Japan’s high-cost farmers are making a push to be more competitive and export more of their pricey produce, despite the trans-Pacific free-trade deal putting their businesses at risk. Meg Teckman reports.
Japan’s high-end farmers eye export push, unfazed by TPP
Japanese farmers hope to reap the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership with increased exports of their high-quality – but high-priced – fruits.
Output in agricultural sector in Japan mainly stays in Japan with only about five percent going to exports.
And import tariffs and transport costs have previously kept demand low for the already expensive fruit – something that should change under the agreements of the TPP.
Farmer Souichi Furuya remains optimistic.
(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 42-YEAR-OLD GRAPE FARMER, SOUICHI FURUYA, SAYING:
“I think Japanese fruit still has not been fully recognized. Exports can be profitable if we can sell our products overseas, with just a little extra cost compared to the domestic price.”
Japanese produce does still have its overseas fans.
In neighboring Taiwan, shoppers here often choose Japanese fruit and vegetables as they are believed to taste better and are of a higher quality.
And few would say no to trade deals making their daily shop just a little sweeter.