TOKYO, March 25 – Japan’s largest vegetable and fruit wholesaler is bolstering apple, strawberry, peach, and sweet potato export in 2018. The Tokyo-based wholesaler market, Tokyo Seika Co., Ltd., takes advantage of its capacity to source agricultural products stably from agricultural cooperatives (JAs) of all over Japan to stimulate the demand for Japanese products overseas. The wholesaler is going to set up a new unit in April to focus on business talks with producers, middle traders and trading companies and the supply of information to producers.
As of April 1, 2018, Tokyo Seika will carry out organizational reform and establish “Export Office,” a new unit specialized in the export of fruits and vegetables. The role of the new department is to support and encourage producers, middle traders and trading companies to boost fruit and vegetable export, working closely with other sections which oversee different types of the products. The company assumes that only certified bidders at the Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market in Ota, approximately 20 of them with past trading records, can purchase the products for export.
The sales target of the new unit in the first year is 2.5 billion yen, while its focus is on the sales of apples, strawberries, peaches, and sweet potatoes for Asian and North American markets. “We want to take advantage of the connection with the producers and JAs to make successful entry and expansion into the overseas markets,” said a representative of Tokyo Seika.
According to the farm ministry of Japan, the nation’s agriculture, forestry, and fisheries export grew 7.6% to JPY 807.3 billion in 2017. However, the export of fruits and vegetables remained slow and saw a decline of 1.5% to 5.1 billion yen, and there are emergent needs to step up the support.