Earlier today we had a visit from 18 members of the Japanese Agricultural Cooperative. Membership of the organisation is approximately 95 million and includes almost all farmers in Japan and associate non farmers.
The organisation offers guidance on farming and lifestyle matters, market agricultural products, supplying production materials, loan and savings advice, and it provides facilities for sharing machinery between farms.
At present there are 709 agricultural cooperatives across Japan, which plan to amalgamate into one in the near future.
The group of 18 representative advisors and researchers came to England for 3 days to learn about organic farming and other ways of solving agricultural issues in Japan. As part of their visit they chose to visit Fordhall – we were very proud!
Becca and I took them on a tour of the farm, on a windy autumn day, with our translater in tow. We talked about the community ownership scheme and the organic farming system we run – including ‘Foggage’. Then it was back to our new sustainably renovated barn for a hearty buffet lunch.
We think they found the share issue without financial dividends an interesting one to understand, but they did seem to enjoy themselves – they certainly took a lot of notes!
Here is a pic of our tour group just before they left. We would like to say a big thank you for choosing to visit Fordhall and also for our origami gift. Maybe we will get the opportunity to visit Japan sometime in return….