Name AEON Agri Create Co., Ltd.
GGN 4050373460327 Website http://aeonagricreate.co.jp/
Country Japan

Profil:

AEON AGRI CREATE CO., LTD. was established in July 2009 as the first agricultural corporation in AEON GROUP, supplying farm produce to the group companies. Under our corporate mission “Creating consumer value and viable farming”, we have been challenging ourselves to realize innovation in farming by running our farms “the closest to the consumers”, directly reflecting the voices from our customers about our farming activity. During the past 5 years, under our direct management we have established 15 farms with 200ha in total throughout Japan.

Achievements:

(1) Being a Strong driving force for large-scale, standardized farming
The mainstream of Japanese farmers are small households. It is said that Japan’s situation is extremely difficult to develop either large-scale or standardized farming across the regions, as Japan is a small volcanic land with ever-changing environmental conditions such as an unpredictable climate, natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes and tornadoes, as well as steep, rugged topography. Moreover, a shrinking and aging farm population leads to the decline of self sufficiency in food supply, and an increase of abandoned farmlands posing serious social problems. A structural shift to Japanese farming driven by the private–sector is now anticipated. We, AEON AGRI CREATE CO., LTD., have been working proactively to realize large-scale, standardized farming based on the GLOBALG.A.P. standard, by establishing our farms throughout the country – from Oita in the south, to Hokkaido in the North. As of March 2014, all of our 12 farms are certified by GLOBALG.A.P. Option 1 Multisite with QMS. We also provide know-how to other agricultural corporations which have business with us, introducing farm processes based on GLOBALG.A.P. In March 2014, we celebrated the first GLOBALG.A.P. certified grower with our support. We are strongly committed to promoting GLOBALG.A.P. certification, and are now putting efforts towards ensuring that all farms we deal with will be certified by the end of 2015.


(2) Contribution to the locale and environment
Japan’s rich water resource and fertile land as well as moderate climate enable us to grow various types of crops throughout the country. However, our rural society is now suffering serious aging and under population. By losing inheritors, we are facing a crisis for sustainable farming, with devastated farmlands. We rent farmlands which are abandoned and no longer managed by the landowners, and grow farm produce after reviving them. We are generating local employment in areas with no major industry, producing foods, and contributing to land conservation with our farming technology. Our vegetables are sold at nearby AEON Supermarkets, with less environmental impact by shorter food miles, ensuring maximum freshness to the consumers. We have started trials for making compost from food waste from our stores and returning it into our fields, and we are also using returnable containers to reduce packaging wastes.


(3) Putting women, young people and challenged people in full play
We actively recruit women and young people, as well as focus on human resource development by training them as managers for the next generation. Although the farming sector itself has a higher working population of women, there are very few of women who work as management. We have 16.7% of female managers among our staff in fiscal year 2013, and have targeted to increase it to 30% in 2016, then 50% by the year 2020. We will propose various positions and working styles which enable women to strike a balance between their life events and career. On the other hand, the aging farming population and lack of successors is a critical issue which leads many growers to leave farming. The average age of our staff is 30.8, which is very young compared with that of Japanese farmers at 65.8. We have established a human resource, worker welfare, and payment scheme, which are equivalent to other industries, to encourage highly-motivated women and young people to play important roles in the farming sector. Also, we provide work places for challenged people in cooperation with local social welfare facilities. We aim to offer systematic employment support by developing their skills through farming, starting from simple things and increasing towards a wider range of tasks. Currently, 90 challenged people are working in our farm, to achieve a self-reliant life in society.