GOLDEN Fresh Sdn Bhd is pursuing opportunities to supply seafood for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
“With the Tokyo Olympics 2020 games approximately one year away, the company is aggressively pursuing opportunities with our Matrade offices both in Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo.
“Our Japanese importer is also working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries Attaché in Tokyo to source seafood products from us to supply to the Olympics,” Golden Fresh chief executive officer Saw Hai Earn says.
If it is successful in securing the supply contract, the company’s sales will rise significantly.
“Some 920,000 tourists are expected to visit Tokyo per day during the Olympics,” Saw adds.
Golden Fresh has supplied to international sporting events such as the Sydney Olympic 2000, Wimbledon Championships, Rugby World Cup and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
“With our credentials, we are optimistic of our chances to win the contract to supply to the Tokyo Olympics,” Saw says.
According to Saw, the company has secured new markets in Poland, Korea and the US.
“In the US, we have inked a deal to supply to Sysco, a giant foodservice powerhouse that distributes food products to restaurants, institutions and hospitality businesses.
“We are also expecting our customers such as Disneyland and Ikea to ramp up orders,” he says.
Golden Fresh sells to Disneyland in Hong Kong, China and France as well as Ikea outlets in France, Dubai, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
“We have recently obtained the coveted Ikea’s supplier code of conduct which will enable us access to more outlets globally. The new Ikea outlets we are targeting are in Germany, Norway and China,” he says.
To cater to the rising demand of its customers, Golden Fresh is now expanding its operations in Butterworth.
“We are building a new 41,000 sq ft production plant and adding a 2,500-tonnes increase in storage capacity for our cold room facility. The expansion should be ready by the end of 2019, which will boost production capacity by 15%,” he adds.
Golden Fresh plans to raise its exports to 17,000 tonnes per annum by 2023. This year, it is expecting to export some 13,600 tonnes of frozen seafood, a 10% increase from 2018.
Almost 80% of its exports go to Australia, the UK and France.
However, there is competition coming from China.
“We are facing strong price competition from China as there is a substantial drop in their exports to the US with the recent increase in tariffs of up to 25%. This means they have to dump the products elsewhere at low prices.
“The Chinese exporters also enjoy export subsidies granted by the government.
“On our end, the increasing energy cost and implementation of minimum wage and the increase in foreign worker levy not only lead to a direct impact on our product costs, but also to all our locally purchased sub-materials.
“The weakened ringgit only adds salt to injury,” he says.
To remain competitive, Saw says the company sources the bulk of its seafood from the South Atlantic and Pacific Ocean where fishery operations are well-managed under the Marine Stewardship Council certification.
“We’ve observed that wild caught seafood is of higher quality and fetches a better price in the market.
“According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for fresh fish and seafood were 5.07% higher in 2019 versus 2017.
“In other words, fresh fish and seafood costing US$20 (RM82) per kg in the year 2017 would cost US$21.01 in 2019 for an equivalent purchase,” Saw says.
This year, Golden Fresh has once again made Malaysia proud at the Seafood Expo Global by winning the prestigious Seafood Excellence Global 2019 award under the Convenience Product category for their Prawn in Hor Mok Thai Coconut Sauce.