On Thursday 16 January, Tomatoworld welcomed Japanese Ambassador Hidehisa Horinouchi with members from Japan's First Chamber and from the Ministry of Agriculture. They are involved in the revitalization of agriculture and horticulture in Japan and in the reconstruction of northeast Japan after the 2011 tsunami. Mayor Bouke Arends was present on behalf of Westland. He emphasized that the municipality of Westland has had a good relationship with Japan for many years and in particular with the prefecture of Kochi.
Photograph: Thierry Schut
Arends: "Partly thanks to our horticultural friendship with Kochi, which began in 2009, and the many visits by ministers, universities and CEOs to Westland, our business community has acquired an excellent starting position in Japan. That's why we cherish these contacts."
Climate change is a major threat to Japan's food supply. Typhoons, earthquakes, floods and heat have major consequences for the food supply in Japan. In the coming years, the Abe government intends to invest millions of euros in Kochi to transform the underdeveloped agriculture and horticulture sector into a productive sector capable of increasing self-sufficiency. Japan currently produces 38% of the calories needed by the Japanese population. And 64% of the total volume. With an import value of €60 billion, Japan is one of the largest food importers in the world.
Dutch horticulture as an example
The Netherlands is also the second largest exporter of food products in Japan. The delegation visits our country to see examples of the innovative approach that has led to this success.
In Tomatoworld's greenhouse, the delegation was introduced to the innovative, sustainable method of growing healthy products. Special attention was paid to controlling the greenhouse climate with the computer, the irrigation system and ventilation fans. The presence of Tomatoworld partners in this area informed the delegation of the latest innovations.
Thanks to our relationship with Kochi and Japan's increasing need to modernise agriculture and horticulture, the Japanese Cabinet sees the Netherlands as an exemplary model. Westland companies can benefit from this.