Foodpolis holds workshop for food firms
The Korea National Food Cluster — Foodpolis — has been organizing workshops and other events for local food companies as it begins to take shape.
The government is investing 452 billion won ($403 million) to build the food industry complex on a 2.32 million-square-meter site in Iksan, North Jeolla Province, for both Korean and non-Korean companies aiming to export valueadded, processed foods.
Foodpolis is projected to generate annual output worth $14 billion and create 22,000 new jobs by 2020 once it houses over 150 businesses and 10 research centers.
It has so far signed contracts with 36 Korean and international firms to build plants and other facilities there, 10 of which are already under construction.
The cluster wants to increase the number to 80 by the end of this year.
From July 25 to 27, Foodpolis held a technical workshop in cooperation with Campden BRI during which the U.K.-based food research institute shared its advanced knowhow and expertise with researchers and other employees of domestic food firms.
Founded in 1919, Campden BRI has been providing scientific, technical and legislative information support to food and beverage makers across the globe, such as Kellogg’s, Heinz and Danone.
In March, the institute became the first foreign research body to set up a lab in Foodpolis, which aspires to emerge as a globally competitive food industry complex like the Netherlands’ Food Valley.
“Ahead of the three-day workshop, Campden BRI contacted each food firm scheduled to locate to Foodpolis and found out their difficulties,” an official at the Agency for the Korea National Food Cluster said.
“During the workshop, Campden BRI researchers offered tailored technical support to each individual company. This hands-on and customized consulting approach was well received by participants.”
The institute will continue to share its knowhow and knowledge with food companies operating in Foodpolis, the official said, adding that Fraunhofer IVV, an international food research firm based in Germany, plans to open a lab in the cluster in 2018.
“We will continue to attract many more global research bodies to turn Foodpolis into a food research and manufacturing hub,” she said.
The agency has also begun offering global market trends and other information to businesses setting up in Foodpolis.
“Besides market trends, we also provide customs and other administrative information in China and other countries. We will update our database on a regular basis and make it easier for companies to export to foreign markets,” the official said.
In addition, the Food Venture Center, which opened last Sep- tember, has been drawing many promising startups in the field of food and beverage. The center, capable of accommodating 50 entities, has already attracted 23.
Newly established small businesses making food products and food-related research bodies are eligible to apply for space in the three-story building.
Those selected can lease offices for five years at rents much lower than market rates. They also can extend leases for another five years.
Foodpolis also operates three main state-of-the-art R&D centers, each dedicated to ensuring food safety, quality and packaging, to help companies improve existing products or develop new ones.
A researcher from Campden BRI explains the company during a workshop at the Korea National Food Cluster, or Foodpolis, in Iksan, North Jeolla Province, Tuesday. The cluster organized the event for local food firms and invited the 100-year-old U.K. food research institute to share its knowhow and expertise with them.