Japan today has a low food self-sufficiency rate on a calorie basis at around 38%. It is evident that Japan needs innovation across its entire food value system to reach the target of 45% by fiscal 2030. In recent years, the Japanese Government has taken actions to support the foodtech industry. In 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries established the Public-Private Council of Foodtech to promote collaboration between government, academia and companies.
Growing health and sustainability awareness, and collaboration between startups and established companies are some factors driving the foodtech sector.
In the food sector, the demand for plant-based protein sources is growing and the market value is estimated to have doubled between 2019 and 2022, reaching about 37 billion yen.
There are many startups in the plant-based meat category. Green Culture Inc. launched Green Meat in 2021 made from soybeans targeting the food service industry.
Cultivated meat is another segment that is in focus. The InterCulture startup is developing scalable cell culture technology. Its CulNet System Platform has attracted attention from many overseas investors. In February 2023, the company succeeded in cultivating foie gras from duck liver-derived cells.
In the agritech sector, artificial intelligence has been utilised by several startups. Farmship Inc. has developed an AI-based application that can assess the growth potential of spinach seedlings.
In the food service sector, cooking robots are performing various tasks providing solutions from the aspect of labour shortages in the industry. The world’s first automated pasta cooking robot P-Robo has been developed by TechMagic Ltd. in collaboration with a spaghetti restaurant in Tokyo.
The above foodtech sectors are examples of some segments where EU SMEs could find business opportunities.
The webinar is targeted to EU small- and mid-sized companies looking for opportunities to break into the Japanese foodtech market, and companies seeking to strengthen their current positions in Japan.
In 40 minutes from your desk, discover:
Speaker: Maths Lundin, founder of Sweden Japan Consulting Co., Ltd. (SJC), has more than 35 years of business experience working in Japan in sectors such as home appliances, food service equipment and nano technology. He is now working as a business consultant, including helping European companies to set up business in Japan
Moderator: Sofia Smerzi, Business Support Coordinator, EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation
Organiser: EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation - Brussels Office
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