This week marks the 30th birthday for the sale of Australian beef to Korea.
Since the market opened up in 1989 it has grown to be a an export market, that accounts for 15 per cent of Australia's total beef exports.
Meat & Livestock Australia consumer research shows Korean consumers care more about country of origin than any other beef consumers globally, and that Australian beef leads when it comes to consumer perceptions of safety, healthiness and quality.
The Managing Director of MLA Meat & Livestock Australia Jason Strong told at roundtable Seoul recently that four of the last six years were record years for Australian beef exports to Korea, with 2018 the second highest level of exports on record.
"In 2018, Korea imported over 175000 tonnes of Australian beef and over 16000 tonnes of Australian lamb, worth a total of 1.25 trillion Korean won," Mr Strong told the roundtable.
"That is enough to feed every man, woman and child in the nation over 300g of healthy protein every single month." Mr Strong said.
Mr Strong said since the 2001 launch of the 'Hoju chungjungwoo' brand - meaning 'Australian Beef Clean and Safe', it has become one of the most trusted food brands in Korea.
"We are actively trying to build equity in that brand by working with retail and foodservice customers, plus through advertising with our 'Good Nature' campaign," Mr Strong said.
Manager of MLA's Korean office, Charlie Ko, said while initial Australian beef exports were predominantly grassfed beef, supply had diversified over the past 30 years to keep pace with consumer preferences, and now include organic, grainfed and Wagyu beef.
"In the past, the consumption of beef was limited to certain dishes such as bulgogi, ribs, and grilled dishes," said Mr Ko.
"However, nowadays, beef is widely consumed in various dishes including shabu-shabu, steak, and HMR products."
"Consumption of food from guaranteed sustainable sources has been an increasingly large driver of consumer demand over the last 10 years, particularly in Western countries in Europe, North America and Australasia.
"We are increasingly seeing environmental issues and social consciousness becoming more topical in markets such as Korea.
"Given this, the proactive work of the Australian red meat industry around issues such as animal welfare and sustainability, for example, were central themes on the day.