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Korea resumes kimchi export to China



Korea has resumed exporting kimchi to mainland China after five years, South Korea’s Agriculture Ministry said Thursday.

The first 890-kilogram batch of “Jongga” kimchi, a kimchi brand of Daesang FNF, left Korean waters on Dec. 6 and passed the Chinese customs on Dec. 18, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Upon obtaining the sanitary certificate, the Korean-made kimchi is now on sale at eight branches of Lotte Mart in China. The Korean-made kimchi is packaged in small bundles, with 80 grams of kimchi per serving. Its all-Korean premium brand Jongga kimchi is priced up to 2.5 times higher than the Chinese-made kimchi.

In 2010, China strengthened inspection requirements for the food, ministry and the authorities refused to classify kimchi as fermented food -- with the requirement that 100 grams of imported kimchi should have less than 30 colon bacteria.

In addition to Daesang FNF, other Korean kimchi-makers are gearing to kick off exports as early as January, the Agriculture Ministry said.

By Chung Joo-won (joowonc@heraldcorp.com)
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