Sao Paolo-headquartered Korin sells beef, chicken, and fish, which account for around 77% of its portfolio, with the remaining sales coming from eggs and other food products, such as honey with propolis extract.
According to consumer research commissioned by Organis, the Brazilian Council of Organic and Sustainable Production in 2017, Korin is one of the best-known organic brands in Brazil.
Certified by Ecocert Brasil and Certified Humane Brasil for animal welfare, the company also adheres to the principles of Natural Agriculture, a Japanese farming model proposed by Mokiti Okada in the first half of the 20th century that shuns the use of chemical inputs.
Last year, the company launched its GMO-free poultry and won the Brazilian Novo Agro Award for innovation as a medium-large company. Reginaldo Morikawa, managing director of Korin told FoodNavigator-LATAM said the GMO-free launch was a highlight for the company because it helps diversify Brazilian farming systems, offers farmers production alternatives and increases choice for consumers.
Korin’s entire beef portfolio comes from certified organic cattle that live and feed on native, pesticide-free pastures on certified farms while around 85% of its chicken range is produced according to high animal welfare standards, fed on GMO-free feed and raised without the use of antibiotics. The remaining 15% is raised according to organic standards with the chickens fed on certified organic grain and with access to pasture.
The company, which saw its sales increase 12% in 2019 compared to 2018, enjoys more than 3,500 points of sale throughout Brazil – it also has 11 of its own stores - and last year secured a deal with Carrefour to supply GMO-free chicken to the Carrefour chain in the state of São Paulo under the brand name ‘Sabor e Quality’.
The deal sees Korin supply 50,000 birds to the retail giant each month, which Carrefour sells as whole chickens or in select cuts (wing, thigh, heart, liver, gizzard, drumstick and breast).
“For Korin this partnership has a very important meaning because by producing private label, we were able to bring health to a much larger number of people besides increasing the results promoted by Mokiti Okada natural agriculture, a system that respects the farmer, vivifies the soil and produces healthy food with vital energy,” said Morikawa.
Korin’s vertically integrated family suppliers use plant extracts, essential oils, probiotics and prebiotics to maintain the health of birds, eliminating the use of “unnatural medicines” at all stages, it said.
Brazil’s best-known organic brand
According to Morikawa, ethical concerns are increasing among Brazilians.
Morikawa said that Brazilian consumers are paying attention to the entire production process, from the field through to the factory and finally the supermarket shelf. Of all the ethical claims vying for shoppers’ attention, however, organic has the most resonance, he added.
“Organic [products] stand out at the time of purchase but Brazilian consumers are increasingly concerned about animal welfare as well as their own health, so food free from GMOs and animals raised without antibiotics are also increasingly sought and consumed.”
‘Our cattle are raised on native pasture’
While Brazilian beef is increasingly associated with deforestation and habitat loss in the Amazon, Korin said that cattle within its supply chain are raised on native grassland.
“The conscientious consumer realizes that Korin beef does not contribute to logging and does not alter the environmental and social reality of the region, since the cattle feed on native pastures, and it is not necessary to practice deforestation for soybean planting,” said Morikawa.
“In the southern Pantanal of Mato Grosso, where our cattle live, cattle are considered the firefighters of the Pantanal, because they control the burnings by eating the surplus grass that grows after the floods. Similarly, the seasonality between drought and flood contributes to livestock feed and land fertilization, which eliminates any need to add chemical and organic fertilizers to the soil.”