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Shan State Coffee Producer Wins ASEAN Business Award

Local social enterprise Aung Nay Lin Htun, which manufactures and distributes Myanmar’s first international-standard specialty coffee brand, Genius Shan Highlands, won an ASEAN Business Award on Monday in the Sustainable Social Enterprise category.

The ASEAN Business Awards 2018 were presented in Singapore in the categories of Priority Integration Sectors; SME Excellence (Corporate Social Responsibility, Employment, Growth, and Innovation); Young Entrepreneur; Women Entrepreneur; Sustainable Social Enterprise; Friends of ASEAN; and Family Business.

Genius Shan Highlands Coffee was among four winners from the region in the Sustainable Social Enterprise category. The awards recognize outstanding social enterprises that are innovative and have made significant, sustained contributions to the disadvantaged in their community.

Founded in 2012, Genius Shan Highlands Coffee started processing and roasting coffee beans in Ywar Ngan Township in southern Shan State. Later it expanded into growing and producing raw coffee beans, working with over 6,000 farmers in southern Shan. In 2016, it received USDA and EU organic certification.

“As our enterprise has been recognized for an ASEAN business award, it gives me strength to expand our business and export to international markets,” U Ngwe Tun, the founder of Genius Coffee, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

The company currently exports its products to the U.S., Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Canada, Germany, Norway, China, Cambodia and Singapore.

Meanwhile, Myint Myint Khin, Myanmar’s most famous brand of the dessert snack Htoe Moat, won the ASEAN-level Young Entrepreneur Award. Htoe Moat, a specialty of Mandalay, is a glutinous rice cake topped with cashew nuts, raisins and cream butter.

Myanmar’s Fame Pharmaceuticals Industry, Aung Naing Thitsar group of companies and Frontiir won national-level SME Excellence awards in the Employment, Growth and Innovation categories, respectively. Jewelry retail business Jewel Collection Manufacturing Co., Ltd, won the country-level Women Entrepreneur award.

Launched by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) in 2007, the awards aim to recognize outstanding businesses in the region.

SOURCE: THE IRRAWADDY

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