Gyul was farmed in Jeju since the fifth century and the citrus fruit was highly regarded as a luxury product by royal families and nobles throughout the history of Korea. Tangerines are now South Koreans' favorite winter season snack. It is common to see people consume a box of Gyul while reading books or watching television dramas while sitting or lying on a warm heated floor.
South Korea and New Zealand started the negotiation for the exports of Gyul to the Oceanian country in 1999 but the talks were locked in a stalemate position when citrus canker, an infectious plant disease that causes lesions on citrus leaves, stems, and fruit, was found in Jeju.
Jeju Nonghyup Bank said that the first batch of Gyul exports to New Zealand will be shipped via direct flight to Auckland on a commercial plane on November 13. After the first batch of 640 kilograms (1,410 pounds), a marine cargo container filled with Gyul (about 18 tons) will be shipped from Busan Port, South Korea's main maritime gateway, to New Zealand on November 18.
The Jeju farmers' cooperative association said that the resort island plans to export some 100 tons of Gyul to New Zealand by the end of 2023. Starting with the Oceanian country, Jeju will export about 700 tons of Gyul to other countries such as the United States, Canada, Russia, and Southeast Asian countries.
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