Already partners for some years, the Bio c’Bon stores and the Aeon group have decided to engage a little more in their partnership: the Japanese distribution leader (65 billion euros in revenue [73.5 billion USD]) announced on wednesday that it has taken a stake of 19.9% in the capital of the French subsidiary firm Bio c’Bon. The two companies, which had launched their collaboration in 2016, will open their 8th Japanese store this weekend, with the hope of reaching 50 stores within the next three years.
Organic products are still relatively new in Japan. “In that regard, Japan is similar to France 10 years ago,” explains Thierry Chouraqui, CEO of Bio c’Bon, in an interview for Les Echos. But faced with an increasing demand, the firm opened its first Japanese store in December 2016 in Tokyo. “Without such a partner, it would have been impossible to launch ourselves in Japan.”
“The biological products offered by Bio c’Bon are subject to a set of specific rules: the Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) for the Japanese products and the Biological Agriculture label (AB) for the French products,” according to the website ccifj.or.jp.
Besides the products from the Japanese agriculture, Bio c’Bon imports some “Made in France” merchandise, which includes wines, cheeses and other food and cosmetic products.
The main challenge is the supply of local products. Only 0.2% of the Japanese agricultural production is indeed biological. Suppliers are hard to find and some educational work must be done in order to change the mentalities and practices of the farmers.
Source : Bio Addict