Paprika Export Industry

Origin and history of the paprika industry

Paprika is originally from Central America.

Europeans refer to all sweet peppers as paprika, whereas Koreans differentiate between paprika and “piments” (capsicums). Piment is the French word for sweet pepper (paprika).

In 1995, Chamsaem Agricultural Association Corporation in Gimje (Jeollabuk-do) became one of the first agricultural corporations to produce paprika for exporting purposes. Thereafter, once the government put paprika on its list of agricultural products to develop for exporting purposes, farming households across the entire country, particularly those in the southern regions of Korea, began growing paprika in earnest.

Today, most paprika are used in fresh salads, but more and more people are developing new recipes, including stir fry dishes, to expand the use of paprika.

With our diet and eating habits growing more Westernized, demand for paprika in Korea has risen rapidly in recent years. Farming households grow paprika year-round, even in winter, using glass or vinyl greenhouses.

In fact, most paprika across the country are harvested in winter (December-July), with the cool, highland areas in Gangwon-do producing paprika throughout the summer months (June-November).

Farmers use nutrient solutions to grow paprika, and control the overall harvesting environment with automatic environment control systems to create the perfect conditions for paprika.

Paprika’s growth as one of the best-selling fresh produce on the export market

With more than 40% of all paprika produced in Korea sold on the international market, the paprika as a product is expected to reach USD 100 million in exports for the first time in the fresh produce category.

80% of paprika imported by Japanese buyers come from Korea

(Sources) Japan's Finance Ministry's 21years import performance

Korean paprika export performance

In the Japanese market, Korean paprika is preferred by buyers thanks to its outstanding quality, which is on par with paprika from the Netherlands or New Zealand, and freshness, which is due in large part because of the geographical proximity between Korea and Japan. Furthermore, Korea supplies paprika year-round, which gives Korean paprika a price advantage over its competitors.