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Japan: Farm Ministry to Promote Wholesale Market Integrations
Source: japantoday.com
Source Date: Thursday, October 21, 2010
Country: Japan
Created: Oct 25, 2010

The farm ministry decided Wednesday to implement a policy to designate local wholesale markets nationwide with a large trading volume as regional core markets to streamline local markets, sources close to the matter said. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is expected to select next month less than 20 core markets from 75 central wholesale markets for fresh food items, such as fruit, vegetables and meat as well as fishery products, and give aid to develop their infrastructure from fiscal 2011. The ministry’s move aims at promoting the alignment and integration of smaller local markets and central wholesale markets, many of which suffer from battered profits amid a decrease in trading, as major supermarkets and individual consumers shift to purchasing the items directly from farms and manufactures, and some through online markets, instead of buying from the wholesale markets, according to the sources. An annual transaction volume at central wholesale markets nationwide totaled 6.26 trillion yen in 1994 but dropped to 4.4 trillion yen in 2008, according to the ministry, while the number of such markets peaked at 92 in 1981, gradually decreasing to 75 currently.
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