GOLDEN Hope Plantations Bhd will continue to stress on research and development (R&D) on its fruit-based products as part of its plan to increase its export market.
Its chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said Golden Hope still managed to penetrate the European and US market despite their strict standards on certain food products.
“This shows the quality of our products. It's not easy to penetrate the market there. But through our R&D, we try to improve our products all the time,” he told reporters after officiating at Centrifugal Process Sdn Bhd's (CPSB) fruit factory at Sungai Wangi Estate in Sitiawan yesterday.
CPSB, a Golden Hope subsidiary, had invested about RM12mil in the factory which will process fruits from Sungai Wangi Estate, especially pink guavas.
Sarji said the company had, for the last 15 years, depended on R&D to ensure its products complied with certain standards.
He said Golden Hope only concentrated on exporting processed fruits overseas as they had longer shelf life.
“So far, we market only one perishable item, the dragon fruit. But it is not for the food market, rather our importer uses it in the cosmetics industry,” he said.
Sarji said Golden Hope planned to export its pink guava puree to Australia and Japan.
He said the company was able to produce the Sungkai and Semenyih variety of guava which provided good quality puree and it had been accepted in Europe and US.
He said Golden Hope had the advantage of suitable land for guava growing and has years of experience in processing guava puree.
The company would later explore the Middle East market, he added.
“Last year we exported about 3,000 tonnes of guava puree worth RM8 million.
Earlier, in his speech, Sarji said Golden Hope could help reduce the country's reliance on imported food products by producing these products locally.
“Statistics showed that we import food products worth RM13bil but our export is only RM7bil. The deficit is expected to increase to RM20bil by 2010 if no concrete measures are taken now,” he said. – Bernama
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