Hansalim Organic Cooperative - South Korea

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= " federation of organic farmers and consumers with annual sales of over USD 300 million ... serves over 1.2 million individual consumers". [1]


By Jennifer Chang:

"In 1986, Hansalim was a humble grain store selling organic grain to consumers in Seoul, South Korea. Today it has developed into a federation of organic farmers and consumers with annual sales of over USD 300 million arising from the sale of organic food at its shops and through internet sales. It has grown into the largest organic consumer cooperative in South Korea and serves over 1.2 million individual consumers.

What is unique about Hansalim is the so-called “direct sales movement between the rural and the urban areas” of organic food. Farmers sell directly to Hansalim through contract farming and get back 76% from the sales price as sales do not go through any middlepersons.

Hansalim is a model of mutual trust between farmers and consumers – “farmers shoulder the responsibility of the health of the consumers while consumers shoulder the livelihoods of the farmers”. Consumers regularly visit the farms and the food that they get on the table “comes with a face”- that of the farmers who produce them.

Hansalim does not concentrate only on the marketing and sale of organic food. Much of its work is focused on advocating the benefits of organic agriculture, the importance of food sufficiency, local food and integrated farming systems with animal husbandry and the cycling of natural resources as a way of preserving Korean agriculture and sustainability.

On the social level, Hansalim has been active in calling for policies for alternative energy instead of reliance on nuclear power plants. Members of Hansalim take to the streets campaigning for the closure of nuclear power plants while fund-raising to help the victims of Fukushima. Members also campaigned with other social groups for legislation to provide free, organic school meals. They often volunteer in organizing dietary education in schools to inform students on the health hazards of instant and processed food." (http://orgprints.org/24218/7/24218.pdf)

More Information

  • Article: Hansalim Organic Cooperative – A Best Practice Model of Direct Sales between Farmers and Consumers. By Jennifer Chang.

URL = http://orgprints.org/24218/7/24218.pdf