|▲ Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp / CEO Kim Chun-jin|
Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp established in 1967 under the name Rural Development Corporation. It has contributed to the improvement of the income of farmers and fishermen and the balanced development of the national economy through the cultivation of wholesale markets, distribution training and business, export boost, and agricultural and fishery product consumption campaign.
Expansion of global ‘Kimchi Day’
Enhancing K-food brand value
The Corp is leading the way in promoting the value and excellence of kimchi and spreading ‘Kimchi Day’ around the world for the globalization of the food. Kimchi Day (November 22) is a statutory holiday established in Korea in 2020 to promote the value and excellence of kimchi. Kimchi Day promotes that the ingredients of kimchi, such as cabbage, radish, and red pepper powder, are meant to have immunity-boosting, antioxidant, and anti-cancer effects. Starting with California in 2021, the Corp contributed to the designation of “Kimchi Day” as a holiday in Virginia, New York, and the capital, Washington, D.C., last year. Last December, the U.S. federal government held its first commemorative event at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to urge the establishment of Kimchi Day. Encouraged by this atmosphere, resolutions establishing “Kimchi Day” in New Jersey (‘23.1) and Hawaii (‘23.3) passed the House of Representatives, and after Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Texas, and Fairfax County, Fullerton City also declared “Kimchi Day.” The resolutions were led by Rep. Young Kim, who is of Korean descent, on April 6 and co-sponsored by Rep. Michelle Steele, Andy Kim, and Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland. Driven by the growing popularity of kimchi in the United States, kimchi exports increased nearly ninefold in 10 years, from $2.8 million in 2011 to $23.06 million in 2020 with record high $29.1 million. As of the end of March this year, kimchi exports to the United States amounted to $9.9 million, an increase of more than 21% compared to the same period last year. Since March, the Corp has traveled to São Paulo, Brazil, to promote the establishment of “Kimchi Day” in South America, and together with São Paulo City Councilor Aurélio Nomura, decided to promote the day in São Paulo. Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp CEO Kim Chun-jin says, “We will expand Kimchi Day around the world and contribute to the increase in Korean agri-food exports.”
The Corp achieves best rating for shared growth for two consecutive years through win-win cooperation with partners
Green Food Day
The Corp achieved the best rating for shared growth for two consecutive years through win-win cooperation with partners from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups on 19 last month. The Corp introduced ESG management as the leader among public institutions in 2021 for shared growth and held a proclamation ceremony with 169 agricultural, fisheries and food cooperative companies. The Corp established a shared growth strategy by identifying major issues such as ∼expanding sales channels for SMEs, ∼enhancing the business environment of SMEs, and ∼digital transformation of agri-food companies. In order to solve the difficulties of exporting companies, the Corp set up an emergency TF team to establish a joint forwarding system and strengthened its bargaining power in air logistics. It also signed MOUs with HMM, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines to secure additional export-only lines. As a result, despite the difficult environment, agricultural and fishery product exports reached a record high of $12 billion last year, and the introduction of joint forwarding was selected as an excellent example of the shared growth of public institutions. The Corp has also strengthened regulations to improve the business environment for SMEs. Based on the aT Corporate Growth Response Center introduced in 2021, it expanded the deregulation process, resulting in 10 regulatory challenges, a twofold increase from the previous year. It also developed new collateral products to prevent the closure of 94 small restaurant businesses and to relieve the breath of small business owners in dire need of funding. The Corp is also leading the way in mutual growth with partner companies through digital transformation of agri-food distribution. To this end, it nearly doubled its live-commerce support (160 times).
In addition, in order to introduce Smart APC for smart agricultural logistics, it completed the establishment of a standard model with ISPs, laying the foundation for achieving the national task goal of 10 places, and preparing mandatory technology regulations for partner companies for the first time. The Corp reduced export costs by KRW 3 billion by supporting 114 agri-food companies to enter global malls, provided ESG consulting support to 10 food companies, opened 451 types of data, implemented 46 performance cooperation profit sharing systems, and improved employee welfare for start-up and venture companies. For these efforts, the Corp was awarded the Presidential Citation by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups last November. CEO Kim says “This is the result of our efforts to grow together in partnership with agri-fisheries companies. The business environment for SMEs is difficult due to the recent high interest rates, high prices, and high exchange rates, but we will do our best to drive growth by taking the initiative.” Meanwhile, The Corp is launching a low-carbon eating campaign, Green Food Day. Launched in 2021, Green Food Day is a campaign to eliminate leftovers to reduce food waste, which accounts for 31% of global carbon emissions. Currently, more than 480 governments, companies, and organizations from 24 countries at home and abroad are participating in Green Food Day.
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