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[Best Brand] aT, driver behind kimchi exports

Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation President Kim Choon-jin (right) and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer pose for a photo to commemorate the first Kimchi Day on Nov. 22. (aT)
Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation President Kim Choon-jin (right) and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer pose for a photo to commemorate the first Kimchi Day on Nov. 22. (aT)

Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT) has been at the center of promoting kimchi overseas, expanding the fermented dish’s presence in the United States and increasing its global exports.

Located in Naju, South Jeolla Province, the state-owned company overlooks the distribution and transaction of all agricultural goods produced in Korea.

One of its recent efforts is promoting kimchi in the United States and abroad. The firm has been particularly upping its activities in the United States, following legislation passed in California that designated Nov. 22 as “Kimchi Day.”

President Kim Choon-jin of the aT visited Los Angeles to attend various kimchi-related events from Nov. 15 to Nov. 23. The trip was intended to spread Kimchi Day to other states, while finding new business opportunities to increase kimchi exports.

Kim was awarded an appreciation plaque by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer during an event to celebrate the first Kimchi Day in California. The two officials praised Kim’s contributions in raising kimchi’s presence among the general public living in the golden state.

Prior to this, Kim met with New York state Rep. Ron Kim on Nov. 17 to expand the enactment of Kimchi Day. Rep. Kim delivered a written resolution to promote the day in other regions in the 50 states, as well as a letter of appreciation on behalf of New York City’s Korean community.

The state-owned company has also forged business opportunities. It inked a memorandum of understanding with Korean food retailer H-Mart to expand Korean food products’ reach to the middle and southern region of the US.

Seventy H-Mart locations have been operating special booths introducing around 130 food products made in Korea, ranging from Korean pear to ginseng, kimchi and traditional sauces.

Such efforts have borne fruit, according to the firm. Total exports of Korean kimchi to the US are expected to break records this year, reaching $26.27 million as of November. This is an on-year increase of 25 percent.

The state-owned firm is also working to overcome global supply chain risks from the pandemic by diversifying its international sales channels and forging new markets for Korean agricultural goods. As a result, total exports of Korean agricultural goods broke the $10 billion mark in November for the first time in the country’s history.

By Korea Herald (khnews@heraldcorp.com)
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