Strawberry farm: signing of an agreement for a demonstration study on the value-added summer and autumn strawberry business model
Production and marketing of “Natsuakari”, a rare variety
As part of a local development business promoted by EJEC, Strawberry Farm Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “SF”, President Shin-ichi Masuda) was established in Senboku City, Akita Prefecture in 2012 as a 100% subsidiary of EJEC to conduct a pilot project on the cultivation and sale of summer and autumn strawberries. On February 24, 2017, SF signed an agreement for a full-scale demonstration study (study period: from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2019) on the value-added summer and autumn strawberry business model using a very tasty, continually bearing strawberry variety name “Natsuakari” with the Tohoku Agricultural Research Center of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (hereinafter referred to as “TARC”).
The background for this agreement was the fact that the work of SF had achieved certain positive results up to FY 2016, enabling the realization of a new highly profitable agricultural model through a combination of its unique marketing method and the use of the rare variety “Natsuakari”. Based on these results, SF has now reached the stage of commencing a full-scale demonstration study jointly with the TARC which holds breeder’s rights for the said variety and possesses a stable high yield cultivation technology. This study continued until the end of 2018 and it is planned to move to the expansion and wide area dissemination phase of the model once the model’s feasibility has been verified.
Although the annual consumption volume of strawberries is said to be more than 100,000 tons in the domestic market, the production volume in such off-crop seasons as summer and autumn is extremely low at approximately 3,000 tons, primarily in the Tohoku Region and northwards. Because of the need for the efficient distribution of this limited volume to consumption areas nationwide, the use of summer and autumn strawberries is practically restricted to business use. Production and distribution activities are conducted to support this system. However, strawberries have become a regular fruit in the lifestyle of the Japanese people and various events. Therefore, it is a simple fact that the conventional mode of supply is inadequate for the annually growing and diversifying needs of modern consumers.
Under these circumstances, SF is proceeding with the improvement of such quality elements as taste and freshness and also the advancement of the production and shipping systems to increase the convenience for consumers with a view to newly meeting potential needs for highly value-added summer and autumn strawberries. As these business activities and business model pursued by the said demonstration study envisage and target a new market for summer and autumn strawberries, they are expected to complement the existing demand and supply situation, contributing to the overall development of agriculture.
EJEC is determined to continue its active business development efforts for regional revitalization and agricultural development.
< Contact details for enquiries >
Any enquiry concerning the business of SF by the press, etc. should be made to the following contact:
Shin-ichi Masuda (Mr.)
President of Strawberry Farm Co., Ltd.
Tel: 086-252-8956 (EJEC: Business Promotion Department)
Soichiro Miyashita (Mr.)
Strawberry Farm Co., Ltd.
Homepage of Strawberry Farm Co., Ltd.: http://www.sfarm.co.jp/ (web site in Japanese)
Cultivation of strawberries
Inside view of the cultivation house