This event happened about a month and a half ago, but I had a chance to exhibit a new CRAFT RUM that we recently imported from Salt Lake City, Utah USA at the annual Autumn festival in Matsumoto City. Fun! Yes, now I'm into spirits, too.
You may wonder why we exhibited in Matsumoto City? It's a bit of long story, but let me try to explain. It just so happens, that we started planning for the festival back in February of this year because my company's head office, located in Salt Lake City, Utah and Matsumoto City, located in Nagano Prefecture, are sister cities, part of a world wide sister city program. The two cities became sister cities in 1958 and have had a good relationship for 58 years, with continuous educational and cultural exchange programs. What we learned was that there had been no economic exchange in the history of the sister city relationship, but that economic exchange is a part of the charter for the sister city program. So my boss and I visited the Commerce Office of Matsumoto City one day in February, and met with the head of the department and persons in charge of the sister city exchange. The representatiaves were supportive and very encouraging.
We didn't have a specific idea what we might accomplish when we visited them, but towards the end of the discussion, the Matsumoto City people proposed that we exhibit "something from SLC" at the Matsumoto City festival in October this year. The picture below shows some of the products we thought we might be able to import for the festival.
We decided to approached the local manufacturers of these products in Salt Lake City and the greater Salt Lake City area, one that makes honey, one that makes salt-water taffy and chocolate covered gummy sticks, a hard cider maker (not shown in the picture above), and a craft rum from a newly built distillery. But in order to import food products to Japan, makers need to submit all sorts of documents, like ingredients lists and production flow chart, to name a few. Unfortunately, not many makers wanted to go through all of the steps. By the end of August, the only product we were able to get acceptable documents for was the rum. We were running out of time. We were suppose to exhibit a few items from Salt Lake City, and thought that just one item wouldn't look impressive at all. What were we to do? (To be continued...)