The 2nd Seminar “Making Kameoka an organic town” (Ryo Iwahashi, Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

On Monday, February 17th, the 2nd Seminar “Making Kameoka an organic town” – Special Lecture and Meeting – was organized at Galleria Kameoka, Kyoto. We have been working together with the food and agriculture-related stakeholders and actors in Kameoka, organizing various meetings and events, one of which was the 1st Seminar“Making Kameoka an organic town”. It inspired us to organize Kameoka Nou Marche in November 2019 and then seminar.

The first part of this event was dedicated to a special lecture by Mr. Nobuyuki Motoyama, Manager of the Biostyle Co., Ltd. entitled “Emerging challenges of organic produce distribution: To build a good society with food”. He introduced the efforts and activities of GOOD NATURE STATION in Kawaramachi, one of the projects of the Biostyle Co., Ltd. and their policy on distribution and sales of organic and other agricultural produce.

Various issues pertaining to distribution have been raised in terms of expanding production and consumption of organic produce. In his talk, Mr. Motoyama explained that they as a distributor take aim at achieving “good for all four sides” meaning that producers, distributors/sellers, consumers and future should be doing well and benefitted, and they value a trust relationship in which all those involved are fully convinced and content. He also pointed out that what and how producers think and value are not necessarily in sync with what and how consumers think and value, so it is necessary to keep reminding yourself not to be self-congratulatory. A problem of Japanese supermarkets stuck in a price war was also highlighted, to which he responded that conventional agricultural produce should be priced higher to create a better market. Then, he presented some of their products such as enzyme syrup made of organic tea flower buds, which make best use of what are “organic” but usually discarded.

The second half of this event was a workshop to explore the thoughts and sentiments of producers, consumers (including public administration) and distributors (including the food service industry). The participants were first grouped into these three teams in accordance with their real-life role in the food system, and wrote down what they would like to convey and do in post-its and organized them on a simili paper. Then, they repeated the same process, putting themselves in the shoes of other group and imaging their thoughts. Everyone, both those who joined our event for the first time and those who had been working with us, was vigorous in presenting their opinions and discussion.

This seminar was a great opportunity to re-explore and re-think about distribution of organic produce, and efforts and activities of local organic farming. We hope to continue to make best use of the Kameoka network of local producers, consumers, distributors and public administrators for better agrifood activities for Kameoka.

(Translated by Yuko K.)

Special lecture by Mr. Motoyama (Photo: FEAST)

Workshop (Photo: FEAST)