MELAKA: Now it is the turn of the cempedak (Artocarpus integer) to make waves in China after the success of the durian.
Local entrepreneur Goh Ming Kang has successfully elicited the interest of the Chinese in the tropical fruit.
The 40-year-old managing director of a food manufacturing company in the Selangor Halal Hub in Port Klang has sent samples of cempedak to China for testing and had received overwhelming support from Chinese food industry captains.
"Currently, my company is already exporting fruit pulp, including durian, to China, India and other Asian countries.
"I decided to explore the potential of introducing cempedak to my existing clients in China and they have shown an interest in promoting the whole fruit," he said when met in Padang Temu here on Saturday (July 27).
The father of three is in Melaka to work with the state government in sourcing wild cempedak from rural areas and also to look into the commercial cultivation of the fruit.
Goh was raised in a Malay village in Tangkak, Johor and took over his father's fruit business about 15 years ago and transformed it into a food ingredient processing factory.
He has introduced local fruit toppings for bakeries and edible product manufacturers throughout the country.
The graduate in Food Science Technology from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) said he had faced various obstacles to introduce local fruits to the global market at the initial stage.
"Foreigners distanced themselves from the smell of tropical fruits at one point, but the perception changed after the durian craze in China.
"Now, foreigners are willing to accept the cempedak and the mangosteen," he said.
Goh said that his business has grown by leaps and bounds - thanks to the boom of durian in China.
"I am not born with a silver spoon but the durian craze changed my life.
"It is my turn to help local farmers and villagers to be successful entrepreneurs by focusing on promoting local fruits globally," he added.
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