Tokyo, June 1, 2018 - Rakuten Ragri, the agricultural service operated by Rakuten, Inc., today announced that it has established a prepared salad factory in Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture, and launched an organic vegetable prepared salad business. The factory, which uses organic vegetables*1 and carries out all stages of production in one location, from the cultivation of vegetables to processing, is the first of its kind in Japan.
The vegetables handled by Ragri’s prepared salad factory are organic vegetables grown in organic fields. In Japan, organic fields account for only about 0.2%*2 of the cultivated land area. Until now, food processing operations utilizing organic vegetables have faced challenges in ensuring a stable supply of vegetables. However, through the integrated production methods used by the factory, it has become possible to ensure not only a stable supply of organic produce, but to sell fresh, organic prepared salads and use vegetables that in the past may have been disposed of due to not meeting distribution standards for size and shape. In the future, Ragri is considering increasing the number of agricultural land hubs for growing organic vegetables and the number of factories, while cooperating with local governments and other groups.
In conjunction with the building of the prepared salad factory, Telefarm, Co., Ltd., a member of the Rakuten Group, was certified in November 2017 as an organic processed food production process manager based on the Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS) Law, in addition to being a certified organic agricultural products producer.
Going forward, Ragri aims to develop an efficient production system based on an innovative distribution network and forecast demand to provide agricultural products grown by discerning producers to more consumers.
*1 Organic vegetables: Vegetables grown by certified growers in which production is inspected by accredited agencies as conforming to JAS standards for organic food based on law (JAS Law) relating to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries standards.
*2 Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: The area of organic JAS fields in Japan (as of April 1, 2017)