The Japanese government is looking to establish in March of 2017 an organization to promote Japanese agricultural and food products around the world. It will be the Japanese version of Sopexa, credited with making French wines a global hit. The organization will set up promotional operations in international markets to raise awareness of the quality of Japanese food products and support their export by producers and companies.
Until now, export promotion activities of Japanese agricultural and food products have not been very effective as they have been organized individually by production region or food company for handling, for example, “Kobe beef” and “Koshihikari rice.”
This new agency, provisionally called Sopexa Japan, will be housed within the Japan External Trade Organization, so that it can take advantage of JETRO’s overseas connections, and staffed by a private sector team with expertise in marketing food products overseas.
More specifically, the new agency will build export strategies by region, based on a keen understanding of local consumer demand and the hiring of top-notch purchasing agents, and maintain focused marketing operations. Moreover, the agency will help exporting business by providing information and advice on effective sales and marketing practices.
Sopexa, the French communications and marketing organization that served as a model for Japanese government, was founded in 1961 by the French government to enhance French food exports and was privatized in 2008. It has agencies in 26 nations including Japan.