Nongwoo Bio Company Ltd (Nongwoo Bio) is a Korean vegetable seed company that was established in 1967 as Nongwoo Seed. It opened a breeding station in 1981 and changed its name to Nongwoo Bio in 2000. Two years later, the company went public and is now one of the largest Korean vegetable seed companies. The Korean National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF) has a 52.8% majority stake in the company. In addition to being a leading enterprise in South and Southeast Asia, Nongwoo Bio has a global presence in 70 countries, including subsidiaries in the United States, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Turkey.
Plant breeding activities in index region The company has its own breeding programme in India and Indonesia and develops hybrid varieties of vegetable crops, including pepper (sweet) and tomato, as well as the local crop of hairy nightshade.
The company provides limited insight into its position and activities related to genetic resources and intellectual property management. As it is important that seed companies contribute to genetic resources and intellectual property management that supports smallholder agriculture, the company could provide more insights into its activities for others to learn from.
Developing improved varieties of global crops While the company has sixteen global vegetable crops in its product portfolio, it could disclose more specific information regarding its breeding activities, and whether these crops were developed as part of its own breeding programme or licensed from another company or source.
Local participation in breeding/variety development The company does not disclose whether it uses feedback from local consumers, traders and smallholder farmers to inform its breeding programme or whether it conducts variety trials in index countries.
Seed production activities in index region The company indicates has production locations in India, Myanmar and Indonesia. However, it has the opportunity to disclose whether it engages or collaborates with local players, such as smallholder farmers, in its seed production activities.
Quality management in seed production in index countries The company has an opportunity to disclose whether it has a quality management system in place to ensure the quality of seeds during production in index countries.
Social and labour rights in seed production The company does not disclose a policy committing to prohibit child and forced labour nor does it disclose a commitment to respect the health and safety of workers, either when seed production is carried out by the company itself or through an intermediary. Furthermore, the company does not disclose whether it pays its workers a living wage or requires its intermediaries to do so.
Distribution channels Nongwoo Bio has distribution channels in India and Indonesia. The company could disclose whether it services remote areas in those index countries.
Diverse portfolio The company has an opportunity to disclose its index country-specific portfolios, including the number of varieties and types of seeds it offers in the index countries where it has sales.