5 national best tomato growing experts worked together. 5 specialists with over 30 years experiences in cultivation, soil management, disease and pest control, business management organized Chuncheon Cherry Tomato & Tomto Export Cooperative in 2010. Recently, they succeeded in exporting tomatoes with the best quality to Japan, and are challenging the world tomato markets through the sales expansion and systematic quality control.
Gaining Popularity from Export Markets by Quality Differentiation
The Chuncheon Cherry Tomato & Tomato Export Cooperative was organized by 5 tomato growing experts in 2010. CEO Shin Geum-yeong said, “Chuncheon is a mountainous area with a huge daily temperature difference due to Gangwon-do’s unique geological conditions. Chuncheon tomatoes have excellent sugar content, color and taste accordingly. Our tomato exports to Japan lead to the many benefits such as high and stable income for the export farmers throughout the year and stabilization of domestic market.”
They push ahead with multidimensional export strategies such disease and insect pest control, post-harvest management and improvement of overseas export markets through high quality policy. The cooperative set its management goal as the production of the best quality tomatoes in Korea, and reinforced investment in technical training to strengthen cultivation skills in the export complex.
Currently, they export tomatoes to Japan only, but expect the steadily increased exports after the success in entering Hong Kong within this year for export diversification. While they were driving the quality-focused exports based on a policy of the best quality tomato production, their export sales increased up to 130 tons in 2017 from 95 tons in 2011, the first year of export. As Taiwan and Hong Kong were recently entered as new export markets, they expect the exports of over 200 tons by reinforcing their marketing activities for the buyers.
Best Tomato Production by 5 Specialists
The Chuncheon Cherry Tomato & Tomato Export Cooperative shares 5 expertises and continues to research for export expansion and quality improvement. Especially their soil management, disease and pest control, post-harvest management and marketing management have such high levels as nearly ahead of the Ph Ds.
For continuous quality control, they do not fail to attend the trainings related cultivation skills or exports conducted by the Ph Ds in the RDA three times a year. And also, they are focusing on securing their own cultivation skills by receiving technical educations over 8 times a year including the technical training conducted by the Ph Ds in the Gangwon-do Agricultural Research Services.
Cherry tomatoes and tomatoes exported to Japan are used as the food ingredients. With the increased preference of the Japanese buyers and popularity of the Japanese customers, the export prices for such high quality products also become increased accordingly.
Export Market Expansion through Their Own Efforts for High Quality
CEO Shin said, “Our export marketing is important, but good quality enables the buyers from Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan to come by themselves. We are one of the few export success cases in Korea in that 5 farmers worked together tightly and finally developed high quality tomatoes without any government supports for
cultivation facility or operation”.
The Chuncheon Cherry Tomato & Tomato Export Cooperative recently stepped in to help the communication expansion and sharing of cultivation information with the export farmers. They hold the frequent goodwill gatherings, and check and promptly improve any difficulties in exporting tomatoes. In order to expand the Japanese market, they are making multilateral efforts including participating in a tasting meeting for buyers in Japan. They have a plan to export over 250 tons this year through export market expansion and high quality tomato production.