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4 years ago

The Partnership no. 11

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Cultivation
  • Organic
  • Zaden
  • Partnership
  • Vegetables
  • Varieties
  • Growers
  • Peppers
  • Geothermal

Nongsan paves the way

Nongsan paves the way for sweet peppers High-tech production The export also generated sufficient income to enable the farm With this form of energy the farm is assured of a reliable source of heat and predictable, relatively low energy costs. “Geothermal Partnership to invest in modern greenhouses and cultivation technology. energy also supports our farm’s sustainable character and our Although most sweet peppers in South Korea are grown in plastic trademark,” adds Marketing Manager Sung-Jun, Moon. “All greenhouses, Nongsan consistently opted for greenhouses and over the world people are coming to realise that the only way of cultivation systems from the Netherlands. “They enable us to restricting the consequences of climate change is by drastically control our crops’ development most effectively and to realise the reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Geothermal energy is greatest yields and best quality,” says Cultivation Manager invaluable in this respect.” Nongsan's owner and CEO Ki-Sim, Cho: "We have built up a close relationship of trust." If there is one country that could serve as a model for the growing popularity of blocky sweet peppers it’s South Korea. In less than twenty years the acreage of greenhouse sweet peppers has grown from only 1 ha to more than 500 ha. Japan also appreciates the flavour and versatility of this fruit vegetable, which explains why it is the most important export destination for the South Korean sweet peppers. Nursery Nongsan has achieved great success with its sweet peppers. Bang-Keum, Kim. “We grow our crops in Grodan rockwool substrate and we use Priva climate and management computers, and biological predators and bumblebees from Koppert Biological Systems. Sustainable production using as little chemical control as possible is important for winning and retaining your customers’ confidence. This is even more true in the case of the highly critical Japanese customers. So far we have always proven ourselves worthy of that confidence.” That opting for high-quality technology and expertise was the wise thing to do is also evident from the profitability figures of the different types of farms that grow sweet peppers. Young Han: “On balance, the high-tech farms realise the highest returns per m². Relationship of trust In the almost twenty years that Nongsan has been active, it has grown only sweet pepper varieties from Enza Zaden. “Of course we regularly try out other varieties, but those of Enza Zaden usually stand out in a positive respect,” says Bang-Keum, Kim. “And over the years we have built up a close relationship of trust. We communicate openly with one another, and Young Han offers us good technical support, which we need especially when we start to grow varieties with which we haven’t yet acquired much experience.” CEO Ki-Sim, Cho says she is very enthusiastic about the recently The interest and depreciation expenses may be quite a bit higher, concluded agreement with Enza Zaden granting Nongsan exclusive The cultivation of blocky sweet peppers is a fairly new development our home market has incidentally been promoted by national but low- and medium-tech farms can come nowhere near the rights to the cultivation and sale of the Tribelli® concept in South in East Asia. Enza Zaden was one of the first breeding companies campaigns. South Koreans now consume an annual average of 0.5 production levels and quality of farms like Nongsan. And it’s those Korea for export to Japan. “We have high expectations for this to bring Asian growers into contact with this product. But it was kg of sweet peppers per capita. That’s not yet as much as the more yields and quality that give the high-tech farms a sound basis for concept,” she adds. “With its range of colours and the different by no means a matter of love at first sight. It took both vegetable than 3 kg consumed by Europeans, but almost twice as much as in further growth.” shape and size of the peppers, Tribelli® really adds something new growers and consumers quite some time to learn to grow, use and appreciate this unknown fruit vegetable. Cultivation for export Japan.” Twenty years of growth Sweet pepper nursery Nongsan has contributed a lot to the Korean Geothermal energy Nongsan gratefully uses geothermal energy to keep the crops at the right temperature in the winters, which may be very cold in South to the existing range. And the fact that the peppers are suitable for consumption at different moments may well help to give them a new boost in Japan and Korea.” Young Han is also pleased with the agreement. “Nongsan is the ideal partner for introducing Tribelli® Japan was the first Far Eastern market to acquire a taste for the success story. The nursery was established in 1997, when the Korea (see also the article on geothermal energy on page 32). in these countries,” he says. “It produces an excellent quality and brightly coloured shiny fruits with their distinctive blocky shape. national sweet pepper acreage was still only 2 ha. Nongsan started can increase its production without too much effort if necessary. Around the mid-1990s a few Korean growers decided to meet the on a small scale, too, but it realised that Enza Zaden’s varieties The company moreover has a lot of experience in marketing and small, but steadily growing demand, and began to grow sweet were ideal for meeting the Japanese demand. “The first varieties promotion, which is a great advantage if you want to market peppers for export to their neighbouring country. “It took longer for we grew were Spirit and Fiësta,” says the nursery’s owner and CEO something new in an effective way.” sweet peppers to be accepted in South Korea,” says Young Han, Area Manager for Japan and South Korea. “That’s clearly visible Ki-Sim, Cho. “And thanks to the technical support that we received from Enza Zaden's distributor in Korea, Mifko Seed, from the very Future from the production and export figures.” start we succeeded in realising good yields of peppers of excellent Nongsan’s managers have great faith in the future, though there is A pound per person quality. That success prompted us to introduce our own trademark Oaaro in 1999, and build up a reputation with it. We were the first still one wish that hasn’t yet been fulfilled. “Export to China,” says Sung-Jun, Moon with a grin. “Unfortunately that’s not yet possible, In 2006 growers launched a special action to distribute a surplus farm in South Korea to export directly to Japan.” but when China opens its borders we will be ready to introduce of sweet peppers that had resulted from a short-term boycott by the Chinese to our delicious sweet peppers. It is a country of Japan among consumers free of charge, and that was precisely the The promising start and the farm’s own trademark were the unprecedented opportunities.” encouragement that the Korean consumers needed. The past ten beginning of twenty years of growth that turned Nongsan into what years the acreage has more than doubled to just over it is today: by far the largest, most modern sweet pepper farm in 500 ha. And the sales prices have remained more or less at the the country which, besides producing a steadily growing supply same level. “That’s entirely thanks to the substantially grown of peppers for export, also meets a large part of the country’s own domestic consumption,” explains Young Han. “Consumption in demand. On the left cultivation manager Ms. Bang-Keum, Kim 12 | The Partnership The Partnership | 13

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