Over the last 2 years we have been steadily building our relationships within the coffee and chocolate industry in Japan.
From our previous newsletters you will know that we brought Werner and Mitsue Rüegsegger onto our team as consultants during this time.
Werner is a Swiss Chocolate Maker with 50+ years’ experience. He and Mitsue have been doing business in Japan for 45 years.
We have been to Japan 4 times during those 2 years, attended the Salon du Chocolat event twice (a worldwide event and the largest annual chocolate fair in Japan) and the Specialty Coffee Association of Japans’ annual event.
Through Werner and Mitsue’s contacts we have met industry leaders and old family friends, and our network and relationships continue to grow.
We now enjoy a strong relationship with 5 very well connected and experienced Japanese businessmen that are anxious to assist our development in Japan over the next few yearsIn Japan, everything is based on relationships, trust and respect. We are building all three.
We have hand-delivered samples of our green coffee, roasted coffee, cacao beans, cacao butter and finished chocolate bars. These samples have been strategically provided to key people in the coffee and chocolate industry and each product has been very well received.
Last year we sold a ton of cacao beans and 200 kilos of cacao butter and shipped it to Japan, where it was turned into chocolate by Mr. Shunsuke Saegusa, Chocolate Maker and Owner of Palet D’Or chocolate company,
Mr. Shunsuke Saegusa entered a 72% dark chocolate made from our finest quality Peini Cacao beans, in the 2019 Asia-Pacific International Chocolate Awards.
Now, we are in the final stages of preparing a container with 9 tons of green exportable coffee beans, bound for Tokyo. This container was due to be shipped in March, but then the world stopped!
Thankfully, but not by accident, we only trade in non-perishable products, so we were able to store the coffee and wait for the logistics and trade routes to open up again. No harm done, and all we lost was a little time.
What if the container was full of perishable fruits or vegetables? All the product would have been lost.
The coffee Team in Panama has been busy for the last few weeks getting this order ready to ship.
Usually green coffee is shipped around the world in large sacks, but our new Japanese partners asked for it to be vacuum packed in 15 kilo bags, 2 per box. So, we obliged!
Valentina, our Coffee Marketing Expert, is writing up a detailed report explaining the strict classification process before exportation, the new vacuum packing process and all the quality controls we have in-place, pre-shipping.
So, keep your eyes peeled for that report!
And, as we put the finishing touches to the container of coffee in Panama, Armando Choco, our Executive Chocolate Maker, is busy preparing another 5 tons of Peini Cacao beans in Belize, also to be shipped to a current client in Japan.
We are pleased to say that this order is 5 times as large as his last order and he reports that his more than 100 chocolatier customers describe our bean quality as “very high”.
It’s all hands to the pump for the coffee and chocolate Teams and very rewarding to see the growing relationships and business in Japan.
Japan is a premier market in the world for Specialty Coffee and Authentic Chocolate and we have big plans for our presence there.