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MAFRA Announces 3rd ‘Master Plan to Promote the Food Industry’

The MAFRA (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) announced the ‘Master Plan to Promote the Food Industry (2018-2022)’ detailing the development directions of the country’s food and food service industry, as well as the ministry’s specific action plans.

 

In the master plan, the ministry began with the declaration of its concentrated support of development in home meal replacement (HMR), senior-friendly food items, and functional foods. Regarding HMR, the ministry will seek the revision of the Food Industry Promotion Act and the establishment of industry standards in partnership with the related association (the Korea HMR Association) while pursuing the development of new products and the standardization of product quality. The ministry is also considering holding an awareness improvement expo using domestic food ingredients.

 

The ministry also plans to upgrade the ‘Industry Standards for Senior-Friendly Food Items’ prepared in December 2017 in order to present additional standards for each stage of golden years and modify relevant provisions in the law concerned. The ministry is also planning to support the development of the food semi-processing industry being promoted by catering companies to respond to increasing rising costs.

 

​The ministry is seeking to create a business model that directly connects businesses to businesses. Most notably, the ministry is planning to transfer some of the country’s factories run by local agricultural cooperatives into food semi-processing centers as open facilities in their local communities. The ministry intends to develop fresh convenience food items, such as fruit cups and fruit lunch boxes, depending on the demand of local communities.

As part of its effort to enhance distribution, the ministry will promote direct transactions between farmers and food service/processing companies through the Agricultural Products Cyber Exchange (eaT). The ministry plans to offer fee exemption in the initial stages, additional points in the event of selection as policy projects, and priority for settlement of purchase amounts.

Food education is becoming increasingly important. In association with the Local Food Plan, the ministry will present a food education model and strive to expand local educational infrastructure. The ministry will also publish food education materials, develop informational materials for the public’s dietary management based on the Korean Standard Food Composition table, and cultivate 2,000 professional diet counselors.

 

The ministry will further expand GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) that it has actively promoted. Most notably, it is planning to create ‘GAP Implementing Communities’ (tentatively named) largely in sizeable GAP-certified farming communities by the end of 2019.​

 

Kim Deok-ho, food industry policy officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) said, “The Korean food industry has grown remarkably over the past 10 years since the MAFRA began to promote the development of the food industry from the perspectives of cultivation and promotion, but the majority of food companies are still small. Thus, the entire industry needs to join forces to improve our industry-wide innovation capabilities.” He went on to say, “The ministry will do its very best to strengthen the industry’s innovation orientation to enable the industry to equip itself with global competiveness.”

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