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As part of the GFSI Japan team, on the ground in Tokyo, we’re very excited to welcome delegates to our vibrant city. This year’s Global Food Safety Conference promises a great lineup covering the big topics in food safety. It’s an exciting, global programme of events for all attendees.

The conference is being hosted in Japan for the first time this year. It remains a global conference with a global programme, but it will also touch on some of the unique aspects of the Japanese food industry, history and culture. We’re honoured to share this with the wider GFSI community, to attendees from around the world.

GFSC Japan Local Group webMy work here in Japan is part of the global work of the Global Food Safety Initiative, under the banner of The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). The CGF team in Tokyo is very small. There are only four of us. I am responsible for all things related to GFSI and GFSC including the GFSI Japan Local Group. This includes everything to do with this year’s conference from a local perspective. We’ve been organising Discovery Tours and social events. We’re working with sponsors and co-ordinating many other activities here in Tokyo.

Our local team may be small but we have incredible support from The CGF and GFSI Japan Local Group members. We have 71 local CGF members and 43 member companies in the Local Group. I’m proud to say that all of our GFSI Local Group members are also CGF members.

In addition to this, we’ve received a huge amount of support from local government, especially from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. High-level representatives from the Japanese government will be attending the conference. They will also be participating in the Government to Government (G2G) and Government to Business (G2B) meetings. These will take place adjacent to the conference.

We are proud and excited that GFSC 2018 will be hosted in Tokyo. We’ve been working hard to put together a programme of events that will be valuable for delegates from around the world.

The conference will feature the kinds of exciting presentations you’ve come to expect from GFSC. But there is an added twist. This year we will discuss some of these issues through the lens of Japan’s food industry.

There will also be the opportunity to experience some of the culture and history of Japan. We’ve curated a programme of Discovery Tours, arranged in partnership with Ecolab. This is a great way to experience the rich culture of our country first hand. Choose from:

  • 300 Years of Food & Beverage
  • All About Taste
  • Farm to Form

Our 300 Years of Food & Beverage tour will take you on a journey through time, from high-tech modern manufacturing to the region’s oldest sake brewery. You’ll start the day with a tour of an ultra-modern factory, Kewpie Egg Base. This facility is not open to the general public. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at production of their specialty B2B egg products, such as liquid and frozen eggs.

On the All About Taste tour you’ll get an insight into the ever-evolving Japanese palate, from savoury seasoning to brewing beer. You’ll also visit Costo Japan and discover an interesting mix of local and international foods. You’ll also have the chance to pay a visit to the Kawasaki Daishi, a temple founded in 1128 which is famous for its New Year festivities.

Finally, we have the Farm to Fork tour. On this tour you’ll meet key retailers and a big player in logistics before going on to visit a range of retailers. To conclude this tour, you’ll meet with Japanese food manufacturers at FOODEX Japan. This is the largest exhibition of the Japanese food industry.

If you’re having trouble choosing between the tours, my recommendation would be 300 Years of Food & Beverage tour. It’s the best for experiencing Japanese culture and some truly beautiful scenery.

GFSC Japan Welcome webIn addition to the tours, we have a full lineup of conference talks and all sorts of other business opportunities for delegates. There will also be a number of evening events to help you unwind and enjoy more networking and cultural experiences in Tokyo. The reception and dinner promise to be a particular highlight of the week’s recreational activities.

I’m very excited to welcome you and all our international GFSI members, Local Group members, CGF members and more to Tokyo this March. It’s a wonderful time to visit the city!

I’m particularly looking forward to the Opening Plenary Session where the CEOs of major companies in Japan will take the stage. The session topic is food safety culture and leadership. They will speak about the challenges of expanding traditional Japanese cuisine internationally. This is an amazing way to start the food safety discussion and is sure to draw a crowd. I’m also looking forward to the GFSI & You session where Mr Katsuki Kishi, GFSI board and General Manager, Quality Management Department, ÆON RETAIL Co., Ltd., will give a brief welcome to Japan.

I’ll be on site throughout the conference so do come and say hello! I’ll be there to help ensure the event runs smoothly and is one of the most successful and enjoyable conferences for all our delegates. I look forward to meeting you in Tokyo!

Photo rmatsuda

This post was written and contributed by:

Ryoko Matsuda
The Consumer Goods Forum

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