Category Archives: Cooperatives

【News】 ZEN-NOH’s next target for Japanese beef exports: Asian and European countries (Feb. 5, 2017)

ZEN-NOH Group networked by ZEN-NOH or National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations and its affiliates is striving to expand export markets of “Wagyu” Japanese beef particularly in Asian and European regions. ZEN-NOH has set a goal to achieve Japanese beef exports of 500 tons in 2020, which is to increase by 1.8 times during the 2016-2020 five-year period. Sales of Japanese beef have been growing in the international market. The exports to the United States have exceeded its country-specific low-tariff quota on Japanese beef of 200 tons. U.S. imports above the low-tariff quota are charged the full tariff of 26.4 percent, which possibly makes it difficult for Japanese exporters, including … Continue reading

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【Opinion】Reengineering member associations of agricultural cooperatives (Jan. 24, 2017)

[By Yoichi Tashiro, professor emeritus at Otsuma Women’s University] Agricultural cooperatives are in the middle of eagerly designing and implementing their midterm three-year plan including reviewing their sales and procurement business, as well as the agriculture promotion plan and the self-reform plan. While the situation surrounding global agriculture is in turmoil along with Donald Trump becoming the president of the United States, the farm coops must tackle challenges of reform in order to live up to farmers’ expectations. Meanwhile, the agriculture working group of the government’s Regulatory Reform Promotion Council suggested halving the number of farm coops engaging in financial business in three years. If financial business is separated from … Continue reading

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【News】 ZEN-NOH’s Self-Reform Headquarters set up to accelerate a boost in farmers’ agricultural income (Jan. 27, 2017)

ZEN-NOH (National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations) or a national business organization of agricultural cooperatives (JAs) made an announcement on January 26 that it set up ZEN-NOH Self-Reform Promotion Headquarters at its head office in Tokyo. Within the Headquarters, ZEN-NOH has organized four Project Teams; Crop Farming Business Team, Livestock Production Business Team, Consumer Goods Supply Business Team, and Administration Department Team. Each of the project teams will be engaged respectively in working out a concrete strategy for business operations as well as putting it into practice so as to achieve a common purpose of boosting agricultural incomes of JA’s member farmers. To ensure that fruitful results of the purpose … Continue reading

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【News】 “Cooperatives” added to list of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (Dec. 15, 2016)

Japan Joint Committee of Cooperatives (JJC), formed mainly by national organizations of agricultural, consumers, and fishery cooperatives, made an announcement on December 14 that “cooperatives” were registered as an intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO). UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which decided to add cooperatives to a list of intangible cultural assets on December 2 in Ethiopia, expressed an expectation for further development of cooperatives’ activities, saying, “Cooperatives have been creating innovative solutions to current social problems by generating employment and assisting seniors.” Higher appreciation has been expressed by the international body of the United Nations, while negative … Continue reading

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【Editorial】Let’s fight together against the attack on cooperatives (Nov. 29, 2016)

The recent turmoil over a report by the government’s Regulatory Reform Promotion Council on agriculture cooperatives reform, filled with irrational arguments, was settled after some maneuvering by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Radical and extreme phrases were deleted from the report for the time being, but it is highly likely that attacks on cooperatives will continue in the future. In response, cooperatives at home and abroad issued statements of protest against the report, calling for the need to protect the organizations’ core principles of autonomy and independence. The government and the LDP should take them seriously. Cooperative organizations around the world are furious and are alarmed by the situation. The … Continue reading

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