Food­po­lis holds work­shop for food firms

The Korea Times - - BUSINESS - By Lee Hyo-sik

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.

Cour­tesy of Food­po­lis

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...

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