Okinawa brown sugar maker obtains Halal certification

As of Oct. 3rd, the Nippon Asia Halal Association has certified 20 brown sugar products of Ryukyu Kokuto Co., a brown sugar maker in Okinawa, as genuine Halal. This marks the first time brown sugar snacks have been certified to be Halal, and thus officially suitable for consumption by world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.

The company has already started to export their products to Islamic markets like Singapore and Malaysia taking advantage of sales channels of the Okinawa Prefectural Production Corporation.  At the same time, the company is planning to sell its Halal-certified products at Naha Airport and souvenir shops targeting the increasing number of Muslim tourists visiting Okinawa. For the first year, the company aims at sales of ¥35 million.

Nagainori Co, one of the shareholders of Ryukyu Kokuto Co, suggested the company apply for the Halal certificate because Nagainori Co. had noticed an increase in its sales thanks to Halal certification they had obtained for their seaweed products.  Ryukyu Kokuto Co. President Norihiro Yoza says, “Islamic people were already pleased to buy our products even without Halal certification at an exhibition we took part in an Islamic country. With this vertificate, it’s much easier to promote our products to Muslim people.”