KOREA'S REPUTATION FOR THE WORLD'S TOP -QUALITY GINSENG
To tackle the crisis in the Korean ginseng industry, we will come forward to play a crucial role in restoring Korean ginseng's reputation.
GROWING CHALLENGE FROM FOREIGN GINSENG
Now, foreign ginseng seriously challenges Korean ginseng in both domestic and global markets. According to the statistics of the Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation, exports hit a peak of US $165 million in 1990, the figure has decreased every year to last year's US $89.16 million.
GLOBAL MARKET SHARE OF FOREIGN GINSENG
Korean ginseng - panax ginseng still has a tiny global market share of 1 percent, while China's panax notoginseng and panax quinquefolium in the U.S. and Canada dominate global ginseng markets. In addition, as the medical efficacy of ginseng gradually draws people's attention due to a growing population of the elderly, the global ginseng market continues to grow. As a result, ginseng production seems to be increasing at a number of global locations.
Currently, a small quantity of ginseng is now imported to Korea, a major producer. But eh imports have gradually increased every year because processing companies using ginseng as a main ingredient or an additive in their good products look for relatively cheaper Chinese ginseng to achieve competitiveness in price.
The reason Korean ginseng products keep losing their competitiveness in the global market in recent years mostly lies in the fact that domestic producers still rely on simple processing and generate heated competition by keeping the price of their products down, while manufacturers in the U.S. and China differentiate their products, proving the superiority of their ginseng.
In the good old days of Korean ginseng in the global market, Korea's natural environment produced the best quality ginseng. However, the number of the ginseng-producing locations has decreased in Korea, while it has increased in other regions. Therefore, products development or marketing strategy has become the most significant factor in being successful in the global market these days.
WAYS TO DEVELOP KOREA'S GINSENG INDUSTRY
- Secure ideal locations for ginseng cultivation and establish production bases
- Streamline the industry's complex distribution network
- Prepare measures to root out illegal distribution of smuggled Chinese ginseng
In the ginseng processing industry, for example, the number of manufactures of ginseng products increased to 529 in 2002 from 75 in 1995 due to the abolition of a ginseng monopoly and deregulation on ginseng production and sales in 1996. Nevertheless, the manufacturers' product development and quality control still remain in their infancy. Also, the products are limited to ginseng slices teas, extracts, powders & capsules and drinks. In addition, consumers have a strong preference for a particular ginseng brand and six-year old red ginseng products. Therefore, changing consumers' perceptions is considered one of the important factors in developing the ginseng industry.