Instructions, Provided to Businesses in Fukushima Prefecture Based on Results of Survey for Current State of Distribution of Agricultural Products and Other Items Produced in Fukushima Prefecture
April 26, 2019
Joint Press Release with the Reconstruction Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Under Article 78-2 of the Act on Special Measures for the Reconstruction and Revitalization of Fukushima, the government of Japan is required to conduct a survey to uncover the current state of any slump in the sales of products and other items produced in Fukushima Prefecture and to provide instructions, advice and other necessary measures to businesses that sell such goods based on the results of the survey.
On April 26, 2019, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), jointly with the Reconstruction Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), issued notices of instructions, advice or other measures to retailers and other businesses in Fukushima Prefecture based on the results of the FY2018 Survey for Current State of Distribution of Agricultural Products and Other Items Produced in Fukushima Prefecture, which were released on March 29, 2019.
1. Instructions provided to wholesalers, intermediary distributors, retailers, and other businesses
Such instructions include the followings:
- Remove inconsistent awareness of trade policies for agricultural products and other items produced in Fukushima Prefecture (hereinafter referred to as “Fukushima-origin products”) seen in each process of distribution between businesses and sell products in a manner that meets assessment results of such agricultural products;
- Avoid exclusion of Fukushima-origin products from distribution processes and avoid inappropriate beating-down of the prices of such products just due to the production region, Fukushima Prefectures; and
- Select products to be traded based on fair comparison of Fukushima-origin products and products produced in other prefectures.
2. Advice provided to producers (as a reference for producers in conducting efforts in the future)
- As an effective measure, steadily manage production processes through Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and improve the public reputation of Fukushima-origin products;
- As an effective measure, achieve steady supply of products backed by shipment of a fixed amount of products at a fixed time, observance of compliance under contracts and other elements, taking into consideration “stable supply” and other elements as key points for retailers and other businesses in purchasing products; and
- As an important effort, develop proactive marketing of Fukushima-origin products in a manner exceeding products produced in other prefectures in light of the fiercer competition between regions.
Reference: Outline of the MAFF survey
(1) Details of the survey
A. Follow-up survey
MAFF conducted a follow-up survey targeting six prioritized items (i.e., rice, beef, peaches, green peppers, Ampogaki (dried persimmons) and flatfish) by process of shipping, wholesaling/intermediary distribution and retailing so as to uncover the current state of price setting by process of distribution.
B. Overview survey
MAFF also conducted an overview survey for total shipment, trends in prices and other facts targeting 26 items in five categories: rice, fruit and vegetables, livestock products, mushrooms and marine products.
Note: These 26 items are: rice, fruit and vegetables (i.e., green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, asparagus, pea beans, green onions, broccolis, green peas, snap peas, peaches, Ampogaki, pears, apples and grapes), livestock products (i.e., beef, pork, chicken and milk), mushrooms (i.e., shiitake and nameko) and marine products (i.e., flatfish, bonito, young lancefish, little mouth flounder and Japanese conger).
(2) Survey results
MAFF found that the production/sales amount of Fukushima-origin products has not yet recovered the level before the occurrence of the Great East Japan Earthquake, but that businesses in respective processes of distribution do not make any clear difference in price setting by process of distribution between Fukushima-origin products and products produced in other prefectures. Accordingly, MAFF confirmed no pricing-down of Fukushima-origin products.
Moreover, it newly uncovered the following situations through the FY2018 survey.
A. “Suppliers,” such as wholesalers and intermediary distributors, tend to negatively evaluate the trade policies for Fukushima-origin products taken by “businesses to which they supply products,” such as retailers and restaurants.
B. Factors of “a sense of familiarity with Fukushima Prefecture,” “endorsement of quality” and “good reputation for safety” have an effect on encouraging businesses to purchase Fukushima-origin products.
C. “Sales experts,” such as wholesalers, intermediary distributors and retailers, tend to focus on “quality,” “safety and security” and “stable supply.”
D. Facing dramatic changes in user demands, prefectures other than Fukushima Prefecture have strongly enhanced their efforts for developing and branding products. As a result, Fukushima Prefecture is facing a competitive environment fiercer than that before the occurrence of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Reference: MAFF press release on March 29, 2019: “Results of the FY2018 Survey for Current State of Distribution of Agricultural Products and Other Items Produced in Fukushima Prefecture”
- Results of the FY2018 Survey for Current State of Distribution of Agricultural Products and Other Items Produced in Fukushima Prefecture(in Japanese)
Division in Charge
Fukushima Public Relations Strategy and Reputational Management Office, Fukushima Reconstruction Promotion Group, Minister’s Secretariat