As California’s trade mission to Japan kicked off this week, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross participated in a series of meeting and events underscoring the deep cooperation between California and Japan.
One of first stops was a meeting with Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). Here, Secretary Ross was able to recognize Japan’s strong trade partnership and collaboration on market access for agricultural products, as well as focusing on organic certification. Discussions also covered California’s Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap.
Following the meeting with the MAFF, California hosted a California-Japan Climate Summit which highlighted climate opportunities related to renewable energy, hydrogen, port infrastructure and agriculture. As part of the Summit, CDFA hosted a Climate Smart Agriculture and Working Lands panel discussion with speakers from Japan’s National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), the Agricultural Department of Yamanashi Prefecture, California representatives from the University of California’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the California Rice Commission. The panel underscored research, on-farm practices and technical assistance as key approaches in helping farmers and ranchers address climate change.
The schedule this week has also included visits to key agricultural customers, featuring California Grown supermarket promotions and a tour of the Toyosu Central Wholesale Market for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Secretary Ross is in Japan as part of a California Trade Mission led by Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and Dee Dee Myers, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Japan is California’s fourth largest agricultural export market, valued at more than $1.6 billion. It is the leading destination for California raisins, the second largest destination for walnuts and prunes, the fourth for figs, and the fifth leading market for almonds.