Menu
News

Korean bloggers maca the most of Northern Rivers farm tour

SINGING OUR PRAISES: Korean bloggers Hye Jin Jeong, Jung Hee Lee, Song Hyun Jung, Sul Hwa Park and Eun Jeong Song visit Andrew Starkey’s macadamia plantation in Fernleigh.
SINGING OUR PRAISES: Korean bloggers Hye Jin Jeong, Jung Hee Lee, Song Hyun Jung, Sul Hwa Park and Eun Jeong Song visit Andrew Starkey’s macadamia plantation in Fernleigh. Contributed

THERE was no mistaking the table with the bloggers at Harvest Cafe, Newrybar, yesterday.

As the meals arrived, out came the cameras as five visiting Korean bloggers snapped their way through day two of their tour of Australia's largest macadamia-growing region.

Travel, beauty and food blogger 30-year-old Song Hyun Jung, of Seoul, made no apologies as she focused the lens at her wood-fired zucchini and smoked garlic vegan risotto with macadamia pangrattato.

"My family is used to me doing this at every meal," she said.

Her blog, Mallang Juice, is a hobby alongside her day job as a Japanese interpreter but its influence has attracted sponsors, the Australian Macadamia Society, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia.

"Blogging is very popular in Korea," Ms Song said.

"If someone is looking to travel or dine out they will turn to the bloggers to see what they recommend."

The Korean bloggers have toured local macadamia farms, processing plants, restaurants, markets and had an early morning hot air balloon ride to view farms from the air.

AMS development manager Lynne Ziehlke said social media was becoming the preferred way to promote the nuts and this tour was part of a bid to grow the Korean market as high as Japan, currently worth about $18 million a year to the industry.

"You may be able to reach more people through advertising but not with the same authenticity of blogging," Ms Ziehlke said.

"With social media it is word-of-mouth advertising."

Judging by Song Hyun Jung's response, the strategy will work.

"In Korea food is grown with chemicals and the air is not fresh; but here everything is so green and natural. No chemicals," she said.

"That is why Koreans will love the macadamias."

Topics:  australian macadamia society blogging macadamias