Shortly before Christmas, RCCE had the pleasure of playing host to a visiting delegation from the South Korean Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The Korean party spent three days in Essex, as part of a week long fact finding visit to the UK.
In addition to spending time at RCCE, looking particularly at our work on community led planning, affordable housing and safeguarding local services, the Koreans were given an insight into farming in Essex today by local farmer and RCCE trustee Simon Brice.
RCCE also arranged visits for them to get some firsthand experience of the rural economy and communities. Places visited included Ingatestone Hall, Writtle College, Wilkin and Sons, Ernest Doe, and the new ‘green’ village hall at Highwood. The visit to Wilkin’s at Tiptree was particularly popular, giving our guests the chance to sample a traditional Essex product already exported to South Korea!
With an ageing population, rural communities in South Korea do have some things in common with their counterparts in Essex, but there are significant differences as well. The remarkable economic growth of the past 50 years has produced a big population drift from the Korean countryside to the cities, which the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is looking to reduce.
RCCE would like to express its gratitude to all those local businesses, organisations and individuals who contributed so much to make the visit a success.