Encouraged by the success of a trial programme involving South Korean tangerines late last year, a Dubai-based wholesaler is now bidding to develop a foothold for South Korean berries in the Middle East, the Korea Times has reported.
Shin Dong, who also owns grocery store chain 1004 Mart, has begun importing strawberries from the Asian nation, which are being sold through Lulu Hypermarket in Abu Dhabi.
The move comes after Dong took a gamble on importing 3,500 cartons (10kg) of tangerines from South Korea’s Jeju Island in November last year.
“I was very worried about my decision to import tangerines from Jeju Island because fruits like tangerines easily perish,” Dong told the Korea Times.
While the tangerine deal was ultimately a success, with the consignment selling through within a matter of weeks, Dong said strawberries presented a greater risk as they are “even more sensitive” than the citrus offering. Due to this, and the product's relatively short shelf life, the strawberry import programme is being conducted by airfreight.