Along with the popularity of K-pop and K-drama cultures, the production of Korean fruits has gained significant attention globally in the past few years. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of South Korea, the export value of grapes and strawberries from Korea in 2021 surpassed previous years’ highest incomes with over USD 100 million (118.8 billion Korean Won). One of the leading companies contributing to this achievement is GREENVIL, a premium fruit export company, especially in the Vietnam and Singapore markets.
GREENVIL is an export company established in 2009 by CEO and Founder – Dr. Chang Tag-Jung. Dr. Chang has earned a Ph.D. degree in Food Science & Technology from Seoul National University. With years of experience working as an agriculture researcher, he is the pioneer in Korea to ever succeed in putting cold storage technology into practice. Today, we invite one of GREENVIL’s top managers – Director Chang Hyun-Jin, the man who discovered the value of Korean Shine Muscat grapes and plays a key role in exporting this juicy fruit to the global market, to share the story of GREENVIL, a leading export company that brings Korean fruits to Europe and eight countries in South East Asia. The success of GREENVIL is considered as “a Korean diamond dream”, as the company has strived from day one to be the first and leading in the market, up to now, where they’ve successfully launched their latest premium fruit brand ”Fruel”.
“ Proud of the strict quality assurance from cultivation to distribution.”
Fruits are freshest and tastiest when they are just harvested. The quality of fresh fruits is easily affected once harvested, sold, or transported, as the fruit is spoiled or crushed during distribution. However, fruits exported by GREENVIL are able to maintain their juicy taste and are acknowledged as premium products. What is the secret behind this success?
GREENVIL’s director – Mr. Chang Hyun-Jin says that one reason for the excellent quality of fruits is the strict quality assurance, starting from cultivation. He states: “We work with farmers from the cultivation process. We discuss how the trees should be taken care of, and when we should harvest. We have succeeded because the farmers working with us are the ones with determination, they want to export their fruits to the global market.”
Even after being harvested, the selection process is carefully executed. Mr. Chang Hyun-Jin says: “We do the tests to measure the sugar content, the size, and other standards of fruits right on the field when harvesting. After that, the selection process still continues through several rounds, first immediately when fruits are harvested and second during the packaging. As for the final round, we have another check on each product package, and adjust the product size and weight before exporting.”
Other fruit export companies conduct the selection process with their fruits only after harvesting, meanwhile GREENVIL ensures the premium quality of fresh fruits by applying a strict selection process, from cultivating on the field to harvesting, packaging, and exporting.
After exporting, GREENVIL still follows up on the fruit quality by collecting feedback from buyers. “We actively investigate our products’ potential fluctuation in quality and the causes for the quality decline, if any. When needed, we solve the problems by working with farmers to fix them from cultivation.”
“Assign aircraft solely for premium strawberry exports”
South Korean authorities developed a strategy of assigning aircraft solely for premium strawberry exports in order to keep the highest quality of this sweet fruit through means of fast transportation. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of South Korea, from December 2021 to April 2022, the strawberry export value to Hong Kong and Singapore markets via air reached 1,584 tons. A total of 385 flights carried 93% of exported strawberries to Hong Kong and Singapore.
Mr. Chang Hyun-Jin states that sweetness is the main reason why Korean strawberries are always in high demand. He says: “Strawberries in other countries have lower sugar content and they are commonly used as food decoration or covered with chocolate. However, Korean strawberries have a good amount of sweetness so that people could enjoy them directly.”
Director Chang Hyun-Jin affirms the trustworthiness of GREENVIL’s products, especially in food safety. He says: “Strawberries can be eaten with the skin, so we try our best to use pesticides as little as possible. There is a fact that despite the outstanding size and appearance of Chinese strawberries, we cannot feel safe eating them because we cannot tell the amount of pesticides used in farming.”
The first company to export Shine Muscat grapes from Korea.
The Shine muscat grape is well-known for its natural sweetness and exceptional size. Korean Shine muscat is a variety of the original breed in Japan and carries the same strong aroma and unique taste. Korean Shine muscat had not been exported to the global market until the success of GREENVIL in 2016, thanks to Director Chang Hyun-Jin. He discovered the value of this grape variety and started the export process in the shortest time. He says:、
“When I visited Malaysia and Singapore in 2016 to attend a promotion event for Korean grapes, I saw the Japanese Shine muscat for the first time. It was sold for KRW40,000 per bunch while the Korean grape was humbly sold for KRW10,00 per bunch. I bought the Japanese grape and invited the Korean members of the Agriculture Union and Korean farmers at that event to try it with me. At that moment, I knew that our Korean Shine muscat had a high chance to succeed.”
After that event, Director Chang succeeded in bringing the Korean premium grape to the global market. With a high turnover rate, Shine muscat brings happiness to Korean farmers and is now cultivated in Korea nationwide. The contribution of GREENVIL in leading the export has been recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of South Korea, with a National Reward in 2017.
GREENVIL is also the leading company in exporting Korean peaches, especially when it comes to Korean white and yellow peaches, for being exported by transport aircraft for the first time. Director Chang Hyun-Jin recalls that in the past, only nectarines are firm enough to be exported while other breeds of peach are not.
He says: “Peaches are very soft, which makes them a difficult type of fruit to export. A slight bruise on a peach could spoil the whole package and affect the product’s value. Thus, many Korean companies that chose to export peaches have suffered a great loss due to various mistakes during farming and distributing. We have succeeded because we implement a correct method of cultivating and distributing this fruit.”
“We hope that the premium fruits from GREENVIL will bring happiness to everyone.”
Recently, GREENVIL has launched a new premium fruit brand – “Fruel”. This name is a combination of “Fruit” and “Elegance”, as a promise from the company to bring the best quality of premium fruit to consumers.
In the first phase after launching this product, GREENVIL’s brand encountered a problem when some Chinese fruits were sold under the brand name “Greenvil” in the South East Asian market, since the Korean company had not yet registered this brand name worldwide.
Director Chang Hyun-Jin expresses his willingness to bring premium fruits from Korea to consumers so they can feel safe to enjoy. He says: “I want to share the best fruits with the safest quality to everyone. Let’s say, in Vietnam, nearly every house has an altar of their ancestors. The Vietnamese believe that if they make offerings with great food and fruits and share it with their family members after worship ,they will get a good fortune in return. I hope that our fruits from GREENVIL will bring happiness to everyone during such moments.”