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Organically Certified Fruits and Vegetables in the Japanese Market

FAO 2003

Katsushige Murayama, 2003

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Summary :

For those who hold an assumption that Japan is the third largest market after those of EU and the United States, the small number of organically certified producers as presented in Table 1 may come as a surprise. As indicated in Table 2-a, the total number of organically certified vegetables and fruits is very low, and the ratio of domestic versus imported products is quite astonishing. Table 2-b presents data on processed foods. Just by looking at the numbers, domestic and imported processed products are close to being even. However, the reality is quite different. While the processing of iconic Japanese foods, such as tofu, natto, and soy sauce, is done in Japan, their ingredients are almost all imported. Frozen vegetables and

cut vegetables for restaurants and pre-made foods are also mostly imported. In Table 2-reference, the production levels of vegetables and fruits, grains, and tea, as well as the percentages of certified products in these categories are presented. We are looking at a very small world.