Japan Focus: New food distribution guidelines, adopting a plant-based diet, promoting healthy eating, new public-private food exports, and end-product packaging

By Audrey Yow

- Last updated on GMT

Japan Focus: New food distribution guidelines, adopting a plant-based diet, promoting healthy eating, new public-private food exports, and end-prod...
In this edition of Japan Focus, we look at new food distribution guidelines, promoting plant-based diets and healthy eating, a new government-launched public-private food exports project, and the safety of end-product packaging.

Supplier security: Japan issues new food distribution guidelines to protect manufacturers from retailer practices

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has introduced new distribution guidelines in an effort to protect food manufacturers from retailer practices and prevent food product wastage.

The new 22-page guidelines were formulated after the ministry conducted a national food distribution industry survey and discovered cases of retailers abusing their purchasing powers leading to suppliers taking unfair losses.

A long way to go? A Japanese expert’s take on game changers needed for local consumers to adopt plant-based diet

A 'game-changing phenomenon' needs to take place before plant-based could become a strong trend in Japan, according to an industry expert pioneering meat alternatives in the country.

NEXT MEATS admitted that it is going to take some time before local consumers become more receptive to meat alternatives.

The firm recently introduced a new soy protein-based meat alternative named NEXT BEEF 1.0, as well as plant-based versions of foie gras, caviar and truffle butter by its spinoff company Dr. FOODS.

Promoting a healthy diet in Japan: Why one size doesn’t fit all for media strategies

Researchers have found that a multitude of media strategies are needed to maximise the impact of healthy eating messages in Japan, with particular concern raised about the quality of some of the information published online.

They also said that the public should be educated about the kind of misinformation that’s prevalent especially in the digital space.

This will help them to be more discerning about their sources of information, which will have some impact on the success of campaigns by health and nutrition professionals.

‘Delicious Japan’: Government launches new public-private food exports project to accelerate progress towards 2030 JPY5tn goal

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has launched a new public-private collaborative project focusing on food exports, aiming to boost progress towards the national JPY5tn (US$31.7bn) by 2030 target.

Back in 2020, Japan announced its ambitions to expand food and agricultural exports to the JPY5tn goal by 2030 and since then the bulk of overseas exports and expansion has been overseen by the MAFF Global Farmers / Fishermen / Foresters / Food Manufacturers Project (GFP).

The department has focused on supporting various Japanese food businesses from producers to food manufacturers, traders, exporters and more to enter foreign markets since inception, but now MAFF believes that a more comprehensive and collaborative approach is necessary to accelerate progress towards its 2030 goal.

Responsibility underlined: Food brands responsible for safety of end-product packaging – Japan government

The Japanese government has clarified that the final responsibility to ensure the safety and quality of food packaging lies with food manufacturer producing the end-product that will reach consumers.

It is common in Japan for the production of food packaging to be outsourced by manufacturers to businesses outside of its direct purview, a situation that has complicated past cases where food safety issues have arisen from packaging that failed to meet safety or quality standards.

In order to remove any ambiguity regarding the scope of responsibility in such cases, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has issued a notice that includes specific clarification of such issues, attributing responsibility directly to the food manufacturer responsibility for making the final end-product.

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