The kimchi way of life

The kimchi way of life

With its unique sweet and sour flavour, kimchi is a dish enjoyed by people around the world. It tastes great and is also known to be good for our health. But in Korea, this traditional cabbage-based food plays an important role in society and in culture. Every winter, families gather to prepare kimchi in a ritual that has been passed down through the generations – it’s a practice that brings people together across the country.

These days, however, it’s not always easy for everyone to join in. The elderly, people on low incomes and those living alone often don’t have the time or money to make kimchi the traditional way. It’s a labour-intensive process, requiring a number of ingredients which can be quite costly.

So, we’ve stepped up to the plate with an annual tradition of our own. Each winter our team in Pusan get together to prepare cabbage and other vegetables for fermentation the old way – although these days it’s kept in the fridge rather than buried in an onggi, the traditional ceramic jar used for kimchi in the old days. This kimchi is then distributed to low-income households in the neighbourhood. Last year, our team in Pusan volunteered to prepare 700kg of kimchi to be distributed among 200 low-income families living in the Gangse neighbourhood, near our port.

Kimchi preparation has always allowed bonding time between families and communities in Korea. This initiative in line with our Global Volunteer Week has done just that for our colleagues in Pusan while benefiting those in need.

Meanwhile, our port helps support the kimchi way of life by keeping the supply of kimchi flowing. Over the last four years, we’ve handled an average of 281,000 tonnes of kimchi imports into South Korea per annum. We’re sure a lot of these were enjoyed at tables across the country. And, by managing around 22% of the country’s kimchi exports, we’re helping share the tradition of kimchi with people around the world.