Millions of Arizona eggs shipped to Korea, in wake of shortage

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Hickman's Family Farms is supplying South Korea with millions of eggs. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Hickman's Family Farms is supplying South Korea with millions of eggs. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
The eggs will be crucial as South Korea recovers from a bird flu outbreak. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The eggs will be crucial as South Korea recovers from a bird flu outbreak. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Hickman's Family Farms "hatched" a plan to help fill an egg shortage in South Korea, brought on by the bird flu.

"Market prices are triple the normal prices at the moment," Young Kim, a Korean businessman, said on Tuesday after a meeting in Buckeye.

Six truckloads full of eggs will be loaded onto a Korean Airlines flight at LAX on Thursday. Three more flights are scheduled next week.

In all, around six million eggs will go from the farm in Arizona to markets in Korea.

The eggs will arrive just in time for the Chinese New Year when many traditional dishes are made of eggs.

"It was difficult, but now both sides agreed," Kim said, referring to complicated negotiations and government regulations on both sides of the Pacific Ocean

The egg cartons will be wrapped and cushioned, and placed in a climate-controlled cargo holds on Korean Airlines flights.

South Korea is struggling with its worst outbreak of bird flu in history. More than 30 million birds have been lost, creating a spike in egg prices and a shortfall at markets for Korean people.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been negotiating with South Korea’s government to enable shipments to be sent ahead of peak egg demand during the January Lunar New Year holiday season.

“We are taking every precaution to prevent a similar outbreak from reaching us here in the United States, and ultimately at Hickman’s. Past outbreaks have been devastating to some poultry and egg farmers. We feel strongly that our stringent prevention methods are what stands between us and the bird flu," Clint Hickman said.

The Koreans chose Hickman's for a few key reasons. First, its close proximity to LAX made it convenient.

"Also, we needed a premium quality product for the Korean consumer. That's why we picked Hickman's," Kim said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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