Very popular abroad! The “big market for ripe strawberries from Japan” could open up with new containers

Add value to ripe strawberries with the new “Freschel ®” container

The owners

Sweet and delicious strawberries are very perishable and one of the most laborious agricultural products to distribute and store. Strawberries are classified by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as a fruit or vegetable, and unlike fruit trees that are ripe and delicious like peaches and persimmons, their paleness is when they are harvested.

“If you wait until the harvest is ripe, it will easily spoil the distribution and collection at home, but if the fruit is still green and young before ripe, the sugar content will be low and will become sour mulberry. with foreign bride. It is extremely delicious, can be stored in the refrigerator at home for 3 to 4 days, up to 1 week, so the quality deterioration is unavoidable, a barrier to maintaining quality for widespread distribution. abroad. “I did,” said Mr Teramon.

At Utsunomiya University in Tochigi prefecture, a famous strawberry-producing region, research on maintaining strawberry quality was continued for 10 years under the guidance of Associate Professor Masaru Kashiwazaki, an affiliated farm. Agriculture Department. The large strawberry “Skyberry” was introduced in 2014, and the new “Freschel ®” container for large strawberries was developed around the same time in 2015.

“Freschel ®” is a large capsule shaped strawberry capsule, it keeps the strawberry at the bottom and stalk of the hardest strawberry and doesn’t touch the soft to eat, so it prevents deformation. substance of fruit flesh by contact. I will.

“By using Freschel ®, you can prevent quality deterioration when exporting. Even at home, if the temperature is low, it can be stored for about 2 weeks after purchase.” This project exports Japanese strawberries including Tochigi prefecture. Great purpose is to support. “

Strawberry farming is a bestseller with agriculture and industry

Strawberries usually sell for around 1,000 yen / kg, and strawberries are about 20% more expensive. However, the large skyberries at “Freschel ®” can maintain high quality without damaging the pulp, so the price in water is around 1,500 yen per seed.

“The new type of skyberry is big, beautiful shape, delicious and fragrant when ripe. In addition, an oversized strawberry (about 60 g), twice as large as a regular skyberry, is placed in a special box “Freschel ®”. That way the visual impact is very noticeable. “

Freschel® development has helped to export strawberries. In 2016, large skyberries were very popular abroad, such as in Malaysia, and so popular that they sold out immediately. However, at this stage, the production of ripe strawberries can be sold for about 1,500 yen / seed, with a small scale of over 1,000, so even if there are buyers, the production volume is limited.

So it seems 2017 is a year when Utsunomiya University collaborated with agriculture and industry to search for technology to efficiently produce large, high-quality strawberries.

“Freschel®’s development has solved the distribution problem, and we are also finding that delicious Japanese strawberries are in demand overseas. The remaining problem is that the production of high quality large grain strawberries will be commercial. We started growing strawberries in Japan and started researching the steady growing of high quality, large ripe strawberries.

By sharing research results with producers, we wanted to increase the “incidence” of large ripe strawberries. We want to create a large, high-quality brand of ripe strawberries and start a new business with producers. “

Expansion of Japanese strawberries abroad for the wealthy in Europe and the Middle East

In the large distribution of ripe strawberries, the overseas market is just as important as the domestic market. We are reaching out to exceptionally rich and highly sensitive people with the aim of “enhancing brand equity in Japan by gaining recognition abroad and re-importing into Japan.”

In 2016, it rose to prominence at a food show in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and had talks about sales channels aimed at royalty and the upper class. Outside of the Middle East, we would like to start distributing in Paris (France) through our business partners this season.

“In foreign markets, especially Europe and the Middle East, Japanese strawberries are big, sweet and evenly ripe, extremely rare and of high value, so we will focus on expanding to Europe and the Middle East. , to Europe attracts many tourists. Starting from mighty Paris and Brussels (Belgium), we are also looking to expand into the UK and other EU countries. “

In 2017-2018, in order to increase supply, we plan to actively cooperate with manufacturers not only from Tochigi but also from other manufacturing regions to meet overseas demand.

Strengthen branding in partnership with manufacturers who want to support Japanese agriculture

In Japan, Skyberries in Freschel® will be sold in quantity 12 pieces / box for about 20,000 yen, as in 2016.

“I want to work well with manufacturers to develop high-end brands. Over the next few years, my goal is to improve the domestic supply system while enhancing overseas brand value at the same time. Next 5 years We aim to expand the domestic market with the cooperation of manufacturers. “

Currently, we buy large strawberries and sell them together with “Freschel ®”. The price of a set is 200 yen for the sale of the box, but there is also a 20-30% discount depending on the quantity of the order. In addition to selling containers, we are also giving lessons on when to harvest, and we are also preparing robots for harvest.

“We are a venture company founded by the university, so we are not just thinking about our own interests. We are thinking more importantly about the kind of motivation we can provide. Future Japanese agriculture.

Young people are attracted to agriculture, and new agricultural businesses are actively created. I think such a society supports the foundation of Japan. We are looking forward to such a future in which we actively support producers and every agribusiness created with our cooperation will greatly expand profits. “

Japanese ripe strawberries are being developed overseas thanks to the advantage of distribution. We are promoting branding for gifts rather than meals. Currently, the value-added strategy is considered an indispensable part of the development of Japanese agriculture, the main driver may be technological innovation and cooperation with producers.