Reverend Sun Myung Moon. (Photo: www.unificationnews.com)
Founder of True World Foods dies at 92
Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 01:50 (GMT + 9)
Leader of a religious cult Reverend Sun Myung Moon died at the age of 92 in Korea. The religious leader created a multi-millionaire empire with interests in the media, estate agents, education and the fishery sector. True World Foods is part of the True World Group founded by Moon’s Unification Church, which is now run by his followers.
The religious leader died on Sunday at a hospital owned by his church in Gapyeong, near Seoul in South Korea, two weeks after being hospitalised with pneumonia, according to a church spokesperson.
Moon purchased and directed a host of seafood companies around the globe, including True World Foods, a wholesaler that supplies sushi and other seafood to more than 8,000 Japanese restaurants around the US.
True World Foods CEO Takeshi Yashiro is thought to have joined the cult in 1980, if not earlier, when Moon told his followers to enter the seafood business to support the Church’s business empire and end world hunger.
True World Foods started in the mid-1970s when the company, then known as New York Fish House, consisted of stands that sold fish to passersby on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. It is now “the preeminent distributor of Asian specialties,” it says, and runs more than two dozen independent locations throughout North America and recently opened locations in London and Madrid.
The company offers a diverse and wide range of premium products with an Asian focus, including frozen seafood and non-seafood items and other products.
The Unification Church began purchasing various companies to build its empire. These enterprises included the Washington Times newspaper, the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan and Bridgeport University in Connecticut, firms in North Korea and a seafood distribution company that sells sushi to Japanese restaurants across the US, Associated Press reports.
Moon has also owned seafood and shipbuilding firms in the states of Alabama and Alaska.
Further, Moon’s followers now manufacture fleets of boats, run dozens of distribution centres and fishing processing operations and supply most sushi restaurants in the US.
Part of True World’s profits are donated to the Unification Church in Yashiro.
By Natalia Real