In order to expand exports of Taiwanese agriproducts to Japan, this year (2019) the Council of Agriculture (COA) has decided to take the approach of organizing a “Taiwan Pavilion” to participate in Foodex Japan. Foodex Japan is to be held from March 5 through 8 at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Japan. Through this pavilion the COA will guide agriproduct businesses to work as a national team to broaden international markets. A “Global G.A.P. Area” (G.A.P. standing for “Good Agricultural Practices”) will be set up within the pavilion, where it is hoped exhibitors from Taiwan can both demonstrate to buyers from Japan and other countries the success of Taiwan agriproducts in gaining international certifications, as well as present premium Taiwan brand name agriproducts, develop commercial opportunities in international markets, and win inclusion for Taiwan agriproducts in the list of food ingredients that will be purchased by Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The COA states that Foodex Japan is the largest exhibition in Asia dedicated to food products. Each year there are more than 70,000 visits from buyers, of which about 87% are local Japanese food wholesalers, food and beverage service providers, manufacturers and retailers. Needless to say, this exhibition is a major platform for food businesses from all countries to develop markets in Japan, Asia, and around the world. This year the COA decided to abandon the former method for participation in this exhibition (i.e. subsidizing individual county/city governments and businesses) and replace it with a collective pavilion, which will do overall, integrated marketing of premium Taiwanese brand agriproducts and processed foods. There are also plans to hold a press conference and negotiations with trading companies on the first day of the exhibition, to help Taiwanese producers and Japanese buyers link up and thereby expand opportunities for exports of agriproducts.
The COA explains that Japan is Taiwan’s second largest market for exports of agriproducts. Last year (2018) the value of agriproduct exports to Japan was US$920 million, an increase of 6% from 2017. This year the COA has decided to invite outstanding domestic businesses to collectively participate at Foodex Japan in a single “Taiwan Pavilion,” the main theme of which will be “freshness, dependability, and flavor.” The pavilion will have a “Global G.A.P. Area” and an “Industrial Promotion Area.”. The “Global G.A.P. Area” will display various fresh fruits and vegetables, including colored carrots, broccoli, lettuce, pineapple and bananas, as well as jujubes and frozen sugar apples, both of which were first introduced into Japan last year and attracted a great deal of attention. As for the “Industrial Promotion Area,” the COA hand-picked for exhibition 15 outstanding domestic agricultural businesses as well as industrial associations, all of which boast various domestic and/or international certifications, including Global G.A.P., HACCP, ISO, TAP (Traceable Agricultural Products), CAS (Certified Agricultural Standards), and ASC. A wide variety of items will be on display. Besides important products for export to Japan including frozen soybeans, mangoes, frozen seafood and mullet roe, there will also be processed or prepared food products that meet consumer demand for health and convenience, including dried fruits, carrot juice, shaomai (a kind of steamed dumpling) and steamed buns with barbequed pork.
The 32nd Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in the summer of 2020. Ingredients to be used for food and beverages at the Games must conform to Global G.A.P. standards or be approved through the certification system of the Tokyo Olympic Committee. In order to ensure that agriproducts from Taiwan conform to the standards for food ingredients for the Tokyo Olympics, the COA, in addition to submitting Taiwan’s food traceability certification system to Japan for approval, has also guided high-potential businesses in Taiwan to apply for Global G.A.P. certification. The COA hopes that through their promotion at 2019 Foodex Japan, premium agriproducts from Taiwan can be included in the list of food ingredients that will be purchased by Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.