SEOUL, Jul. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — An unconventional section has made its way into the fresh meat category at Hyundai Department Store’s Mokdong branch.
The new section only offers “ethical meat produced on healthy farms” certified for having guaranteed proper welfare for the animals.
With an increasing number of South Koreans opting to exercise ethical consumerism that takes into consideration the well-being of animals and their living environment, products that cater to the needs of such consumers are flying off the racks.
The Mokdong outlet started operating the new section catering to ethical consumers early in July after a trial run in June.
Although it is customary for department stores to have a separate section for top quality meat, it is rare to see one displaying products linked to heightened animal welfare.
The section sells 30 types of meat, including welfare-certified pork, chicken and organic hanwoo (Korean beef).
The department store says it created a separate section at the outlet’s supermarket after its welfare-certified pork products continued to rise in sales despite being 20 percent pricier than normal pork products.
In actuality, the ratio of welfare-certified pork products at six of Hyundai Department Store’s branches grew from 3 percent in 2014 to 23 percent this year.
At the Mokdong branch alone, the ratio of welfare-certified pork products surpassed 30 percent in the first half of this year. Hyundai Department Store plans to expand the welfare-certified section to all of its branches.
The animal welfare certification system verifies farms that create a pleasant environment for animals to grow. The meat products resulting from such farms are also given certification by the government.
In order for farms to be eligible for the certification, there are certain requirements that must be met.
Pigs must not be caged in pigsties and their tails must not be cut, a practice that prevents pigs from biting on tails of other pigs condoned in most uncertified farms.
Chickens must be raised in a very natural environment that provides the poultry with cabbage and leaves in order to satisfy their desire to peck.
The hanwoo cows are fed organic feed and are raised in a spacious farm, three times larger in size than most cattle stables.
An official at Hyundai Department Store said that ethical consumerism will expand in the future. “As more people seek safe foods, the demand for such foods will grow as well,” said the official.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)