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Splash-ink in Water Swimming to World


Using their special techniques just like painters drawing with pens, breeding experts can make red or black as the major color of koi and develop new koi varieties with different brightly colored markings or color variations with smooth strokes and complete composition, because from a koi’s back to its belly it’s just like a rice paper. Thanks to the continuous efforts by Sing Chang Koi Farm CEO Chung Yingying, one after another shiny beautiful koi has leapt from Lunbei Township in Yunlin County onto the world stage, making Taiwan koi shine in the international market!

Ms. Chung (second left) took part in the 2009 Holland Koishow.

In 2003, Ms. Chung, Yingying went to the Netherlands for the first time to visit the koi show. She said, “I was shocked at the exhibition upon seeing the koi at display: Why were the koi so ugly? The more frightening thing was that fishes in my house that nobody would take could be sold at 45 euro each!” Therefore, she began calculating the cost in the mind: “Farming a fish costs about NT$50, plus the NT$40 cost of shipping, even to estimate the total cost at NT$100, but its selling price was up to 45 euro!” At that time the exchange rate was NT$47.00 to the euro. So Ms.Chung judged that it is absolutely profitable to export koi and there are huge business opportunities for the export.

International marketing of koi then was mainly dependent on traders making purchases in Japan, Malaysia and other places of production. Although traders had purchased koi in Taiwan, but Taiwan koi were packaged in Japanese cartons, so the international market was not aware that Taiwan also produces koi.

“When I went abroad to promote Taiwan koi, the reaction was always that they had never heard about or seen Taiwan koi. I found it very strange, because obviously Taiwan koi are very beautiful and have been exported with good results, how come they have not heard about it?” In the end Ms. Chung decided to take part in koi exhibitions abroad and specially marked the exhibition booth “Formosa Taiwan” so as to get people to know Taiwan koi.

However, Ms. Chung was deeply wronged by the results of participating in foreign exhibitions. “Upon seeing our beautiful koi foreign buyers always insisted that they were Japanese koi, or even claimed that they must be injected with pigments to have such beautiful colors.” Although Ms. Chung insisted that the colors were natural, foreign buyers just did not believe it. Not giving up easily, Ms. Chung has tried her best to persuade foreign buyers and finally polished the golden brand of Taiwan koi.

Garden landscape will be enriched considerably with some koi in pond.

From a novice to being drawn into koi farming and engaging in unprecedented direct international trade of Taiwan koi from the place of production, Ms. Chung has suffered a lot of losses along the way. But she was very smart to hire professional consultants abroad to not only help her in the field of international marketing with foreigner thinking and logic, but also turn various setbacks into the driving force of progress through positive thinking.

Speaking of koi appreciation, there are national preferences with regard to the colors of koi. The Chinese like red and their traditional wedding dresses are all in red, but Western wedding gowns are in white. “Netherlanders just love the color of orange and their royal badge and soccer team clothing are all in orange.” Although cultures and aesthetics in various countries are different, but their pursuit of beautiful things has been fully reflected in koi.

Among ornament fishes, koi is a variety with high price not easily being affected by oil and feed price hikes, so it can export the foreyu market. For example, koi is Japan’s national fish and a top-class koi being raised for 7 to 10 years in Japan can be sold at a high price of up to NT$10 million. “We also hope to progress towards this goal, but now Taiwan does not have such a large amount of koi as Japan does. For instance, exporting koi obviously could make a lot of money before the global financial crisis, but we did not have sufficient koi to meet the demand of foreign markets.”

Taiwan ’s koi industry is facing talent gaps, and senior masters have koi farming techniques but they lack the concepts of international marketing and standard operating procedures. “We need young people to get involved in the industry,” said Ms. Chung seriously and thoughtfully. Therefore, she has led students of National Chiayi University to see koi exhibitions abroad to open their eyes and visit koi breeding in Japan to understand their future competitors and the direction for furrher efforts.

In Ms. Chung eyes, money and fame are just additional rewards. What she has been longing is that in the course of struggle all participants have a common ideal and a life of passion to move others. She hopes that her life will be full of passion and very active in order to inspire human life while enabling Taiwan’s splash-ink artwork in water swimming towards the world.