Monday, Dec 10, 2018
Industry & Trade | Asia-Pacific | Japan

Food and Food Manufacturing

Gearing up for FOOMA Japan 2018


6 months ago

FOOMA JAPAN 2018, International Food Machinery & Technology Exhibition
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Mr. Fumiharu Masuda

Chairperson of FOOMA JAPAN 2018

We speak to Fumiharu Masuda, Chairperson of FOOMA JAPAN 2018, ahead of this year’s event, which takes place 12-15 June.

 

 

After a year of waiting, Japan’s leading food-processing technology exhibition is back. What will make FOOMA JAPAN 2018 such a special and unmissable event?

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Japan Food Machinery Manufacturers’ Association. Japan, along with the rest of the world, is going through tremendous changes that are revolutionizing cross-sectorial industries. The greatest change is linked to our ageing societies, which is inevitably shrinking the available workforce. This demographic decline is forcing international economies to increase their productivity levels. In that regard, the food industry has been lagging behind, which is a dangerous trend.

Amongst all the nations concerned, Japan is facing the most precarious situation. Compared to Western nations, the Japanese food industry is divided into two segments: a) mass production and b) craftsman industry. In Japan, consumers are extremely demanding when it comes to product quality – up to a point that even mass produced items must abide to the highest standards of safety and quality. Due to the lack of manpower, there is a fear that productivity levels are to decline, and people are scared that this situation will negatively impact the quality of food items. The food industry has reached a critical period, one where it must find ways to maintain high quality despite the decline in man power and productivity. To achieve its objective, the food industry requires the necessary technologies. FOOMA JAPAN 2018 is the platform to display to the world the power of these new technologies.

 

FOOMA JAPAN is visited by almost 100,000 people every year with a growing number of overseas visitors in search of excellent food manufacturing and processing machinery. Can you tell us more details as to this rise in international visitors and exhibitors?

In Japan, we are seeing a drastic influx in visitors and the tourism industry has continued to rise. By 2020, the goal of Japan is to have 40 million visitors. While the current number remains around 20 million, we persist in seeing an increased influx.

It is interesting to note that the tourism sector and the food industry are intimately linked. Thirty years ago, many Japanese citizens visited Europe. Countries such as France grew impressively popular. As tourists tasted French bread and discovered the “café” culture, they began to recreate these experiences domestically. Today, many French bread makers have integrated the Japanese market with high end boulangeries such as Maison Kaiser being consumed in high amounts. Just like the French culture gained popularity thirty years ago, the Japanese cuisine and culture is gaining great popularity today.

The many tourists that come to Japan are predominantly Asian. When they return home, they seek to recreate similar tastes. These individuals feel that opening a Japanese restaurant or replicating the quality of Japanese food is a great business opportunity. Such individuals have been on the rise and they naturally take a greater interest in visiting the FOOMA JAPAN exhibition.

 

What makes FOOMA JAPAN 2018 a perfect place to engage in B2B communication?

The main strength of FOOMA JAPAN 2018 is that the majority of people gathered are experts in their particular fields. Because of this high concentration of expertise and skills, the exhibition is highly specialized and accurate.

Furthermore, what is interesting is that exhibitors come from various aspects of the supply chain. The people gathered at FOOMA JAPAN 2018 give a vertical and horizontal overview of the market, making it the most complete exhibition available. From processers to packaging and exports, every aspect of the food industry’s supply chain is represented. Other exhibitionsdo not have such as high representation of various experts. When you come to FOOMA JAPAN, not only do you see machines related to confectionary production, but you are also able to witness meat processing machinery, fish cake confectioners and a wide array of technologies present along the entire supply chain.

Being in contact with such a diverse environment and expertise triggers creativity.As people begin to apply a combination of these technologies, they start to ponder about their own business. This cross-sectorial display of technology provokes creativity and amelioration. I therefore feel that FOOMA JAPAN 2018 is a strong platform for idea formation. For all stakeholders, the business people, engineers, marketing and entrepreneurs, it is a place where they can really get inspired by being in contact with all steps of the value-chain.

 

Throughout its history, FOOMA JAPAN has established itself as a leading food machinery exhibition worldwide, always attracting more and more international recognition.What services do you provide to accommodate for the needs of international visitors and international exhibitors?

Even for smaller distributors that do not have the resources to have multilingual material, we have created various pamphlets and brochures in English. We will provide an international lounge that foreigners can use freely. We are also placing multi-lingual individuals around the exhibition to guide visitors. These translators can be easily identified by their international badges. Furthermore, exhibitors and their staff will also wear badges in order to help visitors navigate throughout the exhibition.

A while ago, two Dutch friends came from Amsterdam to visit me. One of my employees created a map for them to travel on their own, and they made it to their destination just fine. This story exemplifies how the entire nation is getting ready to welcome foreigners for the Olympic Games. Over the past decade, FOOMA JAPAN and Japan as a whole have made significant advances to overcome the language barrier. Furthermore, Japanese people are easy to talk to and always willing to help.

 

FOOMA JAPAN 2018 will be held under the motto of “FOOD TECHNOLOGY UNLIMITED.” Can you tell us more about this philosophy?

As I said it, the world is in a time of extreme transformation. In order to adapt to a rapidly changing world, innovation is key to success. Innovation here cannot be understood as the mere emergence of new technologies, but rather as a combination of existing ones. New combinations and new encounters triggers innovation. When you meet people from different backgrounds, you begin to combine your expertise and you give room to creativity. The emergence of new ideas through encounters are limitless, and that is the spirit behind our motto: “food technology unlimited.”

 

FOOMA JAPAN 2018 will present state-of-the-art products, technologies, and services to ameliorate our daily lives through increased food productivity, quality and safety.What are the main innovative trends/sectors that we should be looking at this year?

When it comes to food manufacturers, we can divide them into two groups. The first is small and medium-sized enterprises and the second one is large-scale corporations. Both groups share a similar problem: workforce decline. When it comes to SMEs, often times the nature of the business itself requires great dependence and reliance on all the individuals involved. When it comes to SMEs, they utilize technologies differently from large-scale business.

As SMEs are dependent on their people, they can operate smaller person-sized robots utilizing AI and IoT to replace certain tasks. These robots can alleviate a part of the work and the limited size of SMEs does not impeach them from performing. When it comes to large scale businesses, they can incorporate drastic improvements in productivity by bringing new technologies such as AI, IoT and Big Data along their manufacturing and production activities. We are seeing a growing trend with exhibitors showcasing such technologies, and that is perhaps the greatest appeal as to the attractiveness of FOOMA JAPAN 2018.

High food quality is especially important to SMEs and they have developed unique technologies to protect and sustain this quality. There is a fear that if they were to leave food processing to robots only, there would be a huge decline in quality. For FOOMA JAPAN 2018, our objective is to provide as many solutions as possible to help SMEs maintain their standards. We therefore provide a wide array of solutions. FOOMA JAPAN is a place where you can see food-related solutions to their fullest capacity.

 

Do you have some last words to the readers of the Worldfolio and to the attendees of the FOOMA JAPAN 2018 exhibition?

I ask for your support and cooperation to broadcast the appeal of FOOMA JAPAN 2018. On the side of the organizers, we will give our outmost best to give people a platform where they can find the solution to their problems. Come to FOOMA JAPAN earnestly and come with your problems! We are here to show you the solutions.

 


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