It is estimated that one in five Japanese eat or use an organic product at least once a week, creating more demand than the country alone can deliver, according to information provided by BioFach Japan and reported by Organic and Wellness News.
The current volume of both domestic and imported organic products total more than 150 billion Japanese Yen or $1.3 billion.
Consumers’ growing taste for fresh organic vegetables along with miso and soy beans continues to fuel interest of the organic market among the population, said Toshi Ayukawa, BioFach Japan. "But what is popular on the organic scene doesn’t necessarily mirror western industrialized countries. Gluten-free products get little attention in Japan compared to the ever-popular soy beans imported in large amounts from Brazil," said Ayukawa in the news report.
The organic movement has taken longer to capture cultural interest in Japan than other parts of the world possibly because the country has stricter government controls on food products, according to Organic and Wellness News, noting insiders also point to a sluggish economy paired with devastation from two major disasters of the tsunami and nuclear power plant in 2011 as likely contributing factors.
The 14th edition of the trade show slated for November 20- 22 branched out of BioFach Germany, and this year about 250 exhibitors will present products hoping to entice an expected crowd of 18,000 people to individual booths for samples of the latest organic hot sellers and the chance to learn more about new and trusted organic products.
Of the land in Japan that is cultivable, about 0.4% of it is organic farmland with expectations that the amount will be expanded in the next few years, according to Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). To promote that goal, MAFF is sponsoring a large pavilion at BioFach Japan that will feature 50 organic farmers and manufactures who sell vegetables, rice, soy sauce, miso and other goods, explained Hanako Kato, who is also assisting with the event, reported the news agency.
Among international organic suppliers expected to attend the expo in November are companies from the United States, Australia, Austria, Germany, India and Sierra Leone; and a special Italian Pavilion will host a Sicilian contingent joining the expo for a second year.
"A bright spot on the international trade scene that is expected to spur more growth of the organic market in Japan is a new mutual agreement between Japan and the United States," said Ayukawa in the news report.
Since January 2014, organic products certified in Japan or the U.S. can be sold as organic in either country, with a requirement to identify the accredited certifier on the product label.
For more information, visit www.organicwellness.com.