Sesame oil and perilla oil are good food ingredients that increase the appetite with their aromatic taste and flavor. So, they are used for various dishes. Recently, they are drawing attention from overseas markets as they are known to be effective in preventing aging skin, lowering cholesterol, and preventing anemia. And a company is grabbing attention as a producer and exporter of sesame oil and perilla oil which are emerging as such healthy food. It is Yecheon Omui Sesame Oil Agricultural Coop Union (CEO Jo In-seon) in Yecheon, Gyeongsang North Province.
Sesame Farmers Joined Hands to Create the Agricultural Association Corporation in 2012
Omui Sesame Oil embarked on its full-sail business when four farming households, which were involved in sesame farming and sesame oil production, created the agricultural association corporation in Bomun-myeon, Yecheon-gun in December, 2012. Currently about 100 farming households farm sesame and perilla with a contract with Omui Sesame Oil. The corporation's last year's sales were about 280 million won.
It is thanks to the solid quality of the products that the corporation has demonstrated its quick growth in about five years since its creation.
First of all, Yecheon, noted as a natural producer of sesame due to its fertile soil and ample sunlight, has about 100 farming households engaged in excellent varieties of sesame supplied by Bioresources Research Institute of Gyeongsangbuk-do Agricultural Research & Extension Services. They are producing sesame and perilla oil with sesame and perilla farmed in South Korea, not with imports.
CEO Jo In-seon said, "We wash sesame and perilla farmed through contracts in Yecheon to make clean oil, " and added, "We use latest HACCP-certified automated facilities to come up with the finished goods."
The Products Reflect the Consumer Requirements and Convenience
As the oil is extracted in low temperature instead of high temperature which can include the hazardous substance of benzopyrene, customers can enjoy the fresh and aromatic taste and fragrance of the sesame oil. In addition, as the oil goes through one-week sedimentation in the settling tank, customers can enjoy a clear and clean taste. As the raw perilla oil is extracted through 3-stage drying at a low temperature, the distinctive fragrance of sesame is kept intact. CEO Jo In-seon said, "If temperature goes above 200℃, the oil can generate benzopyrene, a carcinogen. To prevent this, we get oil at a lower temperature of 170℃."
Another advantage of the company is the product packaging which focuses on the consumer's health and convenience. The company has come up with a silicone-made cap to ensure the correct control of oil while not in use. The company now supplies fresh perilla oil in easy-to-carry stick-shaped containers. CEO Jo In-seon said, "We launched the stick fresh perilla oil last October to make sure that consumers can keep it at room temperature and have it anytime and anywhere," and added, "Our product now served in the stick-shaped container is good to have in the morning before a meal."
Capturing Markets at Home and Abroad with Its Solid Quality
Through its effort for making high-quality sesame and perilla oil production, Omui Sesame Oil is now such a sought-after product that it is on sale in South Korea at such venues as Yecheon Market, Chukhyup (Korea Federation of Livestock Cooperatives), CJ Home Shopping, and Gyeongbuk Cyso (with Gyeongbuk Economic Promotion Agency). Outside Korea, the company has been selling to the US consumers for three years. The company registers about 25 million won in annual sales. The company is also planning to expand its exports to Japan, China, and Vietnam among others.
CEO Jo In-seon said, "To increase farmers' incomes, our products have to be sold in large quantities," and added, "We want to see a lot to overseas markets. This year's export is up about 30 to 40% from last year." She also said, "At our current small manufacturing facilities, we are unable to manufacture diverse-ranging products, but we will get a larger space and focus on the production of better products," and added, "We will work to bring worldwide publicity to sesame oil and perilla oil just like olive oil, which is globally known as healthy oil."