Maruichi Meat expands exports of agu pork to Hong Kong

Maruichi Meat expands exports of <em>agu</em> pork to Hong Kong

Okinawa Agu, a brand of pork distributed by the Okinawa Meat Center.

August 4, 2012 Maki Nagamine of Ryukyu Shimpo

Meat distributor Maruichi Meat is about to commence regular supply of agu pork, a traditional breed of Ryukyuan pig, to the Sogo Department Store in Hong Kong. Maruichi Meat has exported agu pork to Hong Kong in the past, and this latest supply arrangement is expected to boost the annual volume of supply to supermarkets and departments by 1.5 times the previous level. The president of the company, Zenei Yogi, said, “This represents an opportunity to expand exports of Okinawan meats not just for our company, but for meat suppliers throughout the prefecture. In future we hope to broaden our sales routes in Singapore and Vietnam.”

Since last year, the company has been exporting their original pork brand of Aged Agu Pork and Okinawa Meat Center’s pork brand of Okinawa Agu, a total of 120 kilograms (264.6 pounds) per month to Citysuper, an upscale supermarket operating four stores in Hong Kong. They closed the deal with Sogo Hong Kong in mid-July and started exports from the end of the month. In future they will export 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of Okinawa Agu per month.

According to the Okinawa Meat Center, Okinawa Agu contains a good quantity of glutamine acid, which is a component of the savory flavor. It has plenty of fat and a low melting point, so you can enjoy the sensation of the meat seemingly melting in your mouth.

They have negotiated a two-year deal. In the background to the completion of the deal is that because imports of black Iberian pig from Spain to Sogo Hong Kong have decreased, the store has been looking for products to take the place of the Iberian pig and offered Maruichi Meat the opportunity to export the pork. Sogo Hong Kong has two stores in Hong Kong but Maruichi Meat will supply pork to the Causeway Bay store in downtown Hong Kong.

In addition to agu pork, Maruichi Meat plans to export the Okinawa Livestock Promotion Public Corporation’s Masan Pork. Because its price is 30 to 40% lower than agu pork, they are looking to supply Masan Pork to general supermarkets.
Sadanobu Oshiro, the managing director of Maruichi Meat, said, “We export agu pork as a premium brand and we will develop sales by monitoring trends in the Hong Kong meat market.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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