Maui’s Noni Biotech Receives Presidential Export Award

June 1, 2011, 3:55 PM HST · Updated June 1, 5:06 PM
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U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Noni Biotech COO Marie-Laure Ankaoua, Noni Biotech CEO David Backstrom, and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco J. Sánchez. Photo courtesy of Noni BioTech.

By Sonia Isotov

During World Trade Week ceremonies last month, Noni Biotech International, a Maui-based Noni products manufacturing company, was awarded the Presidential “E” Award for Exports by U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Established in 1961 by Executive Order, the “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. Noni Biotech International demonstrated a substantial increase in the volume of exports over a four-year period, which was a major criterion for the award.

“Exporting continues to be the foundation of our sales growth, and we are honored to receive the “E” Award,” said David Backstrom, Noni Biotech International’s President and CEO, in a statement released by the company. “Our Company has grown significantly in the past few years, doubling sales each year through 2009. Over the past 6 years, export sales grew to nearly 60% of our total sales. Since 2006, we focused mainly on international sales.”

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Noni BioTech International exports to countries throughout the world. “Our Company ships containers of Hawaiian Noni product to countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, and in 2010, the Company continued its expansion abroad, by securing customers from some of the most attractive emerging markets like China, Lithuania, Croatia, Israel, Nigeria, and is in negotiation with countries such as Poland, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, and Malaysia” said Scott Owens, Director of Operations.

Noni Biotech International headquarters and R&D lab are located on Maui and its manufacturing facility is located in Hilo. Products are made with all-natural Hawaiian Noni grown in Hawaii and include Noni juice, Noni powder and Noni capsules, Noni puree, and Noni concentrate”.

“Exports are a key driver of America’s economic recovery,” said Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, in the same statement. “President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double U.S. exports by 2015 in support of several million American jobs, is a robust, forward-looking trade agenda with an emphasis on domestic job growth.  Noni Biotech International is being honored for making significant contributions toward fulfilling that agenda.”

Noni Biotech International has been a business client of the Department’s U.S. Commercial Service where it received export counseling, trade show assistance, market research, and business matchmaking.

“Noni Biotech was nominated for the President’s E-Award by John Holman, Director of the Hawaii Export Assistance Center, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In collaboration with his colleagues at the U.S. Embassies around the globe, Mr. Holman has been helping the Company the past few years to enter new international markets all over the world” said Ankaoua.

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