The tech-based company Foxconn has signed a letter of intent with the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, stating that in the next year, the two organizations will work together to promote Wisconsin ginseng to untapped, overseas markets.
The Soczka family owns a small ginseng operation in Edgar and believes the new move is beneficial and profitable for the entire industry.
"It's great that more people are looking to buy Wisconsin ginseng," said Cody Soczka. "It's a lot of work. Sweat, blood and tears go into every crop."
"We have to work together. If we work together [then] everybody wins," said Al Soczka.
The Soczkas were surprised to hear that the Taiwanese-based tech company was interested in the herbal root. It turns out that CEO Leonard Wu uses it everyday.
"American Ginseng is the treasure of Wisconsin. It is a great opportunity for Foxconn to add our promotional and hopefully technological expertise to help Wisconsin American Ginseng return to glory," Wu said in a partial statement released by the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin.
"Increase the marketplace, possibly increase price along with that and maybe get some excitement back into the industry," said Ginseng Board of Wisconsin President Bob Kaldunski. "When the ginseng came up, I was quite surprised, but also excited and quite happy that they were looking at that."
Smaller operations said they believe the agreement could unite farmers and eliminate some competition.
The Ginseng Board of Wisconsin said that U.S. exports of the root in 2016 topped out at $20 million. They said 98 percent of the product sent overseas comes from Wisconsin.