SOUTH KOREA – The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) is strengthening trade connections to foster opportunities for Australian and New Zealand exporters to meet the growing demand for fresh produce in South Korea.

The IFPA’s Global Development Committee and East Asian Task Force recently embarked on a fact-finding mission to Seoul, facilitated by Korean Business Services Inc. The mission, held from March 5-7, aimed to delve into opportunities within South Korea’s vibrant marketplace.

Key activities included retail visits to prominent markets like Garak Market, Lotte Market, and Costco Korea, along with an enriching cultural excursion.

IFPA Managing Director for A-NZ, Ben Hoodless, emphasized the necessity for a unified approach in developing global fresh produce imports, including those from Australasia.

He noted a strong desire from various stakeholders across South Korea’s supply chain for such collaboration. According to Hoodless, understanding market dynamics is pivotal for IFPA members’ success and for creating opportunities for international suppliers in South Korea.

Hoodless highlighted South Korea’s increasing reliance on imported food due to climate change and the population’s appetite for new and healthy options.

He mentioned that while the United States, Spain, and Mexico dominate fruit exports, Australia and New Zealand have substantial potential, particularly in tropical and sub-tropical fruits and vegetables.

South Korean consumers, Hoodless pointed out, are embracing new foods and value transparency regarding produce origins. They are willing to pay premiums for high-quality, healthy produce, driven by a rising middle class and a tech-savvy population.

The demand for year-round supply and health-conscious options, such as avocados, is on the rise, propelled by social media influencers.

With a well-established food supply chain and a discerning consumer base, South Korea emerges as an enticing market for global fresh produce imports.

Hoodless emphasized the opportunity for Australian and New Zealand producers to cater to South Korea’s demand for premium produce and diverse offerings.

The IFPA has been diligently mapping markets, assessing opportunities, and gauging value and volume potential in the region.

Hoodless highlighted the exponential growth of South Korea’s online market and the influence of large retailers in shaping consumer preferences.

Moving forward, IFPA aims to establish networks and systems connecting South Korean importers and influencers with its global membership.

Hoodless emphasized South Korea’s receptiveness to international business and the organization’s commitment to expanding regional influence.

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