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Costa Rica sees potential for its fruit in Japan

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2019-01-10  Origin: elnuevodiario.com  Views: 7
Core Tip: Yesterday, Costa Rica's Foreign Trade Promotion Office (Procomer) highlighted Japan's potential as a destination for exports of fortified, functional, natural, organic food and beverages, or those that are an alternative for intolerances.
Yesterday, Costa Rica's Foreign Trade Promotion Office (Procomer) highlighted Japan's potential as a destination for exports of fortified, functional, natural, organic food and beverages, or those that are an alternative for intolerances.

The finding is part of "The food market in Japan," a study carried out by the Procomer that indicates that this type of products are highly appreciated by Japanese consumers and represent an opportunity for Costa Rican companies interested in this market.

Agricultural activities in Japan only account for 1% of their productive structure; as such they have a limited agricultural production and are dependent on imports, the study indicates.

The exception are crops, such as rice with a 100% supply rate, and in categories, such as vegetables (potatoes, pumpkins, and radishes) with an 80% supply rate.

Fruits
According to the study, Japan has a greater dependence on imports in the fruit category, as it has a very small production of fruits and the local supply is limited to apples, pears, and mandarins. According to official data, Japan is the main market for Costa Rica in Asia, and its number 12 partner worldwide with a total of US $176 million in exports in 2017.

Of this total, 80% corresponded to the precision and medical equipment sector, 10% to agricultural products, 5% to electrical and electronics, and 3% to food products.

"This reflects the need to diversify the exportable supply and take into account adding value to the products to conquer the palates of this market," the study states.

To negotiate with Japanese buyers, authorities recommend that Costa Rican products have a stable quality, size, texture, and service level, which are vital to maintain the business relationship.

In addition, the products should differentiate themselves, as 60% of Japan's food is imported, which reflects the high level of competition there is in the market, so the products that want to enter it must be very clear about their value proposal.

Another recommendation is to have a good price-quality ratio and be able to get the product on time to guarantee its freshness so it can compete with local options.

According to data disclosed by Procomer, in 2017 the world market for differentiated foods amounted to US $50.5 million, where the natural category has the highest participation with 52% in the food segment, with a dynamism of 2%.

Japan is the tenth most populous country in the world and one with the oldest population. It has a population of 126 million people and a high average age. It is the first country to register a population decrease (-1 percent in 2015), without being through a period of war or epidemics.

 
 
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