13th Congress Proceedings
Agri-food Supply Chain Development By Various Chain Leaders: Case Studies In Japan And New Concept Of High Nature Value
In this paper, firstly several different agri-food chain leaders are to be considered, such as aged and/or women farmers, supermarkets, consumers’ cooperatives, and big general trade company. Secondly the high nature value of food is to be dealt with the matters Japanese consumers are concerned. The diligent working attitude of aged persons and women has led to the production in small amount, in fresh, with low pesticide use and in many varieties. Producers sell products in different modalities such as renting a space from cooperatives, consignment to cooperatives at direct sales shop, and buying-out of all products by agricultural cooperatives. Moreover some farmers shipment groups in city carry out the direct selling to supermarkets in contract. Japan’s consumer cooperatives conduct two pillar businesses of “Sanchoku-Teikei” (direct transaction of food and coop-PB products under contract with producers) and operating supermarket-level stores. The co-ops have developed joint buying system in which members form small group units of 5-10 households called “Han” through which they place advance orders for various kinds of goods. The big general trading company (“Sogo Shosha”) has the power for developing new businesses through closer ties with local government to assists local areas in taking new approaches to agriculture to achieve regional redevelopment. Japanese consumers seek agricultural products and their processed food with high quality, and are incessantly renewing the concept and contents regarding the high value. A movement linking consumers to agriculturalists has started, in which the concept is defined as the nature management agriculture and the products produced under it are recognized as “high nature value”.