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Dee-Sea Pole and Line Skipjack Fisheries Council Applies for MEL Japan

September 24, 2010

The Dee-Sea Pole and Line Skipjack Fisheries Council, affiliated with the Federation of Japan Skipjack and Tuna Fisheries Cooperatives, reached a decision to proceed with the application for Marine Eco-Label Japan certification. In conjunction with filing for Fishery Certification, the Council simultaneously intends to encourage processors for Chain of Custody Certification; to this end, a meeting will soon take place at Yaizu City, targeting Yaizu Market, refrigeration companies, and seared bonito manufacturers.

In an attempt to differentiate high quality B1 bonito and sashimi grade albacore products prepared by far seas pole and line skipjack boats, the Council says, "We hope to attain Japan's eco-label certification, MEL Japan and receive wide recognition of our superior commodities from consumers."

The application will cover an entire fleet of 27 boats and targets bonito and albacore. Each boat will submit its own form, not collectively. The submission of the application will be carried out early October; after undergoing an assessment procedure the fisheries will be awarded the certification sometime in December.

Pertaining to applying for MEL Japan certification, the head of the Federation of Japan Skipjack and Tuna Fisheries Cooperatives, Takahiro Ishikawa said, "The reason behind the decision is to market commodities by the pelagic pole and line skipjack fisheries as differentiated, high quality products based on stable supply. In addition, together with Fishery Certification, we plan to persuade distributors and processors to acquire their part of certification."

The original article was published on September 24, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Declining Private Brand Users and Rising Mail-Orders

September 24, 2010

Amid an unwavering consumer trend to maintain their frugal lifestyle, the latest consumer preference was exposed: consumers exhibited their faltering willingness to purchase private brand (PB) products, compared to last year, instead, what was saved was invested in mail order purchases and hobbies for personal pleasure. A marketing research firm, Cross Marketing Inc., revealed the findings from a survey where men and women of 20-69 years of age were polled online from August 6-8. Usable responses were obtained from 1,200 people.

Those who purchased more PB products represented 30.8 percent, down 1.9 percentage points from the previous research a year ago. On the other hand, those who indicated no changes were 64.4 percent, an increase of 4.6 points, evidencing consumers' unyielding will to remain austere.

What stood out in the poll was the usage frequency of mail orders. 25.5 percent of responders indicated increased mail order purchases, up 9.2 percentage points from the previous year. Moreover, a diffusion index of consumer trend in this particular case was 9.4 after deducing "decreased" (16.1 percent) from "increased" (25.5 percent), up 15.9 points over a year ago.

The declined number of people dished out money at restaurants. Growing consumption of happo-shu, low-malt beer, at home was exhibited, an indication of consumer frugality.

The original article was published on September 24, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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