By Khan Horne, National Australia Bank
A few weeks ago, we returned from a ten day tour of Japan with 19 of our Agribusiness customers, where we furthered our understanding of Japan’s food production value chain and gained valuable insights into what makes this important trading partner of ours tick.
With a group of our beef, dairy, grain and horticulture producing customers, we toured the cities of Tokyo, Obihiro and Kyoto as well as a diverse range of farming operations which gave us a firsthand view of how this established market feeds its population of nearly 130 million people.
Visiting everything from feedlots and abattoirs through to supermarkets and food service, we were given a view into the incredibly high level of focus people in Japan place on quality, freshness and functionality right throughout their production systems.
The commitment to high quality produce was obvious throughout the tour and this commitment reconfirmed the importance and value of Australia’s trading relationship with Japan - both across well-established commodities like beef and seafood, and in some of the newer horticultural commodities as well.
While beef, and particularly wagyu, remains a dominant product in Japan, no tour of the country would be complete without a visit to the seafood markets. The scale and intensity of these markets is something that must be seen to be believed, and it was particularly pleasing to see frozen Australian tuna taking centre-stage in this iconic market place.
The precision, discipline and respect with which the people of Japan approach food production and the value they place on the end product is a natural alignment with our own focus on producing high quality food and fibre. The strength and longevity of our trade partnership is one we’re pleased to continue to be part of through our support of Australian producers.