This is an excerpt of an article that was written for the Alberta Barley Commission’s Barley Country blog. The original version of the article can be found online.

South Korea is currently Canada’s seventh-largest trading partner, and recent agreements are working toward growing the trade relationship even further. The Canada–Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) was tabled in the House of Commons on June 12, advancing much-needed trade connections between the countries and positioning South Korea as a growing market for a range of Canadian products. Already well on its way to being enacted, the agreement is predicted to boost the Canadian economy by $1.7 billion.

Barley Usage in South Korea

According to Rex Newkirk, PhD, the Canadian International Grains Institute’s vice-president of research and innovation, South Korea mostly requires barley as a feed grain. That being said, barley as a feed grain still lags behind other grains such as corn and soybean meal in South Korea.

South Korea also imports quality Canadian malt (processed malt barley) for various Korean breweries to use in making their beer. South Korea is Canada’s third–largest offshore export market for malt, and Canadian malt exports over the past several years to Korea have ranged between 25,000 to nearly 30,000 tonnes.

Barley in South Korea is also consumed in the form of soups, teas, water, breads and cakes. While it is unlikely barley will overtake rice, the country’s staple, the recognition of barley’s health benefits, and its rebranding as a luxury product to appeal to affluent, health-conscious consumers who can afford to purchase it, have increased the popularity of the grain in recent years.

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