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Korean food to reach more U.S. stores

All Headlines 16:28 December 07, 2009

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's state-run farm trading company said Monday it has signed a deal with a U.S.-based importer to provide Korean foodstuffs and agricultural products.

The deal reached between Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corp. (aT Center) and Rhee Bros. Inc. in New Jersey is expected to allow local farm and processed food products to be sold throughout the United States.

Rhee Bros. is a dedicated food importer that has ties with 1,700 food retailers and operates 13 Asian supermarkets. It imports and distributes Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Hispanic food products.

"The agreement is expected to make it easier for Korean food to reach the growing Hispanic community, which has been attracted to spicy food shipped from South Korea," an aT Center official said.

He added that talks are underway to export locally grown pears, grapes and bell peppers to the large U.S. market.

The official said that, in the past, exports to the United States have been centered on meeting the demand of Koreans living in the country, which limited market size.

The U.S. market for Korean food stood at US$413 million in the first 11 months of this year. This makes it the third largest export destination after Japan and China.

Exports of farm and food products to Japan reached $1.4 billion, while those to China topped $489 million.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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