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Another interesting case is a CSV program implemented by CJ Group, one of the top five Chaebols (big conglomerates) in South Korea.

One of their business areas is the food sector, and pepper is one of the top three key ingredients. Their concern is that the pepper produced in South Korea is of high quality but too expensive, whereas the pepper imported from China is cheap but of low quality.

So the company usually mixes peppers from South Korea and China, but this was not a satisfactory solution, given that the pepper price from China has been increasing over time and the quality was not under control. CJ began to think about a new alternative- what if the company produces pepper in Vietnam in collaboration with KOICA and local government?

In the past, KOICA supported a number of NGO-initiated poverty reduction projects through business for income generation, but they were usually not that successful because it was not easy for NGOs to find markets in which they can sell the items produced through the project.

In contrast, chilli pepper powders produced through CJ-KOICA project were purchased by CJ, so local farmers were satisfied. This also made KOICA and local government happy. Moreover, CJ could obtain the essential item of high quality at a cheaper price, so CJ was also happy. This is also a good example of CSV.

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Social Innovation in South Korea

Hanyang University