Korean ginseng is a famous health food praised for its quality and high food safety. With a higher saponin content than in ginseng produced in any other area, Korean ginseng is highly effective in stimulating blood circulation, helping recovery, and improving immunity. Nolmae Insam, located in Nonsan County of South Chungcheong Province, is an internationally recognized producer of high quality ginseng. It was the first among Korean ginseng producers to obtain Korean and foreign GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certifications.
High Safety of Ginseng Cultivated Using Eco-friendly Microbial Methods
Nolmae Insam produces and sells ginseng to the domestic and foreign market. It grows ginseng on a farm with a total area of 170,000 m2, using an eco-friendly microbial farming method which minimizes the use of agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilizers. Park Bum-jin, CEO of Nolmae Insam, said, “The use of microorganisms improves the soil fertility and reduces plant diseases and insect pests, so ginseng grows well, and its saponin content is higher than the average. Microorganisms also dissolve pesticide residues, which allows our products to meet all relevant requirements and tests.”
The company’s expertise served as the foundation to become the first in ginseng industry to receive the Korean GAP certification in 2007 and JGAP certification (Japan) and Global GAP (Europe) in 2010. High recognition of quality and safety of Nolmae Insam products has helped their entry into foreign markets. The company is actively cultivating the Japanese market. Recently, it has started to diversify the market by promoting the excellence of Korean ginseng in Singapore, Indonesia, and other countries.
The First to Acquire Korean, Japanese, and European GAP
The greatest advantages of Nolmae Insam are in the internationally-recognized quality and safety. The entire production process—from managing the field to seeding, cultivating, harvesting, and storing ginseng—is conducted in line with the organic farming standards of GAP. The quality control is performed through regulated management of 8 types of soils, analysis of water on 48 items, and tests for 117 kinds of pesticide residues. Park said, “While thinking about how to promote good-quality ginseng to the consumer more effectively, we decided to go with the recommendation of the National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service and try to differentiate our products from others by obtaining GAP certification. Then, by studying the international standards and meeting them, we acquired Japanese and European GAPs. Now, we even possess an international consulting certification.”
Park’s efforts led to his selection as the youngest “ginseng master” in the country, and has increased trust of overseas buyers in the company’s products.
Ginseng Chips Promoted by Korean Government as a Promising Product
Processed products offered by Nolmae Insam for export include ginseng chips, red ginseng extract, ginseng concentrate, and white ginseng. The most popular among them is ginseng chips, which are made from 1-2 mm thick slices of ginseng and red ginseng. One of the product’s merits is that it can be used not only as a snack but also to make tea, beverages, and food dishes. Park said, “You can serve it as a snack or to add ginseng flavor to porridge or sushi. Multiple uses of our products and their unique characteristics—along with small package design—are what we get good reviews for, at home and abroad.”
Furthermore, Nolmae Insam’s Ginseng Chips have been selected by MAFRA (the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs to be promoted as part of the Miracle Project, which will likely lead to expansion in the product’s export volume.
Continuous Exploration of Foreign Markets Including Japan
Armed with JGAP and excellent cultivation techniques, Nolmae Insam has been focusing its efforts on cultivating the Japanese market. The company has been looking for buyers by participating in FOODEX JAPAN and other major food fairs held in the country. It has been exporting white ginseng, ginseng chips, and ginseng concentrate to Japan since 2013. Recently, the company was invited to participate in a JGAP promotion event hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and received a GAP Distribution Award from the Asia GAP Research Institute in Japan. Last year, the company made its first shipment of raw ginseng to Singapore and ginseng concentrate and ginseng chips to Indonesia. It is about to start exports to China. Park said, “Our guiding principle is that good products come from reliable ingredients. We are doing our best to cultivate foreign markets by capitalizing on the main strength of our products, their safety being recognized internationally.”
·Tel: +82-41-733-7981 (Park Bum-jin, CEO)
Lee Hyun Woo firstname.lastname@example.org