AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Affairs Office (AAO)
Seoul Foreign Agricultural Service

Agricultural Affairs Office (AAO)

Mark Dries/Agricultural Minister-Counselor

The Agricultural Affairs Office (AAO) of the American Embassy in Seoul represents the interests of American agriculture and agribusiness in the Republic of Korea. Activities of the office include market research and analysis, market development, and market access. AAO helps identify—and works to reduce—foreign trade barriers and other practices and policies that hinder U.S. agricultural exports.

FAS Seoul Meets with the Korea Flour Mills Industrial Association

FAS Seoul Meets with the Korea Flour Mills Industrial Association

December 1, 2021

Mark Dries, Agricultural Minister-Counselor of the U.S. Embassy Seoul, visited the Korea Flour Mills Industrial Association (KOFMIA) and met with the Chairman, Won Ki Ryu on December 1.  The Chairman said that the wheat partnership between Korea and the U.S. is strong, and Korean consumers continue to recognize U.S. wheat as their top choice.  The meeting covered several trade issues, including logistics challenges, reduced availability of Soft White wheat, and GSM-102 financing.  KOFMIA members account for 88 percent of the 2.5 million metric tons of annual milling wheat imported into Korea.  Korean imports of U.S. wheat in MY2020/2021 are forecast at 1.8 million metric tons, covering 45 percent of all Korean wheat imports.

2021 Grain Market Outlook and Business Environment Webinar

2021 Grain Market Outlook and Business Environment Webinar

November 10, 2021

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Seoul held the ‘2021 Grain Market Outlook and Business Environment Webinar’ on November 10.  This is an annual event jointly hosted by USGC Seoul and the Korea Feed Association (KFA).  The event this year again provided the latest information on the U.S. grain and feed product supply outlook to the Korean buyers.  Mark Dries, Agricultural Minister-Counselor of the U.S. Embassy Seoul Office of Agricultural Affairs, attended and provided opening remarks.

FAS Seoul Staff Survey Citrus Production

FAS Seoul Staff Survey Citrus Production

November 3-5, 2021

From November 3-5, OAA Seoul conducted its Marketing Year 2021/22 citrus survey in Jeju, Korea. While Korea’s domestic production and consumption of fresh tangerines/mandarins are expected to be strong in the upcoming year, the industry will face challenges stemming from late-season precipitation, shipping shortages, and reduced demand in frozen concentrate.

2021 DPRK Roundtable

2021 DPRK Roundtable

September 10, 2021

On September 10, U.S. Embassy Seoul’s Office of Agricultural Affairs hosted the 10th Roundtable Discussion on Agriculture in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  Held virtually for the second time in the past two years, roundtable presenters included: Dr. Choi Ji-young, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU); Dr. Hong Min, a research fellow at KINU’s North Korea Research Division; John Aylieff, the World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific; and Dr. Kwon Tae-jin, Director of the Center for North Korea & Northeast Asian Studies at the Globalization Strategy Networking Journal Institute.  Panelists were supported by Minister Counselor for Agricultural Affairs Mark Dries and Foreign Agricultural Service Senior Global Agricultural Analyst Dr. Dath Mita.

Presentations

2021 Climate Crisis and Biofuels Symposium

2021 Climate Crisis and Biofuels Symposium

September 8, 2021

The USDA Office of Agricultural Affairs in Korea was delighted to co-sponsor the 2021 “Climate Crisis and Biofuels” symposium, working closely with the U.S. Grains Council.  Assembling experts from across the public and private sector, this informative session focused on the environmental advantages of biofuel energy and broadening the utilization of this effective resource in Korea to mitigate climate change. Full coverage of the program can be found on the following links. https://youtu.be/FmWtrGHl9Io (Korean)  https://youtu.be/4HFpRCG6b0M (English)

New AIM for Climate Website

New AIM for Climate Website

August 28, 2021

The United States and the and the United Arab Emirates plan to launch a new climate change initiative,  the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate / AIM4C), at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021.  AIM for Climate seeks to address the climate crisis by uniting participants to significantly increase and accelerate investment in, and/or other support for, climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation over the next five years (2021 – 2025).  The Republic of Korea signaled intent to join AIM4C in advance of the UN Food Systems Summit pre-meeting held in Rome in July 2021.  For more information on Aim for Climate, visit the AIM4C website.

Chodang Soybean Curd Factory Visit

Chodang Soybean Curd Factory Visit

June 10, 2021

On June 10, 2021, Chargé d’Affaires Rob Rapson toured the Chodang Speciality Tofu (soybean curd) Factory.  This establishment is renowned for producing high quality soybean curd through a traditional processing method derived from the Chosun Dynasty.  Mr. Rapson expressed appreciation for the company’s selection of U.S. soybeans as a major raw ingredient in their tofu products.

USDA and MAFRA Discuss Trade and Cooperation

USDA and MAFRA Discuss Trade and Cooperation

June 7, 2021

Reconnecting in-person after nearly 15 months of social distancing, OAA Seoul was delighted to gather with MAFRA officials on June 7, 2021 in Sejong City.  This productive meeting covered trade opportunities and challenges between the two countries and explored common goals related to climate change, food security, and agricultural innovation.

Great American Craft Beer Showcase

Great American Craft Beer Showcase

May 17-19, 2021

From May 17-19, 2021, FAS Seoul helped to usher in a another successful KIBEX for 33 U.S. craft breweries. U.S. craft beer continues to grow in popularity in South Korea with exports increasing 15 percent in 2020 to $60.5 million. Korea now stands as the United States third largest beer export market and the largest in Asia.

FAS Seoul Staff Consult with KRA

FAS Seoul Staff Consult with KRA

April 30, 2021

On April 30, 2021, FAS Seoul met with officials from the Korean Racing Authority (KRA) to discuss Korea’s horse racing and breeding industries’ progress through the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting provided an opportunity for both parties to discuss some of the general economic challenges that have emerged over the last year and prospects for continued collaboration as market conditions improve.  Following the meeting, the FAS visitors also briefly toured KRA’s Seoul racetrack facility.

Introduction to OORI EARTH

Introduction to OORI EARTH

April 29, 2021

From the first day of his inauguration, U.S. President Biden has expressed his strong commitment to responding to climate change by signing Executive Order to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.  President Biden has also announced that he will set an example for the world by integrating climate change targets across all of our diplomacy.

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FAS Seoul Staff Survey Citrus Production

FAS Seoul Staff Survey Citrus Production

November 3-5, 2020

In preparation for the annual citrus GAIN report (due December 15) we visited Jeju Island from November 3-5 to discuss the citrus outlook with government officials and producers.  Jeju is home to the majority of Korea’s citrus production, including tangerines and mandarins, and FAS/Seoul is projecting strong production this year.

FAS/Seoul Hosts Event on North Korea (DPRK) Agriculture

FAS/Seoul Hosts Event on North Korea (DPRK) Agriculture

September 11, 2020

On Friday September 11, FAS/Seoul held the 9th annual (and first virtual) Roundtable on DPRK Agriculture using the online Zoom platform.  The event was moderated by Dr. Tae Jin Kwon, Director of the Center for North Korea & Northeast Asian Studies at GS&J, and featured speakers from the World Food Program, Korean Development Bank, and Korean Institute for International Economic Policy.  Dr. Dath Mita from the FAS Global Market Analysis office in Washington D.C. joined the panel discussion remotely.  Featured topics included the DRPK food security situation, changes in the DPRK financial system, and an update on DPRK trade with China.  There were 136 registered participants with a peak viewership of 94.

Presentations