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History

On November 17, 1966, the Surinamese Alcohol Company N.V. was established and located in Paramaribo on the left bank of the Suriname River. The three shareholders of the company were: the Surinaamse Cultuur Maatschappij N.V. (formerly Suikeronderneming Mariënburg), N.V. Handelsonderneming Ma Ajong  and I. Fernandes & Son Bottling Company N.V. Initially, the young company focused entirely on distributing sugar and rum products from the Sugar company Mariënburg.​

In 1968, the company was housed in the building on Cornelis Jongbawstraat. Mr. Sonny Ma Ajong was appointed as the first director, partly because of his Mariënburg background. Until his retirement in 1998, he brought the company to great heights in a very skilful manner. He was succeeded in 1999 by the current director, Mr. Steven Ma Ajong.​

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In order to supply enough alcohol and rum to the SAB, the young company had to expand its activities. The first steps in that direction were the licensing agreements signed in 1973 with Hanappier Peyrelongue & Cie in Bordeaux, France.

 

The production of Hanappier brandy and the production of toothpaste under a licensing agreement with AKZO, a Dutch multinational company that owns the trademark for Castella toothpaste.

In 1975 the name of the company was changed to N.V. Handelmaatschappij SAB.

In the early years, a lot was done on product development and market research. The company wanted to demonstrate that Surinamese are also capable of marketing high-quality products that can be internationally successful.

 

The basis for this was laid in 1977 when Black Cat rum was the first Surinamese rum to be awarded a gold medal in Luxembourg. In 1978 SAB won another prize in Geneva (Switzerland) with Poker Rum, a soft brown rum that would later be known as Borgoe Rum.

By the time the Mariënburg sugar company closed in the mid-1980s, SAB had started its own distillery. This was the start of the preservation of the alcohol industry in Suriname. This important milestone was reached in 1989. Important investments and developments followed in the following years.

A fully automated bottling line was installed in 1999 and a strategic partnership agreement was signed with Angostura Ltd in the same year. from Trinidad and Tobago. This agreement included the supply of raw materials necessary for the production of alcohol as well as technical and marketing services. The company also explored export opportunities to other regions.

By the 1990s, SAB had grown into a modern industry where advanced technology is combined with traditional craftsmanship.

In 2002, the current name, Suriname Alcoholic Beverages N.V., was established in the articles of association, in particular to accentuate the company's international ambitions.

Borgoe Extra Rum won the "Best Rum Award" at the Toyota World Convention in Tokyo in 2003 and, after not participating for 23 years, SAB received the "Monde Selection Médaille de Bronze"  in Brussels in 2004 with the same special Borgoe Extra Rum.

In addition to the local market, SAB will increasingly profile itself on foreign markets with the aim of further expanding exports. New products will be added to the existing range, with the aim of strengthening the leading position in the market.

SAB has set ambitious goals for the coming years. One of these is setting up a fermentation plant that can produce alcohol based on molasses. The feasibility for this has already started and the first drop of alcohol is expected to come out of the plant by Q1 2025. By setting up a fermentation plant, SAB is able to better control the flavor profile of the various rums. A private sugar industry in Suriname and therefore home-grown molasses is not only a dream come true, but also means that SAB will create employment and be able to produce alcohol and rum at considerably lower costs.​

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