Feni distillery in Goa looks to Japan to start exports


After the pandemic-induced break of two years, feni traders in Goa are looking forward to reviving their efforts of exporting feni. One potential market is Japan, due to its penchant for premium products.

Feni stakeholders have requested the Goa government to formally introduce the product in the east Asian country. A delegation of traders, too, wants to visit Japan to introduce the product, said president, All Goa feni distillers and bottlers association, Gurudatta Bhakta.

“We have proposed to the government that if it wishes to help in exporting feni, it should communicate with the embassy to take a delegation of feni traders and select government officials to Japan. We (trade members) are willing to bear the costs of our travel,” Bhakta said.

He said that Japan would be an ideal place to start with, as Goa has ties with the country. “Goa’s ore has been exported to Japan since the Portuguese era, and in a way, the country will not require a fresh introduction of us,” he said.

He said that the association wants the government to provide them a platform in Japan and help introduce Goa’s spirit.

“Since the country understands the importance of and appreciates handcrafted spirits, we thought going to Japan would be an ideal start in pushing feni towards export,” he said.

Superintendent of excise, North, Mahesh Korgaonkar, said that the association’s request has been taken to the government to seek help from the embassy and promote the drink.

Bhakta, however, said that exploring an European market would be a tough nut to crack.

Prior to the pandemic, some traders had been exploring export markets, but their efforts came to a standstill after the pandemic started, Bhakta said.

Two years ago, the Goa government upgraded feni to ‘#heritagedrink’, as its terminology as country liquor affected its growth. The country’s only alcoholic beverage produced from cashew apples also lost market share in the state as IMFL brands gained traction with consumers

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