largest organic cooperative South Korea
A Best Practice Model of Direct Sales between Farmers and Consumers. 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 middle- persons.
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.