Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

April 11 - 16, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday, April 16, 2021

For Coverage: April 11 ~  16, 2021


Local Fruit Farms are Worried about Low Harvest Again This Year due to Frost Damage 
Summary: Many fruit farms in South Korea reportedly had frost damages earlier this week as the temperature unexpectedly declined to as low as -2 degree celsius overnight.  The damage was serious as warm spring weather this year quickened flowering by 11 to 14 days compared to regular years.  Farmers are worried that they will again have reduced harvests like last year.  In 2020 the fruit harvest in Gyeonggi province declined 22 percent for apples, 15 percent for pears, and 4 percent for peaches due to spring frost damage.


Retail Price of Apples and Pears Soars due to Reduced Harvest Last Year 

Summary: The Korea Agro, Fishery, and Food Marketing Corporation (aT) reported on April 13 that the consumer price of apples and pears was 60 percent and 40 percent higher respectively than the same period last year.  aT explained that the price hikes were due to reduced harvests in local farms last year. 


Coupang is the Most Accessed Smartphone Shopping Platform in Korea, WiseApp 

Summary: WiseApp, an on-line retail industry research service in Korea, reported outcomes of its recent consumer survey on April 13.  According to the survey, Coupang was the most accessed smartphone shopping platform in Korea, followed by 11ST Street, GMARKET, WeMakePrice, TMON, and TodayHome.  The number of individual consumers who accessed Coupang's application in March 2021 was 21.6 million, followed by 7.5 million for 11ST Street, 5.8 million for GMARKET, and 4.5 million for WeMakePrice.  WiseApp added that consumers of different age groups showed significant difference in terms of platforms that they accessed most.  For example, for people in their 10's, A-bly and Zigzag were the second and third most accessed platforms.  For people in their 20's, ZigZag and Musinsa were the second and third most accessed platforms. 


POSCO International Aims to Become a Top 10 Grain Trader in the World by 2030 

Summary: POSCO International, a leading international trading company in South Korea, announced on April 13 its long-term growth strategy.  According to the strategy, POSCO International designated grain as the key area of focus with a goal of becoming a top 10 grain trader in the world with $10 billion in annual revenue by 2030.  POSCO International's revenue from grain trading amounted to $2.2 billion in 2020 which accounted for 10 percent of POSCO's overall revenue.  POSCO International will invest further in farming, storage, processing and logistics to expand its grain trading business in coming years. 


The Leading Meal-Kit Processor, FreshEasy, Reaches $110 Million in Sales in 2020 

Summary: FreshEasy, the leading meal-kit processor in South Korea, reported that its sales reached 127 billion won (about $110 million) in 2020, up 79 percent from the previous year.  FreshEasy, established in 2016, is one of the pioneers in Koreas rapidly growing meal-kit industry.  The number of meal-kit products offered by FreshEasy has increased sharply to 609 as of April 2021.  FreshEasy meal-kits offer quality home-meal-replacement options that consumers can prepare at home with minimal effort and time. 


Goesan County to Invest $6 Million to Open an Insect Industry Park by 2022 

Summary: Goesan county, Choongchungbukdo province reported on April 13 that it will invest 7 billion won ($6.4 million) to develop an insect industry park by 2022.  Goesan county explained that the industry park will accommodate research institutes and processors with the goal of developing and processing various products based on insects for food, feed, and cosmetics uses.  Goesan country added that it will be the first industry park in the country dedicated to the insect industry. 


CJ Starts a Sustainability Committee 

Summary: CJ announced it is starting a committee on sustainability composed of executives.  The goal is to develop sustainable supply chains and achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.  The committee is going to evaluate their sustainability strategy and review its performance. 


Six Ministries Launch Program on Carbon Neutral Schools 

Summary: The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), Korea Forest Service (KFS), and Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) launched a program to operate carbon neutral programs at local schools.  They will offer sustainability education programs and remodel classrooms at the designated schools. 


ROKG to Approve Beef Imports from Ireland and France This Year ... Livestock Farmers Question 'Mad Cow Disease' Risks 

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) announced on April 11 draft 'import safety standards on beef meat from Ireland and France' for public comment.  MAFRA explained that the draft is part of its 8-step official process started in 2006 and 2008 for Ireland and France respectively as each country requested import approval.  If the public comments identify no issues, MAFRA will submit a bill to the National Assembly to approve beef imports from the two countries.  The Korean livestock industry has expressed serious concern about MAFRAs plan.  The Korea Hanwoo Breeders Association released a letter on April 11 arguing that approving beef imports from the two countries would bring health risks to Korean consumers as Ireland and France reported outbreaks of Mad Cow Disease in recent years (2020 for Ireland and 2016 for France).  MAFRA responded that beef imports from the two countries will be limited to safe products (muscle meat from cattle 30 months of age or younger, excluding risky materials such as intestines and processed products). 


MFDS to Implement Tight Safety Inspections on Imported Clams through June for Potential Toxin Risks 

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) announced on April 12 that it will implement tight inspections of imported clams for potential toxin risks until the end of June.  MFDS explained that the effort is to ensure the safety of imported clams as global warming around the world elevated toxin risks in clams.  The Korean food safety limit for clam toxins is 0.8 mg/kg. 


ROKG to Strengthen Monitoring of Origin Labeling on Imported Seafood as Japan Intends to Release Radiation Contaminated Water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the Sea 

Summary: SH Mun, Minister of Koreas Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), visited Noryangjin Fishery Market, Seoul on April 11 to monitor origin labeling on seafood offered in the market.  Minister Mun said that the government will elevate its inspection and monitoring efforts on imported seafood in coming months.  MOF explained that Japan will likely start to release radiation contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea this year and the Korean government will implement measures to assure the safety of seafood produced in affected seas. 



View List >

Agricultural Trade Office, U.S. Embassy - Seoul
Tel: 82-2-6951-6848 Fax: 82-2-720-7921