The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Minister Chung Hwang-keun, MAFRA) sets the stage for K-Food+ export expansion in which 456 overseas buyers from 40 countries around the world and domestic exporters participate. 2023 K-Food+ Export Conference with Overseas Buyers* (BKF, Buy Korean Food) is held at the aT Center in Yangjae-dong, Seoul, from April 19th (Wed.) to 21st (Fri.).
* To expand Korean agri-food exports, overseas buyers are invited to provide consultation opportunities with
domestic agri-food exporters.
* K-Food+ is to add upstream and downstream industries, such as smart farms, agricultural equipment, and veterinary medicines to Korean agri-food (K-Food) and expand their export and nurture them into strategic industries for export.
Importantly, this export consultation is held on the largest scale since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 456 companies (136 overseas buyers*, 320 domestic export companies) from 40 countries including Korea.
* Carrefour (Europe), Aeon (Japan), UNFI (USA), Freshippo (China), ParknShop (Hong Kong), Lazada
In the agri-food sector, 108 buyers and 242 exporters from 33 major markets such as ASEAN, Greater China, North America, Latin America, and Europe participate, while 28 buyers and 78 exporters join in the upstream and downstream industries.
MAFRA preliminarily identifies items of interest of overseas buyers prior to the conference and provides them to export companies, and arranges online pre-interviews between companies, so that actual export contracts can be signed during the conference period. In addition, on the last day of the conference, the Ministry plans to provide overseas buyers with an opportunity to visit domestic production sites of fresh agricultural produce such as strawberries and tomatoes, and processed foods such as ginseng and kimchi, so that the site visit can lead to the increase in export of these items in the future.
Meanwhile, in the afternoon of the same day, in connection with the export conference, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs presides over the 2nd meeting of K-Food+ Export Expansion Promotion Headquarters with a total of 22 people including the representatives of major food companies, businesses in the upstream and downstream industries, such as smart farms and agricultural equipment, and heads of related organizations.
At this meeting, export trends and future plans of the attending companies will be discussed, and support measures to resolve difficulties in the field and suggestions discovered through interviews and discussions with 170 companies since the launch of the Export Expansion Promotion Headquarters in January will be presented. The main contents are as follows:
① In response to the request to expand overseas marketing utilizing Hallyu, MAFRA will ▲promote agri-food products in connection with Hallyu concerts in overseas countries and hold K-Food Fairs (7 countries including Japan and the United States), and ▲select 10 key export items* and promote them through product placement (PPL) in dramas, etc.
* Kimchi, paste, ginseng, strawberry, grape, pear, paprika, rice-based processed food, pet food, beverage, etc.
② Regarding the request for expansion of domestic and international logistics support and stable supply of raw agricultural produce, MAFRA plans to ▲strengthen indirect subsidies such as fostering integrated export organizations by item, ▲increase the number of fleets dedicated to agri-food exports (5→7) and aircraft operation routes (2→8), ▲expand the support limit for overseas joint logistics centers including cold chains (up to 80 million won per company from the previous limit of 35 million), and ▲support storage fees for domestic cabbage to ensure stable production of kimchi for export (total of 500 million won, up to 50 million won per company).
③ For diversification of export markets by securing new customers, the following will be promoted:▲expansion of export conference by inviting buyers (once → twice), ▲increased participation in international food fairs (19 times → 24 times), ▲expansion of online Korean food showcases (11 → 15) and operation of reverse overseas direct purchase malls for agri-food products (5).
④ In order to expand exports of the upstream and downstream industries, the Ministry plans to ▲support loans for smart farm export (a total of 100 billion won, up to 5 billion won per company) and raise smart agriculture funds (20 billion won), ▲create export funds (20 billion won), ▲expand funds for agricultural machinery and raw materials purchase (200 billion → 300 billion won) and raise support limit per company (50 billion → 60 billion won for middle-market companies, 5 billion → 6 billion won for small and medium-sized companies), ▲provide funds to strengthen fertilizer price competitiveness (600 billion won) and expand raw material items eligible for the funds (9 → 12 ), ▲introduce GMP* system for veterinary medical devices for export (aimed at completing the revision of the decree of MAFRA by June), ▲introduce preferential purchase system for green bio products by public institutions (targeting legislation completed by the end of the year), etc.
* GMP(Good Manufacturing Practice): Management standards to ensure the safety and effectiveness of medicines, etc.
⑤ In addition, MAFRA will enable export companies to make the most use of new projects such as policy finance funds (2.2 trillion won)* and innovative growth funds** (3 trillion won, scheduled to be established within this year) raised to promote innovation of export companies in agri-food and upstream and downstream industries.
* Loan and guarantee support for new agri-food industries such as smart agriculture, food tech, and green bio (Korea Development Bank: 550 billion won, Industrial Bank of Korea: 140 billion won, Credit Guarantee Fund: 1.5 trillion won)
** Investment support for companies in the emerging agri-food industry (Financial Services Commission/Korea Development Bank’s Innovative Industry Fund: 1.5 trillion won, Growth Support Fund: 1.5 trillion won)
Minister Chung Hwang-keun of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will visit the export conference after the meeting with export companies to encourage those in the export industry. Minister Chung will express, “I hope that this export conference will actively introduce promising export items and serve as an opportunity for Korean exporters to enter the broader overseas markets. The government will continue to provide support by dedicatedly discovering and resolving difficulties in the field to expand K-Food+ exports in the future.”