Japan's wholesale market system has been developed around a central wholesale market under a public management system. This has been justified on the difficulty in maintaining public equipment of wholesale markets due to poor resources. While the initial primary purpose of the private operating system was to oversee the rules of auction transactions, this goal is becoming less meaningful as relative transactions are greatly expanded and computer systems are introduced. Because of changes in the distribution environment, sources and retailers have become larger. In response, large wholesale markets have become more dominating and the gap between markets has been expanding. The Wholesale Market Act, which was revised in 2004, allows electronic dealings, liberalizes the setting of commission fee rates on consignment, and includes other elements that promote industry competition. This has contributed to an expanding gap in wholesale markets as the Japanese government has directed that central wholesale markets with decreasing number of transactions modify their operations. In addition, some markets trade more freely or allow the central wholesale market to voluntarily reduce the cost of use of facilities. Even under publicly equipped and operated systems, it is now possible to delegate the maintenance of facilities to private companies. Thus, one of the distinctive features of Japan's wholesale markets is that its character as a publicly equipped and operated system is now weakening.
This paper examines the role that is demanded of a wholesale market in ensuring that regional agriculture continues to exist. Recently, increasing globalization has led to food safety risks and interest in local agri-food systems and local food brands by Japanese consumers is high. In addition, interchange between cities and farm villages progresses and use of local farm products in school lunches is expanding. As the result, advantageous circumstances for the continuation of a Japanese agricultural system characterized by low-quantity, high-quality production is apparent. On the other hand, production technique guidance and sales promotion on the basis of customer needs, a direct farm shipping system which is difficult for senior citizens, and an insufficient support function for farm co-ops is also apparent. In production areas, wholesalers and jobbers tend to act based on consideration of the circumstances of farm families. In addition, the wholesale market plays an important role as a bumper zone for quantity adjustment and price stability, as seen in the case of raw materials supply for medium or small size scale suppliers in pickle production. Rejecting evaluation of wholesale markets solely as simple circulation institutions, it is necessary for policy to set wholesale markets as infrastructures which can contribute to the promotion of local agriculture and agriculture production toward food self-support in modern society.
The food industry is deemed an important economic sector in Japan. In the case of many remote areas, the food industry, in combination with primary industry activities, has been recognized as a major economic sector, leading regional economies in terms of creating job opportunities. Recently, however, due to the continuing overall economic slump, the food industry in Japan has been facing a sharp reduction in the number of companies and overall labor force. In addition, after joining the WTO in 1995, Japanese food companies have been thrown into severe business competitions in the international markets. Moreover, the LDC might compel the food industry to invest in environmental conservation efforts by 2007. The imo-shochu industry, a traditional Japanese food industry related closely to regional agriculture, stands as a leader in many regional economies, in both production as well as sales. As such, examining the major economic factors by which the imo-shochu industry has maintained such sustainable development is of value. Through use of endogenous development theory, this study empirically identified these factors through an examination of the imo-shochu industry of Kagoshima.
This paper explores various factors affecting consumer purchasing behavior for organic agricultural products using the Japan General Social Surveys 2002(JGSS-2002) data. Cross-tabulation analysis suggests that consumers who are likely to frequently purchase organic agricultural products can be portrayed with the following characteristics: (1) they are female, older than average and are members of a consumer organizations; (2) they have high educational levels; (3) they read newspapers frequently; (4) they have high household incomes; (5) they usually purchase foods, cook and eat meals with family members; (6) at least one family member has a food allergy. In addition, it was found that consumers who reside in the Tosan and Kyushu regions wish to purchase organic agricultural products frequently.
Food importing companies in Japan have incurred significant damage due to the pesticide residue problem of 2002. These damages include a decrease in import levels of whole frozen vegetables, especially from China, together with lower retail rates and higher import costs arising from stricter inspections. In response, importing companies have undertaken three measures: a shift of product supply source from China to other countries; selection of alternative vegetable items; application of more control on China suppliers than before. However, while Japanese importing companies have made efforts to develop alternative supplying sources, they still focus on China as a main supplier of frozen vegetable. Thus it is important to note that in 2006, Japan will introduce a positive list for pesticide usage, making it necessary for Chinese suppliers to strengthen their quality control system further.
Targeting four local wholesale markets in the southeastern area of Saitama Prefecture, an area adjacent to the Tokyo metropolis, which is included in the collection/distribution network of Tokyo's large wholesale markets and is situated near North Adachi Market, a branch of the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, the research examined the following points: (1) How local products flow into these markets, paying particular attention to an influx of non-Saitama products and transfer shipments from other markets by checking transactions at the Morning Market and Evening Market. (2) How local products are shipped out of these markets, paying particular attention to sales to the local retailers as well as shipments to other markets by brokers by checking the twice-a-day transactions. (3) Clarification of the present role of the target market and special traits in collecting and distributing locally produced vegetables and fruits. Based on the research, it was clear that while market transactions with metropolitan markets are limited, the market is closely tied with intra-Saitama markets through interchanging products. At the Morning Market, these markets distribute products to nearby retail shops and to private/local supermarkets, thus showing the traits of a local-centered distribution system. Although handling of products brought in to the Morning Market by individual farmers is not extensive, locally produced merchandise shipped by farmers' unions and transferred from other markets is distributed for local consumption. In the evening, markets show a completely different face, that of a collection/distribution center for brokers to ship merchandise to major markets in the Keihin area. The paper concludes by stressing that the wholesale markets in this area thus play two roles, depending on the time of day.
This paper analyzes basic policies by national level organizations in Japan, both agricultural cooperatives and consumer cooperatives, illuminating the degeneration of cooperative businesses and this influence on agricultural-products distribution. Agricultural cooperatives in Japan are now strengthening their centralization through infringement of member autonomy. In cases where they have not been able to secure profits in their economic business, agricultural cooperatives have been forced to privatize such businesses as private companies. Consumer cooperatives in Japan are now advancing the restructuring of Japanese agriculture in order to smoothly import foreign agricultural products by establishing business federations in respective sectors. This is the same policy direction as the Japanese Government and the zaikai business groups. By providing a low price policy, consumer cooperatives intend to compete with supermarket capitals on the same terms as big businesses. The paper concludes by noting that it is very important to establish cooperative sovereignty in order to ensure Japanese food sovereignty.
This paper analyzes statistical data regarding company development and advance into Chinese markets of a Japanese-food enterprise. The data is based on questionnaires of Japanese-food enterprises. The findings are as follows: 1) An advance in a Japanese-food enterprise was in proportion to the efforts aiming over many areas, with many food items constituting imports. 2) It was recognized that the Japanese-food enterprise which went into China aimed at low cost production based on the capitalization and the number of employees.
The broad objective of this paper is to clarify the characteristics of household consumption expenditure on cut flowers. The estimated results indicate that consumer behavior in Tokyo and in the middle/upper-middle class might be a key factor to determine the trend of cut flower consumption.
The paper states the four criteria-set time, set quantity, set price and set quality -which constitute the principal requests of jobbers, play a key role in the distribution of mushroom exports, based on field investigations in China. Through viewing these four criteria the characteristics of China mushroom export can be illuminated. By virtue of the existence of the Jobber, export enterprises reduce trade costs, furniture construction fees and manpower fees. In addition, the existence of the jobber accommodates commodity uniformity, stability of delivery and reduction of risk that accompanies price changes.
This article clarifies the impact of household income, social capital as measured by the concept of network and the practice of home gardening on food security for the urban poor in Bangladesh. Cross-tabulation analysis, based on household data obtained from an intensive structured survey conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute and CARE-Bangladesh, clearly suggests that slum households who earn higher income, who have dependable neighbor/relative networks, and who practice home gardening, are more likely to secure adequate nutritional intake.
This paper outlines characteristics of and government actions for food safety policies in South Korea, focusing on the livestock products. Recently, South Korea has faced multiple problems regarding the safety of livestock products, necessitating new policies regarding food safety. However, there are some problems with these polices. For example, low recognition of policies by producer and consumer and high maintenance costs have proven problematic in establishing traceability systems. Therefore, it is necessary to restructure emerging policy to solve these problems.
The purpose of this study is to clarify the working structure of the people living in the rural areas of China. After clarifying the variation in rural household income in China, with collected data of rural households in Henan Province in 2004, the paper analyzes the Chinese working structure based on two factors: age and education. The results of analysis indicate that the highest income class is comprised of non-agriculture income and most of the younger generation works in non-agriculture sectors. One the other hand, a differential income was noted based on age, education etc.
The purpose of this paper is to detail the actual circumstances of local fish consumption in a fishery community, and to describe the circumstances of the processing and selling activities of local fish in the fishery community. First, although previous studies have indicated that Kochi City has maintained consumption patterns of traditional fish, this paper finds that standardization of fish consumption is also present in Kochi City. Secondly, despite it being a fishery community, difficulties in obtaining local fish for non-fishing households were noted. Thirdly, while the processing and selling activities of the local fish industry are developing in the Sukumo area at present, the acknowledgment level of these activities is low. While many studies have concluded that such activities are a useful way to maintain local fishery areas, the idea has not infiltrated into the fishery community examined in this study.
Contract farmers depend on leading companies in China. In this study we analyzed multiple factors of farm households, including dependence on management resources, effective delivery of information to consecutive trading businesses, and various support systems, as a case example of contract farming with companies. Regarding the parameters of production policies between leading companies and contract farmers, including controversial issues and direction of development, the following three points were noted: 1. The establishment of a joint holding corporate stock consortiums among Agricultural Co-operatives, leading companies and contract farmers is an important area of study. 2. The process of improving agricultural industrialization and the establishment of an insurance foundation for agriculture is an important component of the agricultural economy. 3. Support from the government in the areas of include tax abolishment, building of facilities and infrastructure and abolishment of traditional systems that impede development and economic growth is important for the success of industrializing agriculture.
The main conclusions of this paper focus on country of origin indicator violations. The most common violations are either import goods disguised as domestic goods or failure to indicate the country of origin indicator. The main reason for violation of country of origin indicator regulations is to obtain large profits. There are three points of difference in country of origin indication systems between Korea and Japan. First, all fresh foods must have the country of origin indicated in Japan but not in Korea. In the case of processed food, only near-fresh food must have the country of origin indicated in Japan, whereas in Korea, both near fresh-food and highly processed food must have the country of origin indicated. Japan publicizes the violators of country of origin indicator regulations while Korea does not. The paper concludes that Korea should also adopt the practice of publicizing the violators of country of origin indicator regulations.
The Japanese Agriculture Standard GAS) system of publishing beef production information is a third-party system by which to ensure that beef production information is correct. While this system is winning consumers confidences regarding beef safety, it does have several problems. First, cattle which have been bought at a livestock market are not controlled in a manner similar to beef that has been certified by JAS standards. Second, while each retail store should acquire authorization of JAS standard as a cut trader, the reality is that JAS standard beef that is sold at the retail stage is rare. Third, the cost for JAS standard ranking is high - a cost that is ultimately added to the retail price of such beef.