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Food News Clipping

September 7 - 17, 2021


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Friday, September 17, 2021

For Coverage: September 7 ~ 17, 2021

"Carbon Tax will Reduce Korean GDP Growth Rate by 0.32% Points", Bank of Korea 

Summary: The Bank of Korea (BOK) released 'Impact of Climate Change Policies on Macro Economics' on September 16.  In the report, BOK said that the introduction of a carbon tax will reduce the Korean Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by as much as 0.32 percentage points a year.  BOK also forecast that consumer prices would rise as high as 0.09 percent point a year if a carbon tax is introduced.  BOK explained that the introduction of a carbon tax will lead to higher costs for local industries.  BOK added that the Korean government should plan for remedies to minimize potential economic impact of a carbon tax. 


MFDS Inspection Finds Harmful Ingredients in Functional Food Supplements Imported by Consumers 

Summary: The Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) reported on September 17 that it banned imports of 101 functional food supplements offered by foreign on-line shops for consumer direct imports.  MFDS said that its continued monitoring and inspection of 874 functional food supplements imported by consumers for personal consumption this year found harmful ingredients in 101 products.  MFDS added that consumers should take extra caution when shopping for functional food supplements in foreign on-line shops as they may contain harmful, unapproved ingredients. 


ROKG Discusses Issues for CPTPP Negotiation 

Summary: I.K. Hong, the Korean prime minister, hosted a cabinet meeting on September 17.  He discussed priority trade and economic issues, including progress on government work in preparation for CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership) negotiations.  Fishery subsidies, digital trade, state enterprises, and quarantine inspection are the four main agenda items that the Korean government is working on in preparation for the negotiation. 


aT Launches "Korea Green Food Day" Consumer Campaign 

Summary: The Korea Agro-Fishery-Food Marketing Corporation (aT, a quasi-government agency under the Ministry of Agriculture) announced that it launched "Korea Green Food Day" consumer campaign on September 14.  aT said that the campaign will promote environment-friendly food consumption in the market and contribute to lower carbon emissions.  aT recommended that each family or foodservice establishment establish voluntary "Green Food Days" and practice environment-friendly consumption.  The three key tools aT suggested are: 1) switch to 'low-carbon, environment-friendly certified agricultural products', 2) switch to 'local foods' that produces minimal carbon emission during distribution, and 3) minimize waste in consumption.  


Korean Government to Establish 'National Food Plan 2021-2025' 

Summary: NK Hong, the Korean prime minister, announced on September 16 that the government decided to establish 'National Food Plan' for 2021-2025.  He said that the plan will lay out national strategies to achieve sustainable food supply chain for productiondistribution, and consumption.  He added that the plan will address environment, health, and safety in addition to food security.  The National Food Plan will be updated every 10 years with an interim review every five years. 


Farmers Raise ASF Alerts before Chuseok 

Summary: The Korea National Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives (NH) reported on September 15 that local farms were implementing ASF preventive measures throughout the country, including quarantine training and fumigation as consumer traffic will peak during the upcoming Chuseok holiday (Korean Thanksgiving).     


Lotte Department Store Launches 'Seri Park Wines' … Imported from California 

Summary: Lotte Department Store announced that it launched three new wines imported from California on September 14.  The wines were selected by Seri Park, a legend Korean LPGA golfer.  Seri Park is known as a wine enthusiast through various local TV programs.  


LG Chemical - ADM Joint Venture to Produce Bio-degradable Plastic from Corn 

Summary: LG Chemical reported that it signed an agreement with ADM Chicago headquarter on September 13 on a joint-venture investment which will establish a facility in the United States to produce 75,000 metric tons a year of bio-degradable plastic by 2025.  The location of the facility will be decided next year.  LG Chemical said that the bio-degradable plastic will be processed from corn-based glucose.  ADM is a leading supplier of corn resources in the United States. 


1 Out of 2 MZ Generation Consumers Opposed to Government Restriction on Large-scale Retail Stores 

Summary: The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) reported on September 13 outcomes of a young generation consumer survey (1,000 people in their 20's and 30's) it carried out recently.  The survey found that 48 percent of young consumers were against current government regulation that limit operation hours of large-scale retail stores.  Only 12 percent of consumers supported the government restriction.  Young consumers said that they visit conventional retail stores not just for shopping but for various cultural and leisure experiences. 


Shinsegae Opens 'Just Pick & Go' Smart Store 

Summary: Shinsegae, a leading retail conglomerate business in South Korea, reported that it opened a 'Just Pick & Go' smart store in COEX Seoul on September 8.  Shinsegae said that the store accommodated some of the most advanced new information technologies available today and allowed the consumers to experience what the future of shopping could be.  New technologies adopted in the store include Artificial Intelligence (AI) shopper interaction program, LIDAR sensors, and a non-contact automated payment tool. 


The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety Prepares a “Virtual Investigation Manual” for Manufacturing Businesses Overseas 

Summary: The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety published a “virtual investigation operation manual” containing detailed operational procedures for overseas manufacturing establishments. The manual presents research methods that can be used in the field, such as video inspections using information and communication technology so that anyone can understand and conduct virtual investigations. The main contents are investigation methods, working procedures, security systems, and document and video investigationsAccording to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, they expect it to serve as the basis for efficiently importing safe food by conducting virtual investigations even with Covid-19 conditions.  


Dongwon Group is Expanding their Business Area to Livestock Industries 

Summary: Dongwon Home Food will establish a new livestock division.  According to the Dongwon group, they have decided to make their organization a ‘total protein provider’ by expanding their business areas from fisheries to livestock.  The Dongwon group plans to produce high-quality protein foods across the fisheries and livestock sectors and provide reasonable prices amid a global surge in protein food prices due to Covid-19. 


More Consumers are Looking for Healthy Food … Eco-friendly and Organic Market is Growing 
Summary: The food and beverage industry is paying attention to the market for eco-friendly and organic foods.  COVID-19 caused consumers to pay more attention to health, driving up demand for healthy food options despite high prices.  Many food companies are launching new organic, healthy products to meet this demand.  
AT Receives 14.6 Billion Won in Trade Leads at the K-Food Fair in Paris 
Summary: The Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Distribution Corporation recorded $12.4 million in trade leads at the Paris K-Food Fair Export Consultation held from the 9th to the 10th of September.  The trade meetings were held online in Europe and Korea, and the amount of trade leads recovered to the level before COVID-19.  The Paris K-Food Fair B2C event showed menus using Korean ingredients at 30 restaurants in Paris, France.  Various collaboration menus using Korean ingredients will be sold at restaurants participating in the event, and visitors will also be provided with an opportunity to experience K-Food. 

The American Soybean Association Hosting Online Cooking Class for Nutritionists 
Summary: The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) Korea office will hold an online cooking class for 150 nutritionists to promote the advantages and excellence of U.S. soybeans.  Korea's top chefs will release bean dishes on various themes, providing recipes that nutritionists can use immediately in group meals. 
A Locust Insect Called "
Pulmuchi" Approved as a New Food Ingredient 
Summary: The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the Rural Development Administration announced on the 13th that they have approved the locust insect "pulmuchi" as a new food ingredient.  The addition was requested by domestic insect breeding farms.  Pulmuchi is attracting attention as a future food because of its excellent productivity due to its large size and short breeding period.  It is the same as locusts that are already recognized as an edible insect.   
With the Release of "Hat Bae", Korean Pear Prices are Gradually Decreasing 
Summary: Korean pear prices, which were high due to lack of supply in 2020, are gradually on the decline as new ‘Hat Bae (Pear)’ are released in greater quantity in the first half of this month.  Until July, pear prices were nearly twice as high as usual because pear production fell 40% due to low temperatures and a long rainy season.  However, prices have been on a sharp decline since early August as Hat bae (pears) have been released nationwide.  The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs is working to stabilize pear prices during the peak Chuseok season. 

Paris Baguette Launches New Products with 'Just Egg', a Plant-based Egg Alternative 

Summary: Paris Baguette, a leading bakery shop franchise in South Korea, announced that it launched new products based on 'Just Egg', a plant-based egg alternative by a U.S. supplier JUST, on September 8.  Paris Baguette said that 'Just Egg' is a vegan ingredient processed from mung bean proteins and turmeric.  


Wine, Steak Meat, Exotic Fruits Replace Traditional Foods for Chuseok Gifts 

Summary: Retail stores have reported a significant shift in gift set sales for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) this year.  Retail stores said that new products reflecting new consumption trends, including wine, steak meat, apple mangos, and Shine muscat grapes, were making much stronger sales growth this year compared to traditional foods for gifting such as Yellow Corvina fish and apples.  For example, Shinsegae Department Store reported stronger Chuseok gift set sales growth in wine (up 52 percent), steak meat (20 percent), and apple mangos and Shine muscat grapes (27 percent) during August 13 through September 6, which outpaced traditional food sets such as Yellow Corvina fish (10 percent) and apples-pears (5 percent). 


Jeju Island to Expand Red Kiwi Exports 

Summary: Jeju Province Agricultural Institute (JPAI) reported on September 8 that 3 metric tons of red kiwi fruits grown on the island will be shipped to Malaysia soon.  JPAI said that red kiwi fruit exports this year would reach 300 metric tons, a big growth from 142 metric tons last year.  Japan, Taiwan, and South Asian countries are major export market.  Jeju red kiwi contain 17 brix sugar. 


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