Austrade Japan’s Food & Agribusiness team and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA’s International Trade & Investment Centre jointly delivered a virtual market briefing to 20 WA companies who had planned to attend Foodex 2020. This is the largest annual food and beverage trade show in Japan, but it was cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These WA companies are all major F&B producers, supplying a wide range of meats, seafood, horticulture, packaged foods and alcoholic beverages.
The briefing covered a number of topics, including an overview of the impact COVID-19 has had on food service and retail sectors in Japan, market updates and opportunities, as well as new innovations in the F&B space in the face of ‘new normal’ market conditions.
Japan has positioned itself as one of the top three export countries for the Australian F&B sector over many decades and the value of exports in 2019 increased to A$ 5.1 billion, up by 21% compared to 2015, when the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force.
Australia remains a very important supply country for Japan, given Japan’s relatively low food self-sufficiency rate. While this is good news for Australian suppliers of primary products, Japan can be a tough market for Australian packaged product exporters as it has excellent capacity to produce value-added products by itself, with a value-based ratio of 66%.
All participants actively participated in the Q&A session, and indicated their keenness to enter this sophisticated market. Going forward, they intend to consider the best approach for success in the Japanese market with support from CCIWA. It would be great to see some of the WA products on supermarket shelves in Japan down the track!