South Korean kimchi producers have been hit hard. The decline was due to the cabbage shortage caused by climate change, causing prices to skyrocket this year. This has intensified the damage from cheaper deals from Chinese competitors.
South Korean hoards cabbage Such is the feeling of crisis surrounding the spicy pickled rice that many Koreans eat every day, and the center of Korean identity where the government recently planned to build two large cabbage sheds.
In each of the 9,900 square meters, the facilities to be built in the rural areas of Goesan and Haenam will combine to be the size of three football fields. They will be able to store 10,000 tons of cabbage and 50 tons of sauerkraut per day.
Construction, expected to pay taxpayers 58 billion won ($40 million), is scheduled for completion in 2025.
For local kimchi producers who are struggling to buy enough cabbage at today’s high prices. Government intervention in the collection of produce and supplying industry at reasonable prices is not possible anytime soon.
Climate change in recent years has led to higher temperatures and higher rainfall. damage cabbage plants This year, cabbage prices have doubled in less than three months, partly due to inflation that soared to a 24-year high in July.
“We used to buy cabbage in June. Save it for later when cabbage prices go up. But this year the product is out of stock,” said An Ik-jin, chief executive of kimchi maker Cheongone Organic.
“We used to produce 15 tons of kimchi a day, but now we can only produce 10 tons or less,” he said. His company had to raise the price of kimchi by two-thirds to 5,000 won ($3.5) per kilogram.
South Korea’s kimchi industry has been on a slippery slope for some time.
Chinese imports This usually costs about a third of the locally produced kimchi. It has risen over the past two decades, accounting for 40% of the domestic market for commercially made kimchi.
Add in weak cabbage harvests in recent years, and much of the industry has collapsed. (While kimchi can be made with other ingredients, about three-quarters of commercially available kimchi uses cabbage.)
Last year, nearly half of South Korea’s 1,000 kimchi makers shut down permanently or temporarily. or switch to other products According to a study by Korea Rating & Data
Korean kimchi producers are hopeful that the government’s plan will at least prevent homegrown producers from losing more space.
on the part of the government The government hopes the storage complex will “It has contributed greatly to strengthening the position of domestically produced kimchi around the world,” said Lim Jeung-guen, deputy director of the food industry promotion department at the Ministry of Agriculture, adding that the complex could be built if The first two work fine.
The country’s kimchi exports rose 10.7 percent to a record $160 million last year. It has gained a lot of attention in the Korean culture driven by boy band BTS and the Netflix dystopian drama “Squid Game.”
In the country, however, there is growing concern that a shortage of cabbage will exacerbate the ‘Kimjang’ tradition of making and sharing kimchi among family, friends and community, which is usually carried out in November but is not limited to. November
According to the official data of supermarket chain Hanaro Mart, sales of ready-made kimchi have increased 20% since August. compared to the same period last year
“Usually I make kimchi myself. But the raw materials are much more expensive,” said 72-year-old Kim Sook-kyung as he bought ready-made kimchi at a supermarket in Seoul.
“I plan to mix and buy kimchi in the future.”