A "Korean Cuisine (Hansik) Foundation" will be established to take on the specialized role of leading onsite globalization activities of local cuisine abroad, the government said yesterday, which may help better organize all the organizations and groups sprouting up to seize opportunities.
The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the Hansik Foundation will celebrate its official launch today, while emphasizing the new civilian-based body`s strength in mitigating both private and public needs and interests.
Up until now, the "Hansik Globalization Planning Organization" - comprised of both private and public bodies -- has been leading the government`s initiative. But the ministry said it has felt the need for a more specialized medium to reflect the activities of both the food industry and the Korea Restaurant Association, along with relevant bodies.
The private-based foundation`s launch was also based on the ministry`s judgment that it would not be appropriate for the government to manage support projects for overseas Korean restaurants by itself.
The new foundation`s activities will include holding promotion events and establishing qualification certificates for Korean restaurants abroad. In phases, the organization plans to strengthen the competitiveness of Korean restaurants, organize training programs for Korean cooking, provide consultations, collect original traditional Korean dishes, and form a worldwide hansik network.
Chung Woon-chun, the former agriculture minister, is acting as president of the Hansik Foundation. According to the Agriculture Ministry, the foundation has received about 700 million won ($617,000) in donations from the Korea Tourism Organization, the Korea Foundation, Nonghyup, the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, and the Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation.
"Hansik reflects our culture and the people and the nation`s history, so we must find the original traits of Korean cuisine and promote their excellence," Chung Woon-chun, the foundation`s president said. "I will do my best to establish a hansik culture that people all over the world can enjoy."
The Lee Myung-bak administration has the long-term vision of globalizing Korean cuisine and developing the food industry as one of the country`s new growth engines. The Agriculture Ministry, leading the initiative, last year announced the goal of establishing Korean food within the world`s top five cuisines by 2017. The top five countries are currently France, followed by Italy, China, Japan and Thailand.
By Yoo Soh-jung