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Discount promotions to support farmers as virus delays school openings

Customers shop for products at Lotte Mart. (Lotte Mart)
Customers shop for products at Lotte Mart. (Lotte Mart)

The COVID-19 outbreak is dealing a blow to farms and fisheries, particularly straining their supply plans for school feeding.

In efforts to support the agro-fishery industry, the country’s major retailers stepped up to embark on various promotions to clear out stock on Wednesday.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on Monday, the recent government decision to postpone the opening of schools for two more weeks until April 6 would lead to damages to about 406 tons of 51 farm products.

To give a helping hand, retailers said they have secured more-than-usual quantities of products from farms and fisheries for distribution.

E-mart said Wednesday it will start a three-week discount event for daily necessities from Thursday to April 15 in all of its stores across the country. For fresh food, the event will run for a week.

Under the promotion, one dried croaker will sell for 590 won, a price reduced by 60 percent, and four abalones for 11,800 won.

Lotte Mart said it will start a one-week discount event from Thursday as part of its effort to support farms suffering from reduced demand. The retailer will offer 60 tons of hanwoo, or Korean beef, at discounted prices of up to 50 percent, and 100 tons of pork at lowered prices.

The retail giant said it secured a supply of 122 tons of 16 vegetables and fruits, such as spinach, lettuce and tomato from South Chungcheong Province, and sell them at lowered prices.

The company said the discount event is subsidized by the provincial government as South Chungcheong Province and Lotte Mart inked a memorandum of understanding in June 2019 for promoting the consumption of agricultural goods in the region.

Homeplus said Wednesday it has also purchased two to six times more of the agricultural goods to support its supplier farms, and will distribute the goods at discounted prices.

Organic rice will be offered at 32,900 won per 10 kilograms, while pesticide-free tomatoes and raw halibut from Jeju Island will be sold at 5,990 won per 750 grams and 11,900 won per 300 g, respectively.

By Jo He-rim (