March 05


March 09


Food & Drinks Mission for SMEs

Business opportunities in Japan for EU organic agri-food companies

The EU-Japan trade deal will be the most successful agreement ever achieved in agriculture, providing EU exporters better opportunities. It represents the biggest concession Japan has ever granted on agriculture to any trade partner, meaning that the EU is likely to become the most significant partner for Japan for agri-trade.


This 5-day mission will focus on the organics sector (primarily processed food and drinks, for raw ingredients: wheat, rice and sugar only) and will include a 1-day orientation session, lectures  and 4-day (free) exhibition space at the FOODEX JAPAN 2018  (Chiba, Japan).

There are 8 places on this mission (with a maximum of one per company). To ensure their visibility at the trade fair, each company will have space to exhibit in the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation’s booth.

Professional interpreters will be on hand during the trade fair to help you communicate with potential Japanese business partners. Based on materials you provide, the EU-Japan Centre will arrange Japanese-language posters to promote your product at the EU-Japan Centre’s booth.

Prior to the mission an online pre-departure briefing will be organised to enable participants to prepare for the mission and their communication with future Japanese potential partners.


Worldwide, interest in organic food and drinks is steadily growing and Japan has Asia’s largest market for organic agri-food products. With the most demanding consumers in the world, the country needs to further expand its import to a wider variety of affordable organic products and farming methods.  

With the EU and Japan having reached agreement in principle on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), EU agri-food companies are likely to see a significant increase in business opportunities in Japan in the coming years once tariffs begin reducing and non-tariff barriers are addressed. Given it takes time to establish relationships in Japan, companies taking part in March’s mission will be well-placed to take advantage of the EPA once it is implemented.

As a participant to this mission you will:

  • Exhibit at FOODEX JAPAN, Asia's largest exhibition dedicated to food and drink
  • Gain knowledge about the targeted market structure, sector analysis, business policy
  • create new business opportunities
  • Identify relevant key contacts
  • Establish first contact and potential business relationships with Japanese companies, clusters and/or subcontractors.  


This mission is addressed at SMEs working in the organic food and drinks sector, developing high quality products with packaging strategies towards Japan.  


The EU-Japan Centre covers all mission-related costs such as speakers’ fees, room rental, trade fair registration, booth rental & arrangements, lectures and seminars, and poster translation and printing.   

All participants cover their travel costs to and from Japan as well as living expenses in Japan, including accommodation. The transfer of food or any additional equipment to the fair will be at participant's cost.


SMEs from European Union and COSME partnering countries active in organic food and drinks sector (e.g: Canned food, Fruit juice, Fruit, Vegetable juice, Vegetables, Rice, Soy products, Dairy products, Wheat, Chocolate, Green tea, Coffee, Wine, other products...).


The candidate must:

  • be a citizen of an EU Member State or of a COSME partnering country
  • work for a Small or Medium-Sized company that is > 50% EU (or COSME partnering country) owned
  • work for an organisation that is an EU (or COSME partnering country) juridical person
  • have a product certified with the EU organic logo  (for applicants from COSME partnering country only – the product must confirm with the Organic JAS label)
  • be supported by his/her employer
  • be able to participate in the entire programme
  • have a good command of English
  • be a manager with proven experience in industry


The main criteria for selection are:

  • the professional & educational background of the candidate;
  • the strategy of the participant's company regarding Japan.

In order to ensure a high degree of personal attention, the number of participants in this first Food & Drinks mission is limited to 8 (1 per/company).



The participants' companies must cover travel costs to/from Japan, accommodation and any other costs not covered directly by the EU-Japan Centre (living expenses).

Participant’s companies will have to pay a 100% refundable deposit of €1,000 to guarantee their place on the mission. Failure to transfer the deposit by the deadline set by the Centre may result in the offer of the place being withdrawn.

The deposit will be refunded within 8 weeks after the mission only if the participant submits any and all reports the Centre asks him/her to make. 

Absences during the mission may lead to deductions amounting to 120 EUR/day.


SMEs selected for this mission will benefit from a €600 grant.


If, for whatever reason, a participant cannot take up his / her confirmed place, the deposit may NOT be refunded.

 (*): SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are companies meeting the standard European Commission criteria for an SME which have applied successfully for a scholarship. Other companies are large companies or SMEs that fail to apply successfully for a scholarship.





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