En Group to expand brown sugar exports to Hong Kong

December 19, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

En Group, which runs restaurants and a wholesale business based in Asia, is considering increasing its exports of Okinawan brown sugar to Hong Kong more than ten times from about 35 tons to 400 tons. This is the equivalent of almost five percent of the 2012 to 2013 production in Okinawa. They are planning to sell wholesale to sugar companies in Hong Kong, including Taikoo Sugar. In January 2013, Taikoo Sugar will send senior staff to Okinawa to look at sugar factories and processors.

The general manager of Okinawa Central Trading, Naoki Aguni, who is in charge of the trading division of En Group, said that distributing 400 tons of brown sugar will lead to the introduction of regular shipping services to Hong Kong and will help promote the name and products of Okinawa.

According to the president of En Group Mayumi Matayoshi, Taikoo Sugar is a major company that sells sugar not only in Hong Kong, but also to mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore. En Group has already exported more than 35 tons of processed brown sugar to the company.

On this occasion, Taikoo Sugar required 400 tons of pure brown sugar, which is more fragrant, for Hong Kong. Depending on future demand, they are hoping to develop markets other than Hong Kong. According to the Japan Agricultural Co-operatives Okinawa, Okinawan brown sugar has been produced at sugar factories on eight remote islands such as Iheya-jima, Tarama-jima and Iriomote-jima. Production of brown sugar during 2011 and 2012 decreased to 40918 tons because of the effects of typhoons, disease and insects. In the period between 2012 and 2013 it is expected to be around 7000-8000 tons.

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

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