We heard earlier that the mandarin industry recently had a record year income-wise. Analysts say changes are needed to ensure there’s more good news from the sector. Mike Laidman reports.

Mandarin Distribution Order introduced in 2003

The Mandarin Distribution Order was introduced in 2003 to control the volume of the fruit in the market. This was after the price of orchard-grown mandarins had fallen for four consecutive years.

The market responded to the order at first, and mandarin prices climbed.

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The average price of orchard-grown mandarins grew to 10,000 won in 2003 and reached 14,000 the next year.

However, prices nosedived in 2007 and then again in 2009 due to overproduction, poor quality, and failure to control the volume being shipped.

All this meant the Mandarin Distribution Order was no longer effective.
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‘Mandarin Distribution Order needs to be overhauled’

Critics say the order needs to be overhauled to achieve the desired result.

Fruit market changes, but estimated demand still at 580K tons

The fresh fruit market has changed rapidly, but the estimated demand for mandarin oranges has remained at 580,000 tons for 15 years.

Kim Bae-seong / Professor, Applied Economics Department, JNU
Price trends need to be reviewed first, and then the island should estimate demand to determine optimum yield.
<인터뷰:김배성 제주대 산업응용경제학과 교수>
"가격 차원에 있어서의 추이에 대한 검토, 그 다음에 생산량에 대한 적정 수요량에 대한 검토가 필요하지 않나 싶습니다."

Along with the new demand prediction, functional food products need to be developed to boost consumption of the fruit.

The demand for simple extracted mandarin juice has remained at about 100,000 tons for years.

Meanwhile, interest in health and weight products is rapidly growing.

But consumers are unsatisfied with the short shelf life of the oranges. Research on storage technology is urgently needed.

Kim Bae-seong / Professor, Applied Economics Department, JNU
Islanders never used to care about storage as mandarins were produced all year long. But consumers want a longer shelf life now, so we need to make efforts to keep the fruit fresh for longer.
< 인터뷰:김배성 제주대 산업응용경제학과 교수>
"연중생산 체계이다보니 소홀하지 않았나 하는 생각이 있습니다. 그래서 이 부분에 대해서도 소비자가 원하는 방향이기 때문에 관심을 가지고 노력을 경주할 필요가 있지 않나 생각이 듭니다.

After 20 years, the province changed its mandarin sale standards from a size-based system to a sweetness-based system this year.

[Reporter] Mike Laidman
[Camera] Kim Yong-min

Now, in order for Jeju’s famous mandarins to continue to flourish, it’s time for the island to pay attention to policy improvements concerning market circulation.

Mike Laidman, KCTV