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Korean Mushrooms are Captivating the World’s Appetite  [2015/06/03]
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Korean Mushrooms are Captivating the World’s Appetite

Winter Mushrooms and King Oyster Mushrooms are Exported to 20 Countries Thorough Sorting Leads to Longer-Lasting Freshness The Greenpeace Mushroom farm located in Cheongdo-gun in Gyeongsangbuk-do is running big automatic rotary lathes to provide a consistent temperature for all of its mushrooms. The mushrooms produced in growing rooms are moved through a conveyer system to sorting rooms where experienced workers select the freshest mushrooms for export. These mushrooms will go to as many as 20 countries around the world, including the US, Canada, and some European countries. Greenpeace’s Nine Farms Produce 10,800 tons of Mushrooms per Year The Greenpeace Mushroom Company was established in 2002 with the goal of producing winter mushrooms (also called “enokitake”) for export. The founder, Park Hee-joo, first engaged in cultivation of oyster mushrooms in 1983. A decade later, in 1994, when oyster mushrooms were still produced manually, Mr. Park built the first Greenpeace farm to cultivate winter mushrooms mechanically and in large quantities. He began exports to the US and Canada in 1998 and, by extending the market to Europe in 2005, was able to start exports of the mushrooms in earnest. Now with more than 400 workers, Greenpeace Mushroom has evolved into a robust agricultural company. It runs nine farms producing 10,800 tons of winter mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, and beech mushrooms every year. Annual sales are posted at KRW3.5 billion. In 2010, the agricultural company exported 4,565 tons of mushrooms overseas and raked in USD$9.4 million in sales. In 2011 (data until November), it sold 5,412 tons of mushrooms overseas and earned USD$11.3 million, surpassing the record of the previous year. High Quality Proven with Certification for Using Zero Agrochemicals, HACCP, and European GAP The main types of mushrooms exported by Greenpeace Mushroom are winter mushroom and king oyster mushroom. The company’s exports of the two varieties take up 35 ~ 40 percent of Korea’s total export volume of these types of mushrooms. Behind the high popularity of the Greenpeace mushrooms is excellent quality. To maintain the freshness of the mushrooms as long as possible, the products go through pre-cooling before shipping. Only the freshest mushrooms are sorted out and packed. That is why the Greenpeace king oyster mushrooms boast a texture as chewy as meat - a point favored by European consumers. The Greenpeace Mushroom Company has its own research lab where they strive to improve quality, develop new varieties, and respond quickly to problems such as plant diseases and pests. The company spares no effort to maintain a good growth environment in the cultivation facilities, so that the production is safe and hygienic. As a result of this hard work, the company was able to obtain the European GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification in 2006 and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Product) certification in 2008. The certifications further increased the value of Greenpeace mushrooms. The certification for using no agrochemicals also proves the safety of the products. The capability to continue exports regardless of the situation in the domestic market has become a strongpoint of the company. Other producers often decide to suspend their exports or reduce mushroom yields when the domestic prices are higher than the export prices. Unlike such companies, Greenpeace Mushroom is always keeping the supply and price constant. This is because the company has developed close relationships with buyers based on trust. To meet the needs of buyers who want to secure a stable supply of mushrooms, the company also extensively cooperates with the farmers. In case of king oyster mushrooms, the company works with 15 farms in Cheongdo-gun. In order to ensure uniform quality of the produce on all farms, Greenpeace Mushroom offers technical advice and holds meetings with the farmers on a regular basis. Building Farms Overseas and Setting the Export Goal for 2015 at USD$30 million Greenpeace Mushroom is trying hard to pioneer into the overseas markets and break free from relying exclusively on buyers. Targeting the European markets, it has established its own overseas distribution company, Green Mushroom Farm B.V, in the Netherlands. Since June of last year, it has been focusing its efforts on expanding the markets in the Netherlands and Germany. In addition, Greenpeace is keen on building its own overseas mushroom farms so that foreign consumers can always enjoy the high-quality mushrooms. Eom Se-chan, head of trade department of Greenpeace Mushroom, expects that the company will be able to expand the markets and increase their sales as the production rises due to the establishment of the overseas farms. He adds that the company has set the goal of reaching USD$30 million in exports by 2015. Let’s cook Korean Enokitake! Capellini Pomodoro with Enokitake Ingredients: half package enokitake, two tomatoes, 50g capellini, shrimp, fried clam, two cloves garlic, olive oil, and a smidgen of herbs Sauce: 1Tbsp mustard, juice of a half squeezed lemon, 80g olive oil How to cook Capellini Pomodoro with Enoki Mushrooms 1. Grind peeled tomatoes and strain through a sieve. Mix all sauce ingredients with tomato juice and refrigerate the mixture. 2. Put some oil into a frying pan and fry sliced garlic. 3. Remove roots of enokitake, blanch them in the boiling water, and then wash in cold water. Dry the mushrooms with a cloth. 4. Blanch shrimp and fried clam and cool them down in ice water. Boil capellini with a little salt for two to three minutes. Immediately cool them down in ice water. 5. Mix capellini and refrigerated sauce; fold into enokitake. Add fried clam, shrimp, garlic, and herbs on the top of enokitake. The dish is ready! Inquiries Green Co., Ltd Tel +82-54-371-6333 Fax +82-54-373-6083 Website

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