KGC: The Global Leader in Ginseng


The history of Korea ginseng corporation is integrated into the history of the Korean government. KGC and our Cheong-Kwan-Jang brand have a long and time-honored hundred year legacy as the leader in Korean ginseng. Exerting all possible efforts to make Cheong-Kwan-Jang Korean red ginseng into a globally-recognized and honored, KGC has established branch offices and distribution networks throughout the world.



A brief history of Korea Ginseng Corporation is as follows:





The year 1899 marked the starting point of the history of Korean Red Ginseng. That was the year Samjungkwa was established as the forerunner of the Korean Ginseng Corporation.



Korean Red Ginseng Monopoly Law enacted.



Transferred to the Department of Monopoly of the Ministry of Finance.



Moved the Gaesong Monopoly Branch to Buyeo. Chungnam province during the Korean War.



Organizational status promoted to Monopoly Bureau.



Completed construction of the Korea Ginseng Factory in the current Buyeo.
The mega-facility is the largest ginseng processing plant in the world.



Reformed as Korea Monopoly Corporation.



Authorized for Drug Manufacturing and Drug Product Licensing.



Established the Korea Tobacco & Ginseng Corporation.



Established the Korea Tobacco & Ginseng Hong Kong Ltd.



Recognized as adhering to or surpassing KGMP (Korea Good Manufacturing Practice) standards.



The Red Ginseng Monopoly Law was abolished.



Re-established as Korea Ginseng Corporation.



KGC red ginseng was selected as Korea's Millennium Product.



Nominated and selected as a Korean World-Class Product.



Established KGCUS Branch office.



Established KGC Japan Branch office.



Established KGC China (Shanghai) Branch office.



Re-organized the foreign KGC US Branch office into a local California domestic corporation (KGCUS) to better serve North America.



Established KGC Canada Branch, under the North American KGCUS regional corporation






In the beginning of our history, Korean ginseng had been exported to Shanghai and elsewhere in China since 1900 via the exclusive consignment distributor, Samjeong Production Co., Ltd., formed following the monopolization of Korean red ginseng in 1899, the original seed organization of KGC. 


After the establishment of a new Korean government, Cheong-Kwan-Jang was increasingly exported worldwide as the representative, high-quality Korean ginseng. By 1963, a red sticker including the Cheong-Kwan-Jang emblem would be attached to all our ginseng exports destined for certain nations such as Hong Kong and Singapore. This emblem would come to symbolize a mark of trust and be synonymous with Korean red ginseng by the time it was exported to Japan in 1972 and had a permanent, established usage. By 1995, the Cheong-Kwan-Jang mark had become so well-known internationally as a high-quality product that it would come to be included on all domestic, Korean sold products as well.

The government monopoly eventually gave way to the establishment of the semi-governmental KT&G Corporation, established to preserve key Korean agricultural interests. While this newly established corporation continuously ran into red figures, we did not give up our core mission and maintained the thousands of year-old national legacy of Korean ginseng. In the 1990s, the corporation put forth a tremendous effort into developing value-added products to overcome the difficulties faced and extend the red ginseng market base through awareness. Although the Asian financial crisis briefly intervened and economic conditions deteriorated, the Korean red ginseng division was spun-off as a special business organization subsidiary, resulting in the formation of KGC. This transformation led the way to product innovations and extremely popular products such as Korean red ginseng extract capsules, pills, drinks, and tonics.

Such products have contributed to an expanding base of users of value-added red ginseng products. This effect was amplified as the wonderful efficacy of red ginseng had increasingly become known to the general public with a boom of interest in healthy natural herbs, even once resulting in global stock shortages. By virtue of this large demand, KGC achieved sales and increases of 500% on a year-to-year basis. Since then these ginseng products have had a long and steady run. Through scientific research on efficacy, developing products that reflect customer needs, and continuously offering high-quality, reliable products, KGC has become the global leader in ginseng.