Challenges in agriculture when finding new ways to sell
The magnificent mountains of the Alps lined up in the clear sky, refreshing breeze and pleasant sunlight streaming through the trees. A peaceful farm where humans and animals have the ability to forget time. Swan Farm in Ina city, Nagano province is planting fruit trees with the support of sheep, goats, foal, insects and creatures aiming for a 100 year old orchard.
Noboru Shiratori, in charge of cultivation, always respected the belief that “they grow fruit trees with the help of organisms living in this land without relying on pesticides and chemical fertilizers”, and they are two generations of parents and children. After 36 years of trial and error, we have obtained JAS certification for the most difficult organic fruit tree. It was the first time in Japan to get a certification for Sumomo, the second in Japan for Momo and the third in Japan for Ringo.
JAS organic certification has been cultivated with time and effort, but its value is unknown. Since there are so many apple manufacturers around it is difficult to sell at a fair price because there is a stereotype that “all apples are the same as you get”, and future management. will be in trouble. In that situation, there should be a new way of selling.
The Support Team, Ina Branch was established
“Swan, Ciddle, Ciddle!”
In 2015, his friend Shiratori, chef Jibie Akira Hasebe, started the challenge of making seeds with apples. Mr. Hasebe had heard from a skilled brewer, Mr. Tsuyoshi Takemura, that “small apples are suitable for cider making”.
The apples that Mr. Shiratori made are small, so it’s just right, and if you make a seedling, you can make the base for your income. With that in mind, we launched the “Ceddle Development Project” with the participation of the owner of a winery, Kouki Nishimura.
Thanks to the passion and skills of these four, we succeeded in a high-risk attempt to incubate the Fuji Cedre in the first year without adding sulfite the following year. However, even when the seed made was distributed in Ina City, apple products did not seem to add value in Nagano. Therefore, at the suggestion of Mr. Shunsuke Saito, the regional coordinator of Ina City, we decided to bring it to the product development meeting held in Tokyo.
I think letting people realize the right value in the metropolitan area will be an opportunity to let everyone in Japan know the value of Shiratori seeds and apples.
“I want to add value to the apples, which tend to be considered as cheap mass consumer goods among fruit trees, to become” someone’s special dish “because of the demographic decline. reduce this “.
With Shiratori’s thoughts like this, the Ciddle Tokyo expansion project began.
Party cheering, branch Ina established
At the same time, a product development project was launched for those who wanted to participate in the creation of local products and services even if they lived in Tokyo city. Many people join the gathering, including individuals working at food manufacturers, specialty food retailer, food wholesaler owners, creators, media and administrative staff.
“Even if you’re working in food-related jobs, companies tend to focus on selling. I sell in a situation where I can’t see the employees and eaters, I can confidently recommend you. do.” There is a story of the hand. I want to try to convey the story and the feelings of the people with the product. “
“I want to tell my kids what kind of person is making it.”
“As a consumer, the selection criteria at supermarkets are freshness and price. Best is where the production is. There is very little selection information and inorganic feel. I would like to receive information. and a warmer relationship. “
Everyone’s motivation for participation is different, but one thing they have in common is their desire to join the producer. Even when I try to go directly to a rural area, it is often difficult since I don’t have time or no acquaintances, so I looked for opportunities to stick with the countryside when I was in Tokyo.
Mr. Saito, the participant from Ina City, proposed a seed product plan in the project. It was adopted as the first project, and the Tokyo Branch that cheered Shiratori-san was established.
The value created by connecting rural and urban areas
The project included a meeting in Tokyo and fieldwork in Ina City. Dozens of project members led by the organizers will tour the site and perform apple picking (selecting fruit to focus on nutrition and picking the rest) at the farm, experiencing farming and production . We have provided an opportunity to know your thoughts.
And next month, we will hold a discussion with those unable to go to the field in Tokyo. In addition to the video and storytelling that conveys the farm’s status and the producers’ personality, we organized a strategy workshop for all participants to promote the product. At some later meetings, while drinking the previous year, the sales strategy ideas (customer goals, target area, size, price, sales funnel development method, etc.) has been presented comfortably.
When I reported the excitement of the Tokyo branch and many ideas to the Ina city side, everyone was amazed at the sense of difference. Contrary to the Ina City side, which allows the production and sale of seeds in full bottles, the Tokyo branch is overwhelmingly popular because it is half a bottle lighter and has a size prized as a gift. In terms of pricing, there is a big difference between the domestic distribution price and the price considered by the Tokyo branch.
Every idea has a new surprise, and the success of the Tokyo branch plays a key role in helping Ina City get to know the Tokyo market and change its perceptions. Mr. Shiratori, who heard the report from the Tokyo branch, said with his brightest smile, “No happy farmer can support me so much.”
For the Tokyo branch, participation in this project has brought about a big change in perception. From the project meeting participants
“Up until now, I have not heard the warm stories of producers outside of the media, such as on TV. I want to make interesting local producers and agriculture interesting. more like my own thing. “
“By participating in such a project, I find it a pleasure to be involved in the food business.”
“There are people with completely different ideas from me, and again I feel that the power when different human resources come together is amazing!”
Many excited and amused voices were heard.
An equal relationship is created by a group of producers, sellers and consumers. The gratitude, respect, and compassion I feel in the process is my attachment to the region. This is a form of agriculture that spreads fans throughout the regions.