YNI, Producer/Distributor of Grey Sedge Straws "Sedgy", Enters Japan
YNI Vietnam, which has been manufacturing Grey Sedge grass straws ("Sedgy") since April of 2019 as an alternative to plastic and selling them to the world under the brand name Strawlific, entered Japan as YNI JAPAN in October 2020. In May 2019, the Company announced that it has been certified as an SDGs "Declaration Company" in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, where it is based.
Lepironia Articulata (Known as "Co Bang" in Vietnamese and "Grey Sedge" or "Sedgy" for short in English), which have been gaining popularity around the world in recent years as so-called "grass straws," grows naturally in the wide reaching tropical wetlands of the Mekong delta in Southern Vietnam, just outside of Ho Chi Minh City, mainly in the Long An Province and supports the livelihood of the farmers and locals who grow and process it. Grey Sedge straw production is characterized by its regenerative farming methods in which 10% of the crop is transplanted at the time of harvest in order to continue the growth cycle, its minimum environmental burden during the manufacturing process, and the fact that they are completely biodegradable, and additive/pesticide-free.
YNI Vietnam was started by David Simon (CEO) a former procurement staff member at United Nations ESCAP who walked around the world, Corey Turpin, a Translator and Artist living in Japan for 20 years, and Nguyen Minh Chau, a businesswoman residing in Ho Chi Minh city.David's connection with Corey began in 2010 when they deepened their relationship helping out at an orphanage in Nepal.
YNI places importance on learning about local conditions, gaining hands-on knowledge about the plant, the ecosystem and their characteristics, and sharing that in an educational form. They are also focused on women's empowerment, hiring primarily women for their staff including newly hired employees. They have currently expanding into three countries, including Australia and a co-branding deal with a Belgian company.
Corey is head of YNI JAPAN and is supported by a diverse international team of men and women. With a focus on food/drink establishments, their present customers include a traditional arts and crafts center managed by Shizuoka City, distributors in Fukuoka and Tokyo, and a foreign owned grocery store chain.