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The Andalusian agri-food sector strengthens its business in Japan by taking part in the Foodex trade fair

March 26, 2023
The Andalusian agri-food sector strengthens its business in Japan by taking part in the Foodex trade fair

The Government of Andalusia has promoted Andalusia’s participation in the Foodex Japan 2023 fair this March, the main agri-food fair in Japan, the second largest Asian market for Andalusia’s food and beverages, after China, with 164 million euros exported in 2022. The event, which is considered the most important in the Asia-Pacific region, was held from 7 to 10 March at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center.

Extenda, a public company integrated into Andalucía TRADE, has given in this edition more relevance to the linking of Andalusian products of companies with different importers of the Japanese country. The Andalusian companies at Foodex Japan were able to present their catalogue to more than 80,000 visitors, according to the trade fair organisers. In this way, the companies were also able to see their food and beverage products firsthand at a major event for the sector in a strategic market for the Andalusian community, such as Japan, and Asia in general.

This 48th edition of Foodex was attended by 3,500 exhibitors and 60 countries was represented. The export sector that was most represented at the fair was that of processed products (agri-food), while in the visitors’ category, the presence of importers was predominant.

A total of nine companies from Andalusia participated as exhibitors at the fair, specialising in the marketing of extra virgin olive oil, table olives, meat, and nuts. Companies from Granada (Aceites Maeva and Tostaderos Sol de Alba), Seville (Agro Sevilla Aceitunas and Cárnicas Sierra Sur), Jaén (Aceite Romero Verde and Castillo de Canena Olive Juice) and Córdoba (Aceitunas Torrent, Aceites Valderrama, and Aove Alzahira) have travelled to Japan. 

The organisation of this action by Extenda will be co-financed with funds from the European Union through the Andalusian ERDF Programme 2014-2020, with a Community contribution of 80%, or any other European Programme that may co-finance this action.

The export of olive oil, one of the essential products in Andalusian gastronomy, is at a good moment in Japan, as it is a market with a projection that is working to introduce it into the diet of the population, both as a salad dressing and for direct consumption. In any case, its incorporation into the Japanese diet is helping to some extent the expansion of other Andalusian products.

As far as meat products are concerned, it is worth noting that Japan is the world’s leading importer of pork, and this is an opportunity for Andalusian companies, given that production does not meet Japanese demand. In fact, in 2022 Andalusia exported 27.9 million euros to Japan, 24.5% more than in 2021. This is a market of interest with a great margin for growth that will come from a greater awareness of the product on the part of the population since most of the marketing is aimed at the Horeca sector.

Entering the Japanese market is a business opportunity for Andalusian companies in the agri-food sector as Andalusia is the third autonomous community in Spain to have exported the most to Japan in 2022. One of the great ambassadors of Andalusian agribusiness is Iberian ham, a gourmet product that is highly valued by Japanese consumers with high purchasing power and high levels of demand, which is why its packaging and marketing campaigns are so important for its sale and export.

Trade of the Andalusian agri-food complex with Japan has experienced a notable advance in 2022, a year in which exports have reached a record of 164 million euros.

Andalusia is positioned as the third community at the national level, contributing 12.4%, only behind Catalonia and Aragon. Japan brings diversification to Andalusian agri-food so that it is already the thirteenth market for Andalusian food and drink in 2022, and the second in Asia, behind China (217 million euros).