Taiwan food giant I-Mei Foods Co. marks 85th anniversary

Customers born on the same day the company was founded were invited to the celebration

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I-Mei Foods CEO Luis Ko (third from right) presents this year's partners at the company's 85th anniversary celebration.

I-Mei Foods CEO Luis Ko (third from right) presents this year's partners at the company's 85th anniversary celebration. (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Veteran Taiwanese food provider I-Mei Foods Co. (義美食品) celebrated its 85th anniversary Wednesday with a tea party dedicated to the themes of food safety and gratitude where customers born in the same year as the company were invited.

I-Mei Chairman Henry Kao (高志尚) and CEO Luis Ko (高志明) were both present at the joyous event.

In addition to functioning as a producer of trustworthy cakes and biscuits, I-Mei had also chosen innovation and creativity to take a step into biotechnology, as food and medicine shared a similar origin, Kao said.

The company also played its part in helping the development of local agriculture, while cooperating with the Academia Sinica, the Veterans General Hospital and retired university professors and experts, the I-Mei chairman said.

Even major international food brands like Nestlé had visited the company’s factory to learn how to include natural and healthy ingredients in their food products, according to Kao.

At Wednesday’s tea party, the company also announced that its automated factory in the Yunlin County city of Douliu would start operations later this year. Using the latest technology from Europe, the new plant was unique in Asia.

The food products would be wrapped in environmentally friendly packaging, fulfilling I-Mei’s ideals of social responsibility and sustainable management.

Presenting an overview of the company’s history, Ko said I-Mei had started in 1871 as a dying factory, before turning to food production in 1934. The group never applied for any government subsidies and stayed true to its local spirit and concern for honest products, he added.

The food producer’s first shop was opened in the 1930s at the site previously occupied by the hospital founded by democracy activist Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水), who passed away in 1931. In that sense, the Taiwanese spirit represented by Chiang was carried on by I-Mei through the decades.

During this 85th anniversary year, I-Mei would continue to roll out special actions to celebrate the occasion, Ko said. Wednesday’s tea party saw customers who were born on the same day, the same month and the same year when the company was founded, while I-Mei also presented its partners for the year and its consumer product of the year - coffee.