Name Farm Alliance Management
GGN 4056186239037 Website http://www.farmalliance.net/
Country Japan

Profile

Farm Alliance Management Co., Ltd. is a farming alliance established in 2012 to promote the spread of the then not well-known GLOBALG.A.P. standards in Japan. Today, Farm Alliance is one of the largest developed alliance of G.A.P. certified farms in Japan, consisting of 64 small to mid-sized farms that collectively produce 24 different types of crops. Our member farm, Farm Alliance Matsumoto Farm Co. Ltd, was a 2012 G.A.P. Award Winner.

Farm Alliance Management seeks to create the new face of farming in Japan by standardizing the use of cutting edge technologies as we implement GLOBALG.A.P. standards and pursue sustainable production and farm management along with our producers, who are made up of young farmers, agricultural cooperatives, and farming organizations.

Achievements

For young people, we aim to become the like “Toyota” of the agricultural sector, and help people with disabilities enter the workforce through farming with the GLOBALG.A.P. program.
Although Japan has the world’s fastest aging population of farmers, virtually no progress has been made in nurturing a younger generation of successors. This can be ascribed to farming holding little appeal for Japan’s youth and having a backward reputation compared to other industries.

We at Farmer’s Alliance believe in the GLOBALG.A.P.’s philosophy of safe, sustainable agriculture and the protection of workers’ safety and welfare mirrors the principles at renowned Japanese company, like Toyota. In fact, we would argue that farming is not a minority industry in Japan, and we are working to promote sustainable industrial agriculture. Managing the processes which expand and industrialize agriculture is becoming an increasingly complex task; however, our Farm Alliance members use GLOBALG.A.P. as a solution to address some of these management issues. Young farmers see GLOBALG.A.P. as analogous to Toyota’s “kaizen,” or concept of systemic improvements across business functions using standardization processes.

Additionally, we are working to help our farming and social welfare cooperatives managed and worked by persons with disabilities to implement GLOBALG.A.P. Standards which make it easier for disabled persons to enter the agricultural sector and promote the safety and welfare of workers. Through our IT system, we also provide tools for farm recording and management, making it possible for persons with disabilities to join the workforce. One such farm expressed interest in obtaining GLOBALG.A.P. certification to provide crops grown by persons with disabilities to the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.

Create ICT solutions which can be used for produce in any country worldwide. Also, create a production information management system which can be utilized in farm management.

GLOBALG.A.P. calls for agricultural production records to monitor the various risks related to farm production. These can be used to not only prevent workplace accidents, but also provide valuable evidence for review when determining the cause of an accident should one occur. However, record keeping presents an obstacle for production sites looking to implement GLOBALG.A.P. standards.
We provide a solution to the challenges of record keeping by making it easier for producers to log work records on location at their respective production sites using smartphones and tablets that utilize information and communications technology (ICT) through cloud computing. Each production site has a different workflow depending on the producer. Our record keeping system has a well-designed interface that minimizes data entry mistakes, and can be customized to accommodate a wide-variety of crop types and production scales, from small- to large-scale operations.

Our system complies with the requirements of GLOBALG.A.P. and simultaneously archives production-related information, provides information to confirm how an accident may have occurred, and helps to manage production costs and labor as well as track the rate of production. It has made GLOBALG.A.P. certification a stress-free process for our member farms. Producers have admitted that meeting GLOBALG.A.P. standards can be an arduous task on top of the physical strains of production. However, our production information management system makes it possible to record the day’s work in 1 - 2 minutes and to track the rate of progress like one would do in the manufacturing industry.

The wide variety of production-related information logged over the course of the production process has far-reaching uses. We are working on applied technologies in the IoT field, in order to meet new needs related to production information. The financial world has long considered agriculture to be an elusive industry, but we have begun developing technologies based on our production management system which may one day be used as FinTech, to facilitate fast and accurate loan acquisitions by sharing a farm’s activities with financial institutions.

Develop a traceability and communications system service which actively shares production information with consumers. Also, build a farming alliance which can safeguard the identity of smallholders.

Traceability is an essential requirement in the world of “B to B” (business to business). Our “Farm to Table” way of thinking has encouraged us to come up with new ways to address “B to C” (business to consumer) as well, considering the way it has helped expand traceability techniques.

By reading a QR code attached to the product, a consumer can find production-related information, further information on the producer’s activities, an explanation of GLOBALG.A.P., and the exact location of the producer’s fields via Google Maps. Given that we live in an age of globalized distribution for agricultural products, Farm Alliance Management also makes sure to offer this product information in multiple languages.

In addition to responding to our consumers’ desire to know more about the products they buy, we also provide this traceability function as a standard service to our producers with Farm Alliance Management membership, so that even if a producer is operating on a small scale, this producer can use the service as a marketing tool to communicate their market identity. We are adamant about protecting the identities of our smallholders and offer tools that fundamentally speak to this goal. One of our producers gave us the following feedback: “Although our operations are small, being able to widely communicate the goals we would like to achieve helped us feel like we are part of the global community.” In an alliance-based business model which brings so many producers together, it is easy for the individual identity of each smallholder to be buried; however, our IT system eliminates this problem by promoting the identities of our individual producers within the alliance.

Key Achievements

  • Spread GLOBALG.A.P. in Japan, where these standards were not well-known
  • Established the largest developed farming alliance in Japan with 64 member farms
  • Implemented innovative farming IT systems
  • Advanced sustainable, industrialized farming through GLOBALG.A.P.
  • Enabled persons with disabilities to enter the farming workforce
  • Created a unified management system to simultaneously archive production-related information, provide information on how an accident may have occurred, and monitor production costs and progress
  • Developed a traceability and communication service to communicate smallholders’ identities to consumers