too low when the supply is overwhelming so I'm looking for markets outside. Encouragingly, I'm receiving calls from a number of countries with compliments."
Certificates, awards and IPO
Woodumgee Farm recently upgraded the degree of GAP a level high and obtained HACCP and ISO9001. The sales marked 23 billion won ($18 million) in 2020 and jumped to 48 billion won the next year with 8 billion won operating profit. Recognized for its advanced farming technology, Woodumgee Farm also won Smart Farm at the 2022 Korea Value Management Awards hosted by Herald Corp in association with monthly PowerKorea.
Taking the momentum, CEO Hoyeon Kim has signed Sungmin Kang as the general manager of the farm with a goal to grow the business as global alongside IPO as the first smart farm company in South Korea within the year. <PowerKorea>
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