SUNBIZ

Taki Mai Bags Its First Accolade

It was a moment that the founder of South Pacific Elixers, Zane Yoshida will never forget as he walked up the stage to receive the award for the best small
24 Dec 2016 11:00
Taki Mai Bags Its First Accolade
From left: Westpac Head of Corporate Elliot Griffin, victorious Founder of Taki Mai Zane Yoshida, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and CEO of Investment Fiji Godo Müller-Teut. Photo: INVESTMENT FIJI

It was a moment that the founder of South Pacific Elixers, Zane Yoshida will never forget as he walked up the stage to receive the award for the best small business operating internationally during the 2016 Westpac Prime Minister’s International Business Awards.

The Westpac Prime Ministers International Business Award for the Best Small Business Operating Internationally recognised a company with sales of less than $1 million.

This award was part of the general category that celebrated the contribution of small and medium enterprises to the Fijian economy.

Mr Yoshida started his dream venture of bottled kava known as Taki Mai in his home town of Levuka two years ago.

He forged partnerships with kava farmers on Ovalau and hired locals to give the commercially struggling old capital of Fiji an economic boost.

His hard work and dedication he says has paid dividends.

“We were the first kava company in the South Pacific to receive food safety accreditation,” Mr Yoshida said.

“We have also used our own initiative to enter international markets, gain approval with the Therapeutic Goods Administration and also enter the United States market as dietary supplement.”

While conveying his words of appreciation to the Westpac Prime Minister’s Award for recognising his hard work, Mr Yoshida says the kava industry in Fiji has a huge potential.

Mr Yoshida is now working to capitalize on this potential.

“We are looking at more regional growth. We have got listed medical approval for our capsules in Australia,” he said.

“We have big plans for the New Zealand market as well but also continuing our effort in the United States.

“We are also looking at Asian market. Our kava shots have been approved as a dietary supplement in Honk Kong so its upwards and onwards for us.

Mr Yoshida has also applauded Fijian government’s effort such as the Kava Bill, the setup of the Yaqona Taskforce and endorsement of the Fiji Kava Council to boost the kava industry in the country.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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