Jul 06, 2023

Company / Press Release

Human- and environment-friendly food value chain creates synergies

Panasonic Invests in SAKA NO TOCHU, a Company Determined to Expand Environmentally Friendly Agriculture, through Panasonic Kurashi Visionary Fund

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Masahiro Shinada; hereinafter referred to as Panasonic) today announced that it has decided to invest in SAKA NO TOCHU Co., Ltd. (Head office: Kyoto-shi, Kyoto; President: Kunihiko Ono; hereinafter referred to as SAKA NO TOCHU), a vegetable delivery service provider, through a corporate venture capital fund, commonly known as the Panasonic Kurashi Visionary Fund, jointly managed by Panasonic and SBI Investment Co., Ltd.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has set a goal to expand organic farming, which currently accounts for only 0.5% of arable land, to 25% (1 million hectares) by 2050 in order to build sustainable food systems. The EC ratio, or the ratio of the e-commerce market size to the total B2C market size of the domestic food, beverage, and liquor industry, is 3.77% as of 2021, which is low compared to other industries and is expected to grow in the future.

With the theme of building an agriculture that will last for the next 100 years, SAKA NO TOCHU offers about 500 varieties of vegetables each year, including some that are grown organically, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and are not uniform. In addition, it also actively builds supply chains with small-scale farmers and has developed its own system of direct transactions with partner farmers to help stabilize and expand their operations. About 80% of the partner farmers are new to agriculture, and many of them are young farmers. The vegetable delivery subscription service is expanding every year due to its high-quality products based on direct transactions and the sympathy the company's vision has won.

Panasonic offers a wide range of products related to food infrastructure, including cooking appliances as well as B2B products such as Plug-in Cooler & Freezer Showcases mainly for the Japanese and the US markets. In this area, Panasonic has contributed to environmentally friendly supply chains, particularly in terms of reducing CO2 emissions through energy savings and our natural refrigerant technology.
The partnership with SAKA NO TOCHU, which shares the same commitment to sustainability as Panasonic and has direct channels to producers, is expected to enable the collaboration of SAKA NO TOCHU's organic vegetables and other food products with Panasonic's cooking appliances and cold chain equipment, creating synergies to build a food value chain that is friendly to both people and the environment.

With a mission to contribute to the wellbeing of people, society, and the planet, Panasonic aims to be the best partner to support people's lives with human centric technology and innovation. The company will continue to strengthen its open innovation initiatives based on strong partnerships by investing in promising startups both in Japan and overseas that are competitive in areas that are closely related to people's lives, such as energy, food infrastructure, spatial infrastructure, and lifestyle.

■ Comments from Kunio Gohara, General Manager of the Corporate Venture Capital Office, Panasonic Corporation

With the growth of the e-commerce food market, our freshness preservation technologies, such as refrigeration and freezing, are becoming increasingly important.
We expect that this investment in SAKA NO TOCHU will accelerate the creation of new value chains that deliver fresh and delicious premium food products not only to the direct-to-consumer (D2C) market, but also to various customer touch points (channels) such as stores, restaurants, and offices.

■ Comments from Kunihiko Ono, President of SAKA NO TOCHU Co., Ltd.

We are pleased to share with Panasonic Corporation, which is also committed to sustainability, our belief that we will play an important role in expanding sustainable agriculture with an awareness of environmental impact—a change that the entire society will strive to achieve in the future. In partnership with Panasonic, we would like to propose sustainable lifestyles.

■ SAKA NO TOCHU Co., Ltd. overview

Company name



Kunihiko Ono


56 Kamitobatakahata-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto


July 2009


Distribution and sale of agricultural products in partnership with producers who practice environmentally friendly agriculture.



About Panasonic Corporation

Panasonic Corporation offers products and services for a variety of living environments, ranging from homes to stores to offices and cities. There are five businesses at the core of Panasonic Corporation: Living Appliances and Solutions Company, Heating & Ventilation A/C Company, Cold Chain Solutions Company, Electric Works Company and China and Northeast Asia Company. The operating company reported consolidated net sales of 3,483.3 billion yen for the year ended March 31, 2023. Panasonic Corporation is committed to fulfilling the mission of Life Tech & Ideas: For the wellbeing of people, society and the planet, and embraces the vision of becoming the best partner of your life with human-centric technology and innovation. Learn more about Panasonic: https://www.panasonic.com/global/about/

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