As social interest in eco-friendly life is growing in this era of 100 year-long lifespan with good health, demand for high-quality and safe foods is increasing. Organic agricultural products, which are free from agricultural pesticides and chemicals, are especially popular among people.
The world market of organic agricultural products is growing by over 15% annually from 67 trillion won (approx. US$60.9 billion) in 2010 to 93 trillion won (approx. US$84.5 billion) in 2015. The market of organic and pesticide-free agricultural products in Korea is predicted to increase from around 130 billion won (approx. US$118 million) in 2006 to 400 billion won (approx. US$363 million) in 2015 and to over 700 billion won (approx. US$636 million) by 2020, showing double-digit growth rate annually.
Endowed with clean natural environment and climate as well as safety from natural disasters, the Goesan County, Chungcheongbuk-do is ideal for organic agriculture. The County government has been promoting organic agriculture industry in the region for years, ambitiously developing organic food industry complexes, fermented food processing facilities and specialized bio-seed potatoes.
It aims to expand the area of growing organic and pesticide-free agricultural products from 3.4% (445.2 ha) of total arable field in 2014 to 20% (12,400 ha) in 2020. Recognizing these ideal conditions and endeavor of the municipal government, the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR) chose the County as the first venue of the Goesan International Organic Expo 2015 to provide an opportunity of sharing and experiencing organic agricultural products by people across the world.
The Expo will be held for 24 days from Sept. 18 to Oct. 11, 2015 under the theme of ‘Ecological Life Organic Agriculture Meets Citizens’, co-hosted by the Chungcheongbuk-do provincial government, Goesan County government and the ISOFAR.
The Expo will display scientific research data on the value of organic agriculture and the industry at 10 theme exhibition halls. These exhibitions will enlighten valuation of key factors that constitute organic agriculture, such as healthy and restoring soil, clean water and welfare of animals, while presenting proper function of organic agriculture and its future prospect. Seven major outdoor exhibition spaces will feature various aspects of organic agriculture, including organic crop farming, organic livestock growing, organic horticulture and organic processed foods.
In addition, under the theme of ‘All About Organic Agriculture Business’, the Expo will also operate organic agriculture industry pavilions joined by over 250 local and international companies and organizations, organic food-based healthy diets pavilions, and organic medical and beauty pavilions where visitors can experience methods of treating atopic dermatitis and making organic cosmetics. At the same time, leaders and experts in organic agriculture industry around the world will have conferences during the exposition to share information on development of the industry and its future vision.
Chairman Lee Si-jong of the Goesan International Organic Expo 2015 Organizing Committee said, “Aspiration for eco-friendly life and desire for safe foods drive interest of the world’s population in organic agriculture. The Goesan International Organic Expo will serve as a momentum of identifying the value of organic agriculture and learning true ecosystemic life preserving the nature.” The organic agriculture is emerged as an alternative for restoring natural ecosystems and environment destroyed by thoughtless use of artificial chemicals, and for overcoming imbalance in ecosystems by promoting production and supply of safe agricultural products. And the organic agricultural industry attracts attention as a new growth engine because it has great potential of growth, linking with other industries, such as medicines and cosmetics, as well as agriculture.
In that vein, the County government declared in 2012 to build itself as an organic agriculture region for the first time in Korea. Currently, it is developing three large industrial complexes, two of which are being constructed in collaboration with the Federation of iCOOP Consumers’ Cooperative. And more than 50 companies, including eco-friendly organic food processing companies, are expected to invest in these complexes by the end of 2016. The County government also plans to construct a high-tech industrial complex in an area of about 429 square kilometers to accommodate mainly information technology and biotechnology companies. In recognition of these policies and outstanding achievements, the County received the ‘top organic agriculture town award’ in 2013 and 2014 consecutively. Besides, the municipal government developed 230ha of bio-circulation forests, and produces 29,700 tons of liquid manure a year at facilities of recycling livestock excretions to supply to farmhouses for growing agricultural products, vegetables and fruits. It built two TMR feeds factories and an agricultural microorganism center. k
Governor Lee Si-jong of the Chungcheongbuk-do Province (seventh from right, front row, concurrently chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 2015 Goesan International Organic Expo) had a meeting in Seoul with other leaders of the region on the D-100 Day to vow efforts to carry the Expo to success. The Expo is slated on Sept. 18-Oct. 11 in this year.
A bird?-eye-view of the venue of the 2015 Goesan International Organic Expo.
Chairman Lee Si-jong of the Organizing Committee of the Goesan International Organic Expo 2015 (third from left) poses with Head Master Kim Bong-gon of Cheonghak-dong Chinese Classics School (second from left) and his daughter Kim Ja-han (right) and son Kim Kyung-min on the occasion of appointment of the three as Public Relations Ambassadors of the Expo at the office of the Governor of Chungcheongbuk-do Province.